Eat the Rainbow. Clean Eating Acai berry bowls from Hawaii!

My green acai bowl from lanikaijuice in hawaii : "the mana green bowl" with kale, spinach, orange, mango, papaya, chia seeds, blueberries, and extra added protein.

My green acai bowl from lanikai juice in hawaii : “the mana green bowl” with kale, spinach, orange, mango, papaya, chia seeds, blueberries, and extra added protein.

Eat the Rainbow with this new trend in the Healthy Eating World: The Acai Bowl!

Acai berries (pronounced ah-sai-ee) are the fruits of acai palm trees, which are mostly grown in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest. These small, dark-purple berries pack a nutrient punch with a whole host of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Named by the Brazilians as the “Beauty Berry,” acai berries truly do the body good from the inside out, with health benefits such as increased energy levels, a boosted immune system, improved metabolic function and better hair and skin. Not only is this superfood incredibly good for you, but it’s also delicious (it kind of tastes like dark chocolate!).

One of the most popular ways to eat the acai berry is by blending it up into an acai bowl. An acai bowl is an acai berry smoothie in a bowl. It’s a combination acai with other frozen fruit and healthy ingredients blended until thick and frosty. This acai blend is then poured into a bowl served with of fun and delicious toppings. Acai bowl blends are thick, creamy, and eaten with a spoon like healthy ice cream. The topping combinations are endless and include fresh fruit, granola, nuts, seeds and more. I dont know about you, but anything edible that includes toppings is an instant win in my book 😉

One of the most popular places where acai bowls are enjoyed outside of South America is Hawaii. I had my first acai bowl on vacation in Oahu last week and was instantly in love with its fresh flavor and refreshing taste.  I’ve taken some inspiration from the island to create a few recipes below. I also reached out to one of my favorite healthy living nutrition brands ALOHA for a few of their recipe ideas as well! The result? Four amazing acai bowls to sample! Dont blame me when you get addicted….. keep reading for my “How to Build an Acai Bowl Guide” and fun, delicious recipes to add to your healthy life.

My traditional acai berry bowl from Goofy Cafe and Dine in Oahu, Hawaii

My traditional acai berry bowl from Goofy Cafe and Dine in Oahu, Hawaii

How-to Build an Acai Bowl Guide:

First Buy Acai. Acai comes in a few forms. Frozen acai smoothie packs, acai juice, and acai powder. My favorite way to enjoy acai is via the frozen smoothie packs because you can easily blend up frosty smoothies and creamy purple acai bowls. When choosing acai you can either buy 100% acai or a “blend” product. Here are a few brands and options for frozen smoothie packs.

      • Sambazon: This sweetened acai smoothie pack contains energizing guarana. To taste, the pack is quite sweet, and almost tastes like a popsicle. The acai flavor is a bit less bold due to the added sugar that “waters down” the acai content a bit. The color is a light purple rather than deep purple. Delicious, but a bit less potent than 100% acai packs. Note: The Sambazon brand has a wide variety of delicious acai juices worth trying and testing out as well! Great company and you can find them in many stores which is even better. They also have an acai powder that is very high quality. Check out all Sambazon Products on Amazon
      • Acai Roots: This pure premium acai is 100% wild grown and organic too! Again, 100% acai, unsweetened, nothing added so you get a super deep purple color and rich caco-berry acai flavor. Start with Acai Roots Organic Acai Pure Powder, 16-Ounce Pouch
      • Amafruits. Very high quality and deep purple color. Another great option for frozen acai freezer packs. Pure Acai Berry Puree Smoothie Packs
      • Acai Powder. You can also buy acai powder. I like the wonderful Navitas Naturals brand of acai. It is super easy to add to smoothies to boost the flavor and nutritional content. Try these: Navitas Naturals Organic Acai Powder, 8-Ounce Pouches

Second Build Your Bowl:

Blend. First blend together two acai smoothie packs, a generous splash of liquid and (optionally) some frozen fruit. I like to add one fresh or frozen banana. Vanilla almond or soy milk tastes delicious as the liquid base of an acai bowl. Or you can try coconut milk for a richer, creamier tropical flavor. Blend the ingredients in a high speed blender until creamy, but still very thick and frosty.

Texture troubleshooting:

Too thin? To prevent a too-thin texture, add the liquid in very small amounts, gradually. Just until the blend starts churning.

Too thick? If you have trouble with a “too thick” blend, simply keep adding liquid slowly until things smooth out. You could also add in vegan yogurt or even a scoop of silken tofu. Taste test the blend before serving. You can add sweetness (if needed) via agave or maple syrup, fruit like bananas or even using a more sweetened non-dairy milk base.

