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Acai Berry Bowl | Nutrition Stripped
Eat Well Oct. 8. 2013
Breakfast

Açai Berry Bowl

Oct. 8. 2013
Breakfast
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder

A thick, rich, and creamy acai berry bowl full of antioxidant-rich acai berries and raw fruits and vegetables.

This Açai Berry Bowl is one of my favorite smoothie bowls. If you’ve been following me on my social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter), then I’m sure you’re wondering about my latest “food phase” –  smoothie bowls. I’ve been drinking my Stripped Green Smoothie every morning for many years now, and just with any other breakfast or post-workout meal, we all need to keep it fun and full of variety to continue with those healthy habits established. Herein lies the smoothie bowl to spice things up a bit, which basically is a smoothie thick enough to eat with a spoon! A perfect way to switch up drinking my Stripped Green Smoothie by eating it with a spoon and topped with all kinds of goodies. Keep reading for this easy Acai Smoothie Bowl recipe!

What is Açai? Açai (ahh-sah-ee) is a berry grown in Central and South America, Brazil and Peru. It’s very rich in antioxidants, minerals, healthy fats, and vitamins. If you’ve never tasted an açai berry, the flavor would be if a cranberry, raspberry, and raisin mixed together to form a new berry breed, Açai would be it. Açai bowls are popular among health enthusiasts and the Brazilian communities (since this berry is grown there). Açai bowls are simply frozen açai with mixed frozen fruits topped with anything your heart desires, and eaten like a big bowl of ice cream… but with health benefits.

Toppings

Toppings for açai berry bowls are endless! Here I have some of my favorites, unsweetened shredded coconut, goji berries, raw cocoa powder, homemade granola, Nourishing Muesli, and banana chips. Try raw nuts/seeds, fresh fruit, avocado, dark chocolate chips, etc. Although you may have heard in magazines or popular TV shows touting the health benefits of açai reaching as far as reversing diabetes, weight loss, and increasing libido; there is no solid scientific evidence supporting the above statements.

What we do know about açai berry is that this low sugar fruit contains many health-related benefits due to the vitamin and mineral content. Not to mention açai is what I consider to be one of many beauty foods as it’s rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins (Vitamin C for collagen production and free radical damage), and healthy fats (for skin elasticity, moisture retention, and healthy hormone production). Açai berries contain anti-inflammatory benefits, cholesterol lowering benefits, and anti-cancer benefits as with many other fruits and vegetables.

Where to buy

I purchase açai berry pulp in the freezer section at Whole Foods. You can also try your local health food store or ordering it online (which would have to be overnighted/packaged with dry ice to keep chilled). A couple other options are the organic freeze-dried powder, SAMBAZON, Nativa’s Naturals, Sunfood, and Acai Roots. Note when using the powders, you will not get the same volume as when using the actual pulp, you will need to add something like frozen bananas to the powder to create this thick frozen yogurt-like texture.

Nutrition Stripped nutrient breakdown of AçAI BERRY | 

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • B Vitamins } niacin, vitamin B6, riboflavin
  • Vitamin K
  • Fiber
  • Omega fatty acids } omega-6 (linoleic acid) and omega-9 (oleic acid)
  • Protein
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Antioxidants } resveratrol, cyanidin-3-galactoside, ferulic acid, delphinidin, petunidin
  • Polyphenols
  • Flavonoids

I love this recipe for breakfast, lunch, or even dessert! Feel free to add more ingredients into this recipe if you want more of a “meal” such as rolled oats, avocado, more bananas, a favorite protein powder, hemp seeds, etc.

Have you ever tasted or used açai berrry in your cooking or smoothies? Share below on how you use it! And if you make this at home, share on Instagram with #nutritionstripped so I can see!

Have a very berry day,

xo McKel

p.s.

Love this Acai Smoothie Bowl and want even more healthy recipes and tips to live whole and eat well? Get the Nutrition Stripped Cookbook with almost 100 delicious whole food recipes not on the blog! Get your copy here.

The Recipe

Serves 1

Print

Ingredients:

1 packet of frozen organic acai berry pulp

2 heaping handfuls of organic spinach

1 frozen banana

1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened

2 tablespoons of chia seeds (soaked for at least 20 minutes in some of the coconut milk)

dash of cinnamon

ice as needed to thicken

 

Directions:

Simply add all ingredients into your Vitamix or high-speed blender until thick and creamy.

The texture should be very thick, if too thick then add more almond or coconut milk.

If you stick a spoon into the mixture the mixture should be able to be thick enough to stay on the spoon, if not add ice or more frozen bananas.

Eat after making.

Enjoy!

Notes:

Nutrition information is for the recipe as is.
Lower calorie/lower sugar // use less banana or add frozen raspberries instead
Higher protein // add protein powder of choice (I like sunwarrior, vega, etc.)

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Did you try it out?

Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • Sounds and looks so delicious! Just got myself some acai and can´t wait to try it out. Mmmhm! Wishing you a lovely day.

    • Thank you Katrin! I hope you have a great day too and hopefully this acai bowl makes it that much better 😉

  • This sounds very delicious! I’ve never tried Acai Berries before (probably because I can never find any). Looks like I’m going to have to go on a deeper hunt for Acai.

  • Paige

    Question about the chia seeds-do I have to soak them? I have just been adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to my stripped green smoothie bowls without pre-soaking them in water, is this ok? Or are they supposed to be pre-soaked? Thanks!

    • Hi Paige,
      Great question- chia seeds are best used soaked before hand, but since you’re putting them in the Stripped Green Smoothie it’s perfectly fine. The smoothie contains enough water that the chia seeds will be able to soak them up, and as long as you’re staying hydrated throughout the day and drinking plenty of water, it’s fine!

