Hungry Haley

it's more than food

Homemade Acai Bowl (GF, Vegan)

GF, Granola, Smoothie, Vegan, Whole GrainHaley HansenComment

I tried my first acai bowl about two years ago when I was at the beach with some friends, Mallory and Christa. Lunchtime rolled around and Christa begged us to go with her to Banzai Bowls, near the Huntington Beach Pier. It didn’t sound too bad, so the three of us walked down to the cute little hole in the wall.

Life changing lunch. 

“Haley, The OG”, an employee called out about five minutes after we ordered. Part of me ordered this particular bowl just to hear that. I felt so cool.

Mallory and I scooped our first bite into our mouths, chewed the crispy granola, tasted all the berries and fresh fruit blended in, and then looked at each other and said, in unison, “Ohmygod.” Just like that. And for the next year, we were on a mission to try every acai bowl we could find. Funny story – a guy I was talking to at the time invited me to go to a place with his family called Bowl of Heaven (in La Verne) that serves really good acai bowls. I politely declined the offer, but Mallory and I did end up going a few weeks later. Oops.

Eventually, we discovered a place just down the street from my house that makes acai bowls. I was quite excited.

Fast forward a year, and I was at the beach again with my friends. I had spotted a Brazilian restaurant down the street from our usual lunch place and couldn’t resist. I let everyone else go get burgers while I chatted with an adorable little Brazilian man about how fresh and delicious their acai bowls are. During the entire fifteen minutes it took me to down this amazing bowl, I was trying to come up with a way to get one of these every single day. However, I quickly realized my wallet is not and probably will never be fat enough to allow that.

So, I set out to create my own. It was pretty easy, but the acai powder I found wasn’t cheap. Oh well, girl’s gotta’ do what a girl’s gotta do, right?

And now, I’m a happy camper. I make this for myself five out of seven days a week.

In fact, I even made one for Mallory and her mom not too long ago. I was a little nervous my not-as-fancy-as-the-Brazilian-place-bowl would disappoint, but I guess I was being silly. Mallory looked at me with the same eyes as the first time we shared an acai bowl and said – you guessed it – “Ohmygod.” Mallory’s mom, Monica, told me to only make her a small dish, but I didn’t listen. And guess what? She finished it.

Ahhhhh. No better feeling.

Enjoy!

Makes one bowl

1 ripe banana, sliced and then frozen
½ cup frozen blueberries
¼ cup frozen raspberries
3 frozen strawberries, whole (or about ¼ cup if sliced)
3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp. agave nectar
1 tbsp. acai powder
1 tbsp. flax seed meal (optional)
½ cup granola*
½ banana, sliced, for topping (optional)

1.     In a blender, add banana, blueberries, agave nectar, and almond milk and blend until smooth. Thrown in the strawberries, raspberries, acai powder, and flax seed meal (if using) and blend again.
2.     Pour it into a bowl and top with granola and sliced banana (if using). Serve immediately.

*I used my Peanut Butter Almond Honey Granola, but you can use whatever you have on hand. However, mine is the best – just saying.