When I visited my younger sister a few weeks ago in New York City, she insisted on taking me to a healthy fast-food place called Juice Generation for their famous acai smoothie bowls she claimed were “the best things ever!”
I found this proclamation to be really funny, and if you knew my sister you would immediately understand why. Although Michelle is a very healthy individual, she’s not exactly the vegan, yoga-loving, kale-obsessed, health-food-touting type.
No, not exactly.
We arrived at Juice Generation to find a line out the door, mostly young girls in workout clothes who were buzzing energetically about their morning SoulCycle class or 6-mile run through Central Park.
By osmosis, I suddenly felt very fit… even though my only exercise for the day had been walking the single block from Michelle’s apartment to the store.
I did enjoy my authentic Juice Generation acai bowl… But at over $9 for one bowl, it’s just as easy (and much cheaper!) to make your own.
Acai Smoothie Bowls
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk or more milk of choice
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- tiny pinch salt (to bring out the sweetness)
- 1 overripe frozen banana OR 3/4 cup Thai coconut meat
- 1 tbsp acai powder (found at Whole Foods or online)
- sweetener of choice, as desired
To make: Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite granola, shredded coconut, and/or fresh berries. **Note: The acai bowls will be much richer if you opt for the canned coconut milk, but lower in fat and calories if you use 1 cup milk of choice (such as almond milk), so choose whichever option best fits your dietary needs. Feel free to double or triple the recipe for multiple servings.
Peanut Butter Acai Smoothie Bowl: Add 1 1/2 tbsp peanut butter (or allergy-friendly alternative) to the ingredients before blending. Top with granola, sliced fruit, and more pb.
Hawaiian Acai Smoothie Bowl: Replace 1/2 of the banana with 2/3 cup frozen pineapple tidbits. Top with granola, fruit, and shredded coconut.
Green Power Acai Smoothie Bowl: Add loosely-packed 1/4 cup greens of choice, pre-blending.
Chocoholic Acai Smoothie Bowl: They do not offer this flavor at Juice Generation… but obviously I think they should! Add 1 tbsp cocoa powder before blending, and top with chocolate chips (or melted chocolate).
Question of the Day:
Have you ever tried eating a smoothie in a bowl with a spoon?
Or do you prefer to drink your smoothies in a glass with a straw? Although I do like smoothies in a glass, I will often eat them in a bowl if I want to add toppings. This way I’m not struggling to drink berries, chocolate chips, or nuts through a straw, and smoothie bowls can be a really refreshing snack, especially in the summertime. Link of the Day: