Açaí! Pronounce ah-sigh-ˈEE, it’s one of those cool words I envision yelling as I launch from a zip line platform in the middle of the Brazilian rainforest. Açaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! They probably have a zipline somewhere in the rainforest, right?
Well, until I have the good fortune to take a trip to Brazil (which is definitely on my go-to travel list), I am living my future adventure through, what I consider, one of the greatest inventions for breakfast, the Açaí Bowl. Move over smoothie, you’re so 2000s…the Açaí Bowl is the new champion of semi-frozen breakfast joy.
How is it different than a smoothie, you ask? It’s much thicker to start. No sucking through a straw, you’re gonna eat this Açaí bowl with a spoon…which means you can add a ton of toppings which, frankly, would get stuck in your smoothie straw. Not cool, Smoothie.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to toppings. Fresh fruit, granola, nuts, coconut are some of the basics…and then enter the new kids on the block:
- chia seeds (yep, like from your 1980’s chia pet)
- bee pollen
- nut butters
- cacao nibs
Also, unlike a smoothie, the Açaí Bowl features Açaí, either in frozen or powder form. You might ask, “what in the world is an Açaí?” I know I asked that when I first heard it back in the summer of 2007, when a good friend of mine returned from a mission trip in Brazil. She came back talking of all the great Brazilian food, including two things that caught my attention, Cacao (a tree that bears pods from which cocoa, cocoa butter and chocolate is made) and the Açaí berry.
Açaí berries actually come from a palm tree. The berries themselves have a large seed in them, similar to a pomegranate in that the seed is rather substantial in comparison to the fruit part. But the seed of the acai berry are much harder and the seeds are actually used as beads to make things like jewelry.
Açaí has a unique flavor. It’s almost a cross between a blueberry or blackberry, a fresh cranberry and dark chocolate. It’s got a rich purple color, a tart berryish flavor and a chalkiness that makes me think of really, really, really dark chocolate.
So, naturally, you might find yourself wanting to add a touch of sweetness to your Açaí bowl. I like adding banana, but it’s completely up to you. Really sweet berries may do the trick for you or you could add a touch of juice like orange or mango juice that will help to sweeten it to your liking.Because of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday here in the US, I decided to decorate the top of my Açaí bowl like an American flag in honor of those who gave their lives for my country. A poignant holiday, it is also a celebration of the freedoms we have here in America, for which I am grateful.
In terms of decorating the top, the possibilities are endless. It really is a work of art though…and you can choose to go abstract or really bring in elements of design to showcase a beautiful geometric bowl. I can’t wait to see what designs you create. Be sure to post a pic of your Açaí Bowl on Instagram and tag us @tinykitchenTV so I can see it!
Hope you enjoy one of my favorite breakfast foods! Açaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
SO WHAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED IS:
- In a Blender, combine frozen Açai Puree, Banana, frozen berries/fruit and Almond Milk (or other milk or juice of your choice). Blend to desired consistency. Add more liquid to make less thick.
- Pour in a bowl. Top with Granola, fresh Blueberries, fresh Strawberries and Coconut.