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Deliciously Good, Sugar-free Acai Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Acai smoothie bowls, what could be healthier? Well, as a Nutritionist, I can tell you most acai bowls are very high in hidden sugars, especially those from superfood cafes or fast food smoothie places. It is far better to make yummy acai smoothie recipes at home where you can better control the ingredients and not over do it. Today, I am sharing my own recipe made with the cauliflower instead of banana, in a smoothie recipe that is sure to satisfy that sweet tooth while providing your body with extra dietary fibre and vitamin C goodness. Blenders ready? Let's start making this healthy, superfood recipe...

Deliciously Good, Sugar-free Acai Smoothie Bowl Recipe | Eat Nourish Glow
Deliciously Good, Sugar-free Acai Smoothie Bowl Recipe | Eat Nourish Glow

What Makes Acai Smoothies Unhealthy?


Acai berry is a nutrient-rich berry, similar to a blueberry, that provides an abundance of vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Acai berries are a surprising source of healthy fats, particularly monounsaturated fats like oleic acid -- these fats can contribute to heart health and satiety. On its own, acai has a slightly musky taste, but when blended into smoothies, it is deliciously good and very popular at superfood cafes. You just need to be aware that many commercially available acai products, like restaurant or store-bought juices or bowls, often contain added sugars. 


Here's what you need to know about acai berries:

  • Naturally lower in sugar:  an average 100-gram serving of frozen acai pulp contains approx. 2 grams of sugar, which is a very small amount compared to other smoothie fruits. This makes them a good option if you are watching your sugar intake, just like other berries such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.


  • Commercial products: such as prepared acai products like juices, bowls, or frozen packets often contain added sugars, syrups, and other sweeteners to enhance their flavour and reduce that musky essence. The actual acai itself, is relatively low in sugar, while manufacturers who add sugars, can significantly increase the overall sugar content.


It's a misconception that the acai berries themselves aren't good because they are high in sugar. Actually, acai berries are quite the opposite. It's the commercially available products, purees and powders that you need to watch.


How To Make Sugar-free Acai Smoothies


Buy Plain Frozen Acai Pulp 

As the berries themselves are more challenging to find at the shop, you can look for frozen acai pulp made with no added sugars or additional ingredients other than the berries. You can then blend this with other wholefood ingredients such as other berries, high-fibre fruits and vegetables, and an unsweetened plant milk to create your own acai bowl -- without hidden sugars.


Read Labels Carefully

Always check the ingredient list and nutrition label on commercially prepared acai products. This food in particular, due the berry's naturally musky flavour, usually has some kind of sweetener or flavour enhancer when store-bought. Look for options with minimal ingredients and low sugar content. The packet of berries or powdered form should only contain pure, acai berries.


Focus on All-Natural Sweeteners

If you need to add sweetness to your acai bowl, use natural ingredients such as a few drop of stevia sweetener, banana or a handful of other natural sweet berries. You never need to add honey or maple syrup to smoothie recipes, as sweet as that may make them. A good, well-blended smoothie should taste only slightly, naturally sweet, not like a lolly or ice cream.


So remember, to make a healthy, sugar-free acai smoothie bowl, it is not the acai berries themselves, that are high in sugar. It is all the added sugars, other ingredients, and flavour enhancers used in café or commercially prepared acai products that you need to watch out for!


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Sugar-free Acai Smoothie Bowl Recipe

This sugar-free acai smoothie recipe is so simple to make, I wouldn't be surprised if you started blending this recipe on repeat. In it, we are going to swap the usual banana that is commonly found in acai bowls, for steamed cauliflower. This creates an equally, creamy smoothie recipe but is a lot lower in net carbs, fructose (sugar), and provides you with a hearty serving of essential dietary fibre. Blenders ready? Let's try it!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cauliflower, steamed with vanilla

  • 250ml almond milk, unsweetened

  • 1 packet acai puree, fresh or frozen

  • 1/2 cup mixed berries, fresh or frozen

  • 1 scoop plantbased protein powder (vanilla recommended)

  • 2 tsp stevia (if you want extra sweetness)

  • THICK SMOOTHIE: add a handful of crushed ice


Method

First, in a microwave-safe container, steam the cauliflower by chopping it into chunks, and adding it to water with a drop or two of pure vanilla extract. Once cooked, wait for the cauliflower to fully cool down before blending.


Ina blender, add all the ingredients, and process on high until everything is well combined, about 2-3 minutes. Spoon or pour into a serving bowl and top with your favourite crunchy and fruit toppings.


Nutritionist's Note

Using cauliflower as a diabetic-friendly, or sugar-free banana substitute in smoothie recipes, is a nutritious way to reduce your sugar intake and start experimenting with new smoothie recipes. There are literally so many ways to make this healthy, sugar-free smoothie recipe with different fruits and flavours. Pop down in the comments and share your thoughts. Did you enjoy it as is, or add more to it?


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Emma Lisa, Nutritionist & Women's Practitioner

Emma Lisa, Nutritionist at Eat Nourish Glow

Emma Lisa is a Nutritionist & Women's Health Practitioner with over 12+ years experience in wholefood nutrition, meal planning and health coaching. She is a published cookbook author, passionate food recipe creator and lifestyle blogger, and an advocate for women's health and anti-diet culture. When she's not in clinic, Emma is mum to five kids, in her test kitchen and a wellness digital creator. She lives in Sydney, Australia.
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Healthy + happiness,

Emma Lisa xx

HEALTH & NUTRITION PRACTITIONER
IICT Member, International Institute for Complimentary Therapists



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Guest
Jun 03

I had no idea that açai smoothies could be so high in sugar, what do you recommend for when you’re out at a cafe to help reduce the sugar? I have a place I love going to and I really don’t wanna have stop going. Thanks in advance.

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Emma Lisa
Emma Lisa
Jun 03
Replying to

Yes they can be surprisingly high in sugar, depending on how they are prepared. My best advice to you is to watch the toppings as that can be a source of added sugars. One once in while, definitely won’t do any harm, they are still chockablock full of nutrients.

Health + happiness,

Emma Lisa

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Guest
Jun 03

Thank you Emma this was so delicious and I love that it’s sugar-free and safe for me to have as a diabetic. Love to see more like this! Jill

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Guest
Jun 03
Replying to

Thank you!

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