Still reminiscent of the delicious Acai Bowl that we ate at Island Vintage Coffee in Kapolei, Sara and I realized that making an imitation bowl would be quite simple. After doing some research, we discovered that most of the smoothie and coffee shops that make Acai Bowls use a frozen smoothie pack that contains the frozen acai berries as well as some form of sweetener. The most popular frozen acai brand (according to various local friends in Hawaii) is Sambazon, and can be purchased in bulk at Costco Wholesale. From our research we also learned that although acai berries are known as a superfood with high antioxidant content, the berries are fairly expensive and acai bowls often have high sugar contents. Thus, this meal may not be ideal for a daily breakfast routine.
Instead of buying the frozen berries we decided to make a version using various other berries we had on hand. Combining a sliced frozen banana, almond milk, and mixed frozen berries from Costco in a magic bullet, we were able to make an imitation smoothie/sorbet for the bowl. To assemble, we sprinkled homemade granola on the bottom of a bowl, added the berry-banana mixture on top, and then topped with fresh sliced strawberries and bananas. Finally, we sprinkled additional granola for an added crunch, with a drizzle of warm Hawaiian honey.
The final result was actually quite good. The homemade granola really makes all the difference in taste, especially when you know exactly what is going into your food. The only thing we wanted to tweak in the future is to add ice to the smoothie mid-blending in order to make it slightly more frozen in texture. Also, it’s important to use good honey- the kind we used was a gift from our Hawaiian friends and extremely light and floral tasting. However, most of the time you end up using whatever is on hand, and that is also perfectly fine!
***For the homemade granola recipe used here, refer to Sara’s post on her favorite granola recipe!