Een acai bowl is hot. No, not literally you silly. I mean hip ‘n trendy. Walk into a random minimalist-looking restaurant (like they all do nowadays) that just opened two weeks ago (like they all did nowadays) and I guarantee you: 9 out of 10 times you’ll find yourself an acai bowl right there at the breakfast options. But you don’t need to spend your dollars eating out to have one. You can also make one yourself. With banana, plant-based milk, and acai powder or pulp and a shitload of healthy toppings. Yum! But you may ask yourself:
For those of you who do not know yet: acai is a berry (which you pronounce as “asa-y”, and not “akay”, like I did at first). Acai bowls are essentially smoothie bowls with acai. And they are popular for the following reasons:
- They are rich in antioxidants
- They taste really good
Sure thing. But the acai bowl in this recipe, in which we don’t use acai at all, scores even better on point (1) and does point (2) least as good. This acai bowl without acai even surpasses its exotic equivalent if it comes to antioxidants. Read on if you’d like to know how!
Why would I make an Acai bowl without Acai?
Before I’ll bash this berry, I got to say that acai bowls are truly really tasty. I’d order one if I would see it on the menu. It tastes like a mixture between blueberries and chocolate. Soft, creamy, yum.
But you know. If acai tastes like blueberries and chocolate, why not just, ehm, use blueberries and cacao?
So I did. The reason that this acai bowl doesn’t contain acai, is that it is actually not really necessary. I am well aware that by saying this, I risk the fury of acai-purists landing upon me like a hail storm in Tornado Alley. But so be it. I want to save you some money that you can better spend on one kilogram of local organic apples, than on some smashed berries flown in from the Amazon. The acai-imitators in this recipe you can get more locally, which doesn’t only save you money, but also CO2 emissions. +1 For the acai bowl without acai.
More Antioxidants from Cacao
Acai is, like other ‘superfoods’, hyped about. After a short search through the scientific data, I found out that the acai berry contains just about as much antioxidants than every other berry out there .
Antioxidants are awesome. They protect your body’s cells against damage and in this way prevent aging and cancer [2,3]. And now we arrived at the fun part: cacao contains even more antioxidants than acai . And since we use cacao and blueberries to make this acai bowl without acai, it has more antioxidants than just a plain original acai bowl does! +2 For the acai bowl without acai.
So, having said all that, let’s begin!
- 1 frozen banana
- 100 grams of blueberries (fresh or frozen), or a half-half mix with raspberries
- 1 peach or ½ a pear
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder
- 200 ml plant-based milk (I used almond milk)
Option for extra fibre: 50 grams of courgette (zucchini)
Option for extra sweet: 1 medjool date or a little bit of stevia
Option for extra antioxidants: use raw cacao 
- Slices of fresh fruit like strawberries, banana, mango or golden kiwi
- Seeds: chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- Nuts: walnuts, cashews, almond flakes
- Dried fruit; mulberries, raisins, grated coconut
- Grains: muesli, oats, healthy granola
How to make an Acai Bowl without Acai:
- Put all ingredients in a blender (not the toppings, obviously).
- Blend to a smooth mass.
- Pour the heavenly mixture into your prettiest bowl. There you have it: your acai bowl without acai.
- Pick your favorite toppings, put it into the bowl and make the Instagram picture from above like we already have one trazillion of. Or give social media the finger and just immediately move on to step 5:
- Dig in.
Want to read how to make the healthiest smoothie bowl ever? Then click on the blue highlighted link. This recipe fits a fruitarian diet. To read more about that topic, well, you know what to do. 😉
This post is also available in NL