Acai bowls are one of the most popular items on our menu at 3Natives. This delicious, healthy treat started as a relatively unknown creation and but is now quite popular.
The Acai berry, the basis for Acai bowls, has been around for thousands of years. This fruit originates from the Amazon River Delta and was known for its anti-inflammatory properties. In the 1970s, migration brought this berry to Brazil. Here, the basis for the modern-day Acai Bowl was born.
Here in Florida, 3Natives has been serving up Acai bowls since 2013. Today, our Acai bowls continue to be a delicious whole-food choice perfect for a snack or a complete meal.
What is an Acai Bowl?
The Acai berry is the basis for any Acai bowl recipe. They may look like ice cream and taste like ice cream, but trust us – it’s not ice cream.
Unlike most of the produce used at 3Natives, Acai is not a local food. The Acai palm is native to the tropical rainforests of South America. It is very difficult to grow Acai elsewhere – even in Florida.
An Acai bowl is essentially a supercharged smoothie, packed with ingredients that enhance the flavors and health benefits of the dish.
Acai serves as the basis of this dish. The bowl is then topped with good-for-you ingredients. These can include Greek yogurt, granola, peanut butter, hemp seeds, chia seeds and coconut flakes. Fresh fruits are also popular in Acai bowls.
Some of our favorite toppings include mango, raspberry, pineapple, strawberry, and green apple.
Protein powders may also be added to Acai bowls to increase calories and get more out of the dish.
How Do You Say Acai?
This is a common question and something we get at the cash register regularly.
Acai is pronounced ah-sah-ee; not ah-kay or ah-see.
It’s OK if you didn’t know that already though.
Are Acai Bowls Healthy?
Acai is a superfruit loaded with nutritional content. This deep purple fruit is packed with antioxidants (approximately 3 times the number of antioxidants than blueberries). This comes from the natural dyes in the fruit, which are the same as those found in blueberries. In the case of Acai, there are simply more of these dyes called anthocyanin.
Acai may also have the ability to improve cholesterol and memory.
One of the biggest benefits of Acai is that by itself, it is not high in sugar. A serving of unsweetened Acai by itself only contains two grams of sugar. Of course, with any frozen fruit, it is important to check the labeling. Added sugars can result in a product with much more than just two grams of sugar.
Acai is also high in fiber, resulting in better gut health.
Of course, an Acai bowl contains much more than just Acai. Other ingredients can make an Acai bowl much more healthy or unhealthy for you.
Quality ingredients in an Acai bowl can make you feel better and more full. Fresh fruits, nut butters, seeds and yogurts can provide your body with beneficial probiotics, healthy carbs, protein & more.
Are Acai Bowls Good For Weight Loss?
As with any weight loss plan, moderation in your diet is key. The ingredients in your Acai bowl matter too.
Acai bowls at 3Natives come in 8 oz. and 16 oz. servings. No matter which size you choose, you shouldn’t feel like you need to eat your entire Acai bowl in one sitting. Acai bowls make great leftovers for a healthy afternoon snack.
If weight loss is your diet goal, watch your sugar intake. Unsweetened Acai by itself only has about 70 calories per 100g packet. Fresh fruits also pack tons of natural sugar. Honey and granola are two ingredients to avoid if you wish to keep your sugar intake low.
We recommend adding protein to your Acai bowl, as this can help stabilize blood sugar. Natural proteins come from ingredients such as peanut butter and almond butter or chia seeds and hemp seeds. Protein powders can provide more fullness without packing on a ton of extra calories.
Are Acai Bowls Vegan?
An Acai bowl can be vegan, again, depending on the ingredients used. You will want to avoid adding ingredients like yogurt or honey.
At 3Natives, you can even add protein and not have to worry about animal products. Our exclusive No Udder protein is a unique vegan blend produced locally.
Are Acai Bowls Gluten Free?
Granola is pretty much the only ingredient that is off-limits for a gluten free diet. If you want an added crunch, chia seeds, hemp seeds, nuts and coconut seeds are great gluten free alternatives.
Do Acai Bowls Have Protein?
You bet – depending on what you add to your bowl. At 3Natives, we can make yours with almond butter, peanut butter, chia seeds and other protein-packed ingredients. For an added kick of protein, we can add our exclusive No Udder Vegan protein to your bowl.
How Much Sugar is in an Acai Bowl?
Most of the Acai bowls at 3Natives have no added sugars. The exception is our Tequesta Dragon Bowl (11 added grams in a small serving). Our lowest sugar bowl, the Calypso, contains 20 grams of total sugar. The highest sugar content is found in our Chronic bowl with 33 grams.
How Many Calories are in an Acai Bowl?
At 3Natives, we can build a bowl consistent with your diet and your calorie intake goals. Our lowest calorie option, the Tequesta Dragon Bowl, has 260 calories in a small serving.
Where Can I Get An Acai Bowl Near Me?
3Natives has locations all across Florida and a location in Owasso, OK. Find a location today or order online from your neighborhood 3Natives!