I fell in love with acai bowls on our first anniversary in Hawaii last year. They are as much a thing in Oahu are they are here in LA with casual shops in almost every neighborhood.
We tried a new bowl almost daily and unanimously agreed on a favorite at Leahi Health in Kailua. What made it so unique was the super smooth and thick texture, almost the consistency of soft serve. It turns out the secret is actually quite simple!
While many recipes rely on a liquid to make blending easy, my favorite bowl proves that using little to no liquid yields a superior texture. Leahi uses only frozen bananas and acai, but I’ve found that adding a bit of coconut milk results in a nice balance of blendability and optimal texture.
As with froyo, toppings are just as important as the base! I adore the combination of acai and peanut butter, reminiscent of PB&J. Slice up whatever combination of fruit you like – mangoes, figs, pineapple, or kiwi are all lovely – or try a handful of fresh berries. For a sweet crunch, add a modest flurry of shaved coconut, cacao nibs, granola, and/or hemp hearts.
- 3 tbsp full fat canned coconut milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 frozen acai pouches
- 1 ½ cups frozen banana slices (can sub frozen mangoes)
- 3 tbsp peanut butter, slightly melted
- Granola, to taste
- Fresh berries, to taste
- Pour the coconut milk and vanilla extract in a Vitamix or food processor.
- Run the acai pouches under hot water for a few seconds and tap on the counter to break into chunks. Cut open the tops of the pouches and squeeze into the blender or food processor. Add in the frozen sliced bananas.
- Blend or process starting on low. When the mixture begins to combine, gradually increase the speed until the mixture is fully combined. If using a Vitamix, use the tamper to push the ingredients down towards the blade. Stop as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl if using a food processor. Add another splash of coconut milk if the mixture won’t come together.
- Immediately scoop the mixture into bowls. Top with granola and fruit and drizzle with peanut butter. Serve immediately.