Hey, acai addict here! Topping ideas are endless, but healthy acai bowl toppings are not so easy to come around.
If you’re anything like me, you like your acai bowls packed with toppings. And I mean PACKED. The downside is, calories and sugar add up quickly in these circumstances, so hang tight for the ultimate list of healthy acai bowl toppings!
As someone who has eaten A LOT of acai bowls, I’ve tried my fair share of toppings and combinations. Granola and honey are classics for a reason but trust me when I say there’s a whole new world out there of healthy toppings for acai bowls.
Whether you’re a seasoned acai bowl connoisseur or it’s your first homemade bowl (if so, welcome to the club!), let’s dive in!
How Healthy is the Acai Bowl Itself?
Acai berries are a great source of antioxidants, and fiber, and are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, and potassium. In fact, acai berries have been shown to have higher antioxidant levels than blueberries and raspberries.
However, while toppings like granola, honey and nut butter may add flavor and texture, they can also add unwanted calories and sugar to an otherwise healthy snack.
To put it into perspective, a typical homemade acai bowl, made with unsweetened milk can contain anywhere from 300 to 500 calories and 25 grams of sugar, without any toppings.
Before considering healthy acai bowl toppings, be sure to start with a healthy acai bowl base. Follow these tips::
- Choose acai add-ins (powder or frozen puree) with no added sweeteners or extra ingredients.
- Use unsweetened milk or yogurt to keep added sugars to a minimum.
- Avoid sugar or artificial sweeteners when making your acai bowl.
- Be mindful of portion sizes.
From there, you can add a variety of healthy smoothie bowl toppings to enhance the flavor and nutritional value of your bowl.
Keep reading for a full breakdown of the calorie and sugar content of each topping option.
21 Healthy Acai Bowl Toppings
Fresh fruits and berries:
1. Berries: strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
2. Banana Slices
3. Kiwi slices
4. Fresh mango chunks
5. Low Calorie & Low Sugar Granola
Arguably, granola is the one topping that can make or break your healthy acai bowl. At least calorie and sugar-wise. Because of this, I have tried countless brands and types, and while some brands offer tastier and sweeter options with fun additions, it’s difficult to find a low-calorie, zero-sugar granola like this one.
It has 83 calories per serving and 0 grams of sugar. Talk about healthy!
Thanks to this granola brand, my dream of enjoying acai bowls on a daily basis without consuming crazy amounts of sugar has become a reality.
As far as I know, it comes in Vanilla, Cinnamon, Peanut Butter, and Espresso flavors. What else!
Nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews can add a crunchy texture and healthy fats to your acai bowl. They’re also a good source of protein, magnesium and vitamin E.
All nuts are high in calories so use them in moderation.
I always use chopped nuts like these, because a small amount already feels like a large portion.
7. Nut Butter
Adding a spoonful of nut butter like almond or peanut butter can add a creamy texture and healthy fats to your acai bowl, although use sparingly as calories quickly add up.
To make this a healthy acai bowl topping, choose a nut butter with no added sugars or ingredients, like this no B.S. Vanilla Almond Butter.
8. Peanut Butter Alternatives
If you want to avoid nut butter due to its high caloric content but you simply can’t live without peanut butter, you can try these alternatives:
Peanut Butter Crumbs, which add the same flavor for half the calories per serving while adding crunchy-ness to your acai bowl.
Powdered Peanut Butter: This is something you might not know existed. This peanut butter comes in powder form, which you then mix with some drops of water and it turns into the creamy delicious texture we all know peanut butter for.
The best part is it has NO added sugar, has 0 grams of salt, and only 60 calories per 2 tbsp.
Nutrition-wise, compared with the average peanut butter, the difference is astounding. But, hey, if you enjoy actual peanut butter and do so in moderation, please keep at it!
Regular Peanut Butter
Powdered Peanut Butter
9. Chia Seeds or Chia Pudding
Chia seeds are a superfood that can provide a variety of health benefits, including fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. They can also help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
You can also combine chia pudding with your smoothie bowl as a fun topping. To make chia pudding, leave 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 1/4 cup of your milk of choice to sit for at least 2 hours. Find the full recipe here!
10. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, healthy fats, and minerals like zinc and magnesium. I love the distinctive crunch they add when used and acai bowl topping.
11. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds, otherwise called shelled hemp hearts, are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids. They can add a nutty flavor and creamy texture to your acai bowl.
