Travel may be a little tricky these days, but you can still traverse the globe with these delicious recipes to try at home. 

Today's healthy dish hails from Brazil – an açaí Bowl. 

This recipe comes from Lonely Planet's The World's Best Superfoods.

What is it? 

It looks like ice cream and tastes like ice cream, but this tropical Brazilian superfood snack couldn’t be healthier. Refreshingly cool and satisfyingly filling, it’s heaven in a bowl. 


The berries of the Amazonian açaí palm were barely known outside the Amazon until the 1970s. In the following decade the legendary Brazilian ju-jitsu founder Carlos Gracie popularized açaí bowl in Rio de Janeiro, and it wasn’t long before local surfers adopted the snack as the perfect post-session pick-me-up. In the early aughts, the first batch of açaí pulp winged its way to the USA with Hawaii and Southern California becoming the first places where açaí bowl found a foreign home. It’s now found from Sydney to London. 

What you'll need (serves 2) 

2 heaped tbs freeze-dried açaí powder or about 4oz (110g) slightly thawed açaí pulp 
2 heaped tbs milled seeds (chia, flax, sunflower etc) 
⅔ cup almond milk, coconut milk, coconut water, or apple juice 
1½ cups frozen blueberries and/or sliced banana 

For the toppings 
⅔ cup fresh seasonal berries and/or figs 
1 ripe banana, sliced 
4 tbs muesli or oats 
2 tbs seeds or other toppings (try flaxseed, chia seeds, shredded coconut, jungle peanuts and/or bee pollen) 

Bowl of fresh Brazilian acai garnished with strawberries and granola on a rustic wood table in Rio de Janeiro
Acai bowls originated in Rio de Janeiro © lazyllama / Shutterstock


Step 1: Blend the açaí powder/pulp with the milled seeds, liquid and frozen fruit. 
Step 2: Add more liquid until it reaches the desired consistency, according to your personal taste. 
Step 3: Transfer the mixture to a breakfast bowl and serve immediately. 
Step 4: Top the mixture with fresh berries and/or figs, sliced banana, muesli (or oats) and seeds, in whichever combination you prefer. 
Tip: Choose the liquid to blend with the açaí powder/pulp to suit your personal taste; the milkier the liquid, the creamier the mixture will be. 

Tasting notes

Waking up on a hot, sticky morning by the Brazilian seaside, the cool combination of berries and nuts in an açaí bowl provides the ultimate wake-up call, with a health kick to boot. 

With a similar consistency to lightly-defrosted gelato, the rich, deep-purple açaí pulp or powder mixture forms the basis of this attractive tropical dish. Traditional Brazilian toppings include sliced banana and a sprinkling of granola, but Western cafes usually also offer an additional range of healthy toppings such as blueberries, shaved coconut, seeds and nuts. 

While the açaí mixture, which tastes a little bit like blackberries mixed with dark chocolate, is deliciously moreish by itself, the crunch of nuts provides delightful texture. 

For additional recipes, check our Travel Kitchen page.

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