Whether you’ve wandered the aisles of health food stores or surfed the shores of Rio de Janeiro, chances are you’ve heard the purple-hued hype of açaí.
While many of the claims of the weight-dropping, life-saving properties of açaí are exaggerated, it is rich in antioxidants, which can help reduce cell damage.
One of the most popular ways to snack on açaí is the açaí bowl, which consists of a smoothie-like açaí puree topped with fresh fruits, coconut flakes, granola, and more.
The main ingredient of these bowls, the açaí berry, grows high up in the tops of açaí palms in the dense Amazon rainforest.
If you’re wondering why you’ve never seen these berries at your local grocer, it’s because of their extremely short shelf-life – they spoil within about 72 hours of being plucked from their trees.
As a result, most açaí in the U.S. is either sold frozen or pre-blended into a variety of juices, powders, and even ice cream.
Superfood or not, açaí bowls became a prominent component of the Gracie Diet, a regimented, health-conscious eating plan created by Carlos Gracie, one of the main founders of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
In the ‘80s, Gracie’s fighters ate fruit-packed bowls as a way to cool down and rejuvenate after intense matches. A few years later, the sweet, cold treat later caught on with surfers on Rio de Janeiro beaches.
While you can now buy pre-packed açaí bowls in the majority of grocery stores in the U.S., they’re super simple to make at home and can be customized with a veritable rainbow of toppings.
Find a recipe below for a sweet, creamy açaí bowl topped with crunchy peanut butter granola and fresh strawberries.
Strawberry-Peanut Butter Açaí Bowls
2 packets of frozen açaí
1 frozen banana, sliced
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup almond milk
1 cup peanut butter granola
1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
1 tablespoon honey
1. Submerge 2 packets of frozen açaí in a warm bowl of water for 2 minutes.
2. Pour almond milk and Greek yogurt first into a high-powered blender. Add the 2 packets of frozen açaí and bananas. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour into a large bowl.
4. Top with sliced strawberries and peanut butter granola.
5. Drizzle honey over the top. Enjoy!
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