Am I the only one that panics over a breakfast order? Or asks everyone at the table what they’re getting to gather some kind of breakfast survey data prior to making a decision? I’m a sufferer of severe FOFE (Fear of Food Envy) and being stuck with a disappointing plate is my worst-case scenario.
Lucky for me, I have a long-suffering boyfriend and some great friends who don’t mind sharing a bit of their plates to satisfy my breakkie-curiosity. Even last weekend I was scooping up some of my bestie’s incredible Acai Bowl from Melbourne café Little Big Sugar Salt. Actually, I think I tried everyone’s meals that morning – and they were all pretty darn incredible (definitely check it out, the raw ‘bounty’ bar was particularly good).
Acai hits that sweet spot when you’re hankering for a breakfast that tastes naughty but is actually chocked with mega-nutrients. Inspired by my friend’s breakfast delight I did some research on the best way to whizz up a big purple bowl at home, and bring some of that sweet weekend goodness into my everyday.
Wait, what exactly is Acai?
Pronounced ‘as-sigh-yee’ it’s a small purple berry sourced from the Amazon rainforest. Sounds exotic right? Like all other purple berries Acai is full of antioxidants – in fact Acai has been found to have one of the highest levels going around. It also contains good fatty acids, helps with digestion and is a good source of Vitamins C, A, B (1,2,3) and E.
So does it live up to the hype? A bit like the Goji & Noni craze (we can thank Mirander Kerr for that) Acai has been dubbed a God-given ‘superfood,’ and with it comes some serious marketing spin and a whole range of Acai products. Think Acai + Guarana drinks, and Acai fat burning tablets. Oh dear. Always keep an eye on the ingredients – especially ‘pre-made’ Acai blends as they’re often full of added sugar. I stick with organic freeze-dried Acai powder – then at least you know all the good stuff has been locked in and you’re getting nothing but berry. You can find Acai powder in any health food store – a 80g bag is about $14, but that will last you a while. If you’re buying online always look for organic, and 100% pure products.
Mixing your own Acai smoothie bowl is a chance to really get creative in the kitchen. A bit like berry sorbet that’s acceptable to eat at 8am, you can go crazy and top with all your favourite things. Mix it with granola, go crazy with strawberries, mango, coconut… really make it your own.
What you’ll need:
- 1 frozen banana
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
- 1 handful baby spinach leaves (to get some greens in there without changing the flavour!)
- 1 tablespoon Acai powder
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 cup coconut water (add slowly to get desired consistency)
Fresh berries, sliced banana, seeds and nuts
- gluten free
- dairy free
- refined sugar free
I got inspiration for this recipe from Teresa Cutter’s Acai Smoothie Bowl.
How to go about it:
Whack everything into a high-speed blender or food processor (I started mine in the blender but transferred it to my more powerful food processor and it seems to blend better).
Top with your ultimate combination of fruit, seeds and nuts!