We are on an acai bowl kick here at Pure Green. With spring right around the corner, we are craving them around the clock. They’re colorful and delicious, like a beautiful rainbow mandala for your belly. You like them on instagram, you treat yourself to them after a hardcore SoulCycle class, and they’re super healthy and tasty. We know acai bowls are bursting with fruits and nut butters and seeds and hemp granola and bee pollen and other wacky, health food store stuff, but are acai bowls good for weight loss? Have no fear, Pure Green is here to help. We are delving in and getting to the heart of the acai bowl and its health and weight loss benefits.
What are acai bowls exactly?
Acai bowls are like a smoothie in a bowl with toppings. Some people go to 16 Handles and load up with froyo and toppings, others go to Pure Green and get a healthier but equally tasty acai bowl. They’re similar concepts — both are refreshing frozen treats. Acai bowls get their name from their base, which is usually a combination of frozen acai, banana, some sort of liquid like coconut water or almond milk, and sometimes other fruits or nut butters. These ingredients all get blended together like they would in a smoothie, and the frosty deliciousness is then poured into a bowl, ready to be topped.
The toppings are where things get really interesting. You can pretty much top an acai bowl with whatever strikes your fancy: granola, peanut butter, toasted coconut chips, chia seeds, sliced fruits, and the list goes on. Possibilities are endless!
We pride ourselves on our acai bowls here at Pure Green. If you’re new to acai bowls, come in and we’ll take care of you. Here’s a breakdown of our specialties so you don’t get too overwhelmed.
Pure Health Acai
The base of this acai bowl is acai blended with bananas, almond milk, and cold pressed apples. The toppings are sliced bananas and hemp granola. A classic and simple acai bowl -- perfect for your first time.
Mixed Berry Acai
The base of this acai bowl is acai blended with strawberries, almond milk, and cold pressed apples. The toppings are blueberries and hemp granola. Berry delicious!
Coconut Chia Acai
The base of this acai bowl is acai blended with mangoes, pineapples, bananas, and coconut water. The toppings are sliced apples, blueberries, chia, coconut, and hemp granola. Perfect for a sunny afternoon when you’d rather be by the pool than working.
Pure Green Acai
The base of this acai bowl is acai blended with spirulina, bananas, almond milk, and cold pressed apples. The toppings are blueberries, sliced bananas, and hemp granola. Way more fun than a salad, but just as green!
Almond Butter & Hemp Acai
The base of this acai bowl is acai blended with bananas, almond milk, and cold pressed apples. The toppings are almond butter and hemp granola. Chock full of protein- great for breakfast or lunch!
What makes acai so special?
Yes, you’ve seen it all over Instagram and on menus in smoothie shops and juice bars far and wide. Do you even know what acai is though? What makes acai so beloved? Is it really that healthy? Is it a superfood? Don’t worry, acai does live up to the hype.
The acai berry is most famous for its insane amount of antioxidants. In fact, acai has 10 times more antioxidants than blueberries-- pretty crazy, huh? People love antioxidants because they fight all the nasty free radicals that get into our system on a daily basis. So with every bite of your acai bowl, you busting up all the damage pollution and toxins have wreaked on your system over time.
Acai is also super high in vitamin C, making it great for your skin and your immune system. You can skip juicing your oranges and grapefruits when you’ve got that acai bowl lined up for lunch.
So are acai bowls actually good for weight loss?
Acai bowls are good for weight loss as long as you are smart about your consumption of them. Don’t just pick up an acai bowl from anywhere. Make sure you know what goes into them and on top of them! Not all acai bowls are created equally. Don’t worry, Pure Green has some tips for you to maximize the weight loss benefits of your acai bowls.
Watch The Sugar Content
Sugar is the enemy of weight loss, so make sure you aren’t adding any refined sugars to the mix. The acai base should only use unsweetened acai. Stay clear of the packets that are sweetened. A 100g packet of unsweetened acai puree has only 70 calories and no sugar. This is what you want to be using in your acai bowls. You’ll be getting plenty of sugar from the fruit and liquids you blend it with, so it won’t be too tart. Since you’re already getting so much natural sugar from the fruits in the base and in the toppings, do not add more to your topping spread. Steer clear of drizzling honey or using a granola with added sugar.
When you add protein to your acai bowl, it can actually lower the glycemic index of the bowl. This will help stabilize your blood sugar. Use a natural source of protein like peanut butter or almond butter (with no nasty added sugar!) or chia seeds and mixed nuts. If you eat dairy, you could even add greek yogurt to the mix. Add it to the base and blend it up. Plus, it will make your acai bowl creamier! Protein will also keep you feeling full for longer so you won’t crash an hour after you eat it. Treat it as a meal and make sure you get enough protein in your acai bowl to keep you satisfied all morning or afternoon.
Watch Your Portion Size
This is weight loss 101 of course, but sometimes it’s hard to monitor your portions when you’re consuming a “health food.” Yes, it’s healthy and good for you, but you still shouldn’t be overdoing it. You don’t want your delicious acai bowl to become a source of unnecessary calories. Remember the recommended serving size for many fruits is one cup, so bear that in mind when making or ordering your acai bowl. You can always halve the size if you aren’t sure. You can always save some for later too! Throw a lid on that bowl and leave it in the fridge as a snack for the afternoon.
How To Make Acai Bowls At Home
If you don’t have any smoothie shops nearby, or are looking to save money or be extra mindful of the ingredients you are consuming, you can make your acai bowls at home! All you need is a blender! It’s easy. Grab the ingredients, throw them in the blender, and go! Pour it in a bowl and top it off with your preferred toppings. Here are some great recipes to make it easy for you.
Simply Delicious Acai Bowl
Prep Time: 10 minutes
1 100g packet of frozen unsweetened acai berry puree
½ banana (bonus points if it’s frozen!)
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
¼ cup sliced strawberries
¼ cup granola, no sugar added!
1 tbsp all natural almond butter
1 tbsp chia seeds
Put all your base ingredients in the blender and mix until smooth. Make sure you don’t leave any chunks! Pour the base into a bowl and top with your sliced strawberries, dollop of almond butter, and a sprinkling of chia seeds and granola.
Greek Yogurt Acai Bowl
Prep Time: 10 minutes
1 100g packet of frozen unsweetened acai berry puree
½ banana, preferably frozen
¼ cup coconut water
½ cup Greek yogurt -- make sure it is plain with no added sugar!
¼ cup blueberries
¼ cup sliced banana
¼ cup unsweetened, natural granola
You can follow the same routine here. Blend all the base ingredients together and pour the mixture into a bowl. Add your toppings, and eat up!
With any of these recipes, feel free to customize them to your heart’s content. Change up the toppings or add other fruits or extras to the base. It’s hard to mess up an acai bowl! Make sure you instagram it of course, or else it didn’t happen!
Eat Your Acai Bowls On The Way To A Tinier Waistline
So, at the end of all this, are acai bowls good for weight loss? Yes! Just follow Pure Green’s guidelines. Watch the sugar content of your bowl, make sure you include a good amount of protein, and don’t over serve yourself! Make them at home by yourself or head to your local Pure Green and pick one up today!