This acai smoothie bowl is a fruity combination of frozen acai, banana, mixed berries, almond milk, optional protein powder, and lime juice. Once blended and put into a bowl, you can choose your favourite toppings for a special breakfast treat.
Is an Acai Bowl a Smoothie?
Essentially, acai bowls include a very thick smoothie that is served in a bowl rather than a glass. The acai bowl smoothie is thick because you want it to hold up to your choice of garnishes when you serve it.
The process of making smoothie bowls is quite easy. You simply add the frozen acai pack to a high-speed blender or food processor together with the other frozen fruit and protein powder, and a ¼ cup of almond milk. The almond milk is a somewhat neutral nut milk that is great here, however, you can use a different kind if desired. Cashew milk, soy milk, or even dairy would work here.
Then, you blend the mixture until smooth. If you have a blender with a tamper, you can use it to push the frozen ingredients down towards the blades. This is especially helpful if it is getting too thick. Otherwise, if you have to use a food processor, simply stop it once in a while to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
While I provide a range for the almond milk, it is best to start with the smallest amount and increase it if necessary. The reason is that you want to make sure your smoothie bowls are thick enough that you can spoon your favourite garnishes on top. Too much almond milk might make your acai smoothie too thin. Fruit can have different quantities of liquid in them as well, which is why you will want to keep an eye on this.
What is the Acai in an Acai Bowl?
Acai is a type of fruit or berry from the acai palm tree. It grows in tropical countries like Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, and Peru.
The fruits are round with a blackish-purple colour, and about the size of a grape. It is a challenge to find fresh acai berries in many parts of the world, so I use a frozen acai pack for my acai bowls instead. Using frozen acai in addition to banana and berries helps create a brightly coloured and refreshing bowl to enjoy for breakfast throughout the week.
Can I Make the Acai Smoothie Bowl in Advance?
While making this acai bowls in advance may seem like a good idea, it will become too liquidy as it sits in the fridge. It will also lose its refreshing quality from the use of the frozen fruit. A smoothie bowl is more like nice cream than a sippable smoothie anyway. As a result, it is not a good idea to make it ahead of time.
If you want to enjoy this more easily on a weekday morning, though, you can do some advance preparation. Simply combine all the frozen fruit you need for one batch in a large (silicone) freezer bag or jar so it is ready for you. Then, each morning, you can just dump the contents of one serving into your blender. You can also set containers of toasted coconut, granola, hemp hearts, or chia seeds aside. This will allow you to have all your favourite garnishes ready when you make acai bowls throughout the week.
What Can I Top My Smoothie Bowl With?
The options for garnishing this acai smoothie are almost endless. I recommend using a combination of fresh fruit and berries along with crunchy elements like granola, seeds and coconut. You can either sprinkle everything on top of your bowl or arrange each component in a different section artfully.
Generally, topping your smoothie with some fresh fruit and something crunchy components is a good ideas. Some sliced banana and fresh berries are great. From there, you can add chia or hemp hearts, as well as shredded coconut. You can use sweetened or unsweetened coconut. Toasting it in advance will add another realm of complexity to this acai smoothie, though. Just place it in a 350° F (177° C) oven and toast until golden and fragrant if desired.
Chia seeds and hemp hearts make such a beautiful accompaniment to this acai smoothie bowl. The black of the chia and the white and green of the hemp hearts are attractive against the brilliant purple of this refreshing dish. Chia is also good sources of omega 3 fatty acids and fiber which make them perfect for breakfast. Meanwhile, hemp hearts have a wide range of nutrition from protein to magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Adding several different toppings to this smoothie bowl will surely make it even healthier due to the wide range of minerals and nutrients.
What Should I Do if My Smoothie is Too Thin?
While this acai bowl recipe should result in the perfect textured smoothie, some aspects may result in it thinning out. For example, if you accidentally added the full amount of almond milk to the bowl, you may end up with a thinned out smoothie. Alternatively, this could happen if there was more juice in your fruit or your fruit thawed too much.
To correct this, simply add some additional frozen banana and berries or a couple of ice cubes to the smoothie and blend again. These will act as a thickener and get your smoothie back to the thickness required for this acai smoothie bowl. You should add the frozen ingredients a little at a time to ensure that it doesn't become too thick as well. However, if the smoothie does become a little too thick at this point, simply thin it out with a little more milk.
Where to buy frozen acai
I stumbled on a bag of frozen acai packets at Costco during a recent trip. Target also has pure unsweetened acai packs in the freezer section.
If frozen acai seems unavailable in your area, you can also use acai powder. 1 frozen pack of this superfood can be replaced with 2 teaspoons of acai powder + about 3 ice cubes.
More Smoothie Bowl Recipes You'll Love:
Açai Bowl Recipe
- 1 frozen Açai pack (100g)
- 1 frozen banana
- ½ cup frozen mixed berries (or other frozen fruit)
- 1 scoop protein powder vanilla, plain, or fruit flavor
- ¼-1/3 cup almond milk
- ½ lime juiced
- banana slices
- fresh berries
- fresh fruit cubed
- shredded coconut
- hemp hearts or chia seeds
- A high-speed blender (with tamper) or food processor are needed to make this Açai bowl.
- Add the contents of one frozen Açai pack into your blender are or food processor bowl. (I find it helps for easier blending to take the pack out 5-10 minutes ahead of time, so that you can break the frozen Acai into a few smaller pieces.)
- Add the frozen banana (broken into pieces or slices), frozen berries and 1 scoop of protein powder.
- Now add ¼ cup of almond milk and turn on your blender or food processor. If needed, add the remaining almond milk.
- If your blender comes with a tamper, use it push the ingredients into the blades. Otherwise, turn off your blender/food processor as needed and scrape down the sides. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Taste the frozen acai mix. If the protein powder made it too sweet tasting, squeeze in the juice of ½ lime and blend one more time to incorporate. The acidity of the lime juice will also brighten up the colour of the acai.
- Fill the mixture into a bowl and spread out the top with a spoon to create a level surface.
- Top the acai smoothie bowl with your favorite toppings like banana slices, fresh berries, granola, shredded coconut, hemp hearts, or chia seeds...
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