Açai Smoothie Bowl

Açai (pronounced Ah-SIGH-ee), is a fruit native to South and Central America. You’ve probably seen or received spam mail for açai as a weight loss supplement. There is no scientific evidence for this claim, FYI. There’s actually very little scientific evidence done on the health benefits of açai fruit. Here is what we do know:

  • According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a division of the NIH, preliminary studies have shown this fruit to have blood sugar and cholesterol lowering effects in overweight individuals.
  • Currently, research is focusing on the antioxidant properties of the fruit. Remember this word: antioxidant? It is a property that helps fight against cellular damage. Antioxidants can be found in many other fruits and vegetables (think: bluish-purple or red colored foods).
  • Açai berry is NOT a weight loss supplement and there is no research to show this to be a good health supplement.

This recipe is easy, nutrient dense, and super easy! You need the same skills necessary to make a smoothie and also pour a bowl of cereal. Millenials- YOU GOT DIS.

To make my base, I use the frozen açai packets from Trader Joe’s. I thaw this out, throw in some frozen bananas and other fruits that I have on hand and blend it all together until its a puree. Next, I’ll add my toppings. I love having some crunch in my bowl so I always add sliced almonds or walnuts. This adds monounsaturated fat (RE: good fat). Additionally, combining protein or fat with carbohydrates slows down the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the blood. This means you don’t get a sugar high and sugar crash, which can still happen even when eating fruit (fruit is predominantly sugar). Don’t let this deter you from adding fruit into your bowl. Fresh fruit is a must! The vitamins and mineral obtained from them are so abundant. I used peaches and bananas in this bowl but blueberries, raspberries, mango, kiwi (any fruit really) would also go well.

 

 

IMG_5718
Frozen Açai  Puree Packets found in the frozen section at Trader Joe’s – next to the frozen fruit.

Açai bowl as a nutritious and filling meal

If you’re eating this for breakfast, I recommend adding more than just fruit as this will not keep you full for very long. Add fiber, protein, or a healthy fat source like the ones mentioned above to prevent your mid-morning slump. Hemp seeds, coconut flakes, flax seeds, and nuts/nut butters such as almond and peanut butter are all great fat sources to add to your smoothie bowl. Fiber helps provide satiety as well. You can find this in the skin of fruit or in whole grains. Adding some whole grain bran flakes to your bowl is a great option for turning this into a well balanced breakfast.

Short on time?

This can TOTALLY be made ahead of time! Place all ingredients for the base in a little baggie and keep in freezer. When ready to make, dump in blender and add toppings. If you want to be really efficient, lay out all your dry toppings ahead of time so the only thing left to do is just add to bowl. Cut your fresh fruit before eating but this shouldn’t take too long.


Açai Smoothie Bowl

Base

  • 1 pouch açai puree packet, thawed
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen fruit
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

 

Toppings*

  • Sliced almonds
  • 1/2 Peach, pitted and sliced
  • Chia seeds
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 Banana, sliced
  • Blueberries
  • Cinnamon
  • Agave/honey

 

  1. Add the açai and frozen fruits to the blender. Blend. The mixture will be thick at this point. Add the almond milk in parts and blend slowly, making sure not to thin the mixture out too much. Blend on the lowest setting. I like mine really thick, like – too thick to drink through a straw – thick. If there are chunks of fruit still left, blend and smooth it out more.
  2. Pour mixture into a bowl.
  3. Top mixture with almonds, peach, chia seeds, coconut flake and banana slices.
  4. Sprinkle cinnamon and drizzle agave or honey on top, if desired. Serve immediately.

*Use whatever toppings you would like. The recipe lists the ingredients used in this particular picture. Go with your cravings but keep it nutrient dense.


Reference

Açai NCCIH information

 

 

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