What are acai bowl and why all the fuss about them on Instagram? Is it a healthy breakfast / snack or something you should avoid? Truth is I am a big fan of acai bowls, but to my understanding, calories may increase dramatically if you don’t pay attention to how many foods you put in your bowl. What does that mean? Even when foods you put in are considered healthy, total calories, sugars, and fats may be more than the normal daily intake (based on an adult consuming 2000 kcal per day) and what you end up eating will not be so healthy! If you love fruits and you like combining lots of different kinds together – as in acai bowls – then sugars will probably be higher than what a healthy and nutritional meal should contain. Of course, it all depends on various different factors, and the most important one is how many calories can a person consume daily (depending on age, sex, heredity, and physical activity).
What are acai bowls though? They are a combination of acai puree or acai powder and fruits, nuts, seeds, milk or milk alternatives and kinds of butter like peanut butter or almond butter. The powder or puree comes from the acai berry which is considered to be a superfood, rich in antioxidants, it has a lot of beneficial properties for your body. I’ve already talked to you about superfoods here in case you want to find out more. For the acai specifically, I can tell you that it became widely popular due to surfers and other athletes who ate the fruit or drunk its juice because they felt it gave them the necessary strength to cope with competition or training. After athletes, various companies in the beauty product industry started to add acai in their creams to reinforce skin hydration. It sounds very interesting I might say…
What I can say is that it’s just another fruit, rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals (like most fruits!). Now, about the bowls… it’s important to combine lots of foods together and keep it as simple as possible. Thus, you will not consume more calories than what you’re used to and you will not risk increasing your body weight by eating something theoretically healthy!
To help you, I have prepared some ''healthy'' acai bowls for you. If you are not overzealous with the toppings, then acai bowls are ideal for breakfast or even as snacks throughout the day. Keep in mind three things:
- Make them on your own at home following of course my recipes! This way, you will know what each bowl contains and you will avoid excess calories.
- If you want to make a recipe with lots of different foods – simply reduce the quantity and eat less than the suggested portion! It is a good solution to limit the calories, fats, and sugars.
- Don’t be overzealous with the toppings and healthy foods you will put in your bowl! I have already explained why.
See the recipes listed below and post photos of your creations on Instagram. If you want, you can tag me so I can see how I inspired you to create your own bowls!!!
And don’t forget… You can also make very nice smoothies using acai (all of the above apply here as well) and also… homemade beauty masks to hydrate your skin!
This article was written in collaboration with Kitchen Lab’s Nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr.