Have you ever been faced with the dilemma of choosing between your delicious acai and saving a few bucks? Are you looking for an acai bowl recipe style, without acai powder, then keep reading.
An acai bowl is a popular breakfast choice. While its advantages are numerous, there’s one disadvantage that can turn out to be a real problem. As a high-demand food, it can be costly to make acai a regular part of your diet. Even more, have you wondered if it’s possible to make an acai bowl recipe without acai powder? The answer is yes! It’s possible. There are alternative foods you can use to get the same great taste plus health benefits.
What is Acai?
Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee), is a tropical fruit, native to the South and Central American rainforests and floodplains. It grows from the acai palm tree which grows exclusively in these areas. People generally refer to acai as a berry, but if we’re strictly technical, then acai is a drupe. Just like other drupes, acai is a fleshy fruit that contains a single seed. The fruit itself is quite petite; about an inch-long. More so, it has a dark, reddish-purple colour that makes it look a bit similar to a grape.
For a long time, only South American natives were aware of the benefits of acai. But once other people got exposed to it, the fruit quickly rose to become a global sensation. Today it is popularly known as a superfood since it’s incredibly high in nutrients and has few calories. Some people describe superfoods as nutritional powerhouses.
Benefits of Acai Fruit
Acai is remarkably rich in antioxidants. Because of this, it provides a natural way to detoxify your body and to get rid of harmful waste that might be building up. Antioxidants in acai might also help to prevent certain diseases like heart conditions, cancer, and diabetes.
Also, acai is a good source of fibre. Altogether, it is suitable for improved digestion, and for maintaining a healthy gut. And thanks to its high calcium count, eating acai might help you develop strong bones and teeth, as well as properly functioning muscles and nerves.
Additionally, acai contains fats that promote heart health. That’s a lot of benefits for one fruit. But it doesn’t end there. Some people claim that acai can even boost brain function. The scientific evidence to support this is quite weak, but we wouldn’t be quick to rule it out completely. After all, acai is a superfood– anything is possible!
Superfood Alternatives to Acai Powder
Acai powder is in high demand because it’s both healthy and tasty. That’s a pretty unbeatable combination. Unfortunately, it can be costly to make acai bowls a regular part of your diet. Acai can only survive in the tropical areas of Brazil. That means that any acai you find outside of Brazil is imported. Generally, imported foods cost a lot more than local produce.
So, it’s not surprising that acai powder is more expensive than one would have liked it to be. In some countries, it’s almost impossible to find any acai powder at all. The only way would be to order online from Amazon. Again, the issue of cost comes up, but thankfully, there are many healthy alternatives to acai powder, and most of them are easy to find and affordable as well.
You can save yourself a few bucks by substituting acai powder for one of the alternative superfoods. For some people, finding acai powder in their town or city isn’t a problem. But you’ll find that making food, in the same way, all the time can get boring. You can try one of the alternatives just to change things up a bit – add some variety to the way you make you make your acai bowls.
The main reason why acai is so popular is that it contains a lot of antioxidants which are suitable for the body. Before you choose an alternative food, you need to check its nutritional value. The main thing to consider is whether the food you’re choosing also has antioxidant properties.
With all the above said, here are a few acai powder alternatives.
1. Cacao Powder
Cacao powder is one of the world’s superfoods. It comes from the seeds of the cacao plant and is very rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants in cacao might help to protect the heart against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Whenever anyone mentions cacao, the cocoa vs cacao debate always comes up. What’s the difference between the two and which one should you use in an acai bowl? There’s no easy way to answer this question.
For one thing, manufacturers and food processors use the terms cocoa and cacao variably. One company might label his product as cocoa, and another company might refer to the same thing as cacao. Sounds confusing, right? But don’t despair. There’s an easy way to know which product to use. As a rule, minimally processed goods are made of cacao while highly processed ones come from cocoa.
For acai bowls, you should choose cacao products like unsweetened cocoa powder, cacao nibs, or dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao content. Less processed cacao products have no added sugar and contain a lot of antioxidants. According to nutrition experts, raw cacao has an antioxidant capacity that is notably higher than that of other superfoods.
