All About Acai

 

Acai bowls seem to be the latest food fad, and I’m here to tell you all you need to know about this latest healthy and delicious snack!

Want to know where to find them? How to make your own? You’ll find the answers to these questions and more in this article, so read on!

 

First of all, we all know that sometimes these “fad” foods that are supposedly super healthy for you are just marketing tools by manufacturers to get you to buy their product. So, what is acai and is it really a “superfood”?

Acai is a berry found in South America, where it is a staple food in the diet of some of the aboriginal tribes in Brazil. As far as berries go, it’s probably not the healthiest option since it’s pretty hefty in the fat and carbohydrate department, but it does have a lot of fiber and antioxidants that are good for your body. Because of this, eating an acai bowl is a good meal replacement rather than just as a snack.

 

Where do I find the best acai bowl?

On UCSD campus:

The Farmer’s Market! (Tuesdays 10am-2pm): The Brazilian Snacks vendor sells bowls for $8. This seems like an expensive bowl, but they are huge and loaded with granola, strawberries, bananas, and honey. These could easily be both your breakfast and lunch. Definitely worth the price, and it doesn’t hurt to treat yourself once in a while!

Jamba Juice: Can’t wait until Tuesday to satisfy your acai craving? Jamba in Price Center is the perfect place to buy one between classes or for lunch! Their bowls are less expensive ($5.49 for a 12oz), but not as large and hearty. The two types are Acai Berry and Acai Primo, with the main difference being that the berry bowl as strawberries and the Primo bowl has granola instead.

One important difference between Jamba’s bowls and the Farmer’s Market’s bowls that accounts for the difference in price is how the acai is prepared. At Jamba, the acai berry is blended with soy milk and other fruits which decreases the percent composition of the acai, whereas the Brazilian place prepares the acai more traditionally without blending it with other fruits so it’s more of a pure acai. They have different tastes, so it’s up to you to decide which you prefer!

Off Campus:

Fruittitude in La Jolla Cove area: This was the place I had my first acai bowl, so I’m a bit partial to it, but their bowls are superb. They have unique options like peanut butter, chocolate, and coconut if you’re tired of the same bowl over and over again. They also have a make-your-own option if you don’t like their creations and want a more traditional acai flavor. Their bowls are only $7!

Juice Caboose in La Jolla Cove area: A top competitor among the wide variety of acai and juice bars in the La Jolla area, Juice Caboose is sure to please. Their bowls are huge and well worth the price. Like Fruittitude, they have add-ins like espresso and peanut butter, but with a wider variety of fruit toppers. They also provide the option of Pitaya bowls. These are similar to acai bowls, but come from the Pitaya fruit which gives it a sweeter taste.

 

Don’t have the time or money to go to a shop to buy a bowl? Don’t worry, you can make your own in your apartment!

Stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods sell frozen acai puree and frozen acai smoothie mixes that are ready for you to put in the blender to prepare the base of your bowl. Add some fresh strawberries, bananas, and chia seeds for an extra boost and you have yourself a filling breakfast for the busy day ahead! Check out these links for some twists on acai bowls you can try on your own:

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/breakfast/acai-bowl-recipes/?page=1

http://www.acairoots.com/recipes.php

So whether you are on campus or off campus, acai bowls are all the hype in the SoCal culture. They are easy to grab on-the-go, delicious, a great treat after a midterm, and good for you in moderation. Acai bowls are certainly taking the smoothie and juice world by storm!