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Copycat Juice Generation Acai Smoothie Bowls

Acai Bowl

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.

Juice Generation

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.

Copycat Acai Bowls

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

(Serves 1)

  • 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.

Click for: Acai Smoothie Bowls Calories & Nutrition Information

Flavor Variations:

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).

Acai Bowl   Juice Generation

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:

reeses pie
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Pie – No Baking Required

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Published on May 28, 2014

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43 Comments

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  1. Leah says

    Ooo, this looks super yummy! I love acai bowls, I get mine from Jamba Juice. But theirs has so much sugar!!! I’ll have to try this.

    Also, would you be able to come up with a granola recipe to go with this? Thank you! Your recipes are amazing! 🙂

  2. Sara K. says

    I usually drink my smoothies in a glass, but then that’s because most of the time it is an on-the-go breakfast when I am running late! On a morning when I have time to eat out of a bowl, I am usually eating baked oatmeal 🙂

    This looks yummy though!

  3. Mary Frances says

    I agree, $9 is way too steep for smoothies, especially when you can make them at home! This is a great example too; it’s healthy, pretty, and endlessly customizable!

  4. Mia (Mia in Germany) says

    This colour alone makes me want to try acai powder – never had any, but this looks totally stunning. Also you just motivated me to look for young coconuts, and I did find an online supplier who sells them in Germany!
    I’m the bowl-smoothie kind of gal, too.

  5. Jessica says

    I have had smoothies turn out way too thick (greek yogurt, chia seeds and peanut butter DO NOT a liquid consistency make) and therefore had to eat it with a spoon. But I hardly ever use bowls anymore. 12 oz tumblers are smaller and keep me from serving myself too much stuff I shouldn’t eat!

  6. Pamela says

    Let me get this straight. Someone decided to put a smoothie into a bowl and charge double the same contents served in a cup? I don’t know what to say about you sister here. Rube?

  7. Bridget says

    So funny! I tried to make my own acai bowl after hearing both Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen RAVE about them after their trip to Brazil? I believe. Anderson Cooper, who most know, like eating NOTHING (besides Boston Market), so I quickly ordered acai packets online and researched how to make my own acai bowl. Well, the resulting product was quite a flop and not delicious by any means and now I know why from looking at the recipe you provided. Definitely will be attempting to make an acai bowl again now with your help! Also, I love eating smoothies with a spoon–primarily because I am much more of an “eater” than a “drinker.” I find eating a smoothie with a bowl and a spoon is somehow much more satisfying and fulfilling than chugging it down through a straw.

  8. Susan says

    Interesting that you should come up with an açai bowl recipe. We learned about açai in Brazil, and saw huge baskets of the fruit that had recently been picked. I’ve been making açai bowls for breakfast for some time now. To serve two, I use 2 frozen packets of açai pulp, a chopped large mango, about 1.5 cups frozen strawberries, 2 scoops of vanilla whey powder, and enough ice cubes to thicken it up well (I do get a little needed water into it by rinsing out the pulp packets) and puree it all in my blender. I serve it in a bowl, topped with granola (preferably homemade). I think that is our favorite breakfast any more. I’ll have to consider trying the powder, if I can figure out how to equate amounts with the pulp, because having drinkable açai smoothies would be nice, especially when I only have my Magic Bullet available. 🙂 The frozen packets I use are from Sambazon, which seems to be a very good company.

  9. Jordan @ The Blonde Vegan says

    Ummm you were at JG in my neighborhood and you didn’t call me?!!? Hehe, jk, you didn’t have my number yet…! But seriously, Juice Generation’s acai bowls are to die for. Yours looks amazing too. You should also try pitaya if you haven’t yet — basically acai but with less sugar and a slightly different fruit! I am hooked!

  10. Lea says

    Wow, that is a beautiful rainbow right there! (okay, not quite all the colours of the rainbow, but it’s so pretty and cheerful!) I definitely want to try that bowl once I come back to my hometown and have a kitchen for myself that I can use at all times. 🙂

    Also, I’ve never had a smoothie in a bowl but it looks absolutely delicious and I’ve seen it everywhere! Once I get a good blender, I’ll probably become a smoothie addict again. 😉 Thank you for sharing the recipe Katie, it looks lovely!

  11. Laura says

    I lived off the acai bowls at Lanikai Juice in Kailua Hawaii. Can’t wait to try this. Hoping it takes close!! They topped theirs with sliced bananas, strawberries, coconut and granola. I find it replicates the texture if I blend oats in with the smoothie…then I like it with a spoon.

