Chocolate Acai Protein Bowl

I made you lunch. 

Or breakfast.

Chocolate protein acai bowl

Or a late-night snack.

Chocolate acai bowl

In the world of things that make zero sense, I’ve been craving cold foods lately. Nothing like scraping ice off your windshield and breathing hot air into your hands to make you think, “Mmm, I could go for a SMOOTHIE right now.”

Chocolate protein acai bowl

I also really want another spray tan… even though my golden glow will be covered in Patagonia jackets and beanies. YOLO, my friends.

Anyway, let’s talk about this acai bowl. 

Chocolate Acai Protein Bowl

From the surface, it looks kind of like all of the basic acai bowls. Here’s what makes this chocolate acai bowl different: it’s loaded with superfoods (hemp seeds! cacao nibs! goji berries!), filled with protein (we’ll talk about that in a sec), and there’s a giant blob of almond butter hidden in there.

Chocolate protein acai bowl with almond butter

Livi says, “That’s how it’s done.”

So, let’s chat about the protein powder. I was really stoked to try out something new, since I’m always experimenting with different types of (mostly plant-based) protein. I’ve dabbled a bit in egg white and goat whey, and decided to try this hemp protein after hearing Shaun rave about it.

Every week when I dive into the podcast, I hear him gush about Hemp Force protein, so finally I was like, “Ok, ok, I’ll try it” (and give him affiliate credit because I like him so dang much.)

But you guys. It’s terrible.

Chocolate protein acai bowl ingredients

I love the ingredients, but someone get a liiiiittle heavy-handed with the Stevia. It takes a lot to cover up that woodsy hemp taste, but it’s intense. I still love Shaun, but now I’m skeptical about trying anything else hahah. I’ve made this bowl again since then with egg white protein and Shakeology and it was much, much better.

Here’s the how-to if you’d like to give it a whirl!

1) Make the acai base. I have a whole post on how to do it here! If you want it really thick and creamy, use two packs of the Sambazon acai. I prefer to use 1 pack, 1 cup of almond milk, 1 scoop protein powder (chocolate or vanilla), and 1/3 of a banana for a hint of sweetness. If you want it to be sweeter, use apple juice instead of almond milk.

2) Pour it into a bowl and add your almond butter or peanut butter blob.

3) Top with granola!! I LOVE this homemade granola. For this particular bowl, I used a pack of Blissful Eats Nicole sent me. It was delicious.

Chocolate protein acai bowl

4) Add fresh fruit and toppings. The standard fruit toppings can range from classic (banana, blueberries, strawberries), to tropical (pineapple, papaya, coconut, mango), or anything else you love (raspberries, peaches, pomegranate arils, dried fruit, etc). For texture and a boost of nutrients, I also love to add anything I have on hand, like hemp seeds, chia seeds, goji berries, or cacao nibs. I’ve been ordering all of our packaged superfoods from Thrive Market <— the best

Bonus: drizzle with hot peanut butter and top with mini chocolate chips. 

So there ya go! Super easy, and so, so delicious. 

Tell me friends: have you had an acai bowl? If so, what’s your favorite combo? And if you ever find yourself in San Diego, here are my acai bowl rankings:

1: Tiki Port

2: Cafe by the Bay

3: The Mad Beet

4: Northside Shack

5: Juice Crafters

6: Nekter Juice Bar

7: OB Smoothies

Acai bowls




How to make an acai bowl

Pumpkin acai bowls with cranberry crunch

My version of the bowl of the gods

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  1. Nathaly Abrahan on January 26, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Oh my God. I was so not prepared to read that “you guys. It’s terrible” after the preview haha.

    For one moment I thought I could have found the right plant based protein for me. One that has a good flavor (I don’t really like the flavor of whey protein either). But anyways… I guess I’ll just have to keep living my life without drinking protein shakes whatsoever haha.

  2. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on January 26, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Protein powders are so hit or miss. I had one with hemp last year that was awesome, but then tried the one you mentioned above and it was horrible. So yeah, you just have to hold your breath when you try them and say a little prayer it’s gonna turn out like a recipe!

  3. Crystal on January 26, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Ugh, I love smoothies and acai bowls, but it is way too damn cold for that right now (in the Midwest anyway). I’ll bookmark this recipe to try when it gets a little warmer lol.
    p.s., I’m laughing because I’m wearing a Patagonia fleece right now.

  4. Sam @ Hygge Wellness on January 26, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Gina – this looks AMAZING! I want to make this pronto. I’m going to try it with Sunwarrior… I’ll let you know how it goes : )

    • Alyssa on January 26, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      I love sunwarrior!

    • Fitnessista on January 27, 2017 at 11:58 am

      please let me know what you think!

  5. Alyssa on January 26, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    These look amazing. So pretty and delicious! I’m so curious about spray tanning. Does it last awhile?

    • Fitnessista on January 27, 2017 at 11:58 am

      it lasts about 10 days or so. i found the best nontoxic place is san diego.. right before we moved

  6. Lauren on January 26, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Hi Gina! Can’t wait to try out the recipe. Lately I’ve been using this protein powder and I LOVE it: I saw it in a blog that I read so I decided to try it out even though it’s quite expensive. The ingredients and nutrition stats are amazing, and it tastes great (sort of just like plain cacao powder with some cacao nibs in it). I’ve been putting it in my smoothies and really enjoy it! Just thought I’d share 🙂

    • Fitnessista on January 27, 2017 at 11:57 am

      ahhh that looks SO GOOD. love the nutrition stats, too! i might need to order some

  7. Kerry on January 27, 2017 at 5:03 am

    SFH makes a grass fed whey coconut protein powder that actually tastes delicious. It’s stupid expensive but if you order directly from them it’s a better deal. All other protein powders do weird things to my stomach and this one doesn’t.

    • Fitnessista on January 27, 2017 at 11:56 am

      i’ll look into that. thank you!! it looks amazing and chocolate-y 🙂

  8. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine on January 31, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Yum! I am totally into smoothie bowls right now too– but I’ve never bought the acai packets!

  9. Jeanne on February 20, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Hi Gina,
    I’ve been trying to find a good, non-dairy protein powder for a while. But when I shop for one at Amazon or Whole Foods, the options are overwhelming! Is there one (or more) – either in chocolate or vanilla that you would recommend? Tempted to try Shakeology, but not sure if there is something better/less expensive.
    Thank you!!

  10. Ally@OmNomAlly on April 15, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    This looks so amazing that I want to eat it for breakfast and dessert – and every meal in-between!

    I feel the same about hemp protein too, I’ve found it only really goes well with other ‘green’ ingredients in shakes or balls – other than that I can’t overcome the flavour :S

  11. rachel on July 3, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Burts Bees makes a great protein powder!!!

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