Breakfast/ Food/ Recipes/ Smoothies

An easy acai bowl you can make at home (with Trader Joe’s Acai Packets!)

Buying acai bowls at fancy smoothie shops is expensive. Make one at one that is equally delicious and better for your budget with Trader Joe’s Acai Puree Packets. 

Confession: I’ve never had an acai bowl. Okay, well I’ve never had a fancy acai bowl that you can buy at those cute little shops or acai trucks that cost an excessive amount. I just can’t stomach paying $11 for something I can make at home. And I have such an easy acai bowl recipe that I don’t need to go out for one.

Granted, I have a Vitamix and that makes things significantly easier and that thing was more than $11 but definitely worth every single penny.

What is an acai bowl made of

Here’s the thing: Acai bowls are all the rage, but really they’re just a thick smoothie that has some acai puree blended in there and then it’s all dumped in a bowl and eaten with a spoon. So it’s just a smoothie bowl. And that’s less intimidating right?

Not all smoothie bowls are acai bowls, but all acai bowls are smoothie bowls. (I’m probably going to offend some acai bowl purist somewhere. Bring it.)

ANYWAY, I digress. I am now officially hooked on acai bowls, and I think it’s pretty impressive I hooked myself on them without a “professional” making one for me. Whole Foods sells Sambazon packets that are plain or have protein or have greens or have other berries, and those things are great — but also expensive.

Enter the Trader Joe’s Acai puree packets. They have nothing but acai puree, but guess what – you can easily add greens, protein powder and extra berries. Which is exactly what I do. And the Trader Joe’s ones cost around $5 for a pack of 4 packets. (Say that 5 times fast.)

How do you thicken an acai bowl?

Just add less liquid. Seriously. I don’t like adding unnecessary thickeners to things and this combo comes out perfectly as is. If you can’t get it to blend, just add a tiny bit more of milk, a little bit at a time (like 1-2 tablespoons) and then blend again.

Trader Joe’s Acai Puree Packets

Below is one of my favorite combos but definitely experiment and figure out what you like. Sometimes I put in the banana, sometimes I leave it out. And if you like more sweetness, adding a medjool date will help.

I usually add spinach or kale for some extra green nutrient goodness, but be warned – it won’t be a lovely purple color if you add too much. That doesn’t bother me, but if you’re a visual eater, keep that in mind.

Vanilla protein powder works just as well as chocolate, but I like the richness of chocolate. (I used this chocolate protein.) Or, toss in a tablespoon of cocoa powder. See? The options are endless.

And toppings are kind of the best part, so I included a list of my favorite options under the recipe.

trader joe's acai recipe

Easy Acai Bowl Recipe

Quick & Easy Acai Bowl

Print Recipe
Serves: 1 Cooking Time: 5 minutes


  • 1 frozen acai packet
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 date
  • handful of spinach or a few stalks of kale
  • 1/4-1/3 cup almond milk, only gradually adding to keep the mixture thick!



Blend all your ingredients together until very creamy.


Top with fresh fruit, granola, nuts, chia seeds -- whatever you desire!


You may need to use your blender stick or scrape down the edges to get it to blend given the small amount of liquid. It should be very thick! Only add more liquid as needed.



My favorite protein powder for acai bowls is Vega Sport. I buy it from Thrive Market. Use this link to save 25% off your entire first order – it’s a great place to buy toppings too!

The toppings

Now the toppings are the fun part! Here are some of my favorites:

  • any fresh fruit! banana and berries have the best texture in my very professional smoothie bowl opinion
  • bee pollen – don’t knock it till you try it (ideally buy locally)
  • granola – I love the grain free ones from Thrive Market
  • chia seeds and/or hemp seeds (Trader Joe’s sells both of these)
  • sliced almonds
  • hemp seeds

Now go forth and enjoy your smoothie bowl/acai bowl/thick smoothie dumped in a bowl that you eat with a spoon. And do share in your comments your favorite topping for smoothie bowls or acai bowls!

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  • Shannon

    Yes! The Trader Joe’s packets are great. I’ve also never had an acai bowl at a shop but when I top it with shredded coconut and seeds I think it’s just as good, as you said. Sometimes I add honey for sweetness since I don’t usually have dates on hand 🙂

  • Nancy

    That’s what I use too (trader joe’s acai packets) and also I love topping it off with the coconut chips from TJs too!

  • Amanda

    I didn’t know they sold acai packets ! I have one place near me and they’re SO good but like you said, $13!!! So expensive! I’ll be trying this 🙂