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Frugivore Recipe: Traditional Brazilian Açai Bowl

As European, one thing that called my soul living in tropical Brazil for a while is the wealth of fruits available on every corner. “They list fruit juices from A-Z!” was the discovery I shared with my fellow cold climate dwellers after returning home. And there were açaí bowls… a fruit pulp so intense in flavor, color, and nourishment, that I hardly would identify it as fruit, but a delicious ice cream.

This all took place around the year 2000, before social media and the availability of all foods, so I felt like Pedro Álvares Cabral just discovering new land. And something told me, that tropical fruits were just like a treasure I just encountered and would play an important role in my life… So sharing the traditional açaí bowl recipe might be the most personal one (besides the Tunesian Rainbow Smoothie).

This recipe can be done for fruitarians or in a frugivore meal plan, depending on the toppings you choose. be aware that açai has to be consumed quickly after being prepared.

This açai berry- banana bowl recipe is the typical Brazilian way of doing the famous bowl, which originates in the Amazonian Region but has taken over the world.

In Brazil, I was told that eating açai was very healthy but better before physical activity, as it gives you “too much energy” -whatever this means…

Calories: The açai berries and bananas alone deliver about 350 kcal. Depending on the topping that you add, this will be substantially more.

Nutrients: Açai berry has an exceptionally high manganese content, unlike any other known food. Besides the typical “fruity vitamins and minerals”, the berry is high in fatty acids (including omega 3s) and one of the fruits highest in proteins.

(This recipe excludes the “traditional” granola topping because it is not a frugivorous food.)

Ingredients: Put into the mixer and blend it all together:

  • 2 packs (about 200g) frozen açai puree (unsweetened)
  • 2 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • Splash of water (adjust as needed for desired consistency)
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • Optional: 1/2 cup frozen berries (such as blueberries or strawberries)
  • Optional toppings: sliced bananas, mangoes, berries, passion fruit, coconut, nuts, chia seeds, honey, maple syrup

Toppings: Açai bowls are highly customizable, so feel free to experiment with different toppings and combinations to suit your taste preferences.

  • Fresh sliced fruits (such as banana, berries, or mango)
  • Shredded coconut
  • Chia seeds
  • Nuts or seeds (such as almonds, pecan or cashew)
  • Raw honey or maple syrup (optional, for added sweetness)

Instructions:

  1. In a blender, combine the frozen acai puree, sliced banana, frozen berries, water, and sweetener (if desired).
  2. Blend the mixture on high speed until smooth and creamy. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender to ensure even blending.
  3. Taste the acai mixture and adjust the sweetness or consistency as needed by adding more water
  4. Once you have achieved a smooth and thick consistency, pour the acai mixture into a bowl.
  5. Top the acai bowl with your desired toppings. You can be creative and arrange the toppings in a visually appealing manner.
  6. Common toppings include fresh sliced fruits, passion fruit, shredded coconut for added texture, chia seeds for extra nutrition, nuts or seeds for a nutty flavor, and a drizzle of nut butter or honey for added sweetness.

Serve the açai bowl immediately because the color and taste are quickly lost after blending. After 10-20 minutes the vibrant purple-red or purple-blue turns into a more wine-red, brownish purple. This is because the antioxidants (which are the pigments and flavor molecules) are being oxidized to some extent and lose their power.

Check out this awesome video of the original açai bowl recipe…

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Martina Spaeni Lima, MSc

"We are frugivores - specialized fruit-eaters!" It was passion at first sight when I came across the intriguing concept that humans are adapted to a high-fruit diet, similar to chimpanzees...

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