Ever have those days…it is lunch time and NOTHING sounds good? You didn’t pack a lunch and your go-to place to grab it on the run isn’t calling your name? That was me a few weeks back so I ventured to campus to try Just Bee Açaí. I believe this is the newest food truck around town right now, and I might add, the cutest with its vintage white and yellow exterior. See for yourself on Instagram -adorable, right? My mouth waters scrolling through Emma’s feed. I drove around campus for 30 minutes trying to find a parking spot, walked in heels for a couple of blocks, and then waited in line to try my first açaí bowl.
I ordered the Bee Nutty, but had a hard time deciding between it and Bee Sweet, Bee Sassy, and Bee Merry. They all sound so good! Let me tell ya, had this food truck been on campus when I worked smack dab in the center of it, my bank account would’ve been in trouble. I’m still working at the University of Illinois, but one of the perks of my current job is that it is off campus, which means free parking, yahoo! Nevertheless, I’d fight through all the foot traffic, parallel parking jobs, construction projects, bikers, you name it, to grab another Bee Nutty bowl -so worth it! When I finished licking my bowl…yes licking, I said “I could eat that everyday.” As much as I’d like to make my way to Just Bee Açaí on a daily basis, it simply is not budget friendly. When I say that, I don’t mean that the food truck is over priced -I think they are fairly priced for the type of ingredients that they use, all good for your body! However, eating out daily is not budget friendly. So I decided that I’d try prepping my own açaí bowls for lunch, maybe it would work, maybe it wouldn’t.
I’m happy to report back that I just prepped my third week of açaí bowls for lunch so it has been a win! The first Sunday that I gave this a whirl I got a lot of questions on my Instagram stories after I posted the below prep picture. I was hesitant to share anything further because I wasn’t sure how they would hold up throughout the week. Now that I’ve had them for 14 days in counting, I think we are good to go!
Before diving in, I do want to put a disclaimer here that I have not researched the nutritional content of this recipe whatsoever. I feel good after I eat it and I love the way it tastes so I’m simply sharing the way I went about trying to recreate my own bowl. This is healthy eating for me, but I’m sure for some there might be too much sugar in here or perhaps too heavy of a helping of nuts, etc. Use your own judgement :-).
Money saving tip -grab as many of these ingredients as you can from Aldi! The açaí component can be hard to find. I’ve bought actual berries from somewhere A LONG time ago, but I can’t remember where from locally. I only remember throwing them out because I never used them, don’t you hate that? Anyhow, the first week that I made these I didn’t have luck finding açaí in the 3 stores I checked so I opted for açaí juice mixed with frozen berries from Aldi instead. The second week, I found the Sambazon Acaí Blend at Target in the frozen section -this works perfect! I bought it again this week, but got the Pure Unsweetened instead of the Original Blend…the Original Blend is by far my favorite.
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I use a Ninja similar to this one for mixing, but am debating whether I want to break out our blender or not. It is still packed away in an effort to reduce the amount of space that all of our small appliances take up. With my Ninja, I’ve got to make 2 rounds to make 5 servings. With a blender, or something larger, you might be able to reduce that to 1 round. These containers have been working well for me -I found some similar at Meijer for cheaper.
The process of making these is really simple…
Step 1) Place the four açaí packs in hot water to thaw them out. I just fill a drinking glass with hot water and plop them in for a couple of minutes.
Step 2) Squeeze the contents of 2 açaí packs into Ninja.
Step 3) Add 4-6 frozen strawberries.
Step 4) Fill Ninja up to the max line with Almond Milk and blend.
Step 5) Pour blended mixture into containers. This will give you enough for 2.5 containers.
Step 6) Repeat steps above so that you can fill all containers for a week’s worth of lunch!
Step 7) Sprinkle the remaining ingredients into containers. I start with the fruit, then granola, then nuts, then seeds, and if I’m feeling extra -I drizzle some honey on the top. Week two I also used blackberries, you can pick and choose what you like best!
Step 8) Store in your freezer. I bring one to lunch with me and just place it in the fridge at work until around noon or so. You can eat it when it is still a little frozen, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to thaw it some more, or perhaps pull it out of the fridge sooner.
Then…enjoy your moment with your delicious concoction. It has been a long time since I have found something that I can eat daily and not get bored of -this DIY Açaí Bowl has been a pleasant surprise for me and I hope that it is for your too! Please do yourself a favor though if you live in the Champaign-Urbana area and check out Just Bee Açaí, if it weren’t for these sweet little food truck I wouldn’t have thought to try this out!