If I had to pick one shining star from our trip in Brazil it would be Acai bowls. So simple but so versatile, great for breakfast while also perfect for late afternoon snacks, comforting and yet perfectly healthy. The best part is that it is easy to explore different option and craft a bowl that match exactly what you want at that time.
Let’s go through where to find the ingredients and some tips on what you can put in your next Acai.
Yield: 2 bowls (or 3 small ones)
200g Acai (Frozen)
20g Passion fruit pulp (Frozen)
10 chunks Mango (Frozen)
1 ripe Banana
2 tbs Agave syrup ( or Maple syrup/Honey)
A handful of your favorite granola
Where to buy Acai and tropical fruits?
The biggest challenge you are most likely to face if you are not leaving in Brazil or any place Acai/tropical fruits are easy to find will be availability and affordability. I don’t know for you but I certainly don’t like planning my snacks two weeks in advance to leave enough time for my tasteless mangos to turn from solid rocks into something somewhat edible. And that’s assuming all the fruits all ripping on the same schedule. The easiest (and cheaper) option here is to rely on frozen pulp and fruits to be able to prep a bowl whenever you feel like it.
Personally I’ve been perfectly happy with the Acai puree from Trader Joe’s and GOYA frozen fruits. It might not be the best of the best for purists but they provided a reliable good taste/consistency without having my snack costing more than my couch.
If you prefer online alternatives then buying in bulk might be a good option but also requires to buy a lot upfront to bring the cost per pack down enough. Nativo Acai is good and can cost $1.75 per pack if you go crazy on the 88-pack bundle. But honestly as we don’t already have enough space in our apartment to fit pretty much anything I can’t see us buy half-a-ton of frozen Acai. Apologies for the folks not located in the US, I’ll have less visibility on how you can get your hands on reasonably good and affordable Acai but frozen Acai and fruits still remain what I’d be looking for if the fresh stuff is not easily available where you are.
How to make the perfect Acai bowl?
Bottom line is it’s very simple! You always start with 100g Acai per person then based on your mood you decide on:
- How creamy do you want the base? Add a frozen Banana or an Avocado to make it extra creamy.
- How liquid should it be? Overall it’s best to keep the liquids added to a minimum but sometimes it will help blend everything together and also you might prefer it more liquid.
- Go down the path of fruity flavors with guess what, fruits…
- … or follow a more Nutty side.
- Want to add some zesty kick? Lime or Passion fruit pulp are perfect for that.
- Adjust sweetness to your taste (e.g. Agave syrup, Maple syrup, honey)
- Toppings of your choice: nutty (e.g. granola, chia seeds) or fruits (e.g. pineapple, mango) or both.
If you don’t have a powerful blender, opt for a food processor and if you don’t have one then it’s going to be hard. In that case I’d recommend to let the ingredients thaw a little and hope for the best.
Otherwise, just throw all the fruits and syrup in the blender and mix till everything is smooth. Dress your bowls with a bit of your favorite granola/fruits and enjoy.
Delicious Acai bowl variations
In this bowl I tried to bring some fruity roundness with banana and mango while punching a bit of zesty passion fruit without overpowering the Acai. Also both Lola and myself are not big sweet-tooth I kept the sugar to a low amount.
The cool thing with Acai though is it’s dead simple to make it your own by adding more or less of any parts.
Below are other options I really like:
- Use a tiny bit of coconut milk for a more liquid version with more granola on top.
- Blend with oatmeal, no fruits inside but top with mango chunks and strawberries.
- 2 tbs tahini, 1 lime juice, 4 tbs agave syrup, 200g acai.
Things I want to try next
Next 2 things on my list are to use Acai to make ice cream and as a sauce in a meaty/fishy dish. If you tried any of the above, let me know in the comments.