Flaxseeds are a good source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and lignans, which can help support hormone balance. They also work perfectly as healthy toppings for acai bowl!
Healthy cocoa derivatives
13. Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs are small pieces of raw cacao beans and can add a rich chocolate flavor and antioxidants to your acai bowl. They’re also a good source of iron and magnesium. I can’t really explain why, but they make a sleek addition and elevate any smoothie bowl.
If you’re not a fan of the strong cacao taste, check out the sweetened version!
14. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Adding unsweetened cocoa powder to your acai bowl can provide a rich chocolate flavor and antioxidants, without compromising the health benefits of your bowl.
You can either blend it together with the base, for which you’ll lose a bit of the acai flavor, or sprinkle it on top as a topping.
15. Superfood Supplement
This organic superfood probiotic powder is made from a blend of nutrient-dense ingredients like organic goji berries, maca root, and cacao.
The powder is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can provide numerous health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, and supporting brain function.
It is so easy to add to your smoothie bowl and is full of benefits. I wonder why doesn’t everyone take this? Plus, it comes in berry flavor so it’s perfect for acai bowls!
16. Collagen Peptides
I believe this supplement is one of the most crucial. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin, bones, and joints. As we age, our bodies naturally produce less collagen, which can lead to signs of aging such as wrinkles, sagging skin, and joint pain.
Collagen peptide supplements can help replenish the body’s collagen levels, providing a range of benefits, including improved skin elasticity, reduced joint pain, and stronger bones.
This one in particular has 11g of Collagen and 10g of protein per serving of 40 calories.
17. Bee Pollen Granules
Bee pollen granules are a nutrient-dense superfood that provides a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Consuming them regularly helps support immune function and energy levels.
It is a great healthy topping for acai bowls and, although it is difficult to describe, makes my acai bowl so much more fresh and pure.
18. Goji Berries
Goji berries are a classic healthy topping for acai bowls.
Something about the combination of fresh cold acai and the tangy crunchy goji berries makes them a great, timeless match.
Goji berries are a superfood that provides a variety of health benefits, including antioxidants, fiber, and protein. They also add a sweet and tangy flavor to your bowl!
This specific organic brand only has 7g of sugar per serving, whereas many other brands have up to 17g per serving!
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that can provide a variety of nutrients, including protein, iron, and vitamin B12. It can also help support immune function and detoxification.
This one in particular has only 10 calories per serving.
20. Matcha Powder
Matcha powder is a type of green tea that can provide a boost of energy and antioxidants.
Rather than a topping, matcha is a substitute for acai powder, which of course would give it a completely different taste and vibe. If you like Starbucks’ Matcha Latte, you’ll love a matcha smoothie bowl.
So far, I’m loving this Matcha powder by Chamberlain Coffee.
Other Healthy Toppings For Acai Bowls
21. Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
Adding crunchy coconut flakes to your acai bowl can provide a tropical flavor and healthy fats. Coconut flakes are also a good source of fiber and minerals like iron and zinc.
22. Pomegranate Seeds
These small, red, jewel-like seeds are packed with polyphenols, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
Plus, the explosive texture makes them a perfect addition as a topping for your acai bowl. They are like little capsules of citric juice that burst in your mouth. How perfect!
Healthy Acai Bowl Toppings Sugar and Calorie Contents
Use this table to draw your own conclusions about what healthy acai bowl topping is actually the most healthy and beneficial for you.
