The acai bowl, aka smoothie bowl or granola bowl, is one nutritional trend that just will not go away. Like a well cut bob, or a Chanel suit, the acai bowl has turned from one time trend into enduring classic, which is hardly a surprise when not only does it come with amazing nutritional credentials, but looks and tastes fabulous too. The best dressed acai bowls are carefully balanced creations, with one or two well chosen flavours, a pop of texture, and a daily dose of superfoods. With a cupboard full of acai bowl ingredients, you can mix and match to your heart’s content with some super beneficial foods that won’t go out of season.
Here’s our top ten picks of awesome acai bowl ingredients.
Organic acai powder.
Our number one pick of acai bowl ingredients, the clue is in the name. The original smoothie bowl focused on acai for its slew of nutritional benefits, and quite possibly for its beautiful deep purple colour. A small, dark blue/purple berry with a delicate flavour, acai pairs well with the creamy tastes and textures of banana, nuts or milk (dairy and non-dairy) and also goes well with cacao. Acai powder adds easily to base ingredients such as blended banana, yoghurt, or porridge, to form the base of your acai bowl.
Nutritionally, acai has high levels of antioxidants, known for their anti-ageing properties. Rich in minerals, vitamins, amino acids and monounsaturated fats, acai is an excellent source of essential fatty acids omega -3, -6, and -9.
Recommended serving size is 1 tablespoon.
2. Cacao nibs
We reckon that in the search for acai bowl ingredients, cacao is right up there. The natural raw form of chocolate, cacao is a major superfood. If you are not a fan of bitter or dark chocolate, cacao may in fact surprise you with its nuanced flavours and creamy depths. Like many superfoods, cacao pairs well with flavours and textures at the creamy end of the spectrum but is also good friends with berries. Scatter cacao nibs over your acai bowl for the ultimate crunchy topping, or stir cacao powder into your base. Or do both. We won’t tell.
Nutritionally, cacao is rich in calcium, iron and magnesium, with double the antioxidant power of acai. Oh and it makes you feel good, due to increased serotonin levels in the brain. And gives you energy, as a mild stimulant. Yay for cacao.
Go for 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs.
3. Maca powder
When it comes to acai bowl ingredients, maca powder is pretty cool. Maca is a root related to mustard, usually sold in it’s powdered form. With it’s malty, earthy flavour maca powder is best with creamy sweet flavours . It is however totally unique nutritionally, so well worth finding ways to incorporate into your daily routine; it mixes well with porridge or frozen banana as your acai bowl base.
Nutritionally, maca is an adaptogen, balancing hormones and managing stress. Stress busting and energising, maca is bursting with essential minerals, vitamins and amino acids. Full of plant sterols, maca offers immune support.
Recommended serving 1 tablespoon.
4. Hemp seeds
So, we reach number four in our top ten of awesome acai bowl ingredients which brings us to hemp seed, another powerful little plant. Small, golden seeds with a centre packed with the green goodness of chlorophyll, hemp is often sold in powder form. Again, hemp works best with other creamy elements, lending a creamy element all of its own. Scatter hemp seeds over your acai bowl for a protein packed crunch, or stir hemp powder into the base.
A complete source of all eight essential amino acids, hemp can also help to balance hormones because of the concentration of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). A rich source of essential fatty acids, hemp is also packed full of vitamins and minerals.
Serving size is 3 tablespoons for hemp seed, 2 tablespoons for hemp powder.
5. Chia seeds
In at number five are chia seeds. We love chia seeds because not only are they full of fantastic fibre, but they have magical gelling properties too. Like tiny little crunchy tapioca balls they thicken the most stubborn of smoothies into something altogether pudding like. Mixed with yoghurt and acai powder, for instance, they make the perfect acai bowl base. Scattered across the top, they add irresistible crunchy fibre goodness. Chia seed has little flavour of its own so they match well with any ingredients without creating odd or jarring flavours.
On a nutrition level, chia seeds are an excellent food for weight loss and keeping those energy levels sustained. Bursting with fibre, antioxidants and healthy fats, chia seeds are a true superfood.
Recommended serving is 2 tablespoons.
6. Goji berry powder
Goji berries are another excellent acai bowl ingredient with a bright fruity flavour that will lift the dullest of ingredients. An orangey red berry usually found dried whole, or as a powder, goji berries also have a unique nutrient profile. Mix the powder into your acai bowl base, or sprinkle a handful over the top for a slightly chewy texture addition.
Nutritionally, goji berries are rich with vitamins and minerals that can support the immune system, fight against sight loss, and even aid memory.
Serving size 3 tablespoons.
7. LSA mix
LSA mix is a crushed blend of flaxseed, almonds and sunflower seeds. Stirred into your acai bowl base it can add bulk and flavour, as well as nutrient density. Sprinkled over the top, it has a coarse yet soft enough texture to be moreish not powdery. Pleasingly nutty, LSA mix brings all the nutritional benefits of its 3 components. The flavours complement rather than overpower so use it liberally wherever feels best.
Although almonds and sunflower seeds have a host of healthy benefits, the real superfood star here is the flaxseed. A powerful source of essential fatty acids, and full of Vitamin E for stunning skin, flaxseed can also aid hormonal balance. Perfect for PMS. Did we mention the fibre? Yeap. Full of fibre. Bring it on.
Aim for a daily serving of 2 tablespoons.
8. Bee pollen
Bee pollen. The perfect acai bowl ingredient. These semi-crunchy little bits of yellow goodness elevate the simplest of acai bowls into something heavenly. Rich, sweet and floral, bee pollen kind of bursts in the mouth with honey like goodness. Scatter over the top of your simple acai bowls, keeping the overall theme simple. Let the bee pollen be the star. Super pretty too.
Nutritionally, bee pollen is packed with active substances. A nutrient dense delight, filled with antioxidant compounds, amino acids and essential fatty acids.
Sprinkle a teaspoon over your acai bowls and smoothies.
Finding the perfect acai bowl ingredients is not all about the superfoods. Not that pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, aren’t good for you. But they made the list for their indispensable nutty crunch. And every acai bowl needs a bit of crunch.
10. Coconut flakes
And then there’s coconut. Kinda soft. But kinda chewy. Like lovely white clouds floating across your acai bowl. Just dreamy. Creamy coconutty comforting flavour. Goes well with everything. Elevates fruit. Loves cacao.
And that’s it. Ten must have acai bowl ingredients for your pantry.
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