Classic Açaí Bowls (vegan & gluten-free)

Classic Açaí Bowls // the pig & quill #glutenfree #vegan

Classic Açaí Bowls // the pig & quill #glutenfree #vegan

Açaí bowls. So hot right now.

If you live in a beach town or some kefir-drinking granola ‘hood, you know what I mean. Or maybe if you’re, like, Brazilian, or something. In which case, please tell me: why are roughly ALL% of the world’s supermodels Brazilian? Are the Brazilian people really all that statuesque and sultry and smoldering and other S words that make me want to do a jillion sit-ups and then smear myself in tropical oils? Do YOU look like that? You do, don’t you — little stinker. I guess you can stick around.

So açaí bowls. Super hot. If you’re none of the above — I mean, maybe you’re statuesque but you’re a Nordic Ice Queen, or something, I don’t know, I recently watched Frozen and it’s ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT SO SORRY.

If you’re not super familiar with the whole açaí bowl thing, here’s the gist.

It’s Brazilian. I do like ranting about Brazilians, but that was actually my point earlier.
It’s brilliant. It’s a smoothie parfait that feels one hundred thousand times healthier than it sounds.
It’s Brazilliant.

Oh, you saw that coming? Love you.

Classic Açaí Bowls // the pig & quill #glutenfree #vegan

Classic Açaí Bowls // the pig & quill #glutenfree #vegan

For realsies, though, it’s a blend of frozen, super antioxidant-rich açaí berry puree and fresh fruit topped with more fruit (huzzah!), crunchy granola (huzzah huzzah!) and a buncha nuts, seeds, honey, bee pollen, cacao nibs, coconut, Twix bars, pound cake, goobers, apple pie filling, Haribo gummies and cookie dough.

Huh?
Whoa, I think I blacked out and detoured to the Cold Stone Creamery toppings list for a second.

Classic Açaí Bowls // the pig & quill #glutenfree #vegan

Anyway, you guys are smart, so you know what’s what. Lots of feel good, whole-nutrition types of stuff that tastes uhmazeballs and feels all fancy-vacation-like. Except for it’s not actually all that fancy because, with one trip down the frozen fruit aisle and another past the bulk bins, you could have the makings of one of these exotic wonderbowls in no time. Right at home! In yo kitchen! No beeeeaaach needed, beeeeaaach!

My take on what seems like a pretty classic version (using the term loosely since I don’t know beans about Brazil) is written up below, but you really can’t go wrong.

Whirl some up, top ’em off and let me know whatcha think!

Classic Açaí Bowls // the pig & quill #glutenfree #vegan

Classic Açaí Bowls // the pig & quill #glutenfree #vegan

Classic Açaí Bowls // the pig & quill #glutenfree #vegan

Classic Açaí Bowls // the pig & quill #glutenfree #vegan

Classic Açaí Bowls (vegan & gluten-free)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
By:
Makes: 2 bowls
Ingredients
  • For the "smoothie" portion:
  • 4 oz unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 Açaí Smoothie Packs (we used one each Original and Unsweetened)
  • For the topping:
  • sliced bananas
  • sliced strawberries
  • sliced kiwi
  • frozen blueberries
  • granola (we used this gluten-free hemp & flax seed variety)
  • sliced almonds
  • coconut chips
  • honey (omit for vegan option)
Instructions
  1. Run Smoothie Packs under hot water for 5 seconds.
  2. Load all smoothie ingredients into blender in order listed and blend until smooth. (If you don't have a super blender, you may have to pause a couple times to stir in any large frozen chunks before blending again).
  3. Divide smoothie between two bowls -- or enjoy as a smoothie! -- and top accordingly. Yum!
Notes
Ok, so the most challenging part of this recipe is probably getting your hands on the açaí puree, itself. I found the Sambazon brand at my local Whole Foods (Safeway did not have it) -- but I heard some Costco stores carry it, as well. It's a bit pricey, about $7-$8 for four packets, but it's still loads more economical than buying a bowl at a cafe. The Sambazon brand comes in two varieties: 1) Original, which is sweetened and enhanced with a teensy bit of energizing guaraná extract and has 100 cals per serving, and 2) Unsweetened, which is just the pure fruit puree and has 70 cals per serving. For two bowls, I did one packet of each, but if I were to only buy one variety, I'd probably opt for the Unsweetened since the honey and fresh fruit adds plenty of natural sweetness.
Disclosure: I received complimentary product from Sambazon Açaí for recipe development and testing. As always, any opinions expressed across the site, be they negative or positive, are 100% my own.

