It's been nearly a year since Adam and I went to Hawaii. It was a graduation gift to ourselves for getting through six years of schooling, working, and just keeping 'it' and us together. Although Hawaii wasn't my first choice, it turned out to be an amazing time. Adam felt at ease in his ancestral homeland - he was the happiest and healthiest I have even seen him, surrounded by the sun, sand, and sea. And, although my arm needed a bit of twisting to go, I ended up falling head over heals in love with the place, especially with the food. While we unfortunately missed out on mango season, we made it in time to devoured other favourites including pineapples, oranges, bananas, avocados, and lilikois (passion fruit). Our days were spent stocking up on the amazing offerings from the numerous (and fabulously stocked) health food stores and markets, followed by lounging on the beach, hiking, swimming, and snorkeling. This was again followed by more tasty whole foods and numerous fresh fruits.What a routine!
One offering that was quite common, yet entirely new to me, was the Açaí bowl. A perfectly paired bowl of Açaí puree, berries, fresh fruit, and granola, that falls somewhere in between a smoothie and a pudding.
The dish is simply created by making a smoothie base of Açaí, berries and banana, which is then served in a bowl, and topped with seasonal fruits and crunchy granola. It's the perfect kind of breakfast to bring a little sunshine to these colder November mornings.
So what are the health benefits of Açaí berries?
- Antioxidants: Açaí berries are very high in antioxidants, containing twice as many as blueberries.
- Omega fats: They are high in Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids which are essential in keeping our cardiovascular system and brain in tip-top shape.
- Fiber and Protein: Every 100g of dried Açaí powder contains 14g of fiber and 8g of protein!
- Minerals: A, B1, B2, B3, C and E are all found in the berry, as is calcium and vitamin D (which you need to absorb the calcium) 1
Açaí can be purchased as a juice (which is often not as high inminerals, as it us cut with other juice), frozen puree, or as a freeze dried powder. For this recipe I choice to used the powdered form as it is 1) easily available, or at least easier to order online if not locally available, and 2) it is easy to portion. While the frozen puree already comes in portioned servings, and can be a bit pricy. The powdered version allows for more control over how much is used. Here, I left the recipe open to use anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of powder, and feel free to play with it. Use as much or as little you like, and use the puree or juice instead if you prefer .
Recipe: ( Serves 1) Print it Here
1 Banana (fresh)
1 Cup frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries)
1 teaspoon -1 tablespoon Acai powder
1 tablespoon hemp protein
¾ Cup coconut water, almond milk (or milk of choice), or water. You may need a little more or less.
Toppings of Choice (see below)
Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth.You may need to add more or less of the liquid to achieve desired consistency. You want it to be the consistency of a thick smoothie. Pour the smoothie into your favourite bowl and top with seasonal fruit, seeds/nuts, and your choice of granola.
- Goji Berries
- Pomegranate Seeds
- Banana Slices
- Berries (fresh or thawed)
- Hemp Hearts
- Kiwi Slices
- Orange Segments
- Other Seasonal Fruit