Let's learn how to make Brazilian açaí bowls using the original recipe from Brazil and just three ingredients. It's a healthy and refreshing snack or breakfast bowl recipe you can make at home in just a few minutes!
Having been born and raised in Brazil, açaí has always held a special place in my heart as one of my favorite fruits. When I moved to the US, I initially thought I wouldn't be able to enjoy it anymore. However, luckily, açaí is now readily available in most stores.
So, let me show you how to prepare the delicious and authentic Brazilian açaí bowl recipe I grew up with. In just under 5 minutes, you can create this delightful and nutritious bowl.
There are countless ways to serve and make an açaí bowl, like the tempting Chocolate Acai Bowl recipe, but my personal favorite remains the original one I savored while living in Rio, so let's get started!
What is açaí
Chances are, you've probably already heard about this little purple berry that's quickly gaining popularity. Meet açaí (pronounced ah-sah-EE), a highly nutritious fruit that grows on tall, thin palms in the Amazon flood plains.
Native to the riverbanks of the rainforest, açaí palms thrive in the ideal conditions of high humidity and rich mineral content in the soil. These palms can grow up to an impressive height of 60 feet, bearing clusters of dark purple berries in their canopies.
While the açaí berry may resemble a blueberry in appearance and size, it is unique in that it contains 90% seed with thin oily skin. This purple skin holds remarkable health properties and has been cherished and utilized by Amazon natives for centuries.
In Brazil, we refer to açaí bowls as "Açaí na tijela" since it's most often served in bowls (tijela), but it's also served in a glass as a creamy smoothie. Traditionally, it's topped with tapioca, granola, banana and a mix of other fruits, and a splash of guaraná syrup.
Taste and texture
Açaí berries are renowned for their distinctive combination of earthy, acidic, and tart flavors, which contribute to their overall appeal.
Before blending, the texture of these berries is granular, but they are typically pureed to achieve a creamy consistency. As a result, the pulp is commonly sold in frozen packs, ready to be enjoyed in various delightful creations.
Açaí bowl ingredients
Making a Brazilian açaí bowl requires just a few simple ingredients! You'll need frozen açaí puree, banana, and some water. If you prefer, you can skip the banana and use fruit juice or milk (dairy or dairy-free) as a delightful alternative to water.
You'll come across various packages available for sale, each containing açaí fruit that has been pureed and then frozen into convenient individual packs.
Some packages are sweetened with cane sugar and enriched with ingredients like guaraná syrup, while others focus solely on the pure goodness of açaí pulp.
Each option is delicious, but I prefer the traditional, unsweetened packages. The natural sweetness from the added banana and toppings creates a perfect harmony that suits my taste buds just right!
See the recipe card for quantities.
When preparing açaí bowls, bananas are commonly included to aid in blending the ingredients smoothly and to provide a creamy texture. However, they are not necessary for the recipe.
Sometimes, I skip adding bananas to reduce the carb content or simply because I don't have any at home. Either way, they bring a sweet and subtle banana flavor that complements the açaí berry beautifully.
When preparing açaí bowls, water is commonly used as a blending liquid. Just a splash is usually enough to help achieve the desired consistency.
Some people opt for other alternatives like fruit juice, such as apple juice, or even milk, including dairy-free options like almond milk. The choice of liquid can be a fun way to customize your açaí bowl according to your taste preferences.
Optional ingredients ideas
You can add ANY other fruits (frozen or fresh) when making your açaí, and it would be just as delicious! I recommend adding strawberries or mango. Some other ingredient ideas are:
- Honey, maple syrup or another sweetener
- Collagen or protein powder
- Spinach or kale
- Cacao powder
How to make an açaí bowl
In the original Brazilian açaí bowl recipe, all you need to do is add all the ingredients to a blender and blend them at high speed.
I used a Vitamix blender for this, which is a high-speed and powerful blender equipped with a tamper, making it easier to blend frozen fruits.
