Acai Berry Bowl
This is totally what all the cool kids eat.
Acai bowls (pronounced ah-sah-ee) are one of the hottest little health tickets around. Venture to any juice bar or health food joint, and find one of these bowls on the menu for over $10 a pop. Instead of shelling out an arm and a leg every time you crave an acai bowl, however, just buy a package of acai powder or pulp instead – so you can make delicious bowls of purple goodness for weeks on end.
We’re being smart with our superfoods here.
So why do I want you to eat an unpronounceable berry anyway? Because when used in big smoothie bowls, acai berries are absolutely delicious and oh so good for you too.
What is acai? Acai are long reddish-purple berries that come from the acai palm tree, native to Central and South America. Throughout the Amazon, cultures have touted the berries for centuries as healing, energy boosting fruit filled with vitamins, healthy fats, and minerals. Acai berries have only found themselves in western cultures in the past few years, where their health claims are still being tested and studied. What we do know is that these little berries go rancid quite quickly, so we can only consume them stateside in the form of pulp or powder. Like all berries, acai berries are thought to be loaded with antioxidants – vital for protection against cell damaging free radicals. Antioxidants in our diet are thought to neutralize the damage of free radicals to our lovely cells, therefore are incredibly important in fighting off diseases and inflammation. Other health claims note acai berries to aid in weight loss, digestion, improved cellular health, anti-aging effects, and better circulation.
So, in order to reap full goodness from our little berries, we’re putting them in a big smoothie bowl with tons of other goodies. A base of frozen bananas provides the creamiest, dessert-like texture while adding in heaps of potassium and prebiotics too. A handful of frozen berries ups the antioxidant capacity and gives our bowl more beautifying vitamins. Almond milk helps to blend it all up, spinach gives you your daily iron packed greens, and tons of crunchy and interesting toppings make this bowl a satisfying and delicious breakfast or lunch!
Acai Berry Bowl
2 ripe bananas, frozen
1 cup frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries)
1 heaping tablespoon of acai powder (or 1 packet of frozen acai pulp)
A handful of spinach
½ cup unsweetened almond milk (add more or less for a thinner or thicker texture)
Simply combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until thick and creamy. Spoon into a big bowl and top with a variety of delicious toppings (see below) and enjoy!
Acai Berry Bowl Toppings: Because I like to change up my acai bowls from time to time, your topping options are endless. Be sure to try a few tablespoons of: berries, sliced bananas, mango, papaya, pears, unsweetened coconut flakes, hemp seeds, nuts, seeds, chia seeds, bee pollen, cacao nibs, nut butter, goji berries, granola, avocado, or dried fruits.
Notes / You can find acai powder at most health food stores (in the superfoods section) or online. Look for packages of frozen pulp in the freezer section – I can find it at Whole Foods!