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I tried 5 frozen acai packs from the grocery store to see which produced the best homemade smoothie bowl

five packets of frozen acai from the grocery store on a wooden surfaceI found five varieties of frozen acai at local grocery stores.

Meredith Schneider

  • Acai bowls have gained popularity over the years, but they can be pricey at smoothie shops.
  • I tried five types of frozen acai from three grocery-store brands to find the best one.
  • I made tasty smoothie bowls at home with all the packs, but one from Trader Joe’s stood out. 

The US acai-bowl-shop industry brings in nearly $1 billion in revenue a year, and it’s not hard to see why.

The native Brazillian berries are considered a superfood, with antioxidants that can have positive effects on your skin, digestive system, and heart

Plus, in my opinion, there’s nothing better than a chilled smoothie bowl on a spring or summer morning.

The bowls are typically thicker than traditional smoothies and topped with things like fruit, yogurt, peanut butter, coconut, and granola. Store-bought acai bowls can eat away at my budget, so I recently started making them at home with frozen acai packs as my base.

In an attempt to find the best bang for my buck and the tastiest homemade smoothie bowl, I tried five varieties of frozen acai from three popular brands.

I used the same ingredients for all five bowls. honey, yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit on a counter for a smoothie bowlI like to top my smoothie bowls with fresh fruit and granola.

Meredith Schneider

To keep things consistent, I blended one banana, one frozen acai pack, and a spoonful of honey-vanilla Greek yogurt for each smoothie bowl.

I then topped all five with fresh berries, banana slices, chia seeds, high-protein granola, and local organic honey.

I started with Sambazon’s unsweetened superfruit pack.pack of sambazon frozen unsweetened acai superfruit packs on a wooden surfaceI liked that the Sambazon superfruit packs had no added sugar.

Meredith Schneider

Sambazon’s unsweetened superfruit packs only had 80 calories per serving and 0 grams of sugar.

I had a hard time tracking down the brand in stores, so I opted to order it online.

The Sambazon packs had the heftiest price tag. But it was only $6 for four servings, which is still better than buying a smoothie bowl.

Even though the acai wasn’t sweet, the smoothie bowl had a lovely flavor.smoothie bowl with granola, chia seeds, strawberry, banana, and blackberriesThe fruit in the other ingredients and toppings balanced out the acai.

Meredith Schneider

Even though the plain acai was a little bitter, the finished smoothie bowl tasted well-balanced.

The texture, however, was a little runnier than I usually like — even though I used the same ratios as the other bowls.

I also tried the Sambazon original acai blend.package of sambazon original frozen acai packs on a wooden surfaceThe original Sambazon packs have acai and guarana in them.

Meredith Schneider

If you want a natural boost in your smoothie bowl, Sambazon’s original acai packs also contain guarana, a caffeinated plant that grows in the Amazon.

Each serving has 100 calories and 12 grams of sugar, and the original packs were also $6 for four servings.

The smoothie bowl was much sweeter than my first Sambzaon experience. smoothie bowl with chia seeds, blackberries, banana, strawberries, and granolaThe Sambazon original acai packs were quite sweet.

Meredith Schneider

If you have a sweet tooth, Sambazon’s original blend is a great option.

The overall flavor was also much lighter than the pure unsweetened acai.

I was excited to try Trader Joe’s organic acai puree packets.package of trader joes unsweetened organic frozen acai puree packets on a wooden surfaceTrader Joe’s has its own frozen acai.

Meredith Schneider

Trader Joe’s frozen acai is unsweetened and organic.

Like the other unsweetened pack I tried, it had 80 calories and 0 grams of sugar.

The four-pack bag cost $4, making it the cheapest of the bunch.

I loved how thick the smoothie bowl was. smoothie bowl with granola, blackberries, strawberries, chia seeds, and bananaTrader Joe’s acai is great if you like a lot of toppings.

Elizabeth Schneider

The bowl I made with Trader Joe’s acai tasted the freshest and brightest of all the varieties.

It also had the thickest consistency, which was great for supporting lots of toppings — plus the bowl stayed pretty for pictures for a longer time.

Pitaya Foods’ organic premium acai berry packs were also sugar-free. package of pitaya foods organic premium frozen acai berry smoothie packs on a wooden surfaceI found two varieties of acai packs from Pitaya Foods.

Meredith Schneider

Like Sambazon, Pitaya Foods had a few different frozen acai packs. I started with the brand’s premium acai berry.

Each 88-calorie serving has 0 grams of sugar.

I found the four-pack listed on the company’s website for $8, but I was able to snag the same bag at my local Walmart for $5.

There was an interesting texture to my smoothie bowl. smoothie bowl with chia seeds, blackberries, bananas, strawberries, and granolaPitaya, or dragon fruit, is another popular base for smoothie bowls.

Meredith Schneider

The company’s namesake fruit, pitaya (also known as dragon fruit), is another popular base for smoothie bowls.

I thought the texture of the smoothie bowl I made more closely resembled a pitaya base than acai, but it was still thick and creamy.

Finally, I tried Pitaya Foods’ organic energy acai berry packs.package of pitaya foods organic energy frozen acai berry smoothie packs on a wooden surfaceThe Pitaya packs closely resembled the Sambazon acai I tried.

Meredith Schneider

Pitaya Foods’ guarana blend had 108 calories and 10 grams of sugar per serving.

The ingredients were just guarana and cane sugar, and a four-serving bag cost me $5.

I couldn’t find a difference between this and the other guarana blend. acai bowl with granola, bananas, strawberries, blackberries, and chia seedsThe sweet smoothie had a boost of caffeine.

Meredith Schneider

Pitaya Foods’ caffeinated acai packs tasted almost identical to Sambazon’s guarana blend.

But it was lighter in color compared to the other smoothie bowls I made.

Trader Joe’s frozen acai mimicked a shop-bought bowl best.cat sticking its head over a smoothie bowl with lots of colorful toppingsI’d buy Trader Joe’s frozen acai again.

Meredith Schneider

Trader Joe’s topped my favorites list for this taste test.

Although the nutritional value was on par with Sambazon’s unsweetened option, the price and convenience (I shop at Trader Joe’s a lot) brought it to No. 1.

But in the end, all five options were tasty — and economical compared to shop-bought smoothie bowls.

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