Brazilian Acai Bowl
Who’s up for a little boost of energy?
(This post is sponsored by Nature Valley, but the recipe, pictures and opinions are my own! Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog happen!)
This Acai Bowl will give you all the energy you need PLUS MOOOORE! Just imagine me writing this right now, very wired, at almost 12am, with all the energy in the world because I decided to have one of these bowls for dinner! Woohooooo! Poor husband…
Things are heating up here in NYC and I can’t help but miss my summers down in Brazil.
Me and a group of friends used to drive down to my grandparents beach house (that we had for ourselves) every weekend in January/February. We would spend all day on the beach and do things young people do… Which is pretty much drink a lot and party until sunrise. Usually young people do those things and then survive on pizza and frozen food. However, this specific group had me as a hostess, so – ahem – they ate very well.
That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t get the traditional acai bowl at the beach. Oh no! Those were sacred.
We didn’t get them for breakfast, as breakfast time was long gone when we woke up, but as an afternoon snack after swimming or sun tanning to replenish our energy and prepare our bodies for another night of heavy partying.
Acai bowls are also very popular as a pre or post-work out meal down in Brazil. The whole trend around this “superfruit” began with the surfers and expanded to the big cities.
My hometown, São Paulo, has a few bars that are exclusively for “acai”. Hundreds of varieties, with different fruits, different types of granola, with or without Guaraná for even more energy, etc… These places are usually packed during late afternoon, almost as if the “healthy freaks” consider their acai bowls a happy hour treat of some sorts.
Acai (or the Portuguese spelling Açaí), pronounced ‘ah-sah-ee’, is the berry from the acai palm. The name comes from the indigenous tupi language and means “fruit that cries” (or expels water), which is kinda weird since this berry, although juicy, is 95% seed matter. I have a feeling they named it like that because of how the palm seems to be crying the berries… But that’s just me! (I was going to post a picture of the palm for you guys but I have this weird aversion for lots of little balls together, so Google if you want, but I just can’t do it! lol)
As you know, acai has been known for boosting energy, because of its anti-oxidant properties, which also promotes faster recovery times and increases stamina. However, this little fruit also boosts heart health, contains anti-aging properties (because of its good fatty acids) and advances weight loss. On top of that, it is packed with protein (the amino content found within acai berries is almost the equivalent of an egg), hence why it is so popular among athletic folks.
So even though an acai bowl is high in calories, it is very good for you! (Yes, you just caught me making excuses so I can eat this for breakfast every single day for the rest of my life!)
When Nature Valley sent me some of their new Nature ValleyTM Toasted Oats Muesli (both the Blueberry and the Original) version, I knew I had to use it as a topping to my Acai Bowl. I mean, don’t get me wrong, their muesli is so good that I’ve been eating it everyday, either with milk or yogurt. However, it is the most perfect topping for a delicious acai bowl as it adds this amazing crunch that makes all the difference in the world and its a healthier version of granola.
Don’t you love it when you find a product you like that also makes everything so much simpler and quicker? I’ve been trying to get my husband to eat breakfast at home, so he stops spending our hard-earned money at the bagel guy in front of his office. But for that to work it needs to be something that he can eat quick or have it to go. Nature Valley Muesli has been the perfect solution for this problem as there is so many ways to eat it, hot or cold. The muesli is a delicious blend of whole rolled oats, fruit, nuts, and seeds. It is lightly sweetened and made with wholesome ingredients you can feel good about eating.
They started stocking major retailers and grocers on June 1st, so you shouldn’t have any problems finding it now. Also, to encourage you to try it, the awesome peeps at Nature Valley are giving my readers a $1 off coupon that you can find here!
I love the versatility of this dish. You can pretty much customize with your favorite fruits/cereal, thicken with avocado or peanut butter, and even add more liquid and make a smoothie.
It is pretty easy to make too. The blender pretty much does all the work for you and all that’s left to do is slice some fresh fruit to top your bowl.
Sometimes getting the right consistency can be a little tricky. You want your acai bowl to be creamy, almost like ice cream consistency, so I suggest you only add the liquid if necessary, after you purée the acai frozen pack with the banana.
For most people, the sweetness of the banana is enough. However, if you like some extra sweetness, you could add some agave syrup, honey or the traditional Guaraná syrup (that also pumps the energy level up quite a bit!). If you’re bold and don’t mind the sugar, you could even use sweet condensed milk for a more decadent version!
I like to keep my Açaí bowl on the healthy side, though. My favorite fixings are a sliced banana and some muesli! Sometimes I substitute the banana for strawberries. Sometimes I do both. And sometimes I add some shaved coconut and some nuts! It all comes down to what I have available in my pantry/fridge.
So what about you? What would be your favorite way of eating Nature Valley’s Muesli?
For the acai bowl:
- 200 g frozen acai puree (smoothie pack)
- 1 banana
- Up to 1/4 cup of orange juice (or any kind of milk of your choice), to thin if necessary
- 1/2 tablespoon agave nectar (optional)
- Nature Valley Toasted Oats Muesli
- A sliced banana (or substitute for any fruits of your likings)
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