With breakfast being “thee” most important meal of the day, I always find myself searching for a variety of healthy options to choose from. I personally can’t do heavy breakfasts in the morning, so I’m constantly trying new things for both maximum health benefits as well as a breakfast that keeps me feeling full all morning long.
Acai bowl shops are popping up all over the place. An amazing little place just opened up over a year ago close by me here in Utah called Aubergine. They were sampling their acai bowls while I was there dining for lunch one day and I was excited to give it a try. I had no idea what acai was and didn’t quite know what to expect but it was certainly something that I knew I needed in my morning rotation for breakfast.
“The acai (ah-sigh-EE) berry is a grapelike fruit harvested from acai palm trees, which are native to the rainforests of South America. Acai berries are widely touted as a so-called superfood, with proponents claiming that they are helpful for a variety of health concerns, including arthritis, weight loss, high cholesterol, erectile dysfunction, skin appearance, detoxification and general health. Acai berries contain antioxidants, fiber and heart-healthy fats. They may have more antioxidant content than other commonly eaten berries, such as cranberries, blueberries and strawberries.” (source – mayoclinic.org) To be honest, the claim to be a superfood had me a little skeptical at first, but trust me when I say that this will really keep you energized, and feeling so good throughout the morning. It’s so refreshing to eat first in the morning and will certainly help you start your day off feeling like you have a little spring in your step.
Acai bowls can be customized easily with whatever fruit you’d like as well as different toppings. Fruits that I’ve seen used to customize the bowl include chopped mangoes, raspberries, kiwi,blackberries and pineapple. I generally only like to have 1 cup total of fruit in the morning, so I make sure I only include that much. Additional toppings or add ins you could use would be chia seeds, and flax seeds or chopped nuts if you wanted to omit the granola. But trust me, the granola makes for the perfect bowl. So for use the granola. I buy the Sambazon brand of frozen, unsweetened acai packs from my local health food store, Sprouts but I have also seen them at Whole Foods. Make sure you buy the one like the picture here. There are some that have other fruit added and are quite frankly, not as good.
To make the bowl you’ll need:
* 1 frozen acai pack
* 1/3 cup coconut water
* half of a frozen banana, cut into chunks
* 1 cup of fruit including half a banana, sliced, blueberries, and strawberries
* 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
* small handful of granola
Let your frozen acai pack sit out on your counter for about 5 minutes. You don’t want the pack to thaw completely or your bowl will be too liquidy. You want a good, thick consistency. Add the coconut water, frozen banana chunks and the acai to a blender. Blend until thick in consistency, or if you have a preset dial on your blender, use the smoothie setting. Immediately pour into a small bowl and top with granola, unsweetened coconut flakes and the fruit. Enjoy!!!