If you’ve been out for breakfast lately, you’ve probably come across the ubiquitous açai bowl. I remember when I first heard someone talking about how amazing their “açai bowl” was and I thought they were talking about tableware.
Wrong. Açai (pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”) is a purple berry that’s typically blended with other fruits to make a thick smoothie, which is then served in a bowl and topped with crunchy bits. Delicious, but often pretty sugary, so I decided to make a lower-sugar version.
Keeping it low sugar
To make my Low Sugar Açai Bowl, I started with one of Sambazon’s unsweetened açai packs. They are just frozen açai berry purée, without any added sugar or sweeteners. The frozen purée is traditionally blended with bananas and other fruits to turn it into a thick and velvety smoothie. However, I get really bloated if I eat too much fruit in one sitting, so I came up with an alternative way to get sweetness and a velvety texture with a smaller amount of fruit.
I blended the açai pack with a small amount of frozen blueberries, chopped frozen zucchini (which you don’t taste, it just thickens everything up) and some natural protein powder sweetened with stevia (to make it more filling and to add sweetness). It was really delicious and my stomach loved it.
It’s great topped with something crunchy, so I used activated buckwheat groats (which you can buy in health food shops) and toasted coconut flakes. Granola or crushed nuts would also be nice.
- 1 x 100g frozen unsweetened açai pack
- 1 cup frozen chopped zucchini
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/4 cup vanilla or caramel plant-based protein powder (I find that Prana On brand works best in this recipe – see notes below)
- 3/4 cup water
- Toasted coconut flakes
- Activated buckwheat groats
1Run the frozen Açai Pack under hot water for a few seconds, break it into pieces and place in a high-speed blender with the remaining ingredients.
2Process until smooth.
3Pour the mixture into a bowl and sprinkle over your desired toppings. Enjoy straight away!
Chop the zucchini before freezing it so your blender doesn’t have to work as hard to break it down. I chop raw zucchini up into 2cm chunks and then freeze it in ziplock or freezer bags with the zucchini pieces spread out a bit so that they don’t freeze stuck together in large clumps. Then you can just break off bits as you need them.
The Prana On plant-based protein powders are natural and sweetened with stevia. I used the Himalayan Salted Caramel flavour, but the Vanilla flavour would also work well.