So if you are anything like me, you follow a lot of healthy food blogs and accounts on Instagram. I’m always on the lookout for a good “foodie” account that features healthy, fun, and delicious creations. My favorite pictures to come across are “Acai Bowls”. Now, I’m sure by now you have seen at least one or two pictures of these smoothie bowls topped with fruits, nuts, granola, nut butters, you name it. So what exactly are these infamous “Acai Bowls”? First of all, let’s start with how to pronounce it. “Acai” is pronounced “ah-sigh-EE”. Now that we have cleared that up, let’s get down to why everyone loves these bowls so much!
The acai berry is what some like to say a cross between a grape and a blueberry when it comes to looks. It is harvested from palm trees on the Amazon River basin in South America and an incredible superfood. There are an enormous amount of benefits related to the acai berry. First and foremost, it is incredibly high in antioxidants; it is reported that the antioxidant power of the acai berry is 10 times more than red grapes! They are low in sugar and contain great sources of iron, vitamin A, fiber, and calcium. So it’s safe to say that acai berries are hard to beat!
Naturally, after seeing all of these acai bowl creations online, I decided to figure out how to create my own. I went to a local smoothie and juice café and asked what their base ingredients were for the acai bowl. I was pretty surprised that the base ingredients are relatively slim and simple: unsweetened acai powder, frozen bananas, and then any other frozen/fresh fruit you choose to add. My next stop was Whole Foods where I picked up a bag of acai berry powder and a pineapple that I was going to add to the base. I have to admit, the acai powder was pretty expensive ($29.99 for one bag!). However, I can now say that I have had this bag for several months (it keeps fresh in the refrigerator) and I still have half of it left so it is definitely worth the price. I threw two frozen bananas, 1 tablespoon of acai berry powder, and a couple of chunks of fresh cut pineapple into my Ninja blender and pulsed until I got a creamy texture. I added a little bit of water to get the blender moving but you really want to leave it up to the frozen bananas to create that thick smoothie bowl consistency.
Now comes the fun part! I took all of the fresh fruit out of my refrigerator and a couple of toppings out of my pantry. I sliced up a banana, a handful of strawberries, and blueberries for the fruit. Then I used cacao nibs, coconut flakes, organic muesli, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and fresh ground peanut butter. So yeah, you could say I’m going a little crazy with the toppings. And of course, I couldn’t just throw all of the toppings into the smoothie so I spent another 5 minutes placing everything so it would look pretty like the pictures on Instagram. Boy, did I make a top notch acai bowl!! It was so simple and I couldn’t wait to make another the next morning. The most fun part is switching up the toppings and that third ingredient in the base. You can even add some spinach to make a green smoothie bowl for something different.
All in all, if you are drooling over acai bowls on health food accounts and L.A. café blogs, it’s time to invest in some acai powder and freeze those bananas. You’ll be making acai bowls every morning for the next week, I promise!