My best friend Kelly visited Brazil a few years ago. I haven’t made it to Brazil yet so other than their love of Carnival, which BTW I hear comes second to Trinidad’s, I don’t know much about the country. Ok, lies. I do know that Brazilian people tend to be drop-dead gorgeous with idealistic curves and perfectly glowing skin. And now that I think about it, perhaps it’s because they consume so much ACAÍ??(!!!)
Anyway, Kelly and I planned to meet up for brunch and she decided the acaí bowl shop seven minutes from my apartment (unbeknownst to me!) would make for the perfect tête-à-tête. This, friends, is the moment I was introduced to the decadent, fruit-forward, straight-from-heaven concept that are acaí bowls. Apparently they hail from Brazil and are made with none other than acaí berries (which aren’t really berries).
According to Kelly, acaí bowls are the top street food in Brazil. She said people eat them like popsicles. I believe it. A frozen explosion of superfood flavors in your mouth. I’d eat them like candy too. This is better than candy though because it’s filled with antioxidants and fiber and there’s claims that acaí berries also promote skin health, heart health, weight loss and even prevention of cancer among other things. This Healthline article outlines many of the reasons you should consider making it a breakfast staple. Pair that with the healthy goodness of the toppings, like sliced bananas, raspberries, mangos, shredded coconut, chia seeds, hemp seeds and you’re golden.
Now here’s the kicker, fresh acaí berries are not available outside of the Amazon and have a short shelf life. This could be why, tiny little acaí bowls started at $13.99 at that shop Kelly took me to. To my additional dismay, as I started seeking out more acaí shops I discovered that was the going rate (and oftentimes more). And though I was hooked on this delicious superfood, I was not $13.99 hooked, so I decided to find my own way. Amazon as per usual, came to save the day.
Turns out you can buy acai freeze-dried organic powder and make my own homemade acaí bowl. I was skeptical at first, convinced it wouldn’t taste the same but the homemade acaí bowl I whipped up one morning came pretty darn close.
Above is the acaí powder I like to buy. I tend to purchase in bulk if available because its slightly more affordable and I tend to use 3-4 heaping tablespoons every time to give it that dark beautiful purple color. I keep each pack in the freezer because in my mind it stays fresher.
The best part of this delicious breakfast/snack/dessert is that you can top it with other “superfoods” for a jam packed healthy treat.
I particularly like adding chia seeds since they provide an extra dose of antioxidants, protein and fiber. Hemp seeds too are said to reduce your risk of heart disease and are a great source of vitamin E and minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.
Goji berries are also a great topper. Research shows goji berries too have a myriad of health benefits, among them improving depression, anxiety and sleep. In addition to helping with liver damage and stabilizing blood sugar levels. I also get these from Amazon.
Moral of the story here is that you can personalize your acaí bowl with a multitude of healthy options for a result bursting with “superfoods.” Blend in what you love! For the base, I tend to throw in whatever frozen fruit I happen to buy that month. Usually it’s a combination of berries, mangos and peaches. The star of course is the frozen banana. It’s crucial because it’s what gives the base a nice creamy consistency. I typically freeze my own bananas once they start going a little bit brown. Again, it’s much more affordable.
Friends: With this homemade acaí bowl, you’ll find the flavor is there, the health benefits are there, and you’ll be $13.99 richer every time you make one.
I think it’s time you try whipping up this magical breakfast/anytime snack/ice cream replacement at home because it will literally satisfy any sweet tooth craving while making you feel great. Let me know how it goes!
Elsie's Super Homemade Acaí Bowl
A super easy homemade Acaí Bowl charged with plenty of SUPERFOOD ingredients that will make you feel great inside and out. Try it for breakfast, dessert or as an anytime snack to fight off sweet tooth cravings!
- 3-4 tablespoons freeze dried Acaí powder
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup frozen fruit such as strawberries, mangos, berries, peaches etc.
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (optional, makes it extra creamy!)
- 1/4 cup choice of milk (add more if fruit isn’t blending easily) Toppings:
- Your favorite granola mix
- Shredded coconut
- Goji berries
- Seasonal fresh fruit such as raspberries, blueberries, mango, peaches
- 1/2 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
- In a blender, add frozen banana, half of the frozen fruit and milk. Blend. Add the rest of the frozen fruit and yogurt (if using). Blend again. Blend in small pulses until the mixture looks smooth but chunky. Add in acaí powder and blend until smooth. Note that depending on the quality of your blender, you may have to stop a few times to hand mix the fruit to ensure everything is blending. You might also have to play around with your blender settings until you achieve the desired consistency. A smooth but thick paste will make for a nice acaí bowl base. Pour each serving into bowls.
Assemble the toppings one by one, in a line, for visual impact. Use as much or as little of each topping as you’d like. Photograph for the insta. Once you’re ready to eat, mix everything together and enjoy!
- Let the frozen banana sit on the counter for 5 minutes before using. This will make it easier to remove the peel.
- If you make too much of the base, you can actually save it to eat later by storing in the fridge or freezer (just remember to defrost). It’s definitely better fresh, but you’ll be able to quickly assemble a healthy breakfast the next day.
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