Cooking with Fruit Pt.1: Acai Bowl

I don’t know about you but I loooveeee fruit. How can you not? So sweet and delicious?! I protest those who say it’s not good for you because of all the fructose, BUT if you think about it I could be reaching for a bag of potato chips instead! So eating half a pineapple in one sitting still sounds okay by me..

Because I love fruit so much, I love to look for ways to incorporate it into a meal– normally as a side or a topping on a salad, but I’m going to be blogging a few of my favorite ways to use fruit in meals. Especially in summer when it comes into season, it becomes super inexpensive too!

The first I will share you can have for breakfast or lunch, it’s great for a hot day, and you can do as much or as little to it as you want! That is… ACAI BOWLS!  I feel like these things are all the rage right now, at least in Nashville, and yeah while they’re good for you but.. helloooo expensive much? It’s essentially a blended up bowl of fruit but around here these can run you anywhere from $8-12!! Throw in an overpriced cup of coffee and you might as well call it dinner. No thanks.

BUT acai berries are very good for you (not entirely proven to be as good as some believe) high in antioxidants and vitamin C, and a little discovery I made this week (that I’m probably the last to know about) makes making these at home a breeze!

Trader Joe’s sells frozen unsweetened Acai packets! There is 4 in a package for $4.49.. so a little more than a dollar per bowl, but hey still way ahead of $12!

unsweetened-acai-puree-packets.jpg

There are about a million different ways you can make a frozen smoothie bowl, but this is my go-to.. dress it up, dress it down– up to you!

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I start with a generous handful of baby spinach leaves (stems and all) and put that in the blender with about 2 tablespoons or more of water. I blend this for about 10 seconds until smooth. This is my secret to not having big chunks of spinach leaves in the finished product.. I actually hate spinach so I would not like to know it’s in there.. If you totally are not willing to try the spinach thing.. that’s totally fine it doesn’t mess up the recipe– just know you’re missing out on added protein!

Then I add all my ingredients..

To this one I used frozen mixed fruit (strawberries, peaches, pineapple, grapes), fresh banana, chia seeds, flax seed meal (hello fiber and omega 3’s), and a splash of the Naked Green Machine juice (there are several off brands to this that are good too). Run the acai packet under hot water for several seconds to get it loosened up and add that in there too.

This is where I will say that many other people like to use a protein powder/almond milk base for that protein intake, but we have tree nut allergies in our house and I don’t really like protein powder, but you do you.

I have a setting on my blender that is 45 seconds specially for smoothies, but basically just combine pulses with long high power blends to get it all smooth. If you want to drink it as a smoothie– just pour it in a glass and you’re good to go– or for the bowl pour in a cereal bowl.

You can then top it with whatever you want and like in a fashion that is sure to be worthy of the ‘gram.. (please just know that I eye-rolled at myself to taking the picture of mine).

IMG_4898

Possible toppings:

  • granola (I used Love Crunch Dark Chocolate & Red Berries ‘cuz it’s my fav)
  • fresh fruit – strawberries, banana, kiwi, etc
  • chia seeds (these little puppies are high in fiber, omega-3’s, protein, vitamins and minerals! Getcha some!)
  • coconut flakes
  • dollop of nut butter
  • almonds
  • honey (personally with the Naked Juice I add, it’s sweet enough)
  • Lucky Charms
  • M&Ms??

Before I get too carried away here I hope you try and enjoy this recipe (in greater detail shown below). Here are some links to acai bowl menu renditions you can make yourself!

Franklin Juice Co, The Urban JuicerJuice Bar

Comment and let me know how yours turns out! And stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of Cooking with Fruit!


acai smoothie bowl

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