Wednesday, 3 June 2015

RECIPE: Strawberry-banana-acai smoothie bowl

Hey guys, say hello to my new fave breakfast.

New fave breakfast, say hello to the guys.

Meet my strawberry-banana-acai smoothie bowl - I think you’re going to get along swimmingly. 

Although I Instagram my breakfast, well, most days (don’t judge), I don’t tend to blog the recipes because my concoctions are largely so simple they don’t warrant whole blog posts. (If you’d like me to blog my breakfast recipes please do just let me know though and I'd be more than happy to. Breakfast is the one.)

However, this latest concoction was too good not to share, as well as being somewhat different to a bowl of Shreddies or toast with jam.

I woke up feeling slightly delicate the morning after a night dancing on tables with my friends (in a Dirndl, in Bristol, mid-exams... don't ask), and I was oh-so-tempted to make myself a humongous stack of pancakes, because carbs. 

But then I decided something lighter would actually make me feel a hell of a lot better. 

And I'm so glad I made this. I've made it three times in four days.

The first time I came across acai bowls was in New York (where else?) three years ago. My lovely then New Yorker friend Georgie introduced me to them, promising something smothered in peanut butter. I was sold before she'd even finished the sentence. 

I had no idea what an acai bowl consisted of, but it was topped with granola, banana and peanut butter. Unsurprisingly, I loved it, as you can see from our slightly deranged expressions:

Since that day, acai bowls have been a mere happy memory. Until last weekend, anyway.

The kind people at BodyMe recently sent me a packet of freeze-dried acai berry powder to play with which unsurprisingly excited me greatly. 

Although I'd seen acai bowls springing up all over the healthy blog/instagram/cookbook scene in recent months, I didn't know anything about the supposed superfood. I now do. Allow to me to get you up to speed:

Acai berries are packed with anti-oxidants and grown organically in Brazil. The pulp of the berries is freeze-dried (thus preserving and concentrating their nutritional goodness) and simply packaged up. Easy as pie!

It's hard to describe the taste of acai other than berryish. I like it. It's not overly sweet but it's definitely not bitter. It also makes smoothies the most fabulous deep purple berry colour. 

Using frozen bananas (preferably frozen when brown and speckly so you don't need to add any sweetener) creates an almost ice cream/sorbet-ish texture, and when topped with all sorts of deliciousness, it feels like you're eating froyo for breakfast!

And that's gotta be a good thing, right?

The smoothie mix is undoubtedly divine by itself but the toppings really do just make it. 

Crunchy granola, salty peanut butter, juicy strawberries, sweet coconut... There are so many good options!

I, perhaps unsurprisingly, heartily recommend you top yours with peanut butter, preferably this slightly salted all-natural one by Meridian. And I'm going to be perfectly honest with you and admit that after I'd taken all these (far too many) photos, I proceeded to add a dollop more peanut butter to my bowls, for deliciousness' sake. Do it.

It is just too dreamy for words and creates total PB&J vibes. And there's a reason PB&J is a classic combo: it's awesome.

Granola-wise, ideally we'd all make our own. But hey, nobody's perfect, and it's exam period, so we'll have to make do. My current fave granola brand is Rollagranola. They have tons of different all-natural, full-of-goodness, no-nasties granola mixes, and I'm a huge fan.

What's extra awesome is that you can make the smoothie bowl the night before, cover it with clingfilm and pop it in the fridge over night, then simply throw on your toppings in the morning and devour. 

Hope you love it as much as I do! I'm going to be eating these alllll summer long. 

This recipe serves one lucky person.


Half a tin of strawberries in juice* (but only a little of the juice to give you a smoothie consistency)
1 frozen banana (peeled, chopped and frozen when ripe)
1/2-1 tbsp acai berry powder, to taste
1/2 tbsp flaxmeal (optional, it simply thickens and adds healthiness)

Toppings of your choice, such as: 
Peanut butter
Desiccated coconut

*You can use fresh strawberries too, but you'll need to add a little milk or juice to facilitate blending.


1. Pop all the smoothie ingredients into a blender and whizz until smooth - add a little almond milk or juice if it seems to thick.

2. Pour into a bowl, generously cover with toppings and devour.

Have you ever made an acai bowl? Like the look of one? If you have any suggestions of how to make awesome one I'd love to hear them.

PS. It's Handbags and Cupcakes' FIFTH birthday on Sunday! FIVE YEARS OLD! How did that happen? Exciting times.


  1. Oh my gaaad I am sold. Would the flavour work if you added cocoa to the berry/banana mixture do you think? I'm an absolute chocolate nut and I thought it was chocolate flavour when I first saw the pictures haha. Also great tip about using old bananas for making icecream/froyo, I would never have thought of it! Such a pro xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua Italy

    1. Ooh yes, I'd say so. Funnily enough I'd been thinking about making a chocolatey version and may very well do it for breakfast tomorrow so I'll let ya know, Lucy. Fab idea! X


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