This post was inspired by “spring” in San Diego… (aka it’s kinda always spring here, but the month is now May so the Midwesterner in me feels the need to start posting seasonally appropriate recipes).
Anyway, there’s a delicious snack in Southern California called the Acai Bowl that I only recently became obsessed with. It’s available all over at little cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants along the coast especially near the beach. I am not quite sure how I have lived in Southern California for 2 years now without trying Acai… but I’ll chalk it up to living under a rock. By contrast, BFF Emily showed up for her first visit here a few years ago and was downing an Acai bowl within minutes of arrival. Honestly, the reason I didn’t start eating Acai sooner was that I was inherently distrustful of the product because it has mostly promoted as a pseudo-science health food.. There are many claims that Acai promotes weight loss, solves diabetes, alzheimers, and cures cancer, etc, etc, none of which have actually been proven to be true. The logical part of me was like ugh.. this is just another trendy fad similar to juice cleansing.
But then I caved and tried my first Acai bowl. And I was hooked.
I was hooked not because I suddenly started believing in psuedo-science mumbo-jumbo (Disclaimer: I will continue to feel that Acai offers the same health benefits as all other fruits and is NOT some mystical South American cure-all). I was hooked because it tastes freaking amazing!
For a little history.. the Acai fruit is a small berry that comes from the Acai palm. It’s native to South America, mostly available in Brazil. California imports it by the truckful because we’re so dang obsessed with Acai here. But basically it’s a tart bitter fruit that kinda looks like a blueberry, but is harder and more dense. The flavor reminds me of dates, but a little more tart and the texture isn’t as pulpy.
Anyway, the idea is that you puree the frozen acai pulp into a nice sorbet/frozen smoothie thing and top it with your favorite fruit, granola, coconut, and honey. It is extremely delicious and is a great way to cool off on a sunny Southern California day.
Also it’s really easy to make at home. Enjoy!
This is what the Acai packets look like. They are available in the frozen section at Whole Foods. Also I think you can order them from Amazon.com, but last time I looked they were all sold out. This recipe calls for 2 of the packets/ bowl, but if you don’t want that much you could easily 1/2 the recipe and just use 1 packet.
I went a little nuts at the grocery store and bought ALL the fruits… Stawberries, blueberries, banana, Ataulfo mango (which are ahhmazing if you can get your hands on them). Generally most Acai bowls for purchase just come with stawberries, bananas, and granola- however it is a little more fun to use a variety of toppings for added color and flavor.
California Acai Bowl
- For Blending
- 2 3.5 oz Frozen Acai Packets
- 1/3 cup clear fruit juice apple or cranberry work well
- 1/2 banana
- For Topping
- 1/2 banana sliced
- 2-3 stawberries sliced
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup granola
- 1/4 cup grated coconut
- Honey for drizzling
- Run frozen Acai packets under hot water for about 5 seconds. Remove from plastic and place in blender along with banana and fruit juice. Blend until well combined. Pour into a bowl.
- Top with sliced fruit, granola, and coconut.
- Drizzle with honey before serving.