I took a trip to the Los Angeles area recently to visit with my boyfriend and his family. When I was there, I couldn’t help but to notice that Acai Bowls were all the rage around there. We went to Huntington Beach one day where a ton of places were advertising them.
One morning, my boyfriend and I had a reservation to go paddle boarding “early” during the day for us. We didn’t have time to make breakfast so we had to get breakfast on the road and naturally, my boyfriend wanted In-N-Out at 10:30 AM…sigh. Being a lean, green, nutrition fiend that I am, I could not get myself to eat a cheeseburger at that time in the morning (though, yes, I did have one while I was there and it was delicious). Instead, I opted to try one of Jamba Juice’s Acai Bowls. It was delicious and now, I could completely understand why these Acai Bowls are turning out to be the new hot breakfast trend. But after having the Jamba Juice Acai Bowl, I realized how simple it is to make at home. Not only was it easier to make at home, but it was also more cost efficient and healthier. The Jamba Juice Acai Bowl has a ton of calories (530 to be exact), lots of sugar, and can cost up to $7.99. So, why not make a healthier version of it at home? That’s just what I did.
One reason that Jamba Juice is higher in calories is because it uses Acai Juice. I did some research and found that Acai Juice, like many other juices, does not contain the full nutritional value of the fruit. Juices, no matter what kind, are stripped of the fiber of the fruit. That fiber helps you to digest the whole fruit, especially aiding in the digestion of sugars. When the fiber is taken away, the sugar is not easily digested and is thus stored in your body as fat. Additionally, Acai Juice does not contain the same powerful level of antioxidants that whole Acai berries are known for. So, the best way to consume Acai berries is through Acai Powder, which is the whole fruit dried and grounded into a powder.
The Acai Powder that I used is the Navitas Naturals Acai Powder (pictured above). You can find this brand at Whole Foods or Wegman’s. If you are interested in buying some, you can buy it from Amazon online here, Navitas Naturals Organic Acai Powder, for a little over $19 for 4 ounces.
As you can see, Acai Powder is absolutely NOT the cheapest thing in the entire world. It is pretty damn expensive. So in that case, I will make my Acai Bowl as a treat to myself but not as an everyday breakfast. You could definitely make the recipe without the Acai powder every single time, and it would still be delicious, healthy, and more cost savvy!
I decided to try and make my own copycat version of the Jamba Juice Acai Primo Bowl that I had, which you can check out here. The bowl at Jamba Juice is made by blending together Acai juice, soymilk, blueberries, strawberries, and bananas. It is then topped with granola, fresh bananas and berries, coconut flakes, and honey.
To make my own healthier version, I blended together some Acai powder, almond milk, frozen blueberries and strawberries, and a banana. I topped it with some fresh bananas and berries, coconut flakes, and some KIND Healthy Peanut Butter Grains Clusters. I try not to use too much of the granola (or “cluster’s”) because most granolas have a lot of added sugar, so I just use it to add a little bit of crunch to the smoothie bowl. The smoothie bowl turned out great! It is amazingly yummy without all the added calories and sugars that Jamba Juice has in theirs. The copycat Jamba Juice Acai Bowl recipe is a healthy success! Try it out for yourself!Feel free to make this recipe your own and add any desired toppings and switch around some ingredients for others. Make your own versions and see what you like best! Hope you enjoy the recipe!
- ⅔ cup Frozen Blueberries
- ⅔ cup Frozen Strawberries
- ½ Banana
- ¾-1 cup Almond Milk (or milk of your choice)
- 1 teaspoon Acai Powder
- ½ Banana, sliced
- Fresh blueberries
- Fresh strawberries, sliced
- Granola of your choice
- Coconut Flakes
- Put all the smoothie ingredients into a blender
- If the mixture is having trouble blending, add more Almond Milk or water
- Blend until the smoothie is smooth
- Pour the smoothie mixture into a bowl
- Top with desired ingredients
- Serve and enjoy!