Four years ago I was lucky enough to visit the country of Brazil. I loved everything about the country, the people, and the culture. But, my most favorite part was the discovery of acai.
During my visit I was asked every day ‘what would you like to eat?’ and my response was ‘Acai!’, so that’s what I had! When I came back to the states, there was no such thing as acai here. I spent 6+ months on a mission to find acai in the US. I tried Robeks, which was terrible, and a few local Brazilian spots, which shockingly were also terrible. After many trials and errors, I finally found a location in Bridgeport that is my hidden gem. I have been going there now for 3 years.
Within the past few years the ‘trend’ of acai in the US has blown up. However, I have tried many locations that offer these bowls and I am always shaking my head. Americans have found a way to ‘Americanize’ the acai bowl which does not even compare to the real thing! You can first start by the color – it is not a pink-ish color. The berry is a dark purple color and is very bitter. Also, the American toppings; acai does not need peanut butter, nibs, coconut flakes, etc. In the tradition of Brazil it’s simply topped with banana, strawberry, granola, honey and condensed milk.
Thanks to the trend, finding frozen acai is a lot easier now than it was a few years ago! I have spent some time playing with ingredients to find the perfect consistency. Sadly, I still can’t make it like the Brazilians but I have come pretty close!
Before I teach you my discovery of the perfect blend, what is acai? Acai comes from the palm tree and is part of the berry family, found in Brazil. It is a dark-purple color and is known for it’s bitter taste (0g of sugar) and contains the highest levels of antioxidants than any of the other berries.
(image from wikipedia)
The frozen bricks that we find in our stores are created by a manufacturing process where they separate the seeds from the berry, extract the pulp and turn the pulp into a frozen brick. That brick is blended with other fruits such as banana and strawberry and turned into these delicious and nutritious bowls!
Here’s how to create yours, at home! Enjoy!
- 1 Frozen Acai Brick (you can find these in Whole Foods or Trader Joes).
- 1 Frozen Banana
- 1/4 Avocado
- 1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 Frozen Acai Brick
- 1 Banana
- Handful Fresh Strawberries
- 1 Cup Almond Milk
Optional (to add additional nutrient benefits):
- 1 Scoop Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
- 1 Scoop Now Sports Amino Acid Powder
- 1 Scoop Now Sports L-Glutamine
- 1/4 Cup Purely Elizabeth Granola
- Sliced Banana
- In a blender combine all ingredients listed above.
- Blend until fully smooth (30 – 40 secs).
- Consume as a smoothie on the go or create a power bowl using toppings listed above.