Acai Bowls

Acai bowl

Acai bowls are all the rage at the moment. I for one didn’t really get it the hype around them. I mean I love smoothies, but why do you need to make a smoothie that can only be eaten out of a bowl? After making a few myself though, I realized that eating them this way is what makes them special. It makes you really focus on the flavours when you’re having it a spoonful at a time, rather than slurping it up through a straw. Plus, the toppings add so much texture and extra flavour that you just can’t get from a normal smoothie. And so, the skeptic was converted.

Not only do they taste delicious, they are ridiculously aesthetically pleasing thanks to meticulously arranged fruit and seeds on top. I think that is the main attraction of making these bowls to be honest. You can add whatever toppings you like; honey, bee pollen, goji berries – whatever you think is Instagram-worthy really. Plus, they are full of acai, which is a modern day superfood hailing from Brazil. In Brazil, you can buy them fresh in their berry form, but here in Oz we have to use the powder, which is just as delicious. They are a rich source of antioxidants and fibre and help keep you fuller for longer, which is exactly what you want from your breakfast. Deee-licious!

Acai Bowls

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons acai powder
  • 2 bananas, chopped roughly (use frozen banana slices if you have time)
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 ½ teaspoons nut butter (I used peanut)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 1 cup almond milk

For topping:

  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Chia seeds
  • Granola
  • Coconut flakes

Place the acai powder, bananas, raspberries, nut butter and honey in a high-powered blender. Blend until creamy, then gradually add the almond milk until you get a smooth but thick consistency. You want it to be a bit thicker than a smoothie. Pour into bowls and arrange with toppings. Serve immediately.

Superfood Granola with Stewed Rhubarb

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So I woke up the other morning and felt like something healthy to start my day. Why you may ask? That would be because it was a Monday and thus time to purge all previous bad eating habits and start afresh…that is until Tuesday when birthday cake appeared in the office and it seemed rude not to have a piece. I mean, how could I say no. So I vowed to start this healthy regime the following Monday. But it did still leave me longing for something yummy and healthy. So I looked in the cupboard and threw in together a bunch of ingredients that turned out pretty darn well.

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This granola happens to be full of goodness and the perfect way to help you kick start your morning. Almonds, walnuts and quinoa are high in protein and good fats, pepitas are high in iron, chia seeds are high in fiber, cacao nibs are high in antioxidants and coconuts are full of healthy fats. All things you need to help you last until lunch time and maybe help you politely decline the next office birthday cake. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking, but hey, at least you’re trying.

granolaaa

Eating just for health however is a very sad way to live. Taste needs to play an important role in all meals; otherwise you’ve got yourself a pretty bland little life. So I’ve made sure this recipe doesn’t scrimp on flavour. It’s got a double dose of coconut. The coconut oil and and coconut flakes add a beautiful subtle sweetness that won’t see you running for the gym. The cacao nibs give you your chocolate hit the healthy way. And the delicious nutty flavour of quinoa complements the almonds and walnuts.

granola in a bowl

And then there is the stewed rhubarb. I mean is there really a fruit that says comfort on a cold wintery morning better? I don’t think so. The rich, vibrant deep pink  fruit has a way of  subconsciously lifting your mood during dismal winter mornings. It’s hearty, yet healthy and the perfect accompaniment to this granola. Add some yoghurt and you almost have a reason to get out of bed. Almost.

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Superfood Granola with Stewed Rhubarb

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup chopped natural almonds
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup pepitas
  • ¾ cup quinoa flakes (you can substitute for rolled oats if you prefer)
  • 1 tbs flaxseed
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 tbs cacao nibs
  • 2 cups coconut flakes
  • 2 tbs melted coconut oil (can substitute for butter or canola oil)
  • 2 tbs rice malt syrup * or honey
  • I tsp vanilla paste

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and use your hands mix everything together.
  3. Pour onto the baking tray and use the back of spoon to even it out so it is spread across the tray evenly.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden, using a fork at halfway to move the ingredients about so the top of the granola doesn’t burn.
  5. Take out of oven and leave to cool.
  6. Break granola into pieces and serve with yoghurt and fruit.

*Rice malt syrup is a sweetener made with rice and water that contains no fructose and is available in the health food section of most supermarkets.

Stewed Rhubarb

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch rhubarb, rinsed and chopped into 3cm pieces
  • ½ cup water
  • 1-2 tbs rice malt syrup or honey.
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients into a medium sized pot, cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat for about 5-10 minutes. Check it every few minutes and give it a stir so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. If your water is evaporating too quickly then add some more but having the lid on should help prevent this. The rhubarb is ready when it  appears to have dissolved into the liquid and all you can see are the stringy pieces of the fruit.