What is acai?
You may have heard of the superfruit, acai, but never actually known its origins, or any of its numerous qualities. Acai originates from the Amazon rainforest, and has been a staple food for the local inhabitants there for many years. Legend has it that the acai seed was a gift from the indigenous Princess Iaçã, when she sacrificed herself to stave off the starvation of her people - hence why the berry is named “acai” - Iaçã spelt backwards.
Nowadays the acai berry is more commonly known as a superfood, full of nutrients and antioxidants, that also happens to taste delicious. With a slight tartness, acai is not quite as sweet as other berries, with a more earthy fruit flavour, and bears the closest comparison with pomegranates, or raspberries. What those other fruits lack, however, are the high levels of antioxidants, nutrients, calcium and fibre that gives acai berries the moniker of ‘superfood’.
What is an acai bowl?
While the indigenous people of the Amazon have been consuming acai berries for centuries, it’s only in the last thirty years or so that the fruit has come into mainstream consumption. This is, in big part, thanks to the creation of the acai bowl.
Acai bowls were created in the late 80’s by the Gracie family, big in the world of MMA and brazilian jiujitsu, as a healthy addition to the diet of their athletes. They loved using acai as it’s a fruit low in sugar that helps to boost energy, perfect for maintaining a high standard of fitness. Since the fruit had to be shipped frozen, they began to use the frozen acai as a base to blend with other frozen fruits, such as bananas and other berries. This is how the sorbet, ice-cream like version of the food that we see all over the US today originally came to fruition.
Acai bowls can come in a range of styles and consist of a variety of ingredients. Traditionally they’re topped with banana, berries and granola, while oatmeal, chia seeds, dried coconut and even peanut butter work perfectly as a topping for this delicious frozen treat.
Are acai bowls healthy?
Acai bowls have the potential to be incredibly healthy. Of course, if you pile up on decadent toppings, such as chocolate or other sugary treats, the health benefits become a little unbalanced. But if you’re sensible with what you’re adding to your acai bowl, the health benefits can be super significant. This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste or flavour - sticking with fruits and high protein grains can mean you can have the best of both worlds - healthy AND tasty.
Is acai healthy?
Antioxidants from the acai berry can help build your immune system, while the high calcium levels can boost strength in your bones, heart and nervous system. Like most fruits, the high fibre content is good for digestion, but the most surprising benefit is the high presence of omega-3 fatty acids, that you’d normally expect to find in fish and pulses. These fats are the good kind, and can help to improve your cholesterol level.
Is acai good for you?
In short yes, but you need to be aware of what additives and preservatives are in your acai. With many new acai bowl cafes and bars popping up around the US, you need to be careful of which providers are making your acai products. A lot of commercially produced acai can contain unnecessary amounts of added sugar, that can turn a healthy snack around on its head. Furthermore, many cafes and restaurants will dish out larger portion sizes that aren’t always conducive to a lifestyle of healthy living.
A good way to avoid this is making your acai bowls at home, where you can monitor the portion size, and know exactly what is being put into your dish. Essenzefruits® Instant Acai Smoothie & Sorbet is completely organic, sweetened only with a pinch of brown sugar, and containing no artificial sweeteners. With real acai berry flavour, it’s easy to make at home without having to worry about any unhealthy, superfluous additives being thrown into the mix.
How many calories are in an acai bowl?
Again, this all depends on what toppings you go for. A regular sized acai bowl, around 170-180 grams, with banana, berries, oats and a touch of honey will usually contain approximately 211 calories. That’s around the same calorie intake as three pieces of white bread, but with infinitely more health benefits, whilst leaving you full of energy.
Does acai contain caffeine?
Acai is completely caffeine free, as is Essenzefruits® Instant Acai Smoothie & Sorbet. However, many acai supplements will add caffeine to their product to give an extra energy boost, with no regard to how the side effects of caffeine may affect the consumer. In reality, the vitamins and antioxidants from the acai berry are more than enough to leave you feeling revitalised and full of energy.
Are acai bowls vegan?
Yes. Solely derived from organic produce, the only thing you need to add to Essenzefruits® Instant Acai Smoothie & Sorbet is a splash of water and ice.
Are acai bowls keto?
Yes. Like many other berries, acai is high in fibre and low in carbs, which makes it a perfect component of a ketogenic diet.
Do acai bowls contain dairy?
Only if you want them to. Acai need only be blended with ice and water, to create the creamy, sorbet-like texture. Soy and almond milk also mix perfectly well.
Acai powder can be used not only for acai bowls, but also for smoothies. Essenzefruits® Instant Acai Smoothie & Sorbet is completely ready to drink on the go, for when you don’t have time to make a banging, instagram-ready acai bowl. Perfect to add to smoothies and shakes.
Acai Berry Powder
Essenzefruits® Instant Acai Smoothie & Sorbet is a natural acai powder, with no artificial additives and using only organic ingredients. A superfood with a ton of nutrients and health benefits, it’s the perfect snack for anyone wanting to adhere to a lifestyle of healthy living. Check out the Essenzefruits® Instant Acai Smoothie & Sorbet HERE.