Another superfood alternative to acai powder is blueberries. They were the leading superfood of the berry variation in town before the wondrous benefits of acai berries were discovered. Blueberries are still considered a powerhouse of antioxidants. They contain vitamins A and C, as well as various phytonutrients that eliminate free radicals from the body and protect the body against certain diseases.
Blueberries are also rich in anthocyanin, a very potent antioxidant. Because blueberries are so rich in antioxidants, they make an excellent substitute for acai powder. Be sure to choose wild blueberries, since they contain more antioxidants.
3. Manuka Honey
The benefits of manuka honey are numerous. Although it isn’t very popular as a superfood, it probably should be. It has a relatively high antioxidant capacity. Traditionally, people use manuka honey to treat wounds, sore throats, and to improve digestive issues. It is useful for these purposes because it contains a lot of antioxidants and has a high acidity level. You can use manuka honey in an acai bowl recipe as an alternative to acai powder.
Cacao, blueberries, and manuka honey aren’t the only superfoods that you can use in place of acai powder. Other options are chlorella powder, hemp hearts, bee pollen powder, goji berries, chia seeds, and golden flax seeds.
Acai Recipes Without Acai Powder
It’s great to know that you can still enjoy a healthy and delicious acai bowl, even if you don’t have any acai powder available. There’s no hard and fast rule for adding acai substitutes – you can be as creative or as minimalistic as you like. But if you need a little help, then here a few recipes for acai bowls without acai powder.
1. Acai Bowl with Blueberries
This recipe is super easy to make. You only need three (or four) ingredients and a good blender. The recipe calls for blueberries and a handful of another type of berries. On their own, blueberries contain enough antioxidants to make them a good substitute for acai powder. But adding other berries will give them a little extra boost.
- Frozen bananas
- Frozen blueberries, and a handful of raspberries or other berries
- Non-dairy milk like almond or coconut milk
- Protein powder if you like.
- Add the frozen bananas and frozen berries to a blender
- Blend on a low setting. This is the key to getting the perfect consistency for your acai bowl.
- Now add a little almond or coconut milk and blend for a few seconds.
- If you choose to add protein powder, you should add it in at this point and blend some more.
- Transfer the blended smoothie into a bowl. Be sure to scrape down the sides, so you don’t waste any of this goodness!
2. Acai Bowl with Cacao and Blueberries
This recipe is packed full of all kinds of good antioxidants! It’s even richer than an actual acai bowl with acai powder. Blueberries are the king of antioxidant berries, and they taste great as well. Combine that with cacao which has even more antioxidants than blueberries, and the result is a recipe for greatness!
- One frozen banana
- One peach or ½ a pear
- One tablespoon of unsweetened cacao powder
- 200 ml of almond milk
- Add all the ingredients to a blender, and blend on a low setting until it forms a very smooth mixture.
- If you’d like a little extra sweetness, you can add one date or some stevia to the other ingredients before you blend.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and choose your favourite toppings to go with it.
- You can add slices of fresh fruit, seeds, nuts, grains, or dried fruit.
3. Acai Bowl with Mixed Berries and Chia Seeds
In this recipe, blueberries and chia seeds combine to give you all the same benefits you would have had from a traditional acai bowl.
- ½ cup of frozen blueberries
- Three frozen strawberries
- Half of a frozen banana
- ¾ cup of almond milk
- One teaspoon of chia seeds. You can use any brand that works for you.
- ¼ cup of granola
- A scoop of protein powder
- Place the frozen blueberries, strawberries and banana in a food processor or blender
- Add the almond milk
- Now add the protein powder
- Blend it all until it attains a smooth and creamy consistency. If you like your acai bowls to have a lighter texture, you can add a little more milk.
- If not, then pour the mixture into a bowl and decorate it with the toppings.
- In this recipe, the toppings are granola and chia seeds. Sprinkle them on top and dig in with your spoon when you’re ready!
- You can add other toppings if you like; don’t let the simplicity of this recipe hold you back.
4. Basic Acai Bowl with Manuka Honey
Manuka honey has been gaining popularity for its great tastes and health benefits. Since Megan Markle revealed in 2017 that manuka honey was a part of her daily, diet, the product has become even more of a hit. Check out this acai bowl recipe with manuka honey and other healthy goodies.
- Almond milk
- Manuka honey
- Bee pollen
- Fresh berries
- Place the bananas, fresh berries and almond milk in a food processor
- Blend them all till it becomes smooth and creamy
- Pour the mixture into a bowl
- Now pour the manuka honey over the mixture, and sprinkle the bee pollen on top of that.
- All you have to do now is dig in with your favourite spoon.
5. Acai Bowl with Manuka Honey, Chocolate and Oats
Not only is this one healthy, but it’s also very filling. That means, a bowl of this before you start your day, can keep you going for a long time. Plus, it has chocolate! You can never go wrong with chocolate.
- 2 cups of cooked oats
- Two tablespoons of manuka honey
- ½ cup of Greek yoghurt
- ½ cup of almond milk
- One medium-sized banana
- 2 Tablespoons of dark chocolate powder
- Fruit toppings of your choice
For this recipe, there are two methods to try.
- For the first method, blend the banana, almond milk, and chocolate powder.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl. Now add the oats, honey, Greek yoghurt, and fruit as toppings.
- The second method is even more straightforward. All you have to do is pour all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix.
- This acai bowl is tastier when it’s cold. So, you can leave the mixture in the fridge to cool for a while. When you’re ready to eat, add your fruit as toppings. Most people use berries for the acai bowl toppings, but you can feel free to add any fruit of your choice.
6. Acai Bowl with Manuka Honey, Chia Seeds, and Cacao
This is another nutrition-packed acai bowl. It combines the powers of manuka honey, chia seeds and cacao, to give you a heavy dose of nutrients in one meal. Even an original acai bowl doesn’t come close. One of the best things about this particular recipe is that it is incredibly flavorful. With every spoon, comes a burst of unique and exciting flavors. But be prepared, this recipe is so good that it is almost addictive. You might find yourself having this for breakfast, lunch, and supper as well.
- 3 cups of frozen mango
- Two teaspoons of manuka honey
- Coconut flakes
- One avocado
- One apple
- Chia seeds
- One banana
- Cacao nibs
- 1 cup of almond milk
- Put the mango avocado, almond milk, and manuka honey in a blender
- Blend them all it achieves a uniformly smooth consistency
- Now pour it into a bowl and allow it to sit while you prepare your toppings
- Slice the banana, and apple into whatever sizes or shapes you want, and pour them over the blended mixture
- Sprinkle some coconut flakes, chia seeds, and cacao nibs
7. Acai Bowl with Goji Berries and Hemp
In this recipe, the goji berries complement the mixed berries, by providing another source of antioxidants. The hemp seeds also have a significant role to play. They are rich in omega fatty acids which might help lower blood pressure. Hemp seeds are also a good source of protein for the body.
- 2 cups of frozen mixed berries
- 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup of shredded coconut
- One medium-sized frozen banana
- ¼ cup of goji berries
- ¼ cup of hemp seeds
- Two teaspoons of honey or agave nectar
- ¼ cup of granola
- Add the frozen berries, almond milk, and frozen banana to a blender.
- Blend them on a low setting, until it becomes smooth and thick. If you prefer a lighter consistency, you can add a little more almond milk.
- Transfer the mixture into small serving bowls
- The other ingredients are your toppings. Sprinkle the goji berries, hemp seeds, honey, and granola over the blended mixture, in whichever proportions you want. You’re also free to add other toppings or leave out some of the ones I’ve mentioned.
Easy Acai Bowl Recipe Without Acai Powder: To Summarise
Whether you’re trying to save money, or just looking to add some variety to your breakfast bowls, there’s an acai-free recipe for you. Hopefully, one of the seven recipes in this article will match your tastes. But if not, why not get creative with your own acai bowl recipe without acai powder? Go ahead and let the creative food chef in you out!
If you do try one of these recipes, leave a comment below to let us know how it turned out. Don’t forget to share this post so all your friends can enjoy it too.