Sunday, 23 July 2017

THE INS AND OUTS OF AN AÇAI BOWL



If you haven't seen hundreds of pictures of peoples açai or smoothie bowl breakfasts with perfectly arranged fruit, then have you really even been on the internet? I'm late on the craze but i'm glad i tried them! It took me a whole week to figure out all the ins and outs of making your very own smoothie bowl and i thought i'd share them with you as well as talk you through my steps and what i use.


So the essential thing for making a smoothie bowl is of course a blender and the one i'm using is the Nutri Ninja Blender.


As for the smoothie itself, i found that the best way to get a 'smoothie bowl' consistency is to use a 3:2 ratio of frozen fruit to fresh fruit and a dash of milk or greek yogurt if needed to help blend it. In many recipes it's recommended to use oats to blend in with the smoothie in order to make it thicker. I found that it changed the taste of the smoothie a lot and i personally didn't like it - it sort of tasted like fruity cardboard if i'm honest, not that i know what cardboard tastes like but you know what i mean haha.
I like to use this frozen berry smoothie mix by sainsbury's as the basis of my smoothie and i also add one pellet of an açai berry also from sainsbury's for every 80g of fruit i use (advised measurements on the back of the pack). Açai as a fruit is very beneficial for you because it is loaded with many nutrients such as antioxidants and omega fatty acids which are good for the skin, brain and weight loss.
"They also contain essential fatty acids, fibre and phytosterols which help promote cardiovascular and digestive health"

I mean, it's a superfood after all.

p.s. i have just ordered the Graze Brazilian Açai Powder to try out instead of these açai berry smoothie pellets. 


My favourite fruit in order to thicken up a smoothie is of course banana, specifically frozen bananas which make it even thicker. Speaking of products that make your smoothie thicker, many people suggest ice which i dont think is necessary since by adding frozen fruits it's nearly the same thing. Also, the ice melts pretty quickly which makes the smoothie more watery therefore defeating the purpose of making the smoothie thick. Also, i find that preparing the fruit toppings beforehand is a lot better because it won't make any ice from the frozen fruit to melt which usually makes it more watery.



The desirable consistency of a smoothie/açai bowl should be similar to yoghurt or a soft ice cream otherwise it's like eating soup (however, if you prefer it more watery then go for it!). 


And here comes the most exciting part of the smoothie bowl. Toppings and decorating. I have found my favourite combination of toppings and i think it's essential to include atleast two superfoods in order to make your smoothie bowl nutritious - in mine i like to have strawberries, chia seeds and pumpkin which are all superfoods. I really love adding chia seeds into many things because they're pretty much tasteless and they have so many benefits since they're high in fibre, omega 3 and they're a source of protein. This makes them perfect for açai bowls. My favourite is the Chia Shots by The Chia Co. which are sachets of white and black chia seeds making it the most convenient and easy way to use for smoothie bowls since you can just use one sachet per bowl.


Another superfood which i like including is pumpkin seeds which are loaded with antitoxidants and vitamins. Similarly to chia seeds, they don't have a strong taste either so they are great for toppings that get you the best nutients. 

A must for a smoothie bowl is of course, granola. It brings crunchiness and sweetness to your açai bowl. My favourite one is the Rude Health Honey & Nuts one and this brand has many other flavours to choose from too. Another thing i like to add to my smoothie bowl sometimes is muesli and my favourite one is the Jordans Fruity Muesli which has bits of dried fruit in it too - this again just adds to the sweetness and texture.

Here are some examples of toppings for your smoothie bowl:
- fruit: banana, strawberry, blueberry, mango, pomegranate
- granola
- nuts: almonds, pistachio
-seeds
- nut butter
- chia seeds
- cacao nibs
- coconut flakes
- dried fruit: goji berries


Let me know if you have smoothie bowls and what your favourite combinations of fruit, toppings etc are!

Also, hope you enjoyed this one off food blog post!

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