Fruit

How to Make an Açaí Bowl

March  3, 2015

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Liren of Kitchen Confidante treats herself (and you) to a refreshing snack with her Hawai'i-inspired açaí bowl.

Like clockwork, when 3 o’clock rolls around, my stomach starts rumbling for a mid-afternoon snack. Somehow, just three hours after lunch, I am always famished, and I often raid the pantry and refrigerator for something to eat. To keep the grumbling at bay, the first thing I make for myself (and for my kids when they are looking for an after-school snack) are huge açaí bowls, filled with fresh fruit.

I first encountered açaí bowls in Hawai'i, but have recently seen them popping up on the mainland, served in smoothie bars, which makes sense considering how addicting and practical they are. The bowls, made with nutrient-rich, blueberry-like berries from açaí palms, are perfect for breakfast, after a tough workout, and yes, to satisfy pre-dinner hunger.

More: It's better in a bowl -- learn how to make a grain bowl for dinner, without a recipe.

For many months, I tried to recreate the bowls I fell in love with while on vacation, because let’s face it, a trip to a smoothie shop (not to mention Hawai'i) can get expensive. Luckily, they’re not at all hard to make at home.

To make your own, all you need is a blender and some açaí packets, which can be found in the freezer section of your local grocery store. Then it’s up to you. I like blending the açaí with banana for creaminess and sweetness, a little apple juice (though coconut water and almond milk work just as well), and some frozen pineapple and blueberries, as in the recipe below. If you need a kale fix, throw it in, or feel free to mix in chia seeds, as you desire. The toppings are the fun part: Granola is a must, topped with coconut and fresh fruit, and drizzled with honey.

As you dig into your bowl, each bite will be refreshing and satisfying. You may not be digging your toes on a beach in Hawai'i, but it feels pretty darn close.

Açaí Bowl

Makes 2 large bowls

For the açaí bowl:

1/2 cup apple juice
1 banana
2 packets frozen açaí (I like Sambazon Original Blend Açaí Berry), thawed for 5 seconds under running water, then broken into chunks
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen pineapple

For the toppings:

1/4 cup sliced strawberries
1/4 cup blueberries
1 banana, sliced
1/8 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup granola
Chia seeds, as desired
Honey, as desired

Add the apple juice, banana, açaí, blueberries, and pineapple, in that order, to a blender. Blend on low speed until the mixture is thick and creamy. Pause as needed to scrape the mixture off the sides to help it blend evenly. Transfer to a bowl and let it set in the freezer while you prepare your toppings.

 

To serve, top with the strawberries, blueberries, banana, coconut, and granola. Add chia seeds as desired and sweeten with honey to taste. Enjoy immediately.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

6 Comments

Anne August 22, 2015
Um, my local grocery stores do NOT carry frozen acai packets. I've never seen this in my life. I live in the Washington DC area. I don't think this is available on a national level.
 
Maria R. March 10, 2015
I recently saw a 4-pack of the acai berry mash for sale at Fred Meyer so I grabbed one to make this recipe. So yummy! However, I made the mistake of adding cacao nibs and they did not compliment the acai berry. Next time I'll make the recipe as-is! Thanks for sharing!
 
Noreen March 4, 2015
I love acai bowls, and they are so much fun to decorate. I recently did a post on a my blog about my acai bowls :) http://www.nonisplace.com/acai-bowl-love/
 
Lesli L. March 3, 2015
where would I get a frozen acai packe?
 
txchick57 March 3, 2015
Whole Foods, Sprouts, health food places. I have had an acai bowl for breakfast every day since the beginning of 2005. Never get tired of them.
 
Freddurf March 6, 2015
You can also buy them at Costco. It's much cheaper than the health food stores although the last time I bought them they had raised their prices. <br />I like to blend mine with hemp milk and sprinkle a little bee pollen on top.