There are many food trends out there that are unwarranted (like food mashups -- ahem, Cronuts), but when it comes to acai bowls -- which feature the super superfood from Brazil -- the buzz is 100 percent deserved. The acai berry has been heralded for an array of health benefits, but its strongest asset is definitely its taste. Acai is a delicious tropical fruit and when it comes served as a bowl it makes waking up a whole lot easier.
Acai bowls look like ice cream, almost taste like ice cream, and make you feel good about your breakfast choice. It's what breakfast dreams are made of. An acai bowl is basically a really thick smoothie that's been topped with oatmeal, fruit or peanut butter, and then you wolf it down with a spoon. For breakfast. After eating a bowl, you will not only feel happily full (for hours) and have satisfied a sweet craving (no need to cave for a donut), you'll have also done something that was good for you. Win win.
In cosmopolitan areas, acai bowls can be found at most local juice or smoothie spots, but for those of you who don't live near a Liquiteria you will have to brave the process of making one at home. To be clear: this is not the quickest and easiest of breakfasts (at first). Also, it is not a cheap breakfast (since it comes all the way from Brazil). But, it is completely worth the effort. Try it and you'll see.
Here in the U.S., acai berries come not as a whole fruit, but as frozen puree. And it can only be found in the freezer section of local health food stores, Whole Foods, or purchased online through Amazon or one the website of one of the biggest producer, Sambazon.
Finding acai puree is only half the battle, it's getting the right texture that's the real tricky part. You want a consistency that is thick enough to be scoopable, but not so dense that it doesn't blend all the way. (You definitely don't want frozen chunks of acai in your bowl.) Normally, a mixture of acai puree with frozen fruit such as banana or strawberries -- and sometimes soy, almond or coconut milk to thin it out and add creaminess -- gets you just the texture you need.
Once you get it right, top the acai mixture off with breakfast fixings of your choice and enjoy the fact that you just did something good for yourself. Here are a five different takes on acai bowls we love: