Nothing gets my heart beating and my hips shaking like the infectious beat of a samba rhythm! Carnaval in Brazil is just around the corner and my Brazilian friends keep asking me if I am coming back for it. Sadly, I will be sitting this one out. I will never forget dancing IN the parade with the locals at Carnaval and all of the amazing memories of traveling around Brazil. Since I can’t be there this year, I made this delicious Acai bowl to transport me to the beaches of Ipanema and the dunes of Jeri. My spirit will be in Salvador with everyone for Carnaval!
Have you tried Acai? Acai (Ah-sah-ee) is a berry that comes from the Amazon rainforest of Brazil. It is a powerful superfood because it is contains omega fats, protein, fiber and amino acids. It gives an energy boost, enhances brain and nerve function, supports the immune system and gives you beautiful skin. Oh, and it tastes AMAZING!
Here is a breakdown of some of the health benefits of Acai:
- Contains high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids and mono-unsaturated oleic oil (‘beautifying oil’).
- Rich in antioxidants that scavenge free radicals within the body, fighting disease and promoting longevity.
- Helps regenerate stem cells.
- Contains 19 different amino acids, the building blocks for protein.
- Excellent source of dietary fiber
- Low-glycemic index
- Rich in vitamins and minerals; calcium, phosphorus, beta-carotine and vitamin E
(source: Superfoods by David Wolfe)
Try this easy to make Acai Bowl that I have dubbed “The Carioca”
2 frozen Acai packs (I use Sambazon. You can find them in the freezer at the health food store or order online)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 ripe banana
Blend until it is a sorbet-like texture. (Works best in a high powered blender like the Vita-mix) Top with anything you’d like! You can use sliced bananas, bee pollen, or berries. For this one I used gluten free granola, shredded coconut, vegan dark chocolate chips, and strawberries. YUM!!!
Photo Credit: Jackie Knechtel