Have you ever eaten a fruit that tastes like dark chocolate and raspberries? If not, then be sure to try the exotic açaí berries! As well as having an unusual but delicious flavor they’re also one of the most nutritious fruits on the planet and work wonders for our health. Let’s venture out into the rainforest, where this exotic delicacy grows, and take a closer look.
Açaí (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) berries are the fruits of a palm tree that grows only in rainforests, most commonly in the swamps and floodplains of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Brazil. The berries look quite similar to blueberries, but their nutritional value is considerably higher.
Why You Should Try the Açaí Berry
The açaí berry is considered a superfruit due to its high antioxidant content; compared to the blueberry, it’s about three times the amount. The fruit’s antioxidant effects stem mainly from a high content of anthocyanin, a pigment which also gives it its deep purple color (the same pigment is also found in red wine). Unlike bananas or mangoes, for example, açaí berries have a low sugar content and a high healthy fat content, making them an excellent daily snack. The plant compounds they contain can also help the brain “stay young” by stimulating the process of cleaning up non-functioning brain cells. Still, the berries’ exotic flavor alone can be sufficient to refresh your mind – it’s been described as somewhere between raspberries, blueberries, and dark chocolate.
Açaí Berries in Cosmetics
Açaí is added to cosmetic products for its hydrating, nutritive, and protective effects on the skin. When used regularly, it helps reduce skin damage, including the formation of wrinkles. Thanks to its powerful hydrating properties, it’s often added to lip balms.
Açaí in the Kitchen
Dried açaí berries make for a great ingredient in oatmeal, chia pudding, granola, or yogurt – but they’re also just fine by themselves or mixed with various nuts. An açaí smoothie is a great pre-workout drink (the recipe is at the end of this article), and açaí powder can be used for flavoring: simply add it to a glass of water, juice, or a bowl of yoghurt. Açaí puree tastes great either by itself or mixed with water, juice, or milkshake etc. It blends nicely with granola and yogurt, too.
The Benefits of Açaí Berries
- A high healthy fat content and a low sugar content.
- Strong antioxidant effects helpful for neutralizing the damaging effects of free radicals throughout the body.
- Helping our brains “stay young” by stimulating the brain’s self-maintenance processes.
- Lightly energizing the body and the mind.
- Hydrating, nourishing, and protecting the skin when used as a cosmetic product.
RECIPE: Açaí Smoothie
Is there a better way to replenish your energy than with a delicious and nutritious snack? This delicacy is a proven favorite among adults and children alike (speaking from our own experience!).
- 1 banana
- A few strawberries
- 1 cup vegetable milk
- Açaí juice
Simply put all the ingredients in a blender and blend. Serve the smoothie fresh.
RECIPE: Açaí Bowl
Açaí supplies the body with necessary nutrients, thanks to which we feel full of energy and ready to go about our day. That’s why an açaí bowl is one of the most popular breakfast meals in the world.
- A handful of frozen fruit (we use blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)
- 1 banana
- White yogurt
- 1 tablespoon of açaí powder
Mix all the ingredients together and blend them for a short time. You can use other ingredients for decoration according to your taste; we use seeds and leftover frozen fruit.