There’s no denying it: smoothie bowls are dang tasty. However, they usually don’t come with nutrition facts. And when they do, you might be surprised to see that they can be sneaky little calorie bombs– a store-bought acai bowl can easily be upwards of 700-800 calories! But don’t worry, I’ve got my recipe down to just 450 calories with 30 (yes, 30!) grams of protein.
I spent a long time mastering the art of making a perfect smoothie bowl, one that is thiiiiick and creamy and is more smoothie-bowl than smoothie. I’m so excited to share my top 5 tips for making the ultimate low calorie acai bowl at home. And the best part? You’ll know EXACTLY what’s in it!
My top 5 tips for making the ultimate low calorie acai bowl at home:
5. Use only frozen fruit. This will help prevent the smoothie from becoming too melt-y and watery. I peel and halve bananas that are on the verge of becoming too ripe, and pop in a freezer bag so they are always ready to go! I also like to buy bulk bags of frozen berries so that I can make an acai bowl at home, in any season.
4. Add protein powder. I feel this helps the smoothie bowl have a more cohesive texture, and I use vanilla which adds a nice flavor. And of course, the added protein keeps it filling and helps our bodies build + retain muscle.
3. Use minimal liquids. I use only about an 1/8 cup of almond milk. It takes some time and patience to blend up, but the result is totally worth it. I pulse it in my ninja blender a few seconds at a time, and then use a thin spatula to loosen things up. Pulse again, loosen up with the spatula, rinse and repeat until your smoothie bowl is really whirling. The pros at the smoothie shops have fancy blenders and food processors with a tamper feature, so if you have one of those types of blenders, that will be a huge help to you.
2. Get familiar with your toppings! Measure out, and be aware of which toppings are going to add significant calories to your otherwise low calorie acai bowl. Nut butters, honey, agave, granola, dried fruits, sliced almonds… these all pack a lot of calories into small amounts. There isn’t anything wrong with any of these foods, but paying attention to the portion sizes and nutrition facts is key here to keeping your bowl light!
And my top tip for making the ultimate low calorie acai bowl…
- Freeze your bowl and prep your toppings ahead of time. Before I start to blend up my smoothie bowl ingredients, I pop my serving bowl in the freezer and prep + measure out my toppings so as soon as it’s blended, I am ready to go! This will help keep your smoothie bowl from becoming just a smoothie.
So go, young grasshopper, make and enjoy every thick and creamy bite of your lightened up, low calorie acai bowl.
Low Calorie Acai Bowl
- Food Processor or Powerful Blender
- 1 packet frozen UNSWEETENED acai
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1 scoop lean vanilla protein powder <130 calories
- 1/8 cup almond milk or water
- 1/4 cup granola
- 1/2 banana, sliced
- 1/3 cup berries
- Place serving bowl in freezer and prep your toppings.
- Add acai, almond milk, protein powder and frozen fruit to food processor.
- Pulse until smooth, pausing often to break up frozen chunks of fruit and acai with a thin rubber spatula. Add a bit more liquid, if necessary, but be conservative with this to ensure you smoothie bowl doesn't turn into a smoothie.
- Blend until smooth and creamy. Spoon into chilled serving bowl and arrange toppings over the acai mixture. Enjoy!