Acai (pronounced ah-sah-EE) bowls are a traditional Brazilian breakfast that have become something of a trend. As the name suggests, they’re focused around puréed acai berries – the dark-purple fruit of the acai palm tree, native to the Amazonian regions of Brazil. They’re absolutely delicious, with a taste redolent of dark chocolate, and are also laden with antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids – so it’s no wonder they’ve gained superfood status!
This acai bowl recipe, taken from The Fresh Vegan Kitchen by David and Charlotte Bailey, is a brilliant healthy start to the day and it’s beautiful to behold as well.
Alongside the acai purée, you can add whatever you like, but granola, bananas, other berries and a sweetener of some kind are the usual suspects. The acai needs to be bought in pulp form and you’ll find this in the freezer section of health-food stores (or you can order online from brands like Amaçaí). Bare in mind, this is still a fab breakfast if you substitute the acai with the same amount of frozen berries.
For the acai purée
- 200g/7oz frozen acai purée
- 1 banana
- 2 medjool dates, pitted
- 125ml (½ cup) apple juice, coconut water or almond milk (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 tbsp hemp or chia seeds (optional)
- 2 handfuls of mixed berries
- 1 banana, sliced
- a handful of desiccated coconut
- a small handful of dried goji berries, mulberries, cranberries or raw cacao nibs
- 200g/7oz raw G’raw’nola (p.23) or your favourite granola
- sweetener of your choice (agave or coconut palm nectar or maple syrup) (optional)
- fresh mint leaves to garnish (optional)
- Put the frozen acai, banana, dates, apple juice and seeds, if using, in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Divide the purée between two bowls and sprinkle over your choice of toppings.
- Garnish with mint leaves, if you like, and serve.