Did you ever think to eat your regular breakfast smoothie out of a bowl? Wait, regular breakfast smoothie? P-uh-lease, don’t go insulting my daily “tartine labne” ritual!
I wasn’t always a huge fan of a “healthy” breakfast. In my family, it was customary to scarf down a bowl of cereal and milk for breakfast. If on the go, we would just pass by the local Lebanese bakery for a Mankoushe Zaatar or Jebne (or a mix of both – depending on our lack of discipline) on the way to school.
Okay then, back to smoothies.
Because of my recently adopted vegan lifestyle, I am venturing down a road of interesting new principles and recipe approaches. I’ve made smoothies before, but this is no ordinary smoothie.
This. Is. Açaí.
What is ACAI?
Acai (Açaí) – pronounced a-sigh-eeeee – berries are small blackish-purple berries that come from palm trees around the Amazon River in South America. It’s a great source of antioxidants, fiber and healthy fats. It also aids in weight loss and improves digestion. You can buy them at your local health food store (or online like I did) in the powder form or frozen smoothie packs.
What about the Acai Bowl, then?
Making an acai bowl is super easy. All you need is the acai powder, your milk of choice and frozen fruit. You can add lots of stuff to the mixture: coconut water, protein powder, chia seeds, nut butters, etc. Your options are infinite. You blend all your ingredients together with a magic mixing machine called the “blender” also known as Magimix. And voilà! It looks like melted ice cream, but it’s basically just a really thick smoothie topped with yumminess.
I used locally-sourced fresh homemade almond milk from The Village Nut. If you’re living in Beirut, you can buy it from A New Earth Store in Ashrafieh; if not, go cry. You may need to add extra almond milk to get the blender going. The acai mixture should turn out thicker than a smoothie! Put it this way: Your aim is melted frozen yogurt.
A lot of online recipes call for honey or maple syrup (vegan option), but I omitted both since it’s already sweet without it.
Let’s talk toppings!
The best part of making an acai bowl? Toppings. To be honest, that’s what made me attempt this recipe in the first place! The list of toppings is seriously endless. I topped mine with: Granola / Unsweetened coconut flakes / Chia seeds (I used Equia which is widely available in Lebanon since it is a Lebanese product) / Toasted almonds. You can also top your acai bowl with an assortment of fresh fruit, dried fruits, seeds… go crazy!
And that’s it, basically! Bon Appétit 🙂
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries..)
- 1 frozen sliced banana
- 1 tablespoon açaí powder
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- Optional: 1/2 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tbsp nut butter, 1 tbsp protein powder
- Toppings: Whatever you like!
- Put all your ingredients in a blender (minus the toppings).
- Blend until creamy.
- Pour the açaí mixture into two bowls and top with your desired toppings (e.g. fruit, dried fruits, nuts, etc.).
- Add extra almond milk if necessary to get the blender going. The açaí mixture should turn out thicker than a smoothie!
JOIN THE VEGAN CHALLENGE! Throughout the week, I’ll be sharing: Vegan recipes, tips and ideas Personal vegan meals And an exciting surprise at the end of my challenge!! If you decide to take the challenge with me, let’s connect! Make sure to hashtag #LebanonEatsVegan if you post any vegan creations on Instagram.