Chocolate spin:
Want a super chocolate-y flavor? Blend 1-3 tsp cacao powder into your acai blend. Or blend in raw cacao nibs. You could even use a chocolate protein powder if you’d like.

Pour. After your acai is thick, frosty and blended, spoon it out into a bowl. Tips: Use a chilled bowl to help keep your acai from melting too quickly! – Or add some frozen fruit to the bottom of the bowl (frozen wild blueberries or frozen organic strawberries perhaps) to prevent quick melting as you eat.

Top. Start adding toppings! Nuts, cacao nibs, a splash of coconut milk, coconut shreds, fresh berries, sliced fresh banana, chopped nuts, chia seeds, ground flax seeds or even a spoonful of almond butter. There are so many options for toppings. Choose healthy foods you have on hand and fresh fruits that are in season or have a tropical vibe.

Third ENJOY! Serve right away and eat with a spoon! Here are a few recipes to get your creative cooking juices flowing:

Hawaii 5-0 Rainbow Bowl
Serves: 1
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

Using frozen fruit in the acai purée helps to achieve a thick consistency, but avoid adding ice as it can water down the flavors. For the topping, fresh fruit works best, but frozen and thawed can also work in a pinch.

INGREDIENTS:

ACAI PURÉE

  • 1/2 small banana
  • 1 100-g (3.5-oz) pack frozen unsweetened acai berry pulp (TRY: Acai Berry Puree with Guarana Smoothie Packsbefore opening your acai pack, run pack under water for 5 seconds to thaw and break the frozen pulp into smaller pieces.)
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

TOPPINGS

  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 kiwi, peeled and sliced or chopped
  • 1/2 small banana, sliced
  • 1/4 cup peeled and chopped pineapple or mango
  • 1/4 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup granola, optional
  • Drizzle of raw honey, optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prepare acai purée: In a blender, add banana, acai pulp, strawberries, blueberries and a splash of milk. (TIP: Add to blender in that order as adding softer ingredients first makes it easier on your blender blades.) Blend on low until larger chunks are broken down, then gradually increase speed, adding a splash of milk at a time, and stopping to scrape down sides of blender if needed. When ingredients have mostly come together and all of milk has been added, blend on high for 15 to 20 seconds more.
  2. Add toppings: Pour acai purée into a bowl and arrange toppings in stripes of their respective color to form a rainbow: from left to right, arrange blueberries, kiwi, banana, pineapple and strawberries. Sprinkle with granola and drizzle with honey (if using).

Nutrients per serving (1 bowl): Calories: 327, Total Fat: 9 g, Sat. Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g, Carbs: 63 g, Fiber: 11 g, Sugars: 37 g, Protein: 4 g, Sodium: 106 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

Green Tropicalada Bowl
Serves: 1
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

For an added health and color boost, try adding about 1 teaspoon of spirulina to the acai purée.

INGREDIENTS:

ACAI PURÉE

  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup fresh kale
  • 1/2 small banana
  • 1 100-g (3.5-oz) pack frozen unsweetened acai berry pulp (TRY: Acai Berry Puree with Guarana Smoothie Packsbefore opening your acai pack, run pack under water for 5 seconds to thaw and break the frozen pulp into smaller pieces.)
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (TIP: Instead of almond milk, you can substitute a mix of ¼ cup coconut milk combined with ¼ cup water.)

TOPPINGS

  • 1/2 small banana, sliced
  • 2 tbsp peeled and chopped pineapple
  • 1/4 cup granola, optional
  • 1 to 2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Drizzle of raw honey, optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prepare acai purée: To a blender, add spinach, kale, banana, acai pulp, mango and a splash of milk. (TIP: Add to blender in that order as adding softer ingredients first makes it easier on your blender blades.) Blend on low until larger chunks are broken down, then gradually increase speed, adding a splash of milk at a time, and stopping to scrape down sides of blender if needed. When ingredients have mostly come together and all of milk has been added, blend on high for 15 to 20 seconds more.
  2. Add toppings: Pour acai purée into a bowl, then add toppings and drizzle with honey (if using).

Nutrients per serving (1 bowl): Calories: 344, Total Fat: 13 g, Sat. Fat: 6 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g, Carbs: 55.5 g, Fiber: 10 g, Sugars: 31 g, Protein: 8 g, Sodium: 153 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

And a few to try from the amazing people at ALOHA, one of my favorite healthy living nutrition partners. The ALOHA way is a source of happiness!

