Ah sigh, another Acai bowl. I know, but I finally motivated myself to make one at home instead of spending over $10 at most smoothie cafe spots. The motivation really wasn’t necessary once I realized it simply takes only 5 minutes to make one of these beauties.
So, what is Acai (pronounce ah-sah-ee) and why the obsession? Not only are we seeing it in juices and smoothies, but also cosmetics products! The fruit, most specifically the berry originates from south and central america. It claims to have more antioxidants than most other berries (such as cranberries and strawberries) promoting anti-aging and weight loss benefits, however further research is needed to make such statements.
The Acai smoothie craze has now transitioned to a smoothie bowl-with-toppings craze. These scrumptious little bites added to these bowls can be good sources of energy, but be careful, lots of these toppings can have added sugar and calories. Many of us may think these bowls are healthy options, but some can carry over 500 calories a serving!
Yes, these smoothies mainly contain whole foods, but excess amounts of these nutrients can add to our waistline (and wallet). The trick here is to watch for the toppings and the smoothie bowl ingredients. The frozen acai packet I used in this recipe has 13g sugar. Next time I will either find a better unsweetened option or not use the acai puree at all in my future smoothie bowls. Soon, the new product Food Labels will contain added sugar to differentiate the all natural sugar already present in the food item and the sugars actually added, yay!. The ingredients listed in this packet included acai puree, but then lists organic cane sugar. I did not make the wisest choice here with the Acai blend and will next time try to find the unsweetened version also available by Sambazon.
For the smoothie, you simply throw in everything except the toppings: fresh fruit, granola, shredded coconut, banana, and your nut butter of choice. If you want a thicker smoothie, I would suggest using either the whole banana, or adding 1/4 cup of plain yogurt. The granola I used was lower in sugar than most cereals that are very good at sneaking in added sugar. Try to aim for less than 10g per serving, or better yet, make your own at home (something on my list of things to do as well!).
- 1 Pack (100g) Sambazon Frozen Acai Blend
- 1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 ripe banana, small
- 3/4 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 tablespoon unsalted sunflower seed butter
- 1/4 cup granola
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- fresh fruit for topping
- Place acai blend, almond milk, chia seeds, 1/2 of the banana, and frozen strawberries into a blender. Simply blend until smooth and consistency has thickened.
- Pour the smoothie into a bowl and top with the granola, sun butter, remaining banana sliced, coconut, and fresh fruit.
- Top with extra small sprinkle of chia seeds (optional). It couldn't be any easier! Enjoy!