As I've mentioned a few times now, Brian and I spent two weeks in Costa Rica this May and fell in love with it. One of my favorite things about the country was it's fresh, clean, and delicious food. (Food often seems to be a highlight of my trips. Hopefully I'm not the only one!)
We spent most mornings splitting our breakfasts. I would get some kind of eggs + veggies + fruit + sauce and Brian nearly always ordered an açaí bowl. We would take turns, swapping our plates throughout the meal, not being able to decide which breakfast we enjoyed more. We liked the açaí bowls so much, we would occasionally pick one up for lunch as well, desperate for something cool and refreshing after a morning of surfing or beach lounging. It was a rough vacay, can you tell?
A component of the açaí bowl I enjoy is that the toppings are limitless. In Coast Rica, juicy pineapple, fresh mango, strawberries, coconut, and cacao nibs were quite common and quite delicious. In the US we often have berries, bananas, and granola to go with our açaí bowls, equally delicious. I was motivated to recreate an açaí bowl when I got home, so here it is.
I'm all about real, fresh, local food. Unfortunately, açaí trees are not abundant in Washington State or on this continent. However, there is an açaí company doing amazing work in the Amazon to prevent deforestation, while supporting local farmers as they make açaí packets available worldwide. They are Sambazon and you can order açaí packets on the link or often find them in the freezer section of major grocery stores. I use their unsweetened superfruit packet in this recipe.
Acai berries are some of the most nutrient dense berries you can find and contain a ton of antioxidants, helping combat inflammation that contributes to things like Alzheimer's disease and certain cancers. They are also full of the Omega's, supporting appropriate levels of cholesterol and improving heart health. They pack a nice dose of fiber and are naturally sugar free, both helpful for healing the gut.
This recipe is best when loaded up with real food toppings, so try it out with your favorites or what you have on-hand! Toppings in picture below include strawberries, bananas, unsweetened coconut, Bee Keeper's Naturals bee pollen, cacao nibs, and pineapple.
Let me know what you think of the recipe by leaving a comment below!
Costa Rican Inspired Acai Smoothie Bowl Recipe
2- 3.5 oz packets of unsweetened açaí berry packets, Sambazon is my favorite!
3/4 cup blueberries
1/2 cup almond milk or milk of choice
3-5 ice cubes
1/2-1 teaspoon raw honey, Bee Keeper's Naturals is the best.
Topping ideas (but not limited to): banana, pineapple, mango, strawberry, granola, unsweetened coconut, cacao nibs, honey, maple syrup, nut butter, hemp seeds, chia seeds, nuts of choice.
Take açaí packets out of the freezer and let thaw for 2-5 minutes in individual packaging.
Cut open the packets and squeeze açaí into blender. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well.*
Pour into bowl and add toppings. Enjoy!
* The açaí smoothie may be less sweet than expected. The toppings typically make it sweeter. If you want the smoothie part to be sweeter, blend in a ripe banana or add more honey.
Naturally gluten free.
Make it vegan by using pure maple syrup instead of honey or omit honey.