Following my college graduation last May, I traveled to California for the first time in my life. Spending a week there was pure and utter bliss—is it possible to go there and not fall in love?

One of my favorite things about San Diego was the abundance of healthy choices on every restaurant menu. (I mean, I swear everything I ate was served with fresh avocado.) My particular obsession, though, was with the juice and smoothie bars, which was where I was introduced to the delectable acai bowl. Packed with nutrients and topped with fresh fruit, it was the perfect way to start a day in the sun.

While there's no denying I miss my visits to the juice bar, that's not to say I've been deprived of these bowls. Acai packs are available at a variety of grocery stores (I found them at Sprouts and Whole Foods), and can also be purchased online. The berries themselves are a rich source of antioxidants and provide a boost of energy to help kick-start your day. Honestly, this bowl is like eating soft-serve for breakfast, except it's nutritious, flavorful, and beautiful, too.

One last tip: Place a bowl in the freezer the night before, then serve the blend in the cold bowl. This will help prevent the smoothie from melting too quickly.

Acai Berry Smoothie Bowl


For the smoothie: 1 frozen unsweetened acai pack, such as Sambazon 1/2 frozen banana 1/2 cup mixed frozen berries (such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries) 1/3 cup plain unsweetened almond milk

Toppings: 1 tbsp granola 1/2 fresh kiwi, sliced 1/2 fresh banana, sliced 2 tbsp blueberries 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes

Run the frozen acai pack under warm water for a few seconds before unwrapping. Remove it from its packaging, break it up into chunks, and add it to your blender/food processor. Add the frozen banana, mixed berries, and a drizzle of the almond milk, and begin to blend. Slowly drizzle in the remaining almond milk until you have reached your desired consistency (I like mine pretty thick). Pour into a bowl, and sprinkle on the toppings. Enjoy!

New to smoothie bowls? Grab some tips at the first post in this series.

Makes 1 serving CALORIES 294; FAT 11.14g (sat 4.55g, mono 0.32g, poly 0.28g); PROTEIN 4.09g; CARB 49.02g; FIBER 8.4g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 2.6mg; SODIUM 89.7mg; CALC 138mg