Odds are that you have heard of açaí (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) or açaí bowls. Açaí is a berry found on açaí palm trees in rainforests in South America. The flesh and skin of the berry (the edible part) only makes up 20% of it, and the seed takes up the remaining 80%. The flesh and skin have tons of health benefits and nutrients including antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3 fats.
Antioxidants help protect your cells against damage from molecules called 'free radicals'. Free radicals contribute to disease development (like cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc). Other foods with high amounts of antioxidants include blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, green tea, and pomegranates (but really almost any fruit has some amount of antioxidants).
Fiber helps keep you regular and helps you stay fuller longer. High-fiber diets (which occurs naturally when following a plant-based diet), are also linked to decreased rates of cancer, prevention of type 2 diabetes, and reversal of heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids aid in reducing inflammation in the body and contribute to healthy cognitive function. Other foods containing omega-3s are nuts, avocados, and fish (though I heavily prefer plant-based sources). A diet rich in omega-3 fats can help decrease your cholesterol and lower your risk for heart disease.
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 tbsp acai powder*
- 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
- Optional toppings: hemp hearts, chia seeds (I used dark chocolate covered chia seeds from Salba), or fruit of choice (I love sliced berries and bananas!)
* You can also use frozen acai packets (I recommend buying at Sprouts or Whole Foods instead of ordering online). If you do this, the recipe will change a bit, so adjust the almond milk accordingly.
- Add all ingredients to high powered blender and blend until well-mixed
- If too runny, add more frozen bananas or berries until thickened. If too thick, add a bit more almond milk until it mixes well.
- Top with toppings of choice. Enjoy!
Makes 1 serving (nutrient facts do not include toppings)
Calories: 275 | Protein: 3 grams | Fiber: 10 grams | Carbohydrates: 50 grams | Fat: 8 grams | Vitamin A: 35% RDA | Vitamin C: 47% RDA | Calcium: 55% RDA | Iron: 13% RDA