just in case you were wondering, yep, our trip to hawaii was amazing and we did enjoy it a lot. we also enjoyed acai bowls a lot. oh, and lots of locally brewed kombucha, colorful buddha bowls and the sweetest & ripest mangoes i’ve ever tasted. have i mentioned acai bowls yet? to be completely honest with you, i better say we literally got addicted to it. slowly and steadily but surely addicted. if you wanna know why, you should check out this recipe. all you need is some fruit, acai powder, a blender and a few minutes time. the best bit? once you have made the base of your bowl, the topping options are endless!
when i say acai bowl, i’m sure you know the latter part, everyone’s got bowls in their kitchen, some less and some more (i got way too many). but what’s acai? how do you pronounce it, what’s in it, where can you get it and what to do with it?
to start with, for me personally acai tastes and looks like a mix of blueberries and grapes. this ‘super-berry’ has its origin around the amazon river basin of south america. acai is pronounced as ah-sigh-ee and today, can be found at all sorts of places – in health food stores, in large supermarkets, in health restaurants and cafés, lots of vegan food places, instagram and all social media, health magazines and oh, i forgot, all over hawaii.
of course i have heard of acai powder and acai bowls before but it never really caught too much attention from me because i’m usually pretty good at ignoring these food trends, especially on instagram. most of the time these trends are short-lived and don’t really have a real purpose behind it. like really, who needs rainbow colored food?
but this time it’s different.. as soon as i stepped out of the plane in hawaii, i saw acai bowls everywhere. let me tell you, literally everywhere. yep, even at the gas station or random shacks next to a lonely road. so i went and tried it and that was it, i was hooked. hooked on its unique taste, color, health benefits and ease of use. it was also a great option for vegan breakfast on the go since it was available at almost all places and you could even take it with you and have breakfast at the beach while watching local surfers catching their first waves.
now, being back home in snowy austria, i started making acai bowls again. you ask me why? i tell you why! traditional uses for acai fruit include treatment for diarrhea, parasitic infections, hemorrhages and much more (source). in general, the acai berry shows high levels of various antioxidants, 10 times more than red grapes to be specific. what’s more, acai berries are relatively low in sugar but contain considerable amounts of iron, calcium, fiber, and vitamin A. with this nutrient dense combination acai is helpful in defending the body against harmful free radicals (source). to name the complete list of health benefits, acai also contains healthy fatty acids such as oleic acid and enough dietary fiber to keep your body fueled and functioning.
although there aren’t any scientific studies on the subject done yet, many nutritionists and holistic doctors have stated that acai may help prevent health problems such as arthritis, inflammation, obesity, neurological diseases, and even allergies. you can read more on this topic here, because now i really don’t wanna let you wait any longer.
- 1 pack of acai puree or
1 tbsp acai powder
- 1 frozen banana
- handful pomegranate seeds
- handful of frozen berries mix
- 200ml almond milk or coconut water
for toppings i tend to use what’s available but some ideas include –
- chia seeds
- coconut flakes
- bee pollen (for non or less strict vegans)
- if you use a frozen pack of acai puree make sure you break it into a couple of pieces before you throw it into your blender.
- to get it extra thick and creamy first peel and put the banana into the freezer for at least two hours.
- then add all the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth. add a little more almond milk (or whatever plant based milk you prefer) or coconut water if it’s too thick and your blender can’t handle it.
- add as many toppings as you like and share with your loved ones, preferrably at the beach watching hawaiian surfers 😉
- nut butter
- goji berries
- hemp seeds