Acai berries come from the acai palm tree native to the Rainforest of South America. They are a grape-like fruit, small in size and black-purple in color. Research shows that acai berries are extremely high in anthocyanins, a form of plant antioxidant associated with the ability to lower cholesterol levels in the blood stream. They are also rich in plant sterols that provide cardio-protective benefits to our cells. It does this by preventing blood clots, improving overall blood circulation, and relaxing the blood vessels. Acai berry packs more grams of protein than an egg and when combined with its host of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, acai has been shown to improve the look and texture of your hair, skin and nails.
Today, the most common form of acai is the juice, which Amazon inhabitants make by macerating the ripe berry, skin and all. If you want to incorporate acai into your daily diet, you can purchase acai juice in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. Make sure to read the label as you don’t want to buy an acai-based juice that has added sugar and very little pure acai. The first ingredient on the bottle should be acai. You can also buy frozen smoothie packs at your local health food store which is what I prefer. I bought Sambazon’s unsweetened smoothie packs which are great for smoothies as well as the famous Acai bowl. If you can’t find it in your local health food store, check out our Amazon store which has all of the essential super-foods
2MOMs in the kitchen store:http://astore.amazon.com/2momsinthekit-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=2
Banana, Chia, ah sigh eee smoothie
2 frozen acai smoothie packs
1 Tbsp of chia seeds
2 Tbsp of 100% organic or raw honey (or sweetener of your choice–such as stevia or agave)
1 Kiwi, peeled, thinly sliced (optional)
Cup Blueberries (optional)
1 banana, frozen
1/2 Cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk
Blend acai smoothie packs, honey, banana, and almond milk until smooth. While that is blending take the sliced kiwi and place the thin slices into the side of a wide-mouthed cup (makes for a beautiful presentation) Pour the mixture into the cup and add 1 Tbsp of chia seeds and a couple of blueberries.
Acai Bowl in 3 easy steps:
2 acai smoothie packs
Splash of almond milk
1 fresh or frozen banana
Toppings (fruit, nuts, chia seeds, ground flaxseed–all optional but for an extra burst of flavor, texture and of course nutrients–definitely recommended)
Dollop of Coconut milk (optional-for a creamy coconut flavor)
First blend together two acai smoothie packs like the one I purchased above, add a generous splash of liquid such as almond, soy, coconut or rice milk. (I used vanilla almond milk) and some frozen fruit (optional). I like to add one fresh or frozen banana. Blend the ingredients in a blender until creamy, but still very thick and frosty.
TIP: To prevent your acai mixture from getting too thin, add the liquid to the blender gradually. You want to blend until the mixture is as thick as ice cream. If you find the mixture to be too thick, just add in more liquid, again gradually until it is smooth and ready to eat.
After your acai is the consistency of ice cream, spoon it out into a chilled bowl to keep the acai mixture from quickly melting. You could also add some frozen fruits to the bottom of the bowl, adding the mixture on top.
There are so many amazing toppings to add to the flavor of your (ah sigh eee). Choose toppings that you already have in your cabinets or refrigerator and try to eat fresh fruits that are in season. You can add fresh fruits, chopped nuts, cacao nibs, a splash of coconut milk, unsweetened coconut shreds, ground flaxseed, chia seeds or even a spoonful of Organic peanut or almond butter.
Your acai bowl is ready to eat, enjoy! 🙂
Real Life Experience:
I remember back in 2009 Acai became hugely popular. Suddenly, every talk show and news program was talking about this SUPERFOOD that can help you to lose weight. I’d never purchased it or did any research on it to see what it was all about since I was skinny and loving life back in 09. Fast forward to November of 2012, I took a flight down to Rincon, PR to meet my sister and her daughter at their condo for a weeks long vacation with my then 6 month old son (Lord knows I needed a vacation). One morning my sister, the kids and I jumped in the car to get breakfast. She took us to Bananadang. It’s a cute little coffee bar with some great breakfast options. My sister ordered this acai bowl with granola and fresh fruit and I thought “I HAVE GOT TO TRY THIS!!” She had been talking about it during the drive there and educating me on some of the health benefits. I sat down with my bowl and was pleasantly surprised, it was DELICIOUS. I felt full for hours but not so full that I felt sick. Since my stay in Rincon I hadn’t had any acai and it didn’t occur to me until recently that I could probably find it at Whole Foods, which I did. So I woke up this morning and made an acai smoothie and it was great until my now almost 2-year-old son picked it up and with a devilish smile on his face, dumped it onto my coffee table and carpet. – Mama Kat