Select Your Players
Fresh açaí berries are hard to come by due to their extremely short shelf life, so you’ll most likely end up finding açaí in frozen or powdered form. While there are plenty of defenders of powdered açaí, we prefer using frozen berries or a puree in ours, as we find that they tend to offer the best texture. When it comes to selecting a puree, avoid any mixtures that have a lot of added sugar or water, as this is generally a sign of a lower quality product.
Consistency Is Key
Avoid the rookie mistake of leaning into the “smoothie” side of your açaí bowl. Açaí bowls are meant to be eaten with a spoon, not a straw, so always aim for a thicker consistency. If you find that your bowl is leaning towards one side or the other, you can alter this by playing with the ratio of added fruits or liquids when blending. Additionally, if you want a creamier bowl, try using plant based milks instead of juices, as they have additional fat that can alter the texture of your mixture.
- Pro Tip: Avoid using ice cubes, as they can ruin the creaminess of your bowl.
Before you fire up the blender, make sure to break apart you frozen açaí in a few places. This will help it blend evenly and prevent any troublesome mechanical issues with your blender. Additionally, if you’re adding fresh (rather than frozen) fruit, it’s best to wash and peel it right before serving.
Topping The Charts
An açaí bowl is only as good as its toppings. Luckily, the rich, sweet flavor of açaí pairs wonderfully with a ton of ingredients, so it can be tailored towards many different flavor profiles. As a general rule, most berries and tropical fruits will feel right at home in açaí bowls, but we’ve seen chefs use everything from kale to cacao in their bowls. However, some toppings have different effects than others. Try some of these out when you’re in a pinch.
- Granola: Great for adding crunchy texture and high amounts of fiber.
- Avocado: When blended alongside your açaí, avocado can help create a super-creamy texture. It can pump up your nutritional profile too; each serving is a good source of monounsaturated fat, fiber, and folate.
- Blackberries: On its own, açaí has a flavor reminiscent of blackberries, so topping your bowl with fresh blackberries offers a similar flavor in two different textures.
- Chia Seeds: Sometimes the tiniest toppings can make the biggest splash. Chia seeds offer a concentrated dose of healthy antioxidants, look great on the plate, and add a satisfying crunch!
- Agave Nectar: The freezing process can diminish natural sweetness in fruits, so there may be some times when you want an extra sugary kick. We like staying in the South American spirit by sweetening our bowls with agave nectar!