Acai bowls are on the rise in popularity recently. These smoothie bowl meals have been trending in tropical areas, such as the Caribbean or California, for a while now, so it was just a matter of time before they became a hit in sunny Florida. And the hype over these bowls is justified by their many health benefits and their delicious taste.
“People realize that [the acai bowl] is all fresh, and they gravitate towards it,” says Judi Knowles, manager at Fit2Run in The Mall at University Town Center, which serves acai bowls at its juice bar. “It’s rich with vitamins and antioxidants, so you can feed your hunger and keep a high energy.”
The key ingredient of acai bowls are the acai berries, which are native to Brazil and pack a healthy punch. The berries are often blended with a non-dairy milk, such as soy or almond, as well as another solid fruit, like bananas, to create a smoothie-like base. After blending the base comes the real creative work—you can choose from hundreds of fruits, seeds, nuts, powders and granolas to top off the bowl. (It doesn’t hurt that they look beautiful, too.)
Here’s where to buy a great acai bowl locally—or you can even make your own.
Buy Your Bowl
Three great local options.
- Rise N Shine Bowl at Fit2Run: organic acai, espresso, organic soymilk, banana, unsweetened dark-cocoa, topped with organic hemp granola and fresh fruit.
- Cocoa Bowl at Island Organics: chocolate almond milk and acai blend with banana & cocoa powder, topped with granola, banana, cocoa nibs, almond slivers and drizzled in sweet honey.
- Green Rio Bowl at Green Zebra Café: acai, blueberry, strawberry, avocado, kale, spinach, and topped with granola.
Make Your Bowl
Power up that Vitamix.
- Start with acai berries, a liquid base of milk or juice and a solid fruit, such as a banana, and blend together. Feel free to add a powder, such as a cocoa or espresso powder, for taste.
- Add the toppings, generally fresh fruit first, then nuts or granola, coconut flakes, peanut butter, honey, etc.
- Enjoy your not-so-guilty treat!