What is Açai? Açai (ahh-sah-ee) is a berry grown in Central and South America, Brazil and Peru. It’s very rich in antioxidants, minerals, healthy fats, and vitamins. If you’ve never tasted an açai berry, the flavour would be similar to a cranberry, raspberry, and raisin mixed together to form a new berry breed. Açai bowls are popular among health enthusiasts and the Brazilian communities (since this berry is grown there). Açai bowls are simply frozen açai with mixed frozen fruits topped with anything your heart desires, and eaten like a big bowl of ice cream… but with health benefits.
Toppings for açai berry bowls are endless! Here I have some of my favorites, unsweetened shredded coconut, goji berries, raw cocoa powder, homemade granola, and banana chips. Try raw nuts/seeds, fresh fruit, avocado, dark chocolate chips, etc. Although you may have heard in magazines or popular TV shows touting the health benefits of açai reaching as far as reversing diabetes, weight loss, and increasing libido; there is no solid scientific evidence supporting the above statements.
What we do know about açai berry is that this low sugar fruit contains many health-related benefits due to the vitamin and mineral content. Not to mention açai is what I consider to be one of many beauty foods as it’s rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins (Vitamin C for collagen production and free radical damage), and healthy fats (for skin elasticity, moisture retention, and healthy hormone production). Açai berries contain anti-inflammatory benefits, cholesterol lowering benefits, and anti-cancer benefits as with many other fruits and vegetables.
Where to buy: I get my açai berry pulp from the freezer section at Whole Foods, however you can also try your local health food store or ordering it online (which would have to be overnighted/packaged with dry ice to keep chilled). A couple other options are the organic freeze dried powder, Sevenhills, Naturya, and Real Food Source. Note when using the powders, you will not get the same volume as when using the actual pulp, you will need to add a frozen banana to the powder to create this thick frozen yogurt-like texture.
I love this recipe for breakfast, lunch, or even dessert! Feel free to add more ingredients into this recipe if you want more of a “meal” such as rolled oats, avocado, more bananas, a favorite protein powder, hemp seeds, etc.
ACAI BERRY SMOOTHIE BOWL
A thick, rich, and creamy acai berry bowl full of antioxidant rich acai berries and raw fruits and vegetables.
Nutrition information is for recipe as is.
Lower calorie/lower sugar // use less banana or add frozen raspberries instead
Higher protein // add protein powder of choice (my favourite is Arbonne Essentials)
Have you ever tasted or used açai berrry in your cooking or smoothies? Share below on how you use it! And if you make this at home, share on Instagram with #emmaolliffnutrition or #emmaolliffbeauty so I can see!
Have a very berry day,
Your guide to living whole and well. Emma Olliff is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, wellness expert, food lover, and advocate for healthy living!