Wow. It’s been over two years since my last acai bowl post, so it’s time to expand upon that post! Rest assured, I’m still as obsessed with these as I was back then, and I’m honestly shocked that I haven’t blogged about this more frequently. Acai bowls are one of my all-time favorite breakfasts. They are quick, healthy, and can be customized to whatever you’re feeling that day. I also love them because you can make them just as easily for one person as you can make them for a few people, because it starts with the same base. Quick and efficient!
Today I’m breaking down:
- Why acai is the BOMB
- My two favorite acai bowl bases
- Some of my favorite toppings
Why Acai is the Bomb
Alright, let’s back up a bit. Before I can rave on and on about the benefits of acai, I think it’s important to understand what acai actually is. Acai is a berry that’s found on trees in South American rainforests. They look similar to grapes. They have seeds which take up about 80 percent of the berry, and flesh and skin that contains all the nutrients.
The acai berry is packed with nutrients, including important antioxidants which can help boost your immune system. Although you probably think of acai bowls as a summer breakfast, I personally love having them in the winter because they help keep me from getting unnecessary colds.
Being pregnant, I’m hungry all the time. Obviously, I’ll indulge every once in a while and have days when all I eat is crappy food, but those are the days when I feel absolutely sluggish and rundown. No bueno. I’ve been doing my best to keep those days to a minimum and instead pick nutrient-dense foods that will keep me fuller longer. Acai bowls are an amazing choice!
Some other great benefits of the acai berry include:
- Gives your skin a healthy glow
- Lowers cholesterol
- Aids with digestion
- Prevents inflammation
- Combats fatigue
My Two Favorite Acai Bowl Bases
The first item you’re going to need in order to make an acai bowl is acai puree. No shocker there. I’m sure you could puree up your own base using the berries, but no one has time for that so you can buy frozen packets that are super convenient. I’ve tried a few different brands and have decided that my two favorite ones are from Trader Joe’s and Sambazon. Obviously, you can only buy Trader Joe’s directly from their store, but the Sambazon ones can be purchased at most grocery stores including Whole Foods and Giant. Sorry guys, I haven’t found decent links to purchase these online and the ones that I did find were CRAZY expensive. Your best bet is to pick them up in store.
To make the base, you’ll need one (maybe two) packets of acai per serving depending on your hunger level. Add the puree to a blender with a splash of milk, yogurt or even coconut water. I’m a HUGE fan of my Nutribullet because everything but the machine itself can go into the dishwasher. Clean up is super easy and quick. Bryan bought me one for my birthday a few years ago and I’ve gotten so much use out of it. You can also add seeds or protein powder to the base if that’s your thing.
Something to keep in mind: The Trader Joe’s acai is a bit more tart than Sambazon’s version. If you prefer it a bit sweeter, you can add a ripe banana into the mix.
Once you have the base all blended up, you’re ready to pour it into a bowl and add your toppings. This is my favorite part!
It’s Time to Top Your Acai Bowl!
As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, one of the reasons why acai bowls are so great is that you can switch them up by adding different toppings each time. Some days I want all fruit, other times I’m in the mood for seeds and nuts, and randomly I’ll want to add cinnamon sugar. That’s the joy of acai bowls – they never get old. You can even get festive this time of year and add “warmer” toppings like ground cinnamon and clove. The possibilities are endless.
Since I hate making two separate meals for Bryan and I, acai bowls come in handy. He’s not usually a huge fan of flax seeds and chia seeds, so I can make us the same base, and then top my bowl with the seeds and leave it off of his. Below are some of my favorite toppings:
- Fruits: blueberries, blackberries, sliced bananas, raspberries, coconut flakes, mango chunks, sliced kiwi
- Nuts: sliced almonds, cashews
- Seeds: hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds
- Other: granola, vanilla almond butter drizzle, cacao nibs, honey drizzle