  12. Tim Treweek says

    Very yummy treat! I like acai bowls and most often like to treat myself it with muffins in the snacks time. The most fun ways to get your açaí is in the form of a thick-blended smoothie served in a bowl. These looks so yummy! 🙂

  13. Maria says

    Yes! Smoothie in a bowl topped with lots of granola is one of my favorite breakfasts! I haven’t tried acai though … I like to do banana-greens-soybean, or banana-mango.
    P.S. Thank you for this blog – it is so inspirational! (It is actually the only blog I follow 🙂

  14. Shannon says

    I love both acai bowls and smoothies equally! I guess it depends on my mood and whether or not I want some added crunch or something to chew on. I love making a huge acai bowl when I am extra hungry. I’ve even featured a few on my blog that turned out great!

  15. Kate @Almond Butter Binge says

    Not sure I am a fan of bowl smoothies…but oh man, this looks SO good. I love the color, and coconut milk in smoothies is so yummy. Thanks for posting!

  16. Steph says

    That smoothie bowl looks sooo vibrant and delicious! I prefer suuuper thick smoothies that straws cannot handle and can be eaten from a bowl with a spoon:)

  17. Nancy Rector says

    Bowl or straw? Depends on if I’m in the mood for ice cream or a shake. 🙂 We eat both regularly at our house. I have GOT to get into the purple food stuff… it makes such beautiful food!

    Be well,
    Nancy

  18. Kate Mascarenhas says

    Your pictures make this dish look absolutely delicious 🙂

    I have never heard of mixing milk into açaí before, this must be an Americanized version of açaí. Here in Brasil we eat açaí daily, sometimes even 3x per day! hahaha clearly its a commonly loved treat and it’s abundant in my parts of town.

    The traditional way to make it here in Brasil is to blend frozen açaí pulp (the juices are squeezed out of the fruit and then frozen) with ripe bananas. The usual ratio is about 1 banana for ever 150 g of açaí pulp. I usually buy my pulp from the guy who makes it in our town and sell it at the organic farmers market for R$10 per kilo (about $4USD).

    Once the açaí is blended with the bananas and has formed a nice creamy and even consistency, then we add the toppings 😀

    – goji berries
    – raisins
    – granola
    – nuts & seeds (I like to use sunflower seeds & peanuts)
    – finely chopped banana
    – honey
    – paçoquinha (http://sugarmonster.com.au/baked-goods/what-is-a-pacoquinha/)
    – and anything else that seems yummy at the time

    Your idea of blending peanut butter into it sounds incredible! Unfortunately peanut butter isn’t a product that I’ve everrrr seen in Brasil… 🙁

    To be honest, I had no idea that açaí was sold in powder form…. I’ll have to check it out, seems like it would last longer.

    Next time I’m in the US and have those ingredients available to me, I’ll try out your variations and let you know how it goes 🙂

    Again, your photography is extremely captivating.
    Thanks for sharing this!

  19. Kate Mascarenhas says

    Your pictures make this dish look absolutely delicious 🙂

    I have never heard of mixing milk into açaí before, this must be an Americanized version of açaí. Here in Brasil we eat açaí daily, sometimes even 3x per day! hahaha clearly its a commonly loved treat and it’s abundant in my parts of town.

    The traditional way to make it here in Brasil is to blend frozen açaí pulp (the juices are squeezed out of the fruit and then frozen) with ripe bananas. The usual ratio is about 1 banana for ever 150 g of açaí pulp. I usually buy my pulp from the guy who makes it in our town and sell it at the organic farmers market for R$10 per kilo (about $4USD).

    Once the açaí is blended with the bananas and has formed a nice creamy and even consistency, then we add the toppings 😀

    – goji berries
    – raisins
    – granola
    – nuts & seeds (I like to use sunflower seeds & peanuts)
    – finely chopped banana
    – honey
    – paçoquinha (http://sugarmonster.com.au/baked-goods/what-is-a-pacoquinha/)
    – and anything else that seems yummy at the time

    Your idea of blending peanut butter into it sounds incredible! Unfortunately peanut butter isn’t a product that I’ve everrrr seen in Brasil… 🙁

    To be honest, I had no idea that açaí was sold in powder form…. I’ll have to check it out, seems like it would last longer.

    Next time I’m in the US and have those ingredients available to me, I’ll try out your variations and let you know how it goes 🙂

    Again, your photography is extremely captivating.
    Thanks for sharing this!

    *** I just posted this comment and it didn’t show up. I’m not sure if thats because my internet is EXTREMELY weak and unreliable, or if its because you have to approve the comments first. So if this is a duplicate, I apologize, but feel free to delete this one. Thanks Katie!

  20. Ana says

    I usually have my smoothie in a mug- the handle means I can drink my smoothie straight away without my hand getting a case of the shivers! And Id love to try this, but I’ve never seen acai here in the UK.

  21. The Vegan Cookie Fairy says

    I love smoothie bowls! Even if I don’t drink/eat my smoothie out of a bowl, I’ll add toppings and just eat it out of my pint glass with a spoon. My favourite smoothie bowl is my raw chocolate almond butter bowl – it’s like pudding for breakfast but it’s still fairly healthy 😉 (Not nearly as healthy as this one, though! Love the purple colour!)

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