What is an Acai Bowl?
To understand the acai bowl, you must first know the acai berry. The acai berry (sometimes spelled açaí, pronounced ah-sah-EE) is the fruit of the acai palm tree from the Amazon of Brazil. These dark purple berries are filled with healthy antioxidants, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. For these benefits, as well as the delicious, dark chocolate-like taste, acai berries have become one of the hottest superfoods.
An acai bowl is a dish whose main ingredient is pureed acai berry. Additional ingredients can include almost anything, but are typically granola, bananas, strawberries or other fruits, protein powder for the athletes, and honey for a sweetener. Of course, almost any ingredients can and are included. See below and http://acaibowl.net/acai-bowl-recipes for more specific information about acai bowl recipes.
Where to Buy Acai for an Acai Bowl
To make an acai bowl you will need acai berries in pulp or puree form. This is sold frozen in the United States as fresh acai turns bad quickly if not preserved. Since acai is grown only in South America, it is not possible to transport fresh acai berries to the United States fast enough. Instead they are pulped and flash frozen. As you might expect, it’s not very likely that you’ll find frozen acai pulp in your average grocery store. Check with local health food stores, natural food stores, and co-ops to find out if they sell frozen acai berry. Don’t buy acai pills or acai juice, that won’t work for an acai bowl! Be sure you’re getting frozen acai pulp. If you can’t find it in a local store, it is possible to order it online through Amazon:
Acai Bowl Calories
How many calories are in an acai bowl? It depends on how big it is and what other ingredients are included! According to http://www.amafruits.com, each one ounce serving of their pure & unsweetened frozen acai berry puree contains 80 calories. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? But how likely is it that you’ll only eat one ounce? Not very, it tastes good! And if you follow any of the recipes here http://acaibowl.net/acai-bowl-recipes, you’ll probably be adding many other ingredients.
Acai Bowl Nutrition Facts
What are the nutrition facts for an acai bowl? Again, it depends on how big it is and what other ingredients are included. According to http://www.amafruits.com, each one ounce serving of of their pure & unsweetened frozen acai berry puree contains:
|% Daily Value|
|Calories from Fat:||60|
Acai Bowl Recipes
Many in Brazil make an acai bowl consisting of acai puree, banana, and guarana syrup. This is a simple and healthy acai bowl. Proportion the ingredients to your taste, you can’t really go wrong.
If you want to make a more interesting and exciting acai bowl there are uncountable combinations of ingredients. That said, a great place to start is with the recipe shown in the below video. First, puree two frozen acai packages and a banana in a blender. Thawing the acai first helps but, as shown in the video, is not necessary if your blender can handle it. Adding a little juice or water before blending can make the process a little easier if you use frozen acai. Next, pour the puree into a bowl. Top with granola and sliced strawberries. Finally, drizzle honey on top. Enjoy!
More recipes can be found here: http://acaibowl.net/acai-bowl-recipes.
Acai Bowl Benefits
The acai berry has been hyped beyond belief by mentions on Oprah to overblown statements by acai marketers. Although some have said that acai benefits include burning fat, slowing aging, lowering high cholesterol, and increasing libido, it seems safe to say that the most likely benefits you could receive from acai are those you would get from any food with antioxidants and healthy omega acids: reduction of free radicals and improvement in heart health. Beyond that, acai is a fruit and we know that nearly everyone needs more fruits in their diet!
Acai Bowl Hawaii
It’s easier to find an acai bowl in Hawaii than anywhere else in the US. Seriously, Yelp has over 100 results for Honolulu alone. If you get a chance to visit, be sure to try one as it’s likely the best place to have an acai bowl outside of Brazil. If you live there, you undoubtedly know what I’m talking about.
Acai Bowl Sambazon
Oftentimes when you hear about acai the company Sambazon is mentioned. Sambazon was one of the first to bring acai from Brazil to the US. Many credit them with making the berry available in the US. Prior to 2000, acai was unknown in the united states. Along with the recommendation of acai in the book The Perricone Promise: Look Younger, Live Longer in Three Easy Steps, by Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Sambazon helped popularize acai in the United States and elsewhere.
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