Acai Bowl Ingredients Pt. 4: Acai
Why save the best for last? The anticipation is so great, the hunger is starting to set in. The final part of this 4-part series on acai bowl ingredients is on the one and only acai berry. It is the number one ingredient in acai bowls, without which, the food in question would probably still be sipped through a straw (stay tuned for a future post on the battle of smoothie vs. bowls).
First, dear reader, you should know that not all acai is created equal. Many common brands use additives like soy lecithin so that their acai won’t resemble a brick of frozen juice. This is only necessary when using what the industry refers to as a lower grade acai, or acai with a low ratio of pulp to water. If I can toot my horn here ( tooting is quite unusual for me on most days) I’d tell you that Tambor Acai contains the highest ratio of acai solids (to water) in the marketplace. Tambor Acai is Grade A, acai especial, the best of the best, like a Hawaiian sunset.
After you locate and purchase a pack of Tambor Acai (available here) you need to thaw it to the ideal temperature. Please, please, do not do what was done to me a few weeks ago at a certain cafe when the kind worker put a completely frozen acai pack (non-Tambor) into the blender with only some water and zero banana. After blending it for over 45 unsuccessful seconds she poured it into my bowl and served it, frozen chunks and all. This was indeed an unusual encounter.
The first thing they might try differently is running the frozen pack of acai under warm water for about 20 seconds so it can thaw just slightly. When it is 75% frozen- slightly hard but you are able to pinch through it with your fingers- is the right time to blend. Anohter option is to leave it on the counter until it thaws to the ideal consistency. This will make you a smooth and nicely chilled acai bowl, with a texture somewhere around soft serve yogurt. Check out Dan’s blog post for a complete recipe.
Another thing which might seem obvious but is essential to know is which kind of acai pack you are using. Tambor Acai makes a “Traditional” unsweetened acai pack, and a “Mix” pack blended with organic evaporated cane sugar and organic guarana, the tasty and energy giving Amazonian herb. If you are using the Traditional Acai, you may want to add your own source of sweetness. I recommend honey in Pt. 1 of this series.
These are basic acai bowl ingredients. It will make you a good Rio-Style acai bowl. But acai bowl ingredients will definitely vary. What do you put in yours?