As an açaí craze officially sweeps the nation, the Amazonian berry is showing up in smoothies, pureed bowls of fruit, juices, tea, and more. For those unfamiliar with açaí (pronounced ah-SIGH-ee), the grape-size purple berries grow on a type of palm tree in the Amazon and are praised as a superfood with an incredible antioxidant value — 10 times more than is found in blueberries.
Since açaí berries don’t have a long shelf life, they’re typically sold frozen, powdered, or as a puree. But don’t buy blindly! Carey Shore, MS, RD, LD, wellness coach and program coordinator at Methodist Dallas and Methodist Richardson Medical Centers, recommends checking açaí nutrition labels first. The berry isn’t naturally sweet, so it’s oftentimes packaged with sugar or other unhealthy sweeteners, which can contribute to obesity and many other chronic illnesses.
After you’ve found a low- or no-sugar açaí to work with, add your choice of Greek yogurt or milk-based ingredient and then blend with fresh fruits for a natural sweetness. To add texture, top it off with some flaxseed or chia seeds, both of which can help with digestion and add healthy fats to the mix.
There are endless ways to make a delicious bowl. Sink your spoon into some of our favorites.
Best of the basics. Açaí bowls typically have some combination of fruits blended with milk or yogurt (or a nondairy substitute), which is finished off with a multitude of toppings of your choice. Dinner at the Zoo’s Quick and Easy Açaí Bowl is a perfect recipe for beginners to get their feet wet with the Amazonian treat.
Quick and Easy Açaí Bowl by Dinner at the Zoo
Packing a peanut butter punch. This Peanut Butter Açaí Bowl recipe from Bakerita supercharges a basic açaí bowl with a peanutty punch. If peanut butter isn’t your thing, it can be substituted for any nut butter.
Peanut Butter Açaí Bowl by Bakerita
A trip to the tropics. Many açaí bowls use fruit commonly seen in American produce aisles, like strawberries and blueberries. This Tropical Açaí Bowl recipe from Cookie and Kate forgoes the basics to focus on tropical fruits, which makes a beach-worthy açaí bowl.
Tropical Açaí Bowl by Cookie and Kate
WANT A DEMO? Watch Carey Shore walk you step-by-step through how to make an açaí bowl here.