Acai bowls have an exotic air—and for good reason: the deep purple acai berries are only grown in South America—but really, acai bowls are essentially a smoothie in a bowl with delicious and nutritious toppings. Even though acai comes from a faraway land, most health food stores sell frozen acai berries, frozen acai packs (puréed acai), or acai powder. Translation: anyone can make acai bowls!
Not only are they delicious, acai berries love your skin. With 500% more antioxidants than blueberries, acai berries will help boost skin’s radiance and fend off skin-damaging free radicals. Goodbye, dull complexion! Hello, radiant glow!
These berries also contain omega fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, making them a truly nourishing and beautifying food.
An acai bowl is simple to make, and when coupled with healthy toppings, it makes for a tasty, filling, and colorful breakfast or snack. The following recipe can be customized depending on what goodies your have in your pantry and fridge (see below for a list of additional topping ideas). The important part is that you try an acai bowl at least once—and don’t forget to relish in its gorgeous purple hue!
Easy Acai Bowl Recipe (Vegan and Gluten-free)
1 frozen acai pack
1 banana, divided in half
1 tbs. chia seeds
1 handful raw hazelnuts, roughly chopped
¼ cup granola
1 clementine, peeled and divided into sections
(Optional additional toppings: fresh berries, almond butter, sliced kiwi, hemp seeds, maca powder, cinnamon, cacao nibs, avocado, sprouted buckwheat groats, dried goji berries—your options are endless!)
1. Thaw frozen acai by placing a single pack in a bowl of warm water for about 20 minutes. Remove package from water, open, and pour contents into a blender. Add ½ banana and blend until puréed.
2. Pour contents of blender into a bowl. Stir in chia seeds, cover, and allow the mixture to sit in the fridge for 15 minutes. This will allow the chia seeds to form their gel-like coating, which will give the mixture a more pudding-like consistency.
3. Remove bowl from refrigerator and deck out with nutritious toppings!
Photos: Mary Hood