The Açaí Bowl

I’m not going to lie, when I was studying abroad in Brazil, I did not care for Açaí…Which is a bummer really, considering Brazil is the Land of Açaí. Men (in tiny bathing suits) run down the beach carrying coolers on their backs shouting “Açaí, Açaí, Açaí!” and if you call them over, they pull out a small bowl of the purple superfood and a pack of granola, selling you the nutritious and hearty treat to enjoy while you laze and tan (read: burn) in the hot, Brazilian sun.

I didn’t like the stuff. Something about the taste put me off, not sure exactly what it was. I wanted to like it so I kept trying it, but it wasn’t my thing so I focused on other Brazilian treats (sooooo many pão de queijo) and didn’t think much of it.

Fast forward a few years and Berry Bowl opened up in Highland Park on York Boulevard. After a few months of avoiding it because the smoothies seemed insanely over priced, I walked in with a friend, enjoying a leisurely morning and was tempted by their Açaí Bowls. They mixed in other fruits and tastes to switch it up, offering a lot of different renditions of the original açaí na tigela from Brazil. As a sucker for Peanut Butter, I obviously went for their PB Açaí Bowl.

I am now an açaí convert and will never turn back. Mixing these power packed berries with other fruits and flavors was a game changer. I quickly became addicted and needed to be able to make them at home. I wanted to save the money, the plastic cup, and some calories, since I can control what I put in and how big I make my bowls!

Unlike other berries, açaí is fairly high in calories and higher in fats than other fruits so I do not recommend eating this on the regular, or on days when you are just sitting around the house, catching up on (read: binge watching) your netflix shows. But when paired with an active lifestyle, this can be a wonderful breakfast to refuel and I love it after a workout for a boost!

You can buy Açaí puree in certain grocery stores. I buy mine at Vons. Make sure you get the UNSWEETENED variety – otherwise it is packed with unnecessary sugar.

The Açaí Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 pack Sambazon Pure Unsweetened Açaí
  • 1/2 banana (I like it frozen, but it takes longer to blend up!)
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • Approx. 1/4 cup almond milk (incorporated slowly)
  • Optional: 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • Toppings: 1/2 banana, berries of your choice, granola, coconut, nuts, anything!

Directions

  1. Remove your pack of açaí from the freezer and run it under hot water for 10 seconds so it softens slightly. Break it into pieces and put in your blender. Add your other frozen fruit and pour a LITTLE bit of the almond milk.
  2. Blend until it stops and is too thick to continue. Stir a bit, scrape down the sides, add a little more almond milk. Continue blending.
  3. Continue adding more milk and scraping down the sides if necessary to get it blending. Try not to add too much milk at once because then you’ll have a smoothie and not a bowl (not the end of the world).
  4. Once blending successfully, add the Peanut Butter if you want. Blend to mix and then stop.
  5. Pour into a bowl. Top with your favorites and serve. Alternative? Put it in a jar and take it on the go! Just keep cold until you eat it!

Other potential add-ins? Flax powder, chocolate hazelnut spread , almond butter, frozen strawberries, frozen mango…the possibilities are endless! I’m excited to try a bunch of other combinations too.

What are your favorite açaí toppings???? 🙂

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