A few years ago my friend Liz come back from a trip to Brazil raving about the pristine beaches, beautiful people, and a delicious new food she tried called acai. Pronounced ah-sah-yee, acai berries come from acai palm trees found in Central and South America. They are touted as being a superfood for anti-aging, weight loss, and overall health - sounds good to me! In recent years I've seen acai pop up in smoothie shops and health food stores, but I hadn't tried it until now. I have seriously been missing out - why didn't I listen to Liz? I get what all the fuss is about now. Acai smoothies and bowls are incredibly refreshing, naturally sweet, and a great natural energy boost. An acai bowl with granola and fresh berries is my new favorite summertime breakfast or snack. Are you an acai fan too?
You just know something naturally that dark purple has to be good for you. Though you can buy acai bowls, they're easy to make and much less expensive when you do it yourself. Frozen pouches of pure acai can be found at Whole Foods and other natural foods stores. Look for it near the frozen fruit. Break it into large chunks and give it a good whirl in the food processor with any other frozen fruit and a banana, and you have a highly nutritious breakfast. No food processor? Use a blender, but add just enough apple or berry juice to blend.
The girls loved this too. I told them it was "acai berry ice cream" and the devoured it. Really I felt like I was eating ice cream too - it's that good. Next time I'll make extra and freeze it in jars for grab-n-go breakfasts and snacks. This would also be great, and go a little farther, on some plain Greek yogurt.
Acai Breakfast Bowls Recipe
Makes about 1.5 cups (1 large, or 2 small servings)
1 cup frozen fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, pineapple, mango are all good choices)
1/4 cup granola
1/4 cup fresh berries (optional)
1/4 cup sliced banana (optional)
2 sprigs fresh mint (optional garnish)
Break the frozen acai up into large chunks while still in the packaging. Remove from packaging, and place frozen acai chunks, frozen fruit, and banana in a food processor. Alternatively, use a blender with a little juice to blend. Transfer blended mixture to a bowl or bowls and sprinkle with granola and fresh fruit. Garnish with fresh mint, if desired.