Açaí bowl

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Açaí is a fruit, specifically a berry, that is grown primarily in Brazil. Ads for products that contain this popular berry claim that it can help with everything from cancer to weight loss. Before I continue, I will warn you to exercise extreme caution when it comes to those product claims. While açaí may offer health benefits, scams for supplements and other açaí products run rampant on the internet. As with most things, if it sounds too good to be true it is.

Super powers aside, açaí is delicious and good for you. To make smoothies and bowls quick and easy, frozen packets of açaí puree can be found in some supermarkets (I have found them at Nugget and Whole Foods markets).

This morning I re-created a bowl that I had in Hawaii last week and the result was fantastic. Roadside strawberry stands have begun to open where I live and the spring strawberries are, in my opinion, the best of the year! They are shiny, tender, and oh so sweet!

I mixed my açaí puree with vanilla soy yogurt for extra protein. I think next time I might try reducing the amount of yogurt and adding 1/2 a frozen banana to the mix to keep it a bit thicker. Here is my recipe from today, feel free to tweak it as you wish!

Allison's Açaí Bowl
Serves 1

1 packet frozen açaí puree
1/2 - 1 cup vanilla soy yogurt
1/2 cup granola (vanilla flavor is extra good)
1 sliced banana
4 sliced strawberries

1. Using a blender, combine the açaí and yogurt. Pour mixture into a bowl and top with granola and sliced bananas and strawberries.

Some ideas for recipe tweaks:
  1. Reduce the yogurt to 1/4-1/2 cup and add 1/2 a frozen banana to the puree. Add a splash of apple juice, if necessary, to make blending easier but keep the mixture thick.
  2. Drizzle agave nectar or honey over the top of the berries and bananas if you like things a little sweeter.
  3. Add 1 Tbsp of hemp seeds for extra protein and iron (either to the puree or sprinkled over the top).
  4. Use tropical fruit such as mango, pineapple, or papaya instead of banana and strawberries. Top with a sprinkle of shredded coconut.
A note on sustainability: Because açaí is grown in the Amazon rainforest, it is important to consider the environmental aspects of getting this berry from Brazil to your breakfast table. While it isn't possible for most of us to buy local açaí, we can do our best to support companies that practice sustainable farming. Take a look at the Sambazon website, here, for more information.

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