Acai Bowl with Berries, Almonds, and Toasted Coconut
Don't forget to enter the Healthy Solutions Spice Blends Giveaway. Recently I have been noticing acai bowls adorned with sliced fruits, granola, shaved coconut pop up in the blogosphere. It's probably been going on for the longest time but I am just catching on to the acai bowl craze. Since this was my first time ever trying/making acai bowl, I referred to The Art of Acai Bowl and Julia's Fruit and Nut Acai Bowl for some guidance to make my version of Acai Bowl with banana, berries (I used frozen strawberries and blueberries from Summer), almonds, and toasted coconut. It's like a parfait made with acai pulp or powder which is then blended with your choice of milk/yogurt and banana. The thick, creamy smoothie is then topped with granola, sliced nuts, freshly cut fruits, and coconut savings. A drizzle of honey (or agave/maple) seals the deal even though it is totally optional, I recommend it. The main ingredient in acai bowl is acai berries, the fruit of the acai palm tree from the Amazon of Brazil. Since it's not possible to transport fresh acai berries fast enough to the US, you will find them mostly pulped or flash frozen at specialty grocery store ( I got mine at Whole Foods) or from Amazon.Acai berries have been in the spotlight for a very long time and I don't want to hear another 'Dr. Oz said its a super-food to cure EVERYTHING'. Like most berries, acai are a great source of antioxidants and has an excellent amount of iron, calcium, fiber, and vitamin A but it's definitely not a magic berry that will help with weight loss, increase metabolism, solve skin problems yada yada yada. It can certainly be a part of your everyday breakfast or a snack but just be mindful that calories/sugar can quickly add up just depending on what you have in your bowl. I could see different variations of acai bowl with berries, almonds, and toasted coconut happening more often in the morning because as much as I love my overnight steel cut oats in the morning, its always nice to have a variety of things.Unsweetened acai by itself tasted pretty earthy and reminded me of prune juice but once it's blended with banana and other toppings, it's actually pretty good. I did not use granola this time but I think it will add a nice crunch along with nuts and toasted coconut. Also I will most likely use frozen, sliced bananas to make acai mixture thicker and skip milk altogether.
Acai Bowl with Banana, Almonds, and Toasted Coconut
1 unsweetened acai pack
1-2 tablespoon milk (use as needed)
2 strawberries, sliced
handful of blueberries
2 tablespoon sliced almonds
2 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1 tablespoon honey (agave nectar or maple syrup)
Blend acai pack and 1/2 banana and milk (do not add milk if acai starts to thaw, it will result in liquidy bowl).
Pour in a bowl and top with remaining banana (sliced), fruits, almonds, and toasted coconut. Drizzle honey on top.
I missed the half-marathon running update last week because after my 9 miles, I have been a little lax about running and spent time with strength training/walking/weight lifting. I did not really stick to the plan but ran 10 miles last Saturday at this new trail I discovered right by my house. I am looking forward to do another 10 mile this weekend....I can't believe it's only 29 more days for my half-marathon.Here are the recaps from Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 week 4: didn’t do very good with running…boooo, week 5.week 6, week 7, week 8.
week 9 & 10:
Strength training/stretch : 2-3 times Turbo Kick and Body Pump.
Running: 22 miles total X 2 weeks. Goal: Run another 10 miles this weekend.
Nutrition: Hydration and regular meals post and pre-running. I haven't really made any changes to my diet although I really think I need to explore some energy gel options. Any recommendations??
Have a wonderful weekend!! Also, don't forget to enter the Healthy Solutions Spice Blends Giveaway.