Power Up Your Morning with an Acai Superfood Smoothie
I’ll admit it, when it comes to recipe searching, I am a Pinterest junkie — because when it comes to what I eat, I am entirely fickle. On a hunt for a new healthy breakfast option is when I first stumbled upon Acai Bowls. Health aside, they all looked so beautiful! Rows of fruit, granola, seeds and various other toppings started filling my screen, but to be honest, all the options were intimidating.
What is acai anyway? What does it taste like? What are the health benefits? Where do I get it? Do I actually have time to make something as pretty as these Pinterest pictures?
With so many questions, I clicked out of my beloved Pinterest and went back to my typical (but boring) breakfast routine. A few months went by when I found myself in San Diego for a trade show. To my delight, Acai Bowls were being sold on almost every corner and finally I discovered for myself what all the hype was about.
What I discovered was that Acai Bowls are the guiltless equivalent of getting to eat ice cream for breakfast. You pick your flavor, you pick your toppings and viola – dessert for breakfast.
Living in New Hampshire, there are sadly less (but growing) acai options, so now that I was on the bandwagon, it was time to take the plunge and make them for myself — and guess what? They weren’t as intimidating to make as I thought! My only regret now is that I didn’t try them sooner.
So, if you are like me and have been interested in trying them but didn’t know where to start, here are the basics as well as an easy recipe to get you started.
What is acai?
Harvested from palm trees found around the Amazon River basin in South America, acai is a berry that looks like a hybrid of a grape and a blueberry
What do they taste like?
Some people describe them as a mix of a wild berry and chocolate (mmmmm)
What are some of the health benefits?
In simple terms, acai berries have high levels of antioxidants, 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes! They are low in sugar, but contain iron, calcium, fiber and Vitamin A along with properties that help the body defend itself against free radicals. Acai berries have even been credited with the prevention of health problems like arthritis, inflammation, obesity, allergies and more.
Where do I get them?
For the purpose of Acai Bowls and smoothies, you can purchase frozen packets of acai berries at most health focused grocery stores. I found a couple organic brands to choose from at my local Whole Foods.
Do I have time to make an Acai Bowl myself?
Actually…yes! The work required to make the smoothie base is minimal. Depending on how many toppings you’d like (to make your own Pinterest worthy picture) is where the work comes in.
Here is a basic dairy free recipe to get you started. Once you’re comfortable, sky is the limit on what you can add to the base…think spinach, avocado, fruit, protein and more. Same goes for toppings!
1 packet frozen acai puree
1 cup frozen fruit (I used a mix of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)
½ – 1 cup dairy free milk, depending on desired thickness (I used almond milk)
I also threw in ½ of a banana
Add ingredients to blender. Blend until smooth. Remove and put into a bowl
I used a handful each of; sliced banana, sliced strawberry, blueberries and organic cinnamon raisin granola
By Lindsey Smart, Marketing Manager at Emerson Ecologics.