food’s latest trend: acai bowls

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lately it seems that i cannot check my social media accounts without finding out what all my friends/famous people/ people i stalk– are eating for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.  sometimes i love it, and sometimes it is seriously questionable.  (i get it, you went to in n out when you were in california.)   other times, the dishes are so beautiful you can’t help but give them a “like.”

that is certainly the case with the beautiful acai breakfast bowls that i have seen trending on social media lately.  granted, i follow a lot of fitness/food bloggers in an attempt to will myself back in shape, but i have seen these babies all over the place lately–and for good reason.   in addition to being aesthetically pleasing, they are nutritious and a healthy breakfast alternative that you will actually enjoy making and eating.

i decided to try it out and see if these breakfast bowls lived up to the hype as well as the nutritional content they boast.

//the base//

i went to sprouts and bought sambazon acai pulp and pitaya plus dragon fruit pulp single serving frozen packets.

i tried both of the pulp packets and made four different bowls.  i mixed the pulp with frozen banana, oats, ice, almond milk and some blue berries and strawberries in a blender.  this was my base.

i poured it into a bowl and then came the fun part–

//toppings//

IMG_2488i put together a buffet of toppings to try, this included:

  • coconut flakes
  • granola
  • slivered almonds
  • oats
  • chia seeds
  • flax seed
  • protein powder
  • sesame seeds
  • banana
  • grapes
  • raspberries
  • horned melon
  • kiwi
  • pineapple
  • pecans
  • edible flowers
  • cactus
  • pomegranate seeds
  • peanut butter
  • blackberries
  • passion fruit

you can use almost anything you like, but try to keep it healthy, colorful and nutritious.

//be creative// 

i decided to make a “southwestern acai bowl” that used cactus, pomegranate, and pecans in addition to a few other ingredients i just couldn’t help but include!  i loved this bowl and after eating it i felt my body humming with happiness.  however, with all of my fun toppings and fruity ingredients, i can’t help but wonder:

can something this tasty actually be healthy? 

my main concern was the sugar content.  sure it is natural and fruit-based, but am i giving myself a morning sugar rush instead of a balanced meal? i decided to ask local dietician, erin quigly, RD, LD.

She told me that acai bowls are great ways to get your daily fruit servings, “just don’t go overboard with toppings that are loaded with added sugar.” She said that the toppings are the most dangerous part of the bowl, and the best way too avoid extra calories, sugar and carbs is to choose “unsweetened” or “no sugar added” ingredients.  She also recommended adding protein powder to to make the meal more balanced.

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 10.56.37 PM
whimrove’s acai bowl nutrition facts

i put my ingredients into a nutrition calculator and my findings were not so bad.  i found that putting peanut butter and nuts in my bowl helped balance the protein.  and it certainly beats that breakfast burrito or bagel sandwich i normally get on the way to work!

so final verdict?  these bowls have my stamp of approval.  for a photoworthy breakfast that gives your body a refreshing zing it is a must try.  just give yourself a little more time than usual to prep.

bon appetit! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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