Updated: Mar 9
I don't know about you, but I really enjoy a beautiful Acai Bowl. I notice that some Acai cafes are starting to pop up, primarily in resort towns. Unfortunately, none by me....but hey, they seem simple enough to make at home. May be even better when you control the ingredients.
So what exactly are Acai Bowls? Smoothie Bowls, for short, and in less exotic terms.
Smoothie bowls first became popular a couple years ago as a way to make a thicker smoothie you could eat with a bowl and spoon. They soon became popular for breakfast, even becoming a major trend on Instagram and other social media accounts because of their enticing appearance. The original smoothie bowl began as a way to use acai packs and fruit. Here are some things to know about the classic acai bowl.
About Acai Packs
Smoothie bowls were originally called acai bowls. Acai berries come from South America and parts of Central America, where the acai palm trees grow. These berries are usually only found fresh in these areas, so when you want to use them in the U.S., they are typically in the form of acai puree. These come most often in packs of puree that you can use for various recipes. A popular way to use the packs is to thicken up and sweeten a smoothie, which is thick enough to turn it into a smoothie bowl you can eat with a spoon. The acai berries have lots of nutrients as well, including omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, amino acids, and lots of vitamins and minerals.
The Original Basic Acai Bowl Recipe
The traditional acai bowls started with an acai pack, usually one that was unsweetened so that you can control exactly how sweet you want your smoothie bowl to be. The classic bowls often included a frozen banana, fruit like strawberries and blueberries, some chia seeds to put on top, shredded coconut on top, and occasionally a little agave in order to sweeten up the smoothie bowl.
New Variations on the Classic
Over time, the smoothie bowls have changed and move from just being acai bowls, to being another way to make delicious and nutritious smoothies. Some of the smoothie bases still use acai packs, but many of them instead use other fruits, vegetables, yogurt and milk, nuts, seeds, and lots of other ingredients. There are many different variations of smoothie bowls, from using tropical fruit and yogurt, to going with a dessert bowl that has chocolate and peanut butter. Some do more of a traditional smoothie with bananas and strawberries, while others are using lots of goji berries and chia seeds along with the acai berries.
As you can see, there are many variations of an "acai bowl". You can start with the classic or go exotic - your choice.