Acai has become really popular in the US in the last few years. The first time I had an Acai bowl, I didn’t really like it. Every place that sells it makes it differently. Years later, my friend Pam, started a business to sell her Brasilian version of the Acai bowl out of a yellow sunshine wagon. She made it for AM and I one Sunday before we went for a hike and OH EM GEE! I fell in love! It was so delicious!
Acai is from the Amazon Rain Forest and has been the major source of food for the natives in Brasil. It has been around for centuries and jam packed with antioxidants. It tastes like blueberries but with some chocolate undertones. Supermarkets like Whole Foods, Down To Earth, and even Foodland (here in Hawaii) sell them in the freezer section. The company Sambazon packages each serving into individual frozen packets.
The directions say to submerge the package under running hot water for 10 seconds to defrost it a bit. This works really well. You can break it into pieces in the package before opening it and without creating a big mess.
We blend our Acai with vanilla yogurt. It gives it some vanilla flavor and thickens it a bit. I have also added a splash of orange juice to give it some tartness, but this is optional. I have also tried blending it with milk, but I find that milk dilutes the Acai too much and makes it taste bland.
The first time I made the bowl, I blended the Acai with frozen berries. This works really well, but because I ended up making the Acai bowl to work for breakfast, I kept the frozen berries whole in the bowl so that it is still cold by the time we got to work. You can use fresh berries but fresh berries are super expensive here in Hawaii.
To add some crunch, granola is the perfect thing to add. I have been making homemade granola just for this purpose.
To top off the bowl, I like adding slices of banana. I especially like Hawaiian apple bananas because of their extra sweetness. One banana is just enough for one bowl. If the bananas are a bit raw, you can drizzle some honey. Otherwise, it is sweet enough, but this can be customized based on personal preference of course.
Other toppings for consideration: flax seeds, shredded coconut, maple syrup (instead of honey), dried cranberries, fresh berries, almonds, etc. You can really create your own.
(My own recipe)
Serving size: 1
1 package of frozen Acai
2 tablespoons vanilla yogurt
Splash of orange juice
Frozen strawberries and blueberries
1/4 cup of granola
1 ripe banana, sliced
1. Blend together the acai and vanilla yogurt in a blender. (I used a hand mixer)
2. Assembly: Pour the blended acai into a bowl and add frozen berries. Add granola and top with banana slices. Drizzle honey on top.