Acai bowls are fresh, fruity and light; yet surprisingly satisfying - the ultimate summery breakfast!
Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) is a small (2.5cm round) dark purple-skinned fruit that grows on acai palms, mostly native to Brazil.
Taste-wise, they’re an earthy hybrid that sits kinda between wild berries and unsweetened dark chocolate. Although the acai berry has been a traditional staple food for Amazonian tribes for centuries (where it commonly grows), in more recent years it has gained mass popularity, with a rapidly growing global demand that now sees it cultivated in larger amounts.
The fresh berries have a short shelf life, making them unavailable outside of where they’re grown – instead they’re exported as either juice, frozen fruit pulp or freeze-dried powder; two latter blended with other fruit to make a smooth dessert-like breakfast, coined the popular acai bowl.
The consistency of acai bowls are in-between a soft-serve ice cream or really thick smoothie that totally needs a spoon. It’s typically served with an instagramable array of tasty toppings e.g. extra fresh fruit, crunchy granola, coconut chips or a drizzle of nut butter.
Because of its antioxidant content acai berries are often marketed as a ‘superfood’; which, if you’re unfamiliar and according to a generic google definition, are ‘nutrient-rich foods considered to be beneficial to health’.
To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of the term. It’s a little exploited in food marketing (and eating a range of colourful fruit and vegetables is the best way to get a good range of antioxidants, rather then celebrating a single source!). However, I do enjoy acai powder, and love using it to make acai bowls!
Traditional acai bowl recipe is essentially frozen acai pulp or freeze dried acai powder paired with other frozen fruit (e.g. banana), with a little liquid to blitz up. This is not that.
While I have tried not to butcher the original recipe, this is a version a little more suitable for breakfast as a ‘balanced’ meal. As blended fruit doesn’t keep us full for a wildly long amount of time, I have altered the recipe to include more whole food fat (avocado) and protein (in the from of a protein powder). These nutrients will slow digestion – which means energy for longer!
There’s a huge amount of variation in how you want to serve your acai bowl – try out different liquids, combinations of frozen fruit or toppings, whatever. Play and make it your own!
1) Analysed by Cronometer