A nutritious twist on the classic acai bowl! This version includes healthy fat and protein to keep you fuller, longer. Prep time is a speedy five minutes - you'll be digging in a spoon in less time than it takes to make toast.
This light and refreshing acai berry bowl is the perfect summery breakfast!
If you’re new to the world of Brazilian acai bowls (aka açaí na tigela), traditional recipes call for a blend of just a few ingredients; namely frozen acai fruit pulp or freeze dried powder, sweet frozen fruit (e.g. banana), a dash of sweetener and splash of liquid.
This is blitzed together in a food processor; the end result a thick, creamy, downright dreamy, dessert-like breakfast. *swoon* .
As a nutritionist, I love crafting dishes with nutritional balance in mind. Treading carefully, to not butcher the original guidelines, this breakfast bowl recipe differs slightly from the classic. It features more whole food fat, fibre and a protein bump – these nutrients are slow to digest, helping to keep us satisfied into the morning!
Açai Berry FAQ
In more recent years, acai has gained mass popularity. For those new to the fruit, here’s a quick FAQ:
What are acai berries? Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) is a small (2.5cm round) dark purple-skinned fruit that grows on acai palms. It’s native to Central and South America, and a traditional staple food in the Amazon region for centuries.
What do they taste-like? An earthy hybrid between wild berries and unsweetened dark chocolate.
What form do you buy acai berries in? Fresh acai berries have a short shelf life. They’re typically exported as juice, frozen fruit pulp or freeze dried powder.
What’s the consistency of acai bowls? Thick and scoopable, reminiscent of ice cream. Depending on how much liquid and frozen fruit you add determines consistency.
How do you serve acai bowls? Once dolloped into your bowl, smooth the surface with the back of a spoon, then top with your pick of Instagramable tasty toppings.
Acai bowls are ultimate blank canvas – decorate with fresh fruit, muesli, coconut or a creamy drizzle of nut butter. Visually pleasing and a nutrient boost. Eat immediately.
There’s a huge amount of ingredient wriggle room when making this easy acai bowl recipe. Try different liquids, combinations of frozen fruit or toppings, whatever. Play and make it your own!
Freeze dried acai powder. This is fruit that has been freeze dried and crushed into a fine powder. Health supermarkets often stock acai berry powder, or some grocery stores.
Frozen banana. The riper it is, the sweeter your acai bowl. Frozen banana provides thickness and a creamy consistency. Before freezing, make sure to peel and slice into coins.
Frozen berries. If you’re not a berry fan, swap for frozen mango or pineapple.
Protein powder. A ½ serving measure of protein powder (based of a standard 20g-ish powder) works best to preserve the acai flavour. Much more and it tends to steal the flavour and texture show! Vanilla or chocolate flavour are AOK if on hand too.
Ripe avocado. This adds incredible texture and creaminess! An avocado is ripe when it yields to firm, but gentle, pressure.
A liquid of choice. Depending on what you use will impact flavour. Coconut water is tropical tasting (and nice post-exercise for an electrolyte boost). Almond and oat milk are lovely neutral options.
The wee acai berry has an interesting and diverse nutritional profile. Here are some acai berry benefits:
A good source of fat including essential omega-3 and omega-6, unusual for a fruit.
Also dietary fibre all-important for gut health. Most of acai berries carbohydrate content is actually just fibre!
Most notably, acai berries are a rich source of antioxidants They edge out other fruit in the antioxidant department, like OG blueberries and cranberries (1)! The antioxidants in acai berries come from an array of plant compounds, like the flavonoid plant pigment anthocyanin (2). These contribute to the berries glorious dark purply hue.
What are antioxidants? Antioxidants are produced by our body and found in food. They help defend against cell damage from potentially harmful free radicals – think of antioxidants as police and free radicals as baddies! Antioxidants run around pairing up with free radicals, restoring balance.
Are acai berries a superfood? Acai berries are often coined ‘superfoods’, because of their stellar antioxidant content. These are foods that are suggested to confer health benefits due to nutrient density. The term is a food marketing one, not commonly used by nutritional professionals. It’s nice to celebrate foods for nutrition benefits.
Let’s remember, diet diversity is key. Eating a range of colourful produce is best to ‘omph up’ antioxidant intake, rather than relying on a single source 🙂