Need a boost of antioxidants during the holidays? Try the Brazilian berry wonder “Acai.”
There are many things I love about traveling: the very unpredictable meetings with new people, learning about cultures that are different than mine, the excitement of exploring a new place and last but not least, gastronomic discoveries. On my most recent travel to Brazil, I had such a pleasurable, gastronomic encounter with a delicious little berry called “acai” that I cannot resist writing a few words about it.
While widely known to people on the American continent, this little taste of heaven is far less common in Europe and pretty much unheard of to Norwegians. Being a “superfood,” I had read about the little berry wonder, but I had never yet had the pleasure of tasting it before my stay in Brazil. Acai has been widely used by the Natives for generations and has become an essential ingredient in the Brazilian cuisine. Abundant with antioxidants, rich in fiber, vitamins and Omega 6-9 and containing both calcium and protein, the berry is a nutritious miracle that leaves you with a long-lasting boost of energy. It looks like a mini-cherry and has the same color as a very dark, red wine. And of what taste is concerned, very good news for the chocolate lovers: a mix of blackberry and cocoa! It is said to strengthen the immune system (which comes as no surprise given its nutritious value) and to reduce cholesterol in the blood. Some claim it may delay the aging process, though this has not yet been scientifically prooven.
Brazilian Acai Bowl Recipe
And how do you use it? Brazilians do not eat the berries whole, they crush them and use them to make juice, ice cream, yoghurt, smoothie and jam. I have fallen completely in love with the Brazilian Acai Bowl, a mix of fruit, granola and acai juice commonly eaten for breakfast, and find it the perfect boost before a long, sweaty Vinyasa session or a run on the beach. Here is the recipe. Enjoy!
2 ounces frozen acai
1 cup frozen fruit (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, whatever you have at hand)
1/4 cup granola
Put the frozen acai, fruit and the banana in a blender. If you have acai juice, that is also fine. Put the blended mixture into a bowl, sprinkle granola on top and it is ready to be served.
Katinka is an adventure-seeking, chocolate-eating yogini with a passion for the unknown. Her curiosity has led her into all kinds of situations, from having tea with Sudanese ministers and roadtripping through India’s heartland in search of guerrilla soldiers to crossing the Alps on skis. She loves contrasts, which is why you find a mix of high heels, climbing shoes, cocktail dresses and mountaineering gear in her closet, and strongly believes it enriches her life. She is currently based in Vågå, a little town in the Norwegian mountains, where she teaches French while figuring out her next move. And when she is not in the classroom, you will find her climbing a mountain, working on her handstand or under a blanket reading while sipping a tempered Cote de Rhone.
Ed: Kate B.
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