If you interact with me at all in person or follow my Facebook or Instagram then you know I have a serious obsession with açaí [pronounced: aˌsaˈi or ah-sigh-ee ]. This started from our frequent visits to Souther California where we were introduced to the Sambazon Acai Cafe in Cardiff.
What makes this food so great?
Açaí is a palm fruit that grows on the banks of the Amazon river. It somewhat resembles a blueberry, and like a blueberry is packed with antioxidants but has some other superfood benefits as well. According to the Sambazon site: “The benefits of Açaí are all found in the pulp-which is naturally packed with antioxidants, polyphenols and flavonoids (like those in red wine). Unlike any other fruit, the real magic of Açaí is that it has a perfect combination of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, giving it a creamy mouth feel and loads of trace minerals and essential nutrients.“
As someone who is always on the quest for delicious, healthy, nourishing foods, I have come to love açaí because of its nutritional value but also for it’s clean taste and the energy it gives my body. I often make a juice or smoothie as a meal but there are days I want something in a bowl or on a plate that gives me the same feeling of eating clean but that requires a utensil to consume and forces me to actually sit down and eat for a change.
For months I’ve been experimenting with different açaí creations based on those I have bought at juice bars/healthy bowl cafes and loved. The one that has become my favorite incorporates mint and activated charcoal*, which are great for people like me that always need extra help with digestion.
*Note on the charcoal: activated charcoal actually works best when consumed between meals if you are truly trying to clean up your digestive system a AND since it is a detoxing agent, it should not be consumed everyday. That said, activated charcoal is popping up in all kinds of health food trends and adding 2 capsules to your smoothie bowl is a great practice on occasion and will add some extra detoxing for things like pathogens and other environmental toxins that build up in our bodies. I am sure to take a good probiotic though when consuming charcoal so I am replenishing any good bacterias that might get flushed out with the bad ones thanks to the charcoal cleansing magic. If I get on a serious açaí kick and am making them every day, I only add charcoal 2-3 times a week. You can buy activated charcoal on Amazon or check your local health food store.
As I mentioned above, I have also been adding mint to the bowls. I have grown mint all summer in a container pot so access to mint has been easy but you can usually find mint all year round in the herb section of most grocery stores. I also grew lemon balm this summer in my Tower Garden and often add that with or in lieu of mint and love the fresh taste it adds.