Why acai will rock your tastebuds (and your health)

Way too many antioxidants for one photo.

Way too many antioxidants for one photo.

Like so many superfoods, acai has been somewhat hijacked by the marketing arms of companies who are trying to convince us that their sugary processed products are actually good for us, which means it is sometimes regarded with a fair dose of suspicion. You see the word ‘acai’ plastered all over the packaging of things like sorbet, smoothies and biscuits. My experience of these products has been that in most, if not all, cases the amount of acai is a) negligible and b) irrelevant because the product is so full of other junk that I can’t see how you’d get any benefits from eating it.

Anyway, less processed-food ranting and more acai loving! Acai (which is a berry that is found in the Amazon) has earned its spot in the superfoods hall of fame because of its off-the-chart antioxidant levels (500% more than the humble blueberry). And we all know how important antioxidants are because who doesn’t want to protect themselves against those pesky free radicals?!

Acai is very good for your heart because it is thought to help lower cholesterol levels and it improves blood circulation. It’s also a good source of fibre and it helps keep your digestive system on track through its powerful detoxification abilities. The other main benefits of acai are that it helps keep you looking young (thanks to our friends, the antioxidants) and it gives you sustained energy. It’s clever little berry, that acai!

You can find acai at any good health store or online, and it comes in a couple of different forms, with the most common two being powder and frozen blocks. Both options make great additions to your smoothies but if you’re looking for a way to create a healthy, nutrient-packed dessert, then the frozen blocks are your ticket to guilt-free treats. You can use them to make acai bowls, which will (as the title of this post says) rock your tastebuds and your health.

The Ingredients (makes two serves)

  • Two bricks of frozen acai
  • A handful of frozen mixed berries
  • 1/2 an apple
  • Some chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 tsp. Manuka honey
  • 1/4 cup of chopped almonds
  • Three tbsp. of hemp or chia seeds
  • A little bit of apple juice or coconut water so you can blend everything together

The Process

In a blender, whizz up all of the ingredients except the fresh strawberries, almonds and chia seeds. Just add the apple juice (or coconut water) a little at a time to make sure your mixture doesn’t end up too runny, then scoop it into two bowls.

All you need to do now is sprinkle on your hemp or chia seeds, the almonds and strawberries. Serve immediately and enjoy at any time of the day – yes, this is so good for you that it can be eaten for breakfast.

Dessert for breakfast? It doesn’t get much better than that!

Laura

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