Hey friends! I hope you all had a beautiful week!
I cannot eat enough acai bowls lately, which you know if you follow my Insta Stories. Several of you have asked for the recipe, and now the wait is over!
Acai bowls are not only incredibly delicious, but they are beyond amazing for your body and mind, and I truly believe that combined with other positive lifestyle choices, can really do wonders for you. There's a million different ways to make one, but I have created a "go to" recipe that is simple yet packed with nutritional benefits. I crave these, and notice that I have so much energy throughout the day when I eat them. I usually have matcha first thing in the morning (I stopped drinking coffee! Full story coming soonish), and make an acai bowl for brunch. I'm not a breakfast person! These are also awesome for a late lunch. They're basically awesome anytime. Please don't be intimidated by making them look pretty. The ones I eat every day are not fancy, but somehow they're still beautiful. The vivid purples, glaze of honey, coconut flakes... it just feels beautiful without a lot of work. Let's face it, eating pretty food is fun.
Tips and tricks:
- You need a good blender. I have a Vitamix (I've had it for 10 years now, and it works like it did the first time I ever used it So while they are pricey, they last and work like champs). I'm sure other blenders would work, but truthfully, I don't know. Give it a try!
- Please buy organic ingredients. I know they are more expensive, but they're a million times better for you. We are exposed to enough chemicals and toxins in our daily lives, and if we have a choice to limit them and not consume them then we should do our best. Of course your budget matters, so do the best you can!
- Add ins are OPTIONAL. When I see lengthy recipes full of expensive superfoods I personally feel overwhelmed, especially if they're ones I don't already own. Try one additive. Or none. You can make an awesome acai bowl without them.
- How you add the ingredients into the blender matters. This is a huge trick. The mixture should be thicker than your regular old smoothie, and if you load the frozen fruits in first, the blender can have a tough time. So pay attention to this when you make it, and always start with less liquid than you think. I made way too many runny acai bowls in the beginning. They still taste great though so it's totally fine.
Why you should eat this:
Okay, before I give you the recipe, I want to actually explain why you should eat this bowl, too. Here is the cliff notes version of the nutritional benefits.
Antioxidants galore: Antioxidants destroy harmful free-radicals in the body which prevents the body from aging, breaking down, and degenerative diseases. Yes, this means they slow down the aging process... have I sold you already on eating this?
Anti-cancer: Acai + blueberries are loaded with anthocyanins, a flavonoid that makes them that gorgeous shade of purple. This flavonoid has actually been shown to kill cancer cells. Anthocyanins also improve cardiovascular functions. Vitamin E is also linked to preventing cancer and protecting the body from outside pollution.
Vitamins: Blueberries are loaded with vitamin C which prevents cell damage and absorption of iron. Almonds and tocos are high in vitamin E. Vitamin E is essential for skin repair, connective tissue, and muscular functions.
Immune boosting: Acai is also loaded with a polysaccharide called arabinogalactan which activates t-cell activity, aka it helps your body fight infections.
Lots of fiber: Acai bowls are loaded with fiber which not only keeps your colon happy (therefore you happier, too!), it keeps you FULL, meaning you're less likely to be starving later and making poor food choices out of hanger (hunger + anger). Bananas are high in pectin (a form of fiber) which regulates blood sugar.
Heart health: Omega 6 + 9 lower bad cholesterol in the body. This is a good thing because bad cholesterol leads to plaque in the arteries, which in turn ups your chance of strokes or heart attacks. Blueberries have also been shown to decrease bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Ellagic acid and anthocyanidins protect blood vessels and collagen surrounding the heart. Vitamin E also prevents heart attacks and strokes by inhibiting bad cholesterol and several other super technical reasons that I'll skip here! Bananas are loaded with potassium, a mineral that is essential for heart health.
Increased brain function: Fiber and nutrition keeps your body stable which keeps your mood stable. Calcium and copper content in almonds keeps your nervous system working smoothly. When your body is running smoothly your mind runs smoothly.
Extra energy: Acai + honey are linked to increasing energy without the crash of something like coffee!
Why I add tocos (Tocopheranols and Tocotrienols): Tocos are a bioavailable source of vitamin E. Nothing synthetic here like many vitamin E capsules are. They're loaded with other vitamins and minerals as well such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline, and Inositol. Have you heard of hair and skin vitamins? This is like the natural source of skin, hair, and nail health!!!
Why I add cacao: Cacao is raw chocolate, and is one of the most incredible sources of antioxidants. There are over 300 chemicals in cacao that is of benefit to our bodies and minds. One of those benefits is a boost in serotonin which improves our moods. Cacao contains the neurotransmitter, theobromine which aids in the feeling of contentment and relaxation. This is great for people who may be dealing with sadness, stress, and worries. Raw cacao is POWERFUL stuff. I only add a little because of this.
Honestly, I could have made this list like 10x longer. The mind and body benefits just go on and on and on! Are you ready for my recipe?? Here you go...
Lindsay's daily acai bowl:
For the bowl:
- one pack acai. I use Sambazon. It is in the frozen aisle at Whole Foods.
- 1 large or 2 smaller bananas, NOT frozen.
- frozen mango chunks (1/3ish cups)
- frozen blueberry (roughly 1/4 cup of wild blueberries is what I use)
- a heaping spoonful almond butter (I use MaraNatha)
- almond milk (I like Malk Organics, New Barn, or make your own with this recipe)
- one tablespoon tocos (I use Sun Potion)
- a drizzle of agave (I use Madhava) - don't go crazy, it's super sweet!
- granola (I like One Degree Sprouted Honey Hemp Granola)
- sliced bananas
- shredded coconut (I use these)
- spoonful cacao nibs (These are the ones I've been using lately)
- drizzle of honey (I personally use this exact honey - it's the most delish honey I have ever tasted)
Directions: Add banana chunks to blender. Pour in somewhat thawed acai packet (I thaw my under hot water for 30-60 seconds (depending on my patience level that day) and then break the remainder up into chunks). Add frozen blueberries and mango. Drizzle in agave. Add almond butter. Add liquid. Blend. Add more liquid if need be. You don't need much!
Transfer to bowl. Add in blueberries, banana slices granola, honey, coconut, cacao, and really anything else you love! Strawberries and chia seeds are also awesome choices.
Turn off your cell phone, get outside, and ENJOY.
**If you truly want to eat this outside, like at the beach, I recommend using frozen bananas, and then putting the mixture in a container that will keep it cold. Pack all your toppings, and assemble at the beach. It tastes even better there. :)
Are you riding the acai bowl train, too? Let me know if you give it a try!
With so much love,