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Have you found yourself in a café, browsing the menu only to find yourself asking “what, exactly, are Acai bowls?” Maybe you were browsing Instagram and you saw an influencer holding a colorful bowl of fruit and granola and it piqued your curiosity. The Acai bowl feels like it came out of nowhere, doesn’t it? Now that it’s on every breakfast menu, here’s a guide that’ll teach you everything you need to know.
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What is Acai?
Acai (pronounced ah-sah-hee) is a berry extracted from the acai palm, a tree native to South America. Its taste is certainly eclectic, with some describing it as earthy with hints of raspberry and pomegranate, and others describing it as a cross between blackberry and a hint of dark chocolate.
The popularity of acai bowls started in Brazil, where the founders of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu would eat them regularly for their nutritional value. They have since become a global phenomenon, and anybody in the world can now enjoy the taste of acai.
How Do You Make an Acai Bowl?
Part of the fun of acai bowls is that they are really easy to make. There are two parts to any acai bowl, the base and the toppings, and the best part is that the ingredients are entirely up to you.
The base is where you blend all of the fruit with the milk of your choice. This can include:
- Your acai (if you don’t have it fresh, try powder acai)
- Dried fruit (i.e. dates)
The goal is to end up with a nicely blended puree that’s not too runny but also not too thick.
Once you’ve got that, you can pick your toppings, such as:
- More fruit (i.e. star fruit, kiwi fruit, strawberries, etc.)
- Chopped nuts
- Coconut flakes
Put it all together and bam, you’ve got yourself an acai bowl. Enjoy!
How Do You Find Good Acai?
If you’ve had enough of the acai bowls at your local café, and you’re interested in making your own at home, the trick is to find high quality acai. Acai is difficult to process, and some suppliers cut corners in order to lower costs at the expense of the quality of the berry, so it’s always a good idea to do your research.
Why are Acai Bowls So Popular?
It’s safe to say that acai bowls aren’t just a fad. Here are some reasons as to why the acai bowl has become a staple of breakfasts everywhere that isn’t going anywhere.
Acai bowls give you control over your diet
Diets are hard, aren’t they? You have to worry about portion control and moderation, and sometimes you have to eat foods that aren’t to your taste. That’s why acai bowls are great though. The only hard rule of acai bowls is that they need to contain acai, otherwise the sky’s the limit. This means that it can fit practically any diet. You can make a delicious dish with any ingredients you want.
Acai comes in different forms
Once acai has been processed, you can get it in powder sachets, a frozen puree and even a soft serve sorbet. There really is something for everyone, meaning everybody can enjoy the taste and benefits of acai.
Acai complements various tastes
Acai’s earthy flavor works because it never overwhelms the other foods. Fun fact, before it was used with fruits and grain, acai was paired with fish and vegetables. If you can think of a combination for your acai bowl, you can rest assured that acai will work with it.
Adam Bogatin is the owner of wholesale frozen food supplier Purple Foods. Adam has pioneered the rise of Acai in Australia and has over 10 years experience working in the frozen food industry.