Acai Smoothie

This acai smoothie has all the fun of an acai bowl, in portable form! It’s got the best tropical flavor and a rainbow of healthy toppings.

Acai smoothie

Do you love a good acai bowl? Then we’ve got the next best thing…or maybe it’s even better. Meet this Acai Smoothie! It’s everything that’s great about the smoothie bowl, but it’s in easy portable form. You don’t have to worry about it melting in the bowl while you try to arrange the toppings with your best artistic flair. Just pop it in a glass and slurp with a straw! This Brazilian bowl is one of my favorite treats, and I was happy to find a fun new way to enjoy it. Here’s what to know!

What is acai, exactly?

Açaí is a berry that grows on palm trees in Brazil. (How to pronounce acai? Say “ah-sah-EE.”) This beautiful purple berry has taken off in worldwide popularity as the health food of the moment. Acai berries have an impressively healthy profile, loaded with antioxidants and nutrients. But keep in mind, they’re also just as nutritious as easily accessible fruits like the blueberry.

Acai bowls are the most popular way to eat this berry. This tasty dish originated from Brazil: it features a thick smoothie-like puree of acai berries and other fruits, topped with colorful fresh fruit, coconut, and other toppings. The next best thing to one of these bowls? An acai smoothie.

Acai Smoothie

Where to buy acai

Here’s the thing: acai berries are native to Brazil, but you can only get them fresh in Brazil. Why are fresh acai berries not allowed in the US? Well, acai berries go rancid within a few days of being picked. So the berries need to preserved before exporting them! There are two ways to eat acai and they’re both becoming easy to find here in America:

  • Frozen acai pulp: Due to the popularity of acai bowls, packs of frozen acai pulp are widely available online or at your local grocery. Check in the frozen fruit aisle. Sambazon is a well-known brand that sells acai and has sustainable harvesting practices.
  • Acai powder: It’s easy to find acai in a powder form. However, we’ve found it’s not as tasty to make acai smoothies and bowls with the powder, so we suggest finding the pulp.
How to make an acai smoothie

Ingredients for an acai smoothie

This acai smoothie is very easy to make, once you’ve located your acai pulp! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Acai pulp: See above! You can find this in the frozen section near the fruit in your local grocery, or online.
  • Lime juice: Adds just the right zing to the flavor
  • Frozen pineapple: Accentuates the acai berries with tropical flavor and sweetness.
  • Frozen or fresh mango: Adds a similar flavor: it’s important to add naturally sweet fruit because the berries are naturally tart.
  • Banana: Adds a final bit of sweetness and a creamy texture.

Blend it all up with a bit of water, and you’ve got a beautifully sweet tart acai smoothie: with no sugar added! Added sugars and juices can be common in an acai bowl: this one goes all natural.

Acai smoothie

The best toppings for an acai smoothie

The fun part about an acai smoothie is the toppings! Because toppings are such an integral component of an acai bowl, you absolutely can’t go without them here. We eat with our eyes, and the rainbow effect of the toppings really works. Here are our favorite ways to top this smoothie:

  • Almond butter: This is absolutely essential! The texture of almond butter in the smoothie almost reminds me of hot fudge in a sundae. Yep, it’s that good! Plus, it adds plant-based protein which makes the smoothie more filling.
  • Fresh strawberries and blueberries: Bring in bright colors with these tangy sweet berries.
  • Mango: Add a few mango chunks for color and sweetness: you can even thaw a few frozen ones under warm water.
  • Coconut flakes: Coconut flakes add a nice crunch and tropical flavor.

Tips for blending this smoothie

The acai pulp can be very solid, making it hard to blend this acai smoothie. Here are a few tips for the blending process:

  • Use a good blender. This acai smoothie works in any blender, but a quality blender makes the process much easier. Even better, use a high speed blender.
  • Thaw the packages under warm water until you can break them into smaller pieces. Then remove the packaging. Breaking them into pieces is helpful for blending.
  • Add the liquid to the bottom of the blender first. This helps the blades to spin freely and not seize up with the frozen fruit.
  • Add more water as necessary. Stop, scrape and add a bit more water as necessary until the smoothie comes to the right texture. We added almost another 1/4 cup liquid, since we were using frozen mango and not fresh.

And that’s it! We hope you’ll love this acai smoothie as much as we do! Let us know if you make it in the comments below.

Acai smoothie

This acai smoothie is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Acai Smoothie

Perfect Acai Smoothie


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 small smoothies 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This acai smoothie has all the fun of an acai bowl, in portable form! It’s got the best tropical flavor and a rainbow of healthy toppings.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces frozen unsweetened acai pulp (such as Sambazon)*
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cold water, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup frozen diced or fresh mango
  • 1 large banana (room temperature)
  • For the garnish: almond butter, sliced strawberries, diced mango, blueberries, large coconut flakes, fresh mint

Instructions

  1. Thaw the acai pulp under warm water until it can be broken into smaller chunks, then remove the packaging and add the chunks to the blender. Add the lime juice and water, then pineapple, mango, and banana broken into chunks. Blend until smooth, stopping and scraping when needed, adding a bit more cold water if necessary to blend into a puree (you’ll need more water with frozen mango vs. fresh).
  2. Top with desired toppings: make sure to add 1 dollop of almond butter to add protein and keep it filling. Stores up to 1 day refrigerated.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Smoothie

Keywords: Acai smoothie

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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