Guys, I’ve been craving vacay like MAD. This time last year, I’d already been to Mexico and had plans in the works to go to Puerto Rico. This year, I’ve got nothing. (I know I know, world’s saddest song, smallest violin, etc.) But it’s been a really busy few months, and let me have my whine.
Alas, I have no beach jaunts on the horizon, so I’ve had to travel there via my kitchen instead. Lots of blackened tilapia, fresh crunchy vegetables, and when I go out, all I want are tacos and tequila. My tropical cravings have even extended to breakfast, where they’ve taken hold in the form of an acai bowl.
While acai is supposedly a “superfood” (meaning it may have some health benefits), I’m mostly interested in it for the taste, which tastes like a tart cross between a cranberry and a blueberry. The berries are native to South America, but you can find the puree at Whole Foods or on the Interwebs. They’re delicious in juice form, but they’re especially awesome as a bowl, the frozen puree packs blended with frozen bananas until the consistency is like ice cream.
From there, the possibilities are endless. Some days, I’ll add frozen berries or cacao or oats or yogurt. This time, driven by my tropical cravings, I added frozen pineapples, mangoes and orange juice to the blender, then topped everything with fresh mango chunks, peanut butter and chia seeds. The end result was bright and fresh and creamy, perfect for savoring while on a sandy beach but also pretty great as a tropical treat in your normal, ordinary apartment.
- 1 unsweetened frozen acai pack
- 1 frozen banana, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/4 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks
- 1/4 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- To serve (all are optional -- go with what you like): 1/2 cup fresh fruit (I used diced mango but anything works -- more pineapple, kiwi, berries, sliced bananas, orange segments, etc.), 2 tablespoons nut butter, 1 tablespoon chia or flax seeds, 1/4 cup granola or chopped nuts ...
- Run the acai packet under warm water for 5-10 seconds, then crush it up slightly. Add to a blender, along with the frozen banana, mango, pineapple, almond milk and orange juice. Blend until the mixture is the consistency of soft serve.
- Transfer to two bowls, then add your desired toppings. Pretend you're in paradise, sitting in a cabana eating your acai bowl while watching waves casually lap at pristine white sand.