Bowled over by Açaí

Where, how and why did Açaí bowls originate?

Before we start – What is Açaí, anyway?

Acaí is a one-inch round berry that comes from the açaí palm tree and found in rainforests of Central and South America. The berries have a deep purple skin, yellow flesh, and a large-sized seed inside. They are like grapes in their size and structure—the seed takes up about 80% of the fruit itself. Açaí berries have a slightly sweet-and-earthy flavour – comparable to blueberries paired with a very dark chocolate.

Are they a super-food?

Well – yes. However, they are not a cure, they are not going to make you fly or transform your physique, but acaí berries are a nutrient-dense food with very little sugar and plenty of promising benefits.

  • Acai Berries have an incredible number of antioxidants – three time the amount blueberries offer!
  • They have much less sugar than almost any other fruit with just 0 to 2 grams of sugar per serving.
  • With around 2 grams of fibre per serving, they are also a great source of heart-healthy fibre.

History of the Acai Bowl

Enjoyed by people in the Amazon basin for centuries it wasn’t until the 1970’s that frozen acai pulp started to travel to northern Brazilian cities. Carlos Gracie, the legendary Brazilian Jujitsu founder is often credited with popularizing the acai bowl in Rio de Janiero. He established his own brand diet called the Gracie Diet which was said to maximise the potential of his fighters – the Açaí Bowl featured at the very heart of this diet.

Over time Brazilian surfers and fitness enthusiasts showed an interest and in the 2000’s Açaí pulp first boarded a flight to the USA and the party started!

Açaí bowls really found their home in Hawaii and Southern California and again became popular with surfers who sought a tasty and healthy after surf pick-me-up. Their popularity exploded with some establishments opening up selling nothing but bowls!

Their popularity continues to rise and you can now tuck into an Acai bowl in most corners of the world.

What to top them with?

Toppings for your Acai bowls are only really limited by your imagination. Here are some ideas:

Granola, Oats or Muesli

Seeds – for example Chia or Sunflower

Nuts – toasted coconut flakes, flaked almonds or Brazil nuts to name just a few!

Seeds – We like chia seeds or pumpkin seeds but any edible seeds will work!

Fresh Fruit – here’s your chance to add some colour. Try layers of sliced kiwi or neat lines of raspberries, blueberries, or sliced strawberries. A squeeze of fresh lime will add some zing too!

Cacao Nibs or Dark Chocolate Chips – these work wonderfully with the Acai to intensify the flavour.

Nut Butter – Peanut butter works well (where does it not!) but you can experiment with other nut butters.

These are just a few ideas, but the list is endless – try Goji berries or if you don’t mind going non-vegan a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of bee pollen!

Add bowls to your menu

Add Acai bowls to your menu with our Acai Puree. This product contains 40x 100g sachets, the perfect portion size for a single serving! We recommend starting Acai bowl at an RRP of £6.

Further reading: 3 Ways with Smoothies. See our recipe for how to make a smoothie bowl!