Anyone else obsessed with açai bowls? Raise your hand!
Although açai bowls have been all the rage for a long time, I just recently started eating them on a regular basis. They’re packed with fresh deliciousness, the creamy texture combined with the crunchiness of the toppings makes them irresistible, and the Instagrammable beauty in a bowl is undeniable. So, what’s not to like?
What is Açai, Anyway?
In case you don’t know what açai is, it’s “the small edible blackish-purple berries of a South American palm tree.” Also, it’s pronounced ah-sigh-EE so don’t call it ah-ka-EE. The seed takes up most of the berry, but you’ll find plenty of vitamins and nutrients in the flesh and skin of this fiber-rich superfood. They’re high in calcium and packed with antioxidants. I’ve also read that these berries are also a great source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. I’m definitely not a nutritionist, but this sounds pretty good to me.
Basically, açai smoothie bowls are delicious and nutritious. But some of them are packed with unnecessary calories, so be sure to ask what’s in it before you place your order. I have tried several tasty varieties, but my favorite so far has been the one from Grown in South Miami. Their version includes açai puree, almonds, flax seeds, cacao nibs, coconut, local honey, and fresh fruit. I believe it usually comes with berries, pineapple, and bananas. It’s heaven in a bowl! The one from Raw South Juice Co. near Dadeland Mall is also amazing. I like the Strawberry Supreme version with added flax seeds. This one is not as sweet as the one from Grown, but it’s fresh, healthy and delicious.
If you’re looking for some of the best açai bowls, here are a few more options to try:
MyRoots Juice Bar, Kendall and Doral locations: Enjoy a tasty menu that boasts everything from avocado bagels and empanadas to healthy soups and wraps. Try the açai bowl or dragon bowl. Both are yummy.
OOH RAW Poké + Juice Bar, Wynwood: The Pineapple Express has açai blended with pineapple and coconut water, topped with vegan gluten-free granola, bananas, strawberries, kiwi, coconut, more pineapple, and honey.
Under the Mango Tree, Miami Beach: They have a great variety of menu items, including the Superfood Bowl with açai blended with banana, spirulina, and maca. Topped with granola, banana, coconut, goji berries and honey.
Raw Juce, Brickell and Coral Gables: You’ll love all the delicious options at this local favorite. Try the OMG Protein Bowl with bananas, oat or almond milk, oats, protein, dates and topped with flax and hemp granola, strawberries, blueberries, almond butter, and honey.
Macondo Coffee Roasters, Doral: Their menu includes treats like arepas, tequeños, and pastries, as well as omelets, oatmeal, paninis and pizza. But they also serve up a delicious açai bowl with strawberry, kiwi, coconut, chia seeds, and granola. I added almonds and cacao to mine. Yum!
Sweet Blendz, various locations: Specializing in fresh-pressed juices, fruit smoothies, and several açai bowl varieties, fans rave about their palate-pleasing blends. You can find them at the Pinecrest Farmers Market on Sundays.
I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely tempted to go out and try some of these!
Of course, the downside is that these fancy bowls can be expensive, with most costing anywhere from $9-$12 for a bowl of goodness. If you’d prefer to make your own at home, I’d recommend buying the Organic Unsweetened Açai Purée packet at Trader Joe’s. Here’s a yummy recipe I found on their website.
I’d love to hear what your favorites are, so please share by leaving a comment below. Bon appetit!