How to make your own acai bowls: A Q&A with The Big Squeezy

Want to know how to DIY an acai bowl to beat the summer heat?

We spoke with Ash Shoukry from The Big Squeezy to get tips on how to construct the chilling, filling and fruity bowls. Working from the bottom of the bowl to the toppings, Shoukry describes the process behind assembling the perfect healthy dessert. Visit The Big Squeezy to try a bowl, or use these tips to make your own bowls from home. Either way, you’ll get a kick of antioxidants, energy and a cool treat. 

Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.

File photo

What are the essential components for the base in an acai bowl?

Blended strawberries, blueberries, banana and acai, blended into a frozen puree. Acai is what makes an acai bowl—but it cannot be the only ingredient. Other frozen fruits blended together with the acai make the puree rich with nutrients and filling at the same time. 

What kinds of fresh fruit are most popular for people to include?

Depending on the seasonality, we’d like to use a lot more kiwi, mangoes or apples. Staying in season—using fruits at the peak of ripeness—is the key to an acai bowl that is both nutritious and flavorful. 

What about toppings—what are you seeing customers gravitate toward?

Granola is signature, and then agave and honey. But we also have peanut butter, Nutella and almond butter, so that our customers can have a choice. And coconut sprinkles.

So, if you’re looking at it in layers to make at home, it would be puree at the bottom, followed by granola and fruit, and then the different toppings like nut butter, agave, honey and coconut on top?

Absolutely. And customers sometimes have their peanut butter put on the bottom, or peanut butter or protein powder blended inside the puree. 

What are the health benefits of acai bowls? 

The more antioxidants, the better. Using a lot of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries increases antioxidant intake. 

And blueberries are always used in the puree?

Always. So, you’re getting that antioxidant kick, as well as fresh blueberries on top. The reason that people really like the acai berry is that it’s a high total antioxidant in the puree, so they’re getting that real health kick.

What is your personal taste when it comes to making an acai bowl?

I call my favorite the California blend. I like it with a lot of strawberries, extra granola on the top and the bottom, and a splash of agave. And I like mine out of a cup instead of a bowl. Alvin Kamara (Shoukry’s partner at the Big Squeezy and running back for the New Orleans Saints) likes it with extra granola, lots of blueberries, no bananas, a splash of agave and honey, and no coconut.

The Big Squeezy has multiple locations. For more info, follow it on Instagram at @bigsqueezyjuicery.