Acai bowls have been flooding our Instagram feeds for years now, and with good reason. They’re photogenic, delicious and healthy. The bowl gets its name from Açaí (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) which comes from the acai berry grown on the acai palm tree in South Amerian rainforests.
Now that you know a little about acai, what is an acai bowl?
The acai bowl is made of frozen acai palm fruit that is pureed and served as a smoothie in a bowl or glass. In Brazil, acai bowls are typically topped with granola, banana and various syrups. The sweeter versions are usually topped with nuts and exotic fruits, while the salty versions are topped with shrimp or dried fish.
Since acai berries are grown so far away, fresh ones are rarely available in India. Instead, freeze-dried powders or purees are often used to create the base of the bowl. These are mixed with a combination of ingredients such as almond milk, soy milk, nut butter, frozen fruit and fruit juice to achieve the desired thick consistency and taste.
This base is put in a bowl and topped with a few ingredients, such as granola, honey, nut butter or fresh fruit.
Are Acai bowls healthy?
While the toppings are healthy and in fact the bowl looks super pretty, are they really good given the substantial amount of sugar?
Acai bowls cannot be a healthy breakfast option. We say this because, as mentioned earlier, the ingredients in the base are acai puree and other fruits like berries and bananas, and granola toppings and it raises health questions given how much sugar it has present in it. Although it’s relatively high in vitamin C and fibre.
Many people eat acai bowls for breakfast or a snack, thinking it is healthy. We all know that consuming too much sugar has been linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other negative health outcomes and diseases.
Can you enjoy an acai bowl every once in a while? Without a shadow of doubt, yes! But you shouldn’t be eating them for breakfast or lunch several times a week. If you are really eager to have one, try replacing your desserts like ice-cream or frozen yogurt with an acai bowl.