In the past couple of decades, food trends in the United States (and all over the world for that matter) have changed dramatically. No more are people simply searching for the quickest, most convenient food to chow down on. This is great, as on the whole, these kinds of foods aren’t usually that good for you.
Eating healthy is now just as popular as fast food used to be in the 90s. This is mainly because people are now much more aware of the health implications in eating sugary and processed foods.
One such trend to emerge recently in the healthy eating realm is that of the acai bowl, and in this article, I’m going to go through just what these tasty treats are and how you can easily reap the benefits of them.
What is an Acai Bowl?
Because it’s packed full with so much goodness, and the tropical acai berry itself offers many health benefits, it’s of no real surprise that it was soon dubbed as a superfood once it was discovered in America.
Acai bowls look similar to a big bowl of ice cream. However, they are a much healthier breakfast choice than that. These bowls are essentially really thick smoothies with ingredients such as fruit, or oatmeal added to bulk them out a little.
The Origins of the Acai Bowl
The acai bowl is a dish that originated from Brazil. It wasn’t really until the 1970’s that this superfood started to make its way around the world. By the 1980’s the acai bowl had gained quite a lot of traction, particularly among those involved in martial arts and surfing. Now, it’s seen as a staple food in places such as Hawaii and California with dedicated acai bars seen scattered around.
The Health Benefits of Acai Bowls
In addition to being very tasty and refreshing, properly made acai bowls are actually really good for you. The following are just a few of the many health benefits to be seen from the mighty acai bowl:
- Good for your heart. Acai berries contain plant sterols which are little cholesterol like compounds known to prevent the absorption of cholesterol by the body. They’re extremely high in antioxidants too. So not only do they help protect the heart by keeping cholesterol levels on the low, they also help to improve the blood flow in your body.
- Boosts digestive health. These little superfoods are packed full of fiber and antioxidants, which are both very good for the gut. Research carried out and published in the journal Food Chemistry, suggested that these berries may act as a kind of prebiotic in the gut, improving the overall condition of your digestive health.
- Improves skin. While we would all love to have naturally, flawless, skin, it’s either something you have or you don’t. Anyone who’s lived in the real world will have been exposed to a number of contaminants and pollutants from outside environments, all of which play a toll on the skin.
However, recent studies carried out discovered that the water extracts from the acai berry have the potential to heal skin wounds. This is most likely down to its high concentration of polyphenol and anthocyanin, which have been proven to boost elastin and collagen within the skin.
- Help protects the brain. As mentioned above, acai berries are high in polyphenols. And studies have found that these little micronutrients are capable of preventing a build-up of beta-amyloid – the proteins involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
What do You Need to Make an Acai Bowl?
The great thing about acai bowls is there is no one set recipe. Therefore, you get to have fun making and tasting your own creations. However, there are a few staple things you’ll need before attempting to make any acai bowl:
- Acai berries. While they aren’t as common as that of say strawberries, or blueberries, the acai berry has become quite popular over the past few years, and as a result, is now found in most major food chains as well as independent health stores.
- Selection of fruit. Most acai bowls contain bananas and a few other types of berries. The great thing about these bowls is they are so versatile and can be made using just about any fruit. So grab a handful of your favorites and get mixing.
- To get the right consistency, you will need to add some kind of liquid to the mix. Quite often this is some kind of milk, but yogurt or juice works just as well.
- Once you’ve made the actual acai bowl, the idea is to then add some toppings in which to fill you up. Typical acai bowl toppings include granola, nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes. However, you can choose pretty much anything you like!
- The final thing you’ll need when making an acai bowl is a blender. While traditionally these bowls would have been made by hand, pulping lots of berries manually is no one’s idea of fun. So give yourself a break and make the most of modern technology by investing in a decent blender.
Acai Bowl Recipe
To help get you started, the following is a quick and easy to make acai bowl that’s sure to tickle those taste buds.
- 1 cup of acai berries or 1 pack of frozen acai puree
- 1 cup of frozen blueberries and raspberries
- 1 frozen banana
- 3-4 tbsp. rolled oats
- ⅔ cup of soy or rice milk
- 1 tsp. of honey
- Coconut flakes and chopped almonds for topping
- Peel your banana and place all ingredients (except those for the topping) in the blender.
- Mix well, until smooth.
- Pour mixture into a bowl and add toppings.
- Grab a spoon and enjoy!
As you can see, the acai bowl is a super easy food to make. You can use pretty much any of your favourite fruits, making it really tasty, and it’s highly nutritious. Pretty much a win-win, I’d say.