|Acai Bowl Topping||Serving Size||Calories per Serving||Sugar Grams per Serving||Nutrients/Vitamins|
|Banana Slices||1/2 banana||45 calories||6 grams||Vitamin C, Potassium, Fiber|
|Berries||½ cup||30 calories||4 grams||Vitamin C, Fiber, Antioxidants|
|Kiwi Slices||1/2 kiwi||23 calories||3 grams||Vitamin C, Fiber|
|Fresh Mango Chunks||1/2 cup||50 calories||12 grams||Vitamin C, Fiber|
|Regular Granola||½ cup||270||14 grams||Varies by brand|
|Low-Calorie, Low-Sugar Granola||½ cup||83 calories||0 grams||Protein, Fiber, Calcium, Iron, Potassium|
|Raw Nuts||1/4 cup||200 calories||1-2 grams||Protein, Healthy Fats, Magnesium, Vitamin E|
|Peanut Butter||2 tbsp||180 calories||0-3 grams||Healthy Fats, Protein, Magnesium, Vitamin E|
|Peanut Butter Crumbs||1 tbsp||75 calories||6 grams||Potassium|
|Powdered Peanut Butter||2 tbsp||60 calories||1 gram||Calcium, Potassium|
|Chia Seeds||1 tbsp||60 calories||0 grams||Fiber, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Antioxidants|
|Pumpkin Seeds||1 tbsp||50 calories||0 grams||Protein, Healthy Fats, Zinc, Magnesium|
|Hemp Seeds||1 tbsp||55 calories||0 grams||Protein, Fiber, Essential Fatty Acids|
|Flaxseed||1 tbsp||37 calories||0 grams||Fiber, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Lignans|
|Cacao Nibs||1 tbsp||60 calories||0 grams||Iron, Magnesium, Antioxidants|
|Unsweetened Cocoa Powder||1 tbsp||12 calories||0 grams||Antioxidants|
|Superfood Probiotic Powder||1 scoop||40 calories||1 grams||50 superfoods and 1 billion probiotics, Various vitamins and minerals, Antioxidants|
|Collagen Peptides||1 scoop||40 calories||0 grams||Collagen Peptides, Protein|
|Bee Pollen Granules||1 tbsp||20 calories||2 grams||Various vitamins and minerals, Antioxidants|
|Goji Berries||2 tbsp||90 calories||7 grams||Iron, Protein, Fiber, Antioxidants|
|Spirulina||1 tsp||10 calories||0 grams||Protein, Iron, Vitamin B12, Antioxidants|
|Matcha Powder||1/2 tsp||5 calories||0 grams||Catechins (a type of antioxidant), Energy Boosting|
|Unsweetened Coconut Flakes||3 tbsp||110 calories||1 grams||Fiber, Iron, Zinc, Healthy Fats|
|Pomegranate Seeds||1/4 cup||37 calories||4 grams||Antioxidants, Vitamin C, Fiber|
Note: Calorie and sugar content may vary depending on the brand, serving size, and preparation method of each topping. Use this graph only as a guide!
Common Acai Bowl Toppings to Avoid
While there are many healthy toppings that can be added to acai bowls, there are also some toppings that should be avoided or, at least, used sparingly and mindfully. Here are some examples and their substitutes:
|High Sugar Toppings||Healthy Alternatives|
Granola with added sugar
Sweetened yogurt or coconut milk
Unsweetened coconut flakes
Homemade granola made with natural sweeteners
|Processed and Artificial Toppings||Healthy Alternatives|
Chocolate chips with added sugar
Sweetened whipped cream
Dark chocolate chips without added sugar
Fresh berries or other fruit
Pure maple syrup or honey (used sparingly)
|Unhealthy Fats and Oils||Healthy Alternatives|
Processed nut butter
Sweetened coconut flakes
Natural nut butter (without added sugar or oils)
Unsweetened coconut flakes
Fresh berries or other fruit
Tips for Making a Healthy Acai Bowl
- Choose High-Quality Acai Products – When selecting acai products, look for high-quality options like frozen acai puree or acai powder. Check the ingredient list to make sure there are no added sugars or fillers.
- Watch Portion Sizes – Acai bowls can be high in calories and sugar if not portioned correctly. Aim for a serving size of about 1-2 cups of acai puree, and add toppings in moderation.
- Balance Macronutrients – To create a balanced and satisfying acai bowl, aim for a mix of macronutrients like protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Consider adding nuts or seeds for healthy fats and protein, and fruit or granola for carbohydrates.
- Consider Dietary Restrictions – If you have specific dietary needs, consider alternative toppings. For example, you could use dairy-free yogurt or almond milk instead of regular yogurt, or use gluten-free granola for a gluten-free option.
By following these tips, you can create a healthy and delicious acai bowl that is tailored to your specific dietary needs and preferences.
Choosing healthy toppings for acai bowls is crucial for maximizing the nutritional benefits and maintaining a balanced diet. By incorporating a variety of nutrient-dense toppings like fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds, you can create a delicious and satisfying meal that supports your overall health.
If acai bowl-ing is has become a daily or weekly habit for you, making sure the acai bowl is as healthy as possible while remaining tasty is a must.
Be sure to leave a comment if I missed any other cool, healthy acai bowl toppings. I’d love to try them!