Add the banana to the blender.
Follow by adding the açaí puree in the blender.
Add a splash of water. Just a splash!
Blend on high speed and use the blender's tamper to assist with blending. The tamper comes in handy to push the ingredients down toward the blade.
Serve it in a cute wood or glass bowl.
Add your favorite toppings and enjoy.
I recommend serving your açaí bowl with some granola! The delightful crunch it adds makes it the perfect topping. I love pairing this açaí with my banana granola or this chunky chocolate granola – they take the bowl to a whole new level of deliciousness!
Topping your bowl with fresh fruits, such as sliced bananas, strawberries, and blueberries, adds natural sweetness and a delightful burst of flavors. It's a colorful and nutritious addition!
It's all about creativity! Sprinkle on rolled oats, cacao nibs, chocolate chips, pearl tapioca, and drizzle with honey and peanut butter. Customize your açaí bowl with whatever pleases your heart!
Tips for making thick açaí bowls
- Here's the number one tip for creating thick açaí bowls: remember not to add too much liquid. Just a splash of water in the blender does the trick. With minimal liquid, a powerful blender is essential for blending those frozen fruits.
- Another tip I can give you is to run the frozen açaí packs in water for a few seconds to easily break and cut them in half while keeping the pulp frozen.
Run the frozen açaí packs in water for a few seconds.
Break and cut the açaí packs in half.
- Using frozen bananas helps to make açaí bowls a little bit thicker and creamier compared to using fresh bananas.
- Finally, if you find that your açaí bowl isn't as thick as you'd like it to be, here's a trick to fix it: freeze the mixture for about 3 hours and then blend it again.
If you're making Brazillian açaí bowls, you can substitute açaí puree for açaí powder, but it's not the ideal option. Açaí powder is made from freeze-dried açaí berries and is a convenient option if you don't have access to açaí puree.
However, when using açaí powder, you'll need to add another frozen fruit to maintain the same volume and achieve a thick consistency for your açaí bowl.
Also, keep in mind that the flavor and texture might vary slightly when using açaí powder. Nevertheless, it can still serve as a delicious and nutritious alternative for your açaí bowls, smoothies, or other açaí-based creations.
Frozen açaí puree is readily available at various locations. You can find it in grocery stores and health food stores, usually in the frozen fruit section or health food aisle.
Additionally, several online retailers offer the convenience of ordering frozen açaí puree and having it delivered right to your doorstep.
One of my personal favorites is Tambor, and I order frozen organic packs from their online shop. Their açaí puree is the most original and best-tasting Brazilian option I've found. And here's a little something extra for you! Use the coupon code "LIVINGHEALTHY10" at checkout for a delightful 10% off your purchase.
Hint: when purchasing frozen açaí puree, check the ingredients to ensure it contains only açaí without added sugars or preservatives for the most authentic and nutritious experience.
More refreshing recipes to cool off
I've got a variety of refreshing recipes to cool you off beyond açaí bowls. From fruity beverages to frozen treats, stay refreshed all season long!
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Brazilian Açaí Bowl
- 2 packs frozen açaí, each açaí pack is 3.5oz or 100g
- 2 bananas, small (I used small apple bananas), or 1 large banana
- splash water, juice or milk (dairy or dairy-free)
- Add banana, açaí, and water to a blender and blend until all is combined but still has a thick consistency.
- Serve in a bowl, and get creative with your toppings!
- Be sure to add just a splash of water in the blender to keep the consistency of your açaí thick.
- Blend on high speed and use the blender's tamper to assist with blending. The tamper comes in handy to push the ingredients down toward the blade.
- Serve with fresh fruits, granola, and coconut shreds; sprinkle on rolled oats, cacao nibs, chocolate chips, pearl tapioca, and drizzle with honey and peanut butter.
Nutrition per serving
This recipe was originally published on Mar 16, 2013, and this post has been updated with new information and photos. No adjustment were made to the original recipe.