By Veronica De Lira, Nutritionist
You may not be too familiar with the Acai berry. Or, maybe you have heard it being used in a smoothie or yogurt bowl. Well here is your chance to familiarize yourself with the powerful antioxidant known as Acai Berry.
According to eurobotanicals.com acai berry has been around for thousands and originates from Brazil in the Amazon rainforest, this makes for an interesting fact when only 5 years ago the berry went on the market.1 While we may use it here now the Acai berry has been praised for its medicinal purposes by many tribes for a long time. This special little berry according to eurobotanicals.com grows from palm tress and is very popular in its native territory and other locations roughly 30,000 people are employed to keep up with the demand for the berry.1 Which makes sense that people would be interested as the berry provides so many benefits for ones health.
According to eurobotanicals.com acai berry is “naturally full of energy, rich in proteins, fiber, Vitamin E, minerals and Omega oils”. 1 Since acai berry is associated with many vitamins and minerals it makes sense that is has so many benefits according to eurobotanicals.com such as 1:
- Reduces bad cholesterol in blood
- Increases good cholesterol
- Controls fat in blood
- Protects the heart
- Fights infection
- Makes our immune system stronger
- Promotes higher energy levels
- Better sleep
- Fights free radicals
- Great for skin
- Improves vision
- Disease fighter
- Great source of fiber
- Great source of vitamins
How can I purchase Acai berry?
Your local market
Some farmers markets
Also available as dried acai berry and powder form.
How do I cook with Acai berry?
When cooking with Acai berry it is usually incorporated as an ingredient in a recipe for instance a smoothie.
What can I use Acai berry for?
Here are some dishes to incorporate acai berry:
- Acai bowl
- Ice cream
Recipe to try
Here is a great recipe from foodnetwork.com by McKel Hill to try out. 2
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons chia seeds, soaked for at least 20 minutes in some of the coconut milk
2 heaping handfuls organic spinach
1 frozen banana
One 100-gram packet frozen organic acai berry pulp
Ice, to thicken
Add the coconut milk, soaked chia seeds, cinnamon, spinach, banana and acai berry pulp to the pitcher of a high-speed blender and process until thick and creamy. The texture should be very thick; if too thick, then add more coconut milk. If you stick a spoon into the mixture, the mixture should be able to be thick enough to stay on the spoon; if not, add ice or more frozen bananas.
1.”HISTORY OF THE ACAI BERRY.” Eurobotanicals : Acai. Web. 5 Oct. 2015. http://www.eurobotanicals.com/acai/acai_history.html
- “Acai Berry Smoothie Bowl : Food Network.” Acai Berry Smoothie Bowl Recipe : Food Network. Web. 5 Oct. 2015. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/acai-berry-smoothie-bowl.html