While writing this, I’m deliberating whether my introduction to acai bowls was through breakfast accounts on Instagram or plainly having one without even realizing it prior to the hype. Either way, I’m going to pretend that Backyard Bowls in L.A was my initiation to the acai bowl experience, knowingly after the craze. We’re now aware that the acai (pronounced ah-sai-ee, by the way) berry is the fruit from the acai palm tree, commonly found in the Amazon. If blueberries and grapes mated, their offspring would look similar to the acai berry. This antioxidant rich fruit has been proclaimed for having healing, energy-boosting and immune-stimulating properties.
Beyond South America, one of the more popular places where acai bowls are enjoyed is Hawaii. I opportunely found this out on my trip to the pineapple state earlier this year. Acai bowls were on every breakfast menu, in every coffee shop and even stand-alone shacks or stores are dedicated to them. From what I tried, my favorite was probably Diamond Head Cove Health Bar. You’ll have to check it out if you find yourself in Honolulu. After having such a delicious and nutritious start to almost every morning – of course I indulged in some fluffy macadamia nut pancakes, too – I had to figure out how to make acai bowls back home.
To tell you the truth, my first few attempts were unsuccessful. Think purply-pink liquid poured in a bowl. Who has an acai smoothie, anyways? They’re in bowls for a reason! Once you have the base recipe down, you can begin the decorating party – I’m talking about the toppings. The possibilities are endless, and you can mix and match depending on what you have at home.
I love to add granola for crunch, a drizzling of coconut syrup, a sprinkle of chia seeds and I heap on whatever fruits are in the kitchen. If you want to experiment more with my base recipe, you can sneak in a handful of leafy greens like spinach or kale. My recipe is pretty flexible, so I’m adding in notes to help with substitutions or other options. Waking up will be lots more exciting, have fun with this!
2 frozen bananas
2 cups frozen strawberries (I have used frozen mangoes before)
4 tablespoons acai powder (I get mine from The Healthy Grocery)
1 cup almond milk (or any milk of choice)
2 tablespoons almond butter (I have used peanut butter before)
1 tablespoon honey
1. Add frozen fruits, acai powder, milk, nut butter and honey to a blender. Blend until creamy and smooth.
2. Spoon the acai mixture into bowls and top with condiments of your choice.