Moving to LA was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I get asked a lot by my Midwest friends, “What is the best thing about living in LA?” There’s no way to answer because the list would be 10 miles long. One overwhelming positive thing about living here is the abundance of healthy food and the overall celebration of healthy lifestyles. Coming from St. Louis & Chicago, where late night bars and 5AM pizza places were on every corner, Los Angeles is much more focused on a healthy active life for it’s residents. There’s free hiking all over the city, a groupon deal every day for new places to burn fat and an overwhelming growth of healthy “restaurants” such as Sunlife Organics, Beaming and The Harvest Bar to name a few.
While these places are popular stops for smoothies and organic cold pressed juices, my favorite thing to order is the Acai Bowl. It’s probably the healthiest thing I’ve ever eaten and you can feel the energy your body produces as you digest it. The downside is that these cost anywhere from $10-$15 a piece. Fed up with my $80/mo acai addiction, I went to Whole Foods this week and bought the ingredients to start making them myself. Trust me you guys- this is the easiest, most delicious healthy treat you can imagine! The best part is all of these health restaurants post their menu online so all you need to do is duplicate the ingredients.
The benefits of acai (not to mention the other ingredients) are plentiful! I’ve noticed a big change in my skin as well as hair growth. According to Global Healing Center, acai also has the following benefits:
Resistance to Harmful Organisms
Helps with Digestive Issues
Helps with Respiratory System
Improves Cellular Health
Anti-Aging Effect (fights free radical damage from inside out)
Improves Mental Function
So let’s get started! Here’s my personal shopping list, but feel free to adjust according to your taste
Bullet Blender (best buy ever!)
Organic Strawberries (frozen)
Organic Blueberries (frozen)
Fresh Fruit: Bananas*, Strawberries, Blackberries whatever your favorites are.
Almond Milk (or Cashew/Hemp/Coconut/Soy)
Fresh Peanut Butter (or Almond/Cashew/Coconut Butter)
Dried Coconut Flakes (unsweetened)
I don’t use all of these ingredients in one bowl, but this gives you plenty of options to keep it exciting. The only thing you need to buy fresh is whatever fruit you want to put on top, the rest stays good for a long time.
Blend handful of frozen strawberries, handful frozen blueberries and half of a fresh banana (save the other half) with acai powder (1 TBSP), nut butter (1 TBSP) and 1/4C almond milk (or milk of choice). Sometimes I’ll throw 1/2 TBSP of chia seeds in the blender. (Because I HATE blenders, I actually use a bullet which works perfectly for 1-2 portions.) You want the mix to be consistent to sorbet so start with less vegan milk and add little bits more if you need to get to right consistency.
Add blended fruit mix to bowl. Slice up fruit and arrange around the top. I love fresh strawberries and blueberries on top. Top with 1/2 TBSP each of Hemp Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Cacao Nibs. Add granola if you’re extra hungry. Top with a swirl of Fresh honey (optional) and indulge!
UPDATE: more acai I’ve made this week:
Some other recipes: