You will LOVE this Paleo Acai Bowl! My biggest problem with smoothies or smoothie bowls is they are often loaded with fruit and lacking in protein and veggies. But, this Paleo Acai Bowl is loaded with hidden veggies, a serving of protein, and healthy fats. That means you can actually use it as an easy breakfast that won’t leave you hungry in an hour!
What is an Acai Bowl?
I was in Utah with a friend’s kids and said, “Let’s go stop for acai bowls!” To which they responded, “What’s an acai bowl?” So, to those who haven’t had the pleasure – an acai bowl is basically a thick smoothie bowl. It’s traditionally made with a frozen acai packet (hence the name). Acai is a berry that grows mostly in the Amazon in South America. It’s been touted as a superfood due to the high level of antioxidants in it. Antioxidants can help reduce inflammation.
I traditionally get an Acai Bowl every time I go to the beach here in California. You rarely find a beach without one! They are also popular in Hawaii. We love them as they are usually dairy-free or have dairy-free options, making them more friendly for our dairy-free family than stopping for ice cream.
Tips and Tricks
This Paleo Acai Bowl is SUPER flexible. Just like any smoothie recipe, you can swap in and out various things as suits your preference and dietary needs. The way I share in my recipe is our favorite that results in a thick, creamy, acai bowl that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free.
The bowl itself is not very sweet, as there’s no sweetener in it. You can add some honey to your acai bowl blender if you prefer! We usually just drizzle the honey on top and add sweet fruits like chopped banana to make it sweet enough.
Also, keep in mind you want the bowl result THICK. This should not be a thin smoothie, or your toppings will just be in a soup of acai. Pay attention to my recipe and note a thick Paleo Acai Bowl comes from blending and stirring, blending and stirring, blending and stirring. If you add more liquid, you will end up with just a thin smoothie. Which is still delicious but not the goal of this bowl.
This recipe only has 5 main ingredients (pictured above, left side). Then, the fun part comes with the endless toppings (pictured above, right side)! Remember that this Paleo Acai Bowl recipe is very flexible – swap in and out what you like!
- Frozen fruit – Use whatever you prefer and have here! I usually use some kind of berry like strawberries or mixed berries and something naturally more sweet like pineapple and mango.
- Frozen cauliflower – Adding frozen cauliflower as a hidden veggie to smoothies is one of my favorite hacks! Even my boys, who don’t like cauliflower, don’t mind it and had no idea it was there! You can use riced frozen cauliflower or frozen cauliflower florets. I usually use frozen riced cauliflower, as it blends it a little easier.
- Protein Powder – For many years, many of the clean protein powders were too pricey for me, but egg white powder is often more affordable ($1/oz versus $2-3/oz). I got mine at a local store, but Amazon has lots of affordable options. My favorite collagen powder is BUBS, as it’s truly flavorless and can blend into ALL the things. It’s one of the very few brands I’m an affiliate for as well – Use code WHOLEFOODFOR7 on bubsnaturals.com to save 20% (*please note that this code will not work for subscription orders or already discounted bundles)
- Acai packet – Açaí packets you can find in the freezer section of many natural food stores, or even Target. The most affordable unsweetened ones I find at Trader Joe’s. I always look for one that is “unsweetened” to avoid added unnecessary refined sugar to my bowl.
- Coconut milk – I love using canned coconut milk for this bowl, as it’s nice and thick and helps the bowl end up thicker as well. My favorite one is this Thai Kitchen brand from Walmart, as it is nice and smooth and has a reusable cap. But, you can swap out whatever dairy-free milk works for you. If you use a thinner milk like almond or oat milk, add a 1/4 cup extra frozen fruit or cauliflower to help keep the bowl thick.
Paleo Acai Bowl Toppings
The topping options are endless! I love laying out a bunch of options and letting my kids load up their bowl to their own preferences. For toppings, I love:
Paleo Acai Bowl
- 1 heaping cup frozen fruit I usually use mango, mixed berries, and/or strawberries
- 1 cup frozen cauliflower riced or florets
- 1-2 scoops protein powder We love Vital Protein or Bubs collagen, though egg white powder can work too for an affordable option
- 1 açaí packet
- 1/2 cup coconut milk or other dairy-free milk of choice
- Toppings of choice see notes
- Blend all ingredients except the toppings in a food processor or blender until pureed and smooth. This will make a thick acai bowl. **But, to make it thick, you will have to stir and blend, stir and blend kinda deal, as the lack of liquid is what will make it thick. If you don't have the patience for that, add another 1/2 cup liquid (non dairy milk or juice) and it will blend easier, but will have much more of a thinner smoothie consistency instead.
- Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
- Note: This acai bowl is not very sweet. We get the sweetness with fresh fruit, granola, and honey toppings, but you can add some honey into the acai bowl as you blend as well for a sweeter result.