Fit for a Princess Pink Acai Bowl

In honor of Princess Charlotte, I am sharing an açaí bowl from The Whole Tara. This is the most refreshing and energizing breakfast choice bursting with antioxidants and nutrients.

Ingredients

1 banana frozen

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup raspberries

1/2 cup blackberries

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon almond butter

1 handful spinach

1 tablespoons açaí powder

1 packet ALOHA Daily Good Berry (Im obsessed with these little pouches of antioxidants and add them to everything I can smoothies, oatmeal, and more. Use the code “CAROLINEJORDANFITNESS” at checkout for a great discount on these superfood daily greens pouches)

Oats for topping

Preparation

Blend all the ingredients, except the toppings, on high speed until smooth and creamy. A thick frozen yogurt consistency is best.

Top with oats or any fruit, nuts, and seeds. Serve and enjoy!

Get more recipes from Tara at TheWholeTara.com. Follow @TheWholeTara Instagram.

Acai Banana Super Antioxidant Bowl

Ingredients 1 frozen unsweetened acai pack (you’ll need to run it under water for a few seconds and break it up into pieces before blending)1/2 frozen banana (Make sure you don’t freeze your bananas until they’re quite ripe – it means that your acai bowl will be naturally sweeter!)1/2 cup frozen berries

1 packet ALOHA Daily Good Berry Blend (Use the code “CAROLINEJORDANFITNESS” at checkout for a great discount on these superfood daily greens pouches)

1/2 cup coconut almond milk blend*

1/2 sliced fresh banana

1 tbsp chopped almonds

1 tsp bee pollen

Honey or agave to taste

Preparation

1. Blend together the frozen acai pack, frozen banana, frozen berries, Daily Good, and coconut almond milk. I use a food processor, but a blender should work well too, you might just need to add a little bit more liquid

2. Top with 1/2 sliced (not frozen!) banana, 1 tbsp chopped almonds and 1 tbsp bee pollen

3. If you like it on the sweeter side, drizzle a tiny bit of honey or agave on top!

*I make my own coconut almond milk, but it can be purchased in most major health food stores

DIY Coconut Almond Milk

Ingredients

1 cup raw and organic almonds

1 cup dried, unsweetened organic coconut flakes

5 cups of filtered or best quality spring water

1 tsp cinnamon

Preparation

1. Soak the almonds overnight in a few cups of water to soften and to release phytic acid (an enzyme inhibitor that can interfere with digestion)

2. Strain and rinse the nuts until water runs clear.

3. Cover the coconut with two cups very not (but not boiling) water for about 10 minutes, until coconut softens

4. Add coconut and its water to a blender with the nuts, cinnamon and two more cups of water and blend (If your blender is big enough you can add all three additional cups; mine isn’t so I add the last cup of water at the end)

5. Strain through a nut bag (squeeze HARD to get out all of the water) into a container, add one more cup of water and shake to combine. You can use the ground almonds and coconut to make almond coconut meal if you desire!

The nut milk will last about four to five days in the refrigerator. It will separate, so before use just make sure to shake it up before you use it!

Follow Julia Taylor-Brown on Instagram and Twitter

*** For all of the above, feel free to sub in different nut milks, add in a scoop of nut butter or protein powder for added protein, or sprinkle in boosters such as bee pollen and get creative with your toppings! That is the best part after all 😉

After all that reading Im seriously craving an acai bowl! Have you tried acai bowls? What is your favorite combination of toppings? Leave your thoughts as a comment below, Id love to hear from you! And as always, if you enjoyed this post SHARE it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. More great content is headed your way every week to help you live a happy, healthy life! 

Now off to blend up a bowl of goodness,

Caroline

Other Things to Check Out This Week:

  • I’ve been nominated for 80’s Prom Queen! (yes seriously lol). Help me support the Gaurdsmen and raise funds for at risk Bay Area youth. 100% of your donations go directly to the cause. Not only that but the nominee that raises the most dollars in donations gets to be crowned Queen of the court! Thank you for your support and totally awesomeness. Please share this link:   https://www.crowdrise.com/SF80sProm/fundraiser/carolinejordan 
  • Teaching Fitness 101. Questions to consider before starting your fitness career. 
  • Have you tried ALOHA healthy superfood chocolate? Peruvian fair-trade organic cacao combined with nutritious superfood greens. Indulging in your chocolate craving has never tasted this amazing. Want to taste some for yourself? Enter the code: “CAROLINEJORDANFITNESS” at: https://aloha.com/home for 10% off your superfood chocolate!

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