The art of açai
Updated: May 5
Açai bowl is a delicious breakfast loaded with vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. It`s delicious and eye-pleasing. But there are couple things you need to consider.
The açai (ah-sigh-EE) berry is a grape like fruit harvested from açai palm trees, which are native to the rainforests of South America.
The popularity of açai is primarily due to its very high concentration of antioxidants. But there are other benefits as well:
* The fibre found in açai berry skin and pulp can aid digestion. Fibre can help to prevent or relieve constipation and may help support a healthy cardiovascular system.
* Açai is naturally high in essential fatty acids, having a fatty acid profile similar to olive oil. The link between essential fatty acids and heart health and a healthy nervous system is well documented.
* Açai berries contain amino acids which help promote muscle performance, energy production, endurance and strength. Açai berries contain as much Vitamin C as blueberries and is also a source of Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 and E. It is also a source of calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper.
While learning all of those benefits, you might also know that açai is expensive since the berries have to be freeze dried within 24 hours to keep their nutritional profile intact. Freeze drying preserves the goodness of açai berries found in the skin and pulp and not in the juice.
Many products containing açai use only a small amount of açai and load the products with other fillers, juices and sugar. So when you shop for the açai in the market, read the label. Make sure that no additional sugar added. My favorite brand is Sambazon.
Now, let’s talk about the recipe. I've heard a lot from other people “I tried açai once, I didn’t like it at all. It was too sweet, sour etc…” Mastering açai bowl takes time. You want to achieve a certain texture, certain amount of sweetness, a color, and you want to pair it up with the right ingredientsand toppings, so that the tastes would compliment each other.
This is the recipe for two people. You will need
1. Two packages of frozen Sambazon açai
2. 2 tbl spoons of granola
3. 20 blackberries
4. 2 frozen banans
For the toppings I’m using cacao crumbles, granola, fresh banana, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries.
◆ Put the açai packages under the running hot water.
◆ Meanwhile put frozen bananas, granola and blackberries in the blender. Remove slightly melted açai from the packages and add to the blender. The reason, why you need to keep the packages under the hot water, is that it`s easier to remove the açai later.
The blackberries will give your açai bowl a beautiful deep purple color; granola will give a texture, when a banana will make your dish sweet.
◆ Blend all the ingredients till you get a smooth, ice-cream like texture. Pour the blend into the two bowls.You can be very creative with your toppings. Depends what you have a taste for. The açai blend is a little sour so if you want to make it sweeter, you can add more granola, bananas, honey (agave syrup), shredded coconut , cacao crumbles. And if you like a little zest, I recommend adding strawberries, blueberries or blackberries.
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