One of my most favorite treats is the delicious Acai bowls. Pronounce Ah-Sy-Ee-- it's a fruit native to both Central and South America and resembles large blueberries. There are a few key differences between them though- unlike blueberries, acai is full of antioxidants and considered to be a super food. They're also a great dietary supplement since they contain high levels of important fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6.
They're found on tall palm trees in the Brazilian rain forest and are often times hard to get. Locals risk their lives climbing high in to the trees to harvest them and prepare them for shipping around the world. Also unlike blueberries and other fruits, you won't acai at your local grocery store. You'll have to visit a health food store to buy them.
Fun Fact: Acai can be eaten raw, juiced or in pill form-- but brace yourself, they can be very bitter when eaten alone.
Antioxidants can protect the body by preventing heart disease, diabetes and various cell's from being damaged by the oxidative process. Antioxidants can also help slow down the aging process.
So what's an acai bowl and why are they so popular?
An acai bowl is similar to a smoothie where you add your favorite fruits and eat altogether as a quick and healthy meal. If you enjoy acai as much as I do, you'll know that the tasty snack can start to add up, which is why I tried my hand at making my own.
I looked up a few different recipes online and decided to come up with my own concoction. If you're interested in making your own acai bowl, here's how I made mine:
I bought frozen açai packets from the grocery store along with some frozen mixed berries. I added in fresh strawberries, bananas, apple juice, granola and agave to create my masterpiece. I also added chia seeds for extra nutritional value.
In a blender, I mixed 2 lightly thawed açai packets with some frozen mixed berries. Don't thaw your acai all the way since you don't want it melted. You want the packets to be soft enough to blend but not melted enough to be runny. They should be the consistency of a popsicle.
I also used apple juice as a liquid to help blend the ingredients together. Other recommendations for a liquid substitute include water, fruit juice or cranberry juice.
Once the ingredients are mixed to a slush consistency, pour them into a bowl and top with your favorite fruits. You can use raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, mangoes, kiwis, bananas, peaches, etc. Your mixture is completely up to you.
You can also top your bowl with granola, sliced almonds, coconut shavings, chia and/or hemp seeds, agave, honey, peanut butter or even nutella!
Once your bowl is complete you'll want to enjoy it as quickly as possible. If it melts it tends to have the consistency of melted ice cream and can be very messy. Enjoy your acai bowl for breakfast or as a mid day snack on a warm day and the best thing about it is that you don't have to feel guilty for eating the entire thing! With the super foods, fruits, nuts and granola- it's a healthy pleasure you'll want to enjoy over and over again.
I'm happy I took the time out to learn how to this delicious treat which means I no longer have to spend upwards of $15 on them! Practice makes perfect and I plan to keep practicing until I perfect it. Thanks for reading and if you enjoyed this blog, feel free to share! Sharing is caring!!