The Hawaiian Way To Enjoy This Superfood Is Easy & Delicious

By Liren Baker

Like clockwork, when 3 o’clock rolls around, my stomach starts rumbling for a mid-afternoon snack. Somehow, a mere three hours after lunch, I am inevitably famished, and I often raid the pantry and refrigerator for something to eat. To keep the grumbling at bay, the first thing I make for myself (and for my kids when they are looking for an after-school snack) are huge acai bowls, filled with fresh fruit.

I first encountered acai bowls in Hawaii, but have recently seen them popping up on the mainland, served in smoothie bars, which makes sense considering how addicting — and practical — they are. The bowls, made with nutrient-rich, blueberry-like berries from acai palms, are perfect for breakfast, after a tough workout, and yes, for satisfying that pre-dinner hunger.

Related: Learn How To Make A Grain Bowl For Dinner

For many months, I tried to recreate the bowls I fell in love with while on vacation, because let’s face it, a trip to a smoothie shop (not to mention Hawaii) can get expensive. Luckily, they’re not at all hard to make at home.

To make your own, all you need is a blender and some acai packets, which can be found in the freezer section of your local grocery store. Then, it’s up to you. I like blending the acai with banana for creaminess and sweetness, a little apple juice (though coconut water and almond milk work just as well), and some frozen pineapple and blueberries, just like the recipe below. If you need a kale fix, throw it in, and feel free to mix in chia seeds, too. The toppings are the fun part: Granola is a must, while coconut, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of honey complete the bowl. 

As you dig into your bowl, each bite will be refreshing and satisfying. You may not be digging your toes on a beach in Hawaii, but it'll feel pretty darn close.

Açaí Bowl
Makes 2 large bowls
Photo: Courtesy of Food52.

For The Açaí Bowl:

1/2 cup apple juice
1 banana
2 packets frozen acai (I like Sambazon Original Blend Açaí Berry), thawed for 5 seconds under running water and broken into chunks
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen pineapple

For The Toppings:
1/4 cup sliced strawberries
1/4 cup blueberries
1 banana, sliced
1/8 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup granola
Chia seeds, as desired
Honey, as desired
Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
1. Add the apple juice, banana, acai, blueberries, and pineapple, in that order, to a blender. Blend on low speed until the mixture is thick and creamy. Pause as needed to scrape the mixture off the sides to help it blend evenly. Transfer to a bowl and let it set in the freezer while you prepare your toppings.

2. To serve, top with the strawberries, blueberries, banana, coconut, and granola. Add chia seeds as desired and sweeten with honey to taste. Enjoy immediately.
Photo: Courtesy of Food52.

More from Food & Drinks