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21 Comments on “Classic Açaí Bowls (vegan & gluten-free)”

    1. emily

      I know, I realize now that my spontaneous detour was cruel and a little misleading. I heartily support actually topping this madness with Twix bars, crushed Oreos, a small purse’s worth of crystallized unicorn tears and other luxuries, if so inclined. It’s just breakfast, baby.

  1. gastronomiette

    Mk you’re right these are soo trendy right now. I was in Santa Monica this summer and one of my friends really wanted to take us to go get some, but we never had time 🙁 Now I can make ’em at home, yay!

    Also, I thought these are hawaiian? Maybe I’m mistaken.

  2. Taylor!

    These look so good I wanna die! Can’t wait to try these! Thanks for the recipe + your pics are gorg! Xoxo!

    1. emily

      Thanks Taylor! And I wouldn’t go so far as to take your own life over one, but they aaaaare pretty good eats. Easy, too. Whip one up!

    1. emily

      Please do! Would love to hear what the fam thinks of them, Bethany. Aside from the massive stain potential, they’re relatively kid friendly, too. 🙂

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  4. Michelle

    I have some of those packets sitting in my freezer! They were a spontaneous purchase because I had the most amazing acai bowl at Backyard Bowls in Santa Barbara. I never thought I would enjoy something like that for breakfast (I’m much more of a bacon type) but it was amazing and I have been too scared to try to duplicate the experience I had at Backyard Bowls. I will have to try this recipe!

  5. theluckypennyblog

    I just wrote a whole long comment, not sure if it went through… here we go again!

    I’m so excited for this recipe because I have some of those acai packets in my freezer. They were a spontaneous buy. I had the most amazing acai bowl at Backyard Bowls in Santa Barbara. I never thought I would enjoy something like that for breakfast,since it doesn’t have either bacon or hashbrowns in it. But it was awesome and I’ve been wanting to try to replicate it but I’ve been too scared! I will try this recipe! thanks!

    1. emily

      It went through, Michelle! You’re good to go. 🙂 And I’m usually more of a savory breakfast-type, too, but the bajillion toppings on these bowls make them so much more satisfying than just…fruit…and…stuff. And really, how bad would they really be with a little bacon over the top? (My guess: not that bad at all.) 🙂

  6. Clara Chan

    Hi, I used the same brand of acai smoothie to make my acai bowl. Your pictures of how your acai turned looks so good and similar to how I made mine. I like how your acai turned out dark purple and look creamy because I often had a struggle with that so I now added in frozen mango or more bananas into the mixture to get an even more thicker creamy consistences and to make the acai more tropical. I think using agave nectar or coconut nectar is another way to substitute honey and making the acai bowl both sweet and vegan. Acai bowl is so good to eat as a snack or for me personal I eat for breakfast, so I added in chia seeds for the extra crunch and makes more hearty and filling because they are high in fiber and antioxidant. I like the presentation of your acai bowl.

  7. Clara Chan

    Also if you add in some goji berries, it will give a great start in your morning breakfast because its rich in vitamins and minerals.

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  12. Sophie

    I came across your recipe via the UK Women’s Health mag. It looks amazing! And I cannot wait to try it out for myself.

    However, I have searched high and low for the acai smoothie packs and have had no luck. Would it be possible to try this recipe with acai powder instead? And do you have an idea of how I should adjust the recipe accordingly?

    Your help would be appreciated as I cannot wait to get my tastebuds on to this!

    1. Em

      Hi Sophie! Hmmm, tricky! If you’re looking for the distinct health benefits of acaí and didn’t want to omit it from the bowls, I would think it couldn’t hurt to add the acaí powder, but since it’s such a different consistency from the packs, you’re still going to ha w to replace the packs with something — I would suggest the equivalent of the frozen fruit of your choice (blueberries or cherries or pomegranate arils or a combo would probably provide a similar sweet-tart flavor). And I’m not sure how much powder I would recommend adding since I’ve never used it before, but maybe start with whatever a recommended serving is per person? Otherwise, if you’re just into the idea of a super delicious smoothie bowl and not so much with the power of the acaí, specifically, swapping in those fruits I mentioned above would get you close. Good luck!

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