Today I’m going to chat a little bit about the antioxidant rich Acai berry and teach you how to build your very own Acai bowl! These tiny berries are a cross between a grape and a blueberry and they grow on palm trees along rivers in South America. Acai berries are very delicate so it’s unlikely that we will come across fresh berries. The berries are very delicate and difficult to transport so that’s why here in the States, Acai can be found in the freezer section of your natural food market in the form of a frozen pulp or powder. Acai is rich in antioxidants, Remember .. antioxidants fight off free radicals in the body and help keep us healthy and strong. Acai contains more antioxidants than blueberries, strawberry, or cranberry, and they also contain fatty acids and are low in sugar. Most importantly they taste delicious! Don’t forget that while superfoods can be a great addition to an otherwise healthy diet so choose one or more that work for you and enjoy!
My Acai bowl will be made using an Acai powder. Alternatively you can use the frozen pulp. I like the powder because it can also be added to my morning smoothie if I’m not planning to make an Acai bowl. If you are using the frozen pulp, take it out of the freezer a few minutes ahead of time so it can thaw slightly.
Peanut or almond butter is a delicious ingredient to add to your blender or to use on top of your Acai Bowl. My favorite granola is Purely Elizabeth. Granola can be high in both calories and sugar so take a look at the ingredients when you buy. The peanut butter I use in in powder form and is called PB2. It’s lower in fat and calories than regular peanut butter so I can add a little extra :)
Homemade Acai Bowl
- 2 packages of Acai puree (see above for my favorite) or 1 cup frozen banana, 2 cups frozen berries
- 2 tablespoons of local honey
- 1/3 cup milk or milk alternative (add more if needed for blending)
- 1/2 cup fresh berries
- 1/2 cup banana
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter powder (see above)
- 2 scoops of Acai powder
- Extra toppings: more peanut butter, granola, cacao nibs
- Add the frozen fruit, honey, and milk to your blender. You may need to add more liquid to blend your fruit puree. If you add too much liquid your acai bowl will look like a slush so add as little as possible.
- Pour mixture into a bowl and top with sliced fruit, cacao nibs, granola, and peanut or almond butter.
FAQs About Acai Bowls:
What is acai? Pronounced ah-sigh-ee, Acai is a small deep purple fruit that comes from the acai palm tree in Central and South America.
Are homemade Acai bowls healthy? Acai bowls are made with a variety of fruit and usually honey. Calories and sugar content will vary depending on on much fruit and other toppings are added. For this reason, it’s good to know the ingredients along with the calorie/sugar count. While the ingredients are considered healthy there is still sugar and calories.
Can Acai bowls be part of a weight loss program? Yes providing you are calculating the calorie count. Remember that fruit has lots of sugar and to lose weight, more calories need to be used by your body that calories taken in. To lose weight choose a variety of healthy foods, eat seasonally if you can, and get plenty of physical activity along with rest and recovery.
How much liquid should I add to my Acai Bowl? Usually about a 1/2 cup milk or nut milk is all you need. The frozen fruit or Acai pulp should look like sorbet when blended.
Frozen Fruit TIP
To freeze fruit: Use your overripe bananas! They are super sweet and are perfect for smoothies or Acai bowls. Wash strawberries and peel and slice the bananas. into 1-inch chunks. Arrange fruit on a parchment lined sheet pan and place in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Once frozen, add to freezer-safe bags and use when needed! Frozen fruit will last about 3 months.
Topping suggestions for your Acai bowl:
- Granola (look for one that’s lower in sugar)
- Fresh fruit
- Flaked coconut
- Chia seeds
- Cacao nibs
- Hemp seeds