acai smoothieAcai smoothie is a spin on the famous acai bowl. It has the same tropical flavor and creamy texture and is just as easy to make. This acai smoothie is vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and refined sugar-free.

What is Acai

Açaí (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) is a fruit native to the Amazon rainforest in South America. The acai berry grows on the acai palm tree, which requires rainforest conditions to grow, which is why Brazil and its surrounding countries are the only areas in the world where acai can be found.

Acai berries are small, round, dark purple berries with a unique flavor that sets them apart. While most berries taste sweet when ripe, acai berries have an earthy, mostly bitter, but also slightly sweet and tart taste. Their flavor is often described as a cross between blackberries and dark chocolate. However, since most people consuming acai aren’t consuming fresh acai berries, the taste generally associated with acai is a refreshing mixture of fruity sweetness and tartness. 

One of the reasons acai is so popular is due to its health benefits. This tropical berry has been called the “newest superfruit” because of its high levels of antioxidants, including anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, and flavonoids. Most berries contain antioxidants, too, but in much lower quantities. For comparison, acai berries have 15 times more antioxidants than blueberries, 17 times more antioxidants than blackberries, and 24 times more antioxidants than strawberries.

Where to Buy Acai

Acai berries go rancid quickly, so they can’t be transported in their fresh state to other areas outside where they’re grown. Fresh acai berries are only available in Brazil. In North America and Europe, acai is sold in frozen packs (usually in 100-gram servings) or as a freeze-dried powder. 

You can find unsweetened, frozen acai in the freezer section of most health food stores and grocery stores in North America, such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Some stores offer the option to ship frozen acai packets directly to your house. Sambazan is the most popular brand. Just be sure the package says “unsweetened.” Many frozen acai packs contain added sugar to mask the tartness of raw acai berries. 

Acai powder is even more common than acai pulp and can be purchased in most health food stores or online.

How to Consume Acai

Acai smoothies and acai bowls are the most popular ways to eat this berry. However, acai is also often used in juices, frozen desserts, tinctures, and dietary supplements.

acai smoothie recipe

Tips for Making Acai Smoothie

Ingredients

To make this acai smoothie recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Acai pulp: acai smoothies are best made with frozen, unsweetened acai puree. As I already mentioned, acai is also sold as a powder, but I recommend using frozen acai packets for the most authentic acai smoothie. If all you have is acai powder, substitute the acai pulp for any other frozen berry (blackberries are the closest to acai in color and flavor) + the acai powder. Don’t use too much acai berry powder because it’s pretty concentrated, about 1 tsp./3 g of acai powder per serving.
  • Berries: I used a mix of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries to keep the smoothie low-carb, but you can use any berry combination you like or stick with one variety. Use fresh berries for a thinner smoothie or frozen berries for a thicker smoothie. You can buy fresh berries and freeze them for a few hours before making the smoothie.
  • Coconut milk: berries aren’t exceptionally creamy. Most acai smoothie recipes contain a banana to compensate for that, but coconut milk is an excellent alternative for a keto-friendly smoothie. If you’d like to make the smoothie extra creamy, add a little bit of fresh coconut cream or coconut yogurt.
  • Vanilla protein powder: adding protein powder is an easy way to get an extra boost of nutrition and make the smoothie creamier. I used plant-based protein powder with stevia, but feel free to use your favorite protein powder. If you use unsweetened protein powder, you might want to add a few drops of stevia or monk fruit for sweetness.

How to Make Acai Smoothie

Acai smoothie comes together quickly – add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Blending frozen acai puree and frozen berries can be hard on the blender. The blades of a standard blender may not be able to cut through the frozen fruit, which can cause the blades to break and the container to crack. Blending frozen fruit also puts a lot of strain on the motor, causing it to potentially burn out. 

If you’re making smoothies multiple times a week and frequently blending frozen ingredients, I recommend investing in a high-speed blender like the Vitamix. I use the A3500. The Vitamix has a powerful motor and a strong enough blade to cut through frozen ingredients. It also comes with a tamper, which is really helpful for making thick smoothies.

how to make acai smoothie

Acai Smoothie Variations

There are many options when it comes to customizing acai smoothies:

  • Fruit: some of the most popular acai smoothies contain a banana, so add a frozen banana instead of the berries for a sweeter and creamier smoothie. You can also use frozen mango for a similar effect.
  • Liquid: feel free to substitute coconut milk for your favorite plant-based milk. The creamier, the better. 
  • Add-ins: acai pairs wonderfully with chocolate, so add 2 Tbsp./14 g of cocoa powder for a chocolate acai smoothie. Peanut butter is yet another great flavor combination with acai, so add 2 Tbsp./32 g of peanut butter for a peanut butter acai smoothie. 

How to Store Acai Smoothie

  • Refrigerating: transfer the smoothie to an airtight container and refrigerate it for an hour or two. Any longer, and the smoothie will lose its thickness.
  • Freezing: transfer the smoothie to an airtight shallow container and freeze it for up to 1 month. Re-blend before serving.

keto acai smoothie

More Berry Smoothie Recipes

  • Strawberry avocado smoothie: this strawberry avocado smoothie is fresh, creamy, and rich. It’s another banana-free smoothie but doesn’t lack sweetness and creaminess. 

If you’d like to learn more about smoothies – how to make a custom smoothie, fix a not-so-good smoothie, build a better (healthier) smoothie, etc. – you can refer to this smoothie guide.

If you try any of these recipes, please leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.

low-carb acai smoothie

Acai Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1
Acai smoothie is a spin on the famous acai bowl. It has the same tropical flavor and creamy texture and is just as easy to make.

Ingredients
 

  • 1 (1) acai berry packet
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) mixed berries, , frozen
  • 1 cup (240 ml) light coconut milk
  • 1 scoop (1) vanilla protein powder, *

Instructions
 

  • Blend. Add the acai pulp, berries, coconut milk, and vanilla protein powder to a high-speed blender and blend on high until completely smooth.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Store. Leftover smoothie keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, though best when fresh. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Notes

*I used vanilla protein powder with stevia for sweetness. If you use unsweetened protein powder, add a few drops of stevia or monk fruit.
**Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please feel free to make your own calculations.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 1, Calories: 322kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 14g, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 5g
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keywords: acai smoothie, acai smoothie recipe