  • Ellie

    Where can I buy the acai pulp? I live in NY

  • Inês

    Hi Mckel!
    This bowl looks great! I’m pretty sure it is delicious!!! — after this post, I really have to spend some time searching for the açai pulp to give it a try!
    I’m also very interested in the toppings you’re adding to the bowls, particularly in the banana chips. Here, I can’t find dried bananas chips without added sugar or oils… Do you know if it is possible to dry them at home?
    Thank you again!
    And congratulations for all this beautiful and tasty “energy” you’ve been sharing with us (we’re the lucky ones 😉 )

  • Melissa

    Having been to Brazil twice, this recipes makes me nostalgic! Acai bowls are absolutely delicious and were one of my most favorite discoveries while traveling in south America. Thanks for jogging my memory and inspiring me to try this at home!

    • Hi Melissa,
      That’s so great! I’ve never had a true “acai bowl” from Brazil, so to hear that it makes you nostalgic is a HUGE compliment- thank you so much for sharing xx mh

  • dragons are awesome

    I think that the spinach in the ingredient list is a mistake…It would taste so gross in acai berry bowl!

    • I think you’d be surprised – banana covers up the flavor of spinach exceptionally well.

  • I love acai juice and I love making acai-based smoothies before workouts to give me extra vigor and endurance. I really appreciate this berry, as it has great taste and is antioxidant-potent. The recipe here looks great to me, plus i like the fact it includes chia seeds for extra protein content!

  • Sarah

    HI there!

    I’ve been a long time fan of acai, so yummy! Quick question… when purchasing the sambazon acai, there are two kinds: original smoothie pack, and the pure unsweetened smoothie pack. Which do you use/recommend?

    Thanks McKel!

  • Acai has grown on me over the last year. I must admit, I hadn’t even tried it before, but now it’s one of my favorite fruits, not to mention the antioxidant punch it packs. This creamy treat right here looks incredibly delicious, yet contains healthy ingredients!

  • McKel, I have a question for you that’s been bothering me for quite some time. I bought the Sambozan frozen acai packs a couple of months ago from Whole Foods but I noticed that the ingredient list is not as I was hoping. I was hoping for just the acai – frozen. However, I see there is soy lecithin and citric acid in there as well. Thoughts? I like to eat as purely as possible….

  • This looks so amazing! I cannot wait to make this!!!!!

  • Lauren

    Where is the bowl from?

    Thank you

  • This looks so perfect! I just brought home my first acai smoothie packs and inlove with it! Literally opened it and made a nice bowl! I notice that most recipes add berries but I was looking for something simple. I’m going to use your recipe as my base recipe next time I make one!

    Also, I’m a fan of your ceramic bowl here <3

    xxM

    • Happy you tried it Mischelle! It’s great to be able to switch out the toppings anytime you want too xx

  • Laurie Snyder

    My sister and I make this most mornings- it’s one of our favorite breakfasts. It’s so delicious and refreshing, and nice to get in some greens right at the beginning of the day. I always add in strawberries, blueberries and coconut oil into the mix, in addition to the other ingredients. Then I top with sliced banana, frozen bluberries, almond/coconut butter, unsweetened coconut, and extra cinnamon. Thanks for this awesome recipe.

    • McKel Hill

      I’m so happy you both are enjoying it! xx M

  • Kim

    Hi McKel! I just made this bowl and followed your exact recipe using sambazon acai. The problem is my bowl is like a murky purple and Im wondering how you got your bowl so brilliantly magenta! it looks like you added beet juice or something maybe? How can I get mine more vibrant?!
    Thanks!!!
    love,
    kim

    • McKel Hill

      Hi Kim! It’s all in food photography! Mine turned out quite purple/red because I added the optional ingredient of raspberries. No worries about the color, it has the same nutrition and tastes amazing! xM

  • bastcilk doptb

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thank you for your provided information.

    http://www.bastcilkdoptb.com/

    • McKel Hill

      You’re welcome!

  • soni

    If you don’t have raspberries could you use blueberries, blackberries, strawberries etc. for a lower sugar option? Also what do you think of the Vega protein and greens powder?

    • McKel Hill

      Yes! Acai is very low sugar, but instead of bananas or additional frozen fruit you can use raspberries. I like Vega sport protein!

  • Karen healy

    Are acai bowls suitable for diabetics?

    • McKel Hill

      Yes and no! It depends on so many factors, in general make sure you have protein and fat with your carbs or at least a good amount of fiber. If you’re interested in more detail and meal plans, consider becoming one of my clients 1-1, sign up here! xM

  • soni

    Has anyone had the problem of their coconut milk turning into coconut cream in the fridge? That’s what happened to mine but I still but 1/2cup of the cream and 1/2cup of water into the smoothie. Was that a bad idea on my part? ????

    • McKel Hill

      Haha coconut solidifies at room temp (if it’s cool enough) and definitely in the fridge. You can just blend it together and it’ll be fine!

      • Hi

        How much powder do you need for the nutrition to be the same ??

        • McKel Hill

          You can use 1 serving of protein powder to help boost the protein!

  • Juliana

    I was wondering when using the powder how much to use to get the same nutrition over all thank you havent been able to find the smoothie packs so this would help hope to here from you soon thanks????

    • McKel Hill

      Acai is nutrient dense and will add to the overall nutrient density in this smoothie bowl, BUT if you don’t have access you’re still getting a very nourishing breakfast with these whole foods! xx

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  • Arrived here via google, because I’m writing a blog about a 5 minute acai bowl. If you haven’t tried these you certainly should cause boy are they tasty!!

    http://www.beez-hive.com

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