Fresh and fruity, low in carbs and high in protein, this healthy keto acai bowl is easy to make and takes less than 5 minutes to prepare!
Acai berries are perfect for a keto smoothie bowl since they're low in carbs and packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Plus, many grocers sell frozen, unsweetened acai packets, which are so easy to throw into the blender.
This high-protein, keto acai bowl is made with unsweetened, frozen acai, frozen raspberries, unsweetened almond milk, vanilla protein powder and a few tablespoons of keto yogurt.
It's thick and creamy, fresh and fruity, slightly sweet, and absolutely delicious when you add your favorite toppings. Our favorite toppings include fresh raspberries, keto-friendly granola and sugar-free dark chocolate chips. But, you could also consider other berries, unsweetened coconut chips, peanut butter or other seeds and nuts.
Plus, it's a quick and easy breakfast that you can throw together in less than 5 minutes. It's a win-win breakfast!
What is Acai?
Açaí (pronounced ah-sah-EE) is a type of berry that comes comes from the acai palm, which is found in South America, primarily in Brazil. The acai berry is nutrient dense and low in sugar and carbs. It's loaded with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals and healthy fats. Acai berries are purple, grape-like berries that are somewhat similar to blackberries or raspberries, but are more earthy and even a little bitter in flavor.
What's an Acai bowl?
Acai bowls, originating from Brazil, are typically made with frozen or powdered acai, fruit (like berries and bananas), a liquid (such as nut milk or fruit juice), and often times, sweeteners. They're typically topped with nuts, granola, fruit and other toppings.
Because Acai bowls are typically sweetened, they may not be low in carbs and keto-friendly. Some acai bowls contain more than 50 grams of sugar, which is more than the recommended daily intake of sugar (an certainly not keto-friendly!).
Therefore, if you're looking for a keto-friendly, low-in-carb acai bowl, we recommend you make a low-carb version at home!
Just a few notes on key ingredients:
- Unsweetened Frozen Acai: You can find unsweetened, frozen acai in the freezer section at grocers like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Target. Sambazan is the most popular brand. Just be sure the package says "unsweetened." When you buy frozen acai, it typically comes in 100-gram frozen packets.
- Frozen raspberries: Most acai bowls are supplemented with additional fruit or berries, and we use raspberries since they're lower in carbs than strawberries or blueberries. That said, you could use a combination of berries such as blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. You can buy raspberries frozen or you can buy fresh and then freeze a day before. Frozen raspberries help create a thicker and creamier smoothie bowl.
- Vanilla protein powder: We use a vanilla protein powder to increase the protein in this acai bowl. Our favorite vanilla protein powder is Quest Vanilla Milkshake. However, you may use your favorite vanilla protein powder.
- Unsweetened almond milk: To create the right consistency, you need a liquid. We use unsweetened almond milk since it's keto-friendly and low in calories. You may substitute with another type of low-carb milk like unsweetened macadamia milk.
- Keto yogurt: Keto-friendly yogurt, like Ratio Keto Yogurt or Two Good Greek Yogurt, help make the acai bowl creamy in texture. Although yogurt is not mandatory, we think it makes a difference! And just a few tablespoons is all that is needed. Low-fat Greek yogurt, like Fage 0% milk fat, is another option.
- Fresh raspberries, keto-friendly granola, and sugar-free chocolate chips (Optional): These are our favorite toppings, but you can choose whatever toppings you like!
How to Make
STEP 1 - Make Bowl: If you bought fresh raspberries, freeze them the night before. When you're ready to make the bowl, prepare acai bowl toppings so they're ready to go. Break up frozen acai packet into chunks.
In a blender, add almond milk, yogurt, protein powder and frozen acai chunks. Blend until broken down. Then, add chunks of frozen berries in batches and blend until smooth. Do not over blend since you want it thicker in texture (and not soupy).
Step 2 - Add Toppings: Pour an equal amount of smoothie mixture into two bowls. Top with preferred toppings. We recommend fresh raspberries, keto-friendly granola and sugar-free chocolate chips, but you can choose whatever you like.
Expert Tips for Making an Acai Bowl
- Freeze Fruit: For a thick and creamy texture, you'll need to use frozen fruit. You can either buy frozen raspberries in the freezer section of the store or you can buy fresh raspberries and freeze them a day before. The acai berries already come in frozen packets.
- Blend in steps: Even though we have a high-power blender, it still takes some effort to get the frozen ingredients blended. To make it easier, we blend in batches. First, we add the almond milk and yogurt so it's near the blades, which makes it easier to blend. Then, we break apart the frozen acai packet into chunks and add it to the blender along with the protein powder. We blend that until it breaks down. After, we add the frozen berries in chunks and blend until smooth (be careful not to over blend as you don't want it runny).
- Serve immediately with toppings: Acai bowls are best when just blended and still thick and creamy. Simply add your favorite toppings and serve immediately. You can store in the fridge in a covered container without any toppings for a day or two. Or, you can freeze in an airtight container (again, without the toppings) and then thaw in the fridge or at room temperature until it's somewhat fluid in consistency (but not runny or soupy). At that point, stir, add toppings and enjoy.
Acai Bowl Toppings
Toppings are essential to making an acai bowl yummy and full of flavor and texture! Our favorite toppings include fresh raspberries, crunchy, keto-friendly granola and sugar-free chocolate chips.
However, there are other low-carb options including unsweetened coconut chips, seeds (like sunflower or chia), nuts (almonds, macadamia, pecans, etc.), sugar-free peanut butter, or other low-carb berries like strawberries, blackberries or blueberries.
You can find unsweetened, frozen acai at grocers like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Target. Sambazan is the most popular brand. Just be sure the package says "unsweetened." When you buy frozen acai, it typically comes in 100-gram frozen packets.
When you purchase an acai bowl, it's typically sweetened and can contain up to 50 grams of sugar. If you're looking for a keto-friendly and low-in-carb acai bowl, we recommend you make it at home.
Yes, although it is best when served immediately. Freeze in an airtight container without toppings and then thaw in the fridge or at room temperature until it's pudding-like in consistency (but not runny or soupy). At that point, stir, add toppings and enjoy.
If you try this recipe, we would love to hear your feedback! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag @lowcarbsimplified on your photo of this recipe on Instagram or Facebook. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Keto Acai Bowl (High Protein)
- ⅓ cup unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
- 2 tablespoons Two Good Low Fat Greek Yogurt (strawberry or other flavor)
- 1 packet (100 grams) unsweetened, frozen acai
- 1 scoop (30 grams) Quest Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder
- 1 cup raspberries, frozen
- Preferred toppings as desired like fresh raspberries, keto-friendly granola and sugar-free chocolate chips
- Prepare Ingredients: If you have fresh raspberries, freeze them the night before. When you're ready to make the bowl, prepare the toppings so they're ready to go.
- Blend: Break up frozen acai packet into chunks. In a blender, add almond milk, yogurt, protein powder and frozen acai chunks. Blend until broken down. Then, add chunks of frozen berries in batches and blend until smooth. Do not over blend since you want it thicker in texture (and not soupy).
- Add Toppings: Pour an equal amount of smoothie mixture into two bowls. Top with preferred toppings like fresh raspberries, keto-friendly granola and sugar-free chocolate chips (or other toppings as desired).
- 5 Raspberries: 0.5g net carbs
- Keto Granola: typically 1.5g net carbs for ¼ cup but varies by brand
- 2 tablespoons Lily's Sugar-free Chocolate Chips: 0g net carbs