Acai Bowls with Granola: A Must Try!
A new trend in breakfast has hit the scene, and it’s packed with a nutritional superfood that has a long list of health benefits. Acai bowls are akin to a smoothie sundae. The base is made from a Brazilian fruit that has all of the good stuff in it, like antioxidants and healthy fat. And the toppings give it flair, catering to a wide range of tastes.
Fresh fruit, granola, oats, and shaved coconut are just a few things to dress up an acai bowl. These bowls are a healthy way to satisfy cravings for something sweet while starting your day with all of the nutrients that you need so you feel good and not weighed down by starchy carbs and trans fats.
What is an Acai Bowl?
Let’s start with what is an acai berry. Acai berries are a tropical fruit grown on Brazilian palm trees that are about the size of a blueberry. Despite their small size, they have large seeds that take up to 80% of the volume of the berry. The flesh of the berry (or remaining 20%) is nutrient-dense, garnering a superfood title and driving up demand for harvesting these little guys.
Acai berries are typically sold as a frozen puree and most commonly served as a smoothie bowl. These berries are 70 calories per cup and loaded with antioxidants, healthy fats, fiber, and calcium. The puree makes a delicious and nutritious base for smoothie bowls or acai bowls. The trick is getting a good consistency with your milk of choice and pairing it with the right toppings to suit your tastes.
Health Benefits of Acai Bowls with Granola
We’ve made some claims that acai bowls are the vehicle for the next up-and-coming superfood. But what makes acai a superfood? Let’s take a look at the health benefits of this amazing little berry.
- Healthy Fats (for lower cholesterol levels)
- Low-glycemic Index (diabetic-friendly)
- Heart Healthy
- Natural Energy Boost
Antioxidants help neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals in our body from our environment that may cause diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Acai berries have up to three times the amount of antioxidants compared to blueberries (another high-antioxidant fruit.) Between lower cholesterol levels and more antioxidants, the positive impact on your heart health is nothing to dismiss.
Acai berries are also a significant source of healthy fats like avocado and fish. Plus, they contain plant sterols which actually inhibit the absorption of cholesterol. And, another benefit of these healthy fats is that they help you feel full, providing a breakfast that sticks with you and curbs your appetite. While weight loss isn’t a direct benefit of the acai berry, the satiety it provides can make it easier to maintain a healthier waistline.
And speaking of eating healthier, the diabetic community is often left out when food trends take a sweet turn. Luckily, not this time. Acai berries are low on the glycemic index, meaning that they do not spike blood sugar levels. And, they also contain an antioxidant that is linked to controlling insulin levels in the body.
How to Make an Acai Bowl with Granola
Acai bowls are not too tricky to make; the hardest part will be finding the right consistency. Acai berries are sold in a frozen puree and blended with milk, yogurt, banana, or avocado to make a creamy texture. You can experiment with different toppings and different types of milk.
Unsweetened almond milk is a good choice for liquid because it is low-calorie, mild in taste, and lactose-free. And banana or avocado are almost essential to achieving creaminess. A thick greek yogurt can help with creaminess but may not be enough on its own.
Once you have the right consistency, pour the blend into a bowl and add your choice of toppings. Granola, nuts, shaved coconut, chocolate chips, and fresh fruit work well. When it’s dressed up the way that you like, grab a spoon and dig in!
If you are looking for natural, whole-food granola to top your acai bowls, we feel your pain! Nana Joes Granola was created in 2010 out of a desire to give more to the community in terms of real, whole food options at the grocery store and jobs with livable wages for the people who shop there. Learn more today!
Best Toppings to Compliment an Acai Bowl
Acai bowls are fairly versatile, and you can change up the consistency and toppings to fit your whims. Our favorite mix-in is granola for another nutrient-dense power player that adds a little crunch and a little fiber to the dish. The best granola for acai bowls has whole food ingredients and no added sugar.
Nuts and Grains
Adding a little crunch to your acai bowl shakes up the texture variety. Nuts and grains are a good way to get the crunch while also adding fiber and healthy fat. Granola, muesli, chopped walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseed are all excellent choices.
Add a generous amount of fresh berries or sliced banana to vary the visual interest of the dish. About one-third of the bowl is typically a combination of fresh fruits, which add flavor and fiber.
Acai berry puree can sometimes be slightly bitter. If you prefer a sweeter dish, use honey or maple syrup for a natural sweetener or stevia or monk fruit extract for a no-calorie sweetener.
Peanut butter or hazelnut spread pairs well with acai puree. Try mixing a spoonful in or blending it with the puree for a creamy, sweet flavor.
The popularity of acai bowls comes as no surprise with dozens of delicious variations and an equal number of health benefits. This tasty spin on the traditional granola smoothie is good for your heart, may help fight some types of cancer, and gives you a boost of healthy energy without the sugar crash. The bottom line is that acai smoothie bowls are a great way to enjoy your morning routine.
When it comes to making the perfect acai bowl, granola is the key to getting the perfect crunch. Unfortunately, a lot of granola gets a bad wrap for being a sugar-laden minefield of chemical ingredients. Nana Joes Granola offers a full line of granola with whole food, real ingredients that you can trust. Shop our products today!