We’ve all heard the saying that goes: Jiu Jitsu is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle. As cliché as it may sound, it’s the absolute truth! BJJ far extends past your training in the mats – it extends to your personal life as well. Whether gaining mental discipline, physical strength, what apparel you wear, or even changing your diet habits, BJJ tends to change our lifestyle in one form or another. As you embrace the Jiu Jitsu culture and lifestyle, you’ve more than likely encountered Brazilian Acai Bowls!
Brazilian Acai Bowls have tremendously grown in popularity in the BJJ community - but also in the health and fitness industry as well! This superfood is packed with all kinds of vitamins and has a ton of amazing flavors – they’re awesome! But what’s so great about them? In this guide, we walk you through one of Brazil’s very own – the Brazilian Acai Bowl, a nutritious superfood to add to your BJJ diet!
What is an Acai Bowl?
First off, what exactly is Acai in the first place? An acai is a type of berry fruit that comes from the acai palm tree, native to Central and South America. The berry itself is about an inch long and has a dark purple color to it, very similar to that of a blueberry (but not as dark in color).
The Acai Berry is considered a superfood as it’s packed with a ton of vitamins and minerals. Some claim that it has anti-aging properties as well as some weight loss properties. Some studies even show that the acai fruit pulp has more antioxidants than cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries.
In the typical Brazilian Acai Bowl, the Acai Berry is usually frozen and mashed up and has the consistency of a bowl of ice cream. The Acai Bowl is then garnished with some granola, bananas, strawberries, and sweetened with some honey. There are a ton of mixed varieties of flavors that many like to garnish with, but you can expect these ingredients or other nutritious fruits as a substitute.
What are the Benefits of a Brazilian Acai Bowl?
Part of the reason why people love the Brazilian Acai Bowl is not only is it tasty, it’s packed with a whole lot of benefits. As mentioned before, the Acai fruit is packed with a ton of antioxidants. These fruits easily contain one of the highest forms of antioxidant properties than any others out there. It’s got properties that combat aging and has properties that help combat some types of cancers in the body.
It has a whole lot of vitamins and minerals to include Omega 6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B1&B2, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, among a few others. It also has some protein, carbs, and fibers as well – it’s basically an all-around complete food group!
From a BJJ standpoint, the Brazilian Acai Bowl is a perfect addition to the BJJ training and diet regimen. Acai has nutritious properties that help with weight loss, help reduce cholesterol levels, increase energy levels, and acts as a natural inflammatory. With a high impact sport like BJJ, this can prove to be extremely beneficial!
How Do I Make a Brazilian Acai Bowl?
Now that we know just how great Acai is for you, let’s get to the nuts and bolts – how do you make it? Sure, you can simply ask Siri or Alexa: “Where can I get an Acai Bowl Near Me,” but quite honestly it isn’t overly hard!
Acai bowls are super easy to make once you have all your ingredients prepped up. The typical Acai usually uses some Acai berries, bananas, blueberries, and strawberries. Making the Acai Bowl is simply a matter of blending all your ingredients together in a blender! However, in order to get the smoothie-like consistency that you would normally see in an Acai bowl, you need to have your fruit ingredients frozen prior to blending.
Another thing to note is that as the Acai fruit isn’t as readily available if you aren’t in Central America, you might have to resort to getting frozen Acai Berry packets, Acai puree or powders. However they still turn out real nicely even if you don’t get them fresh from the Brazilian amazon forest! Sambazon is a great brand when it comes to getting that organic Acai flavor.
Once you have all your fruit ingredients completely frozen, simply whip them up in a blender, and you get a perfectly good Acai bowl – all at the comfort of your home! Keep in mind though, consistency is key when making Acai. The more frozen your ingredients, the thicker your bowl will be. If you let your fruits sit out for too long it might turn out liquidy! Once you got your base at the right consistency, simply top them off with some more freshly sliced bananas and strawberries, sprinkle it with some granola and honey and your good to go!
Anthony Bourdain's Acai Bowl Recipe
We all know Anthony Bourdain right? Famous chef and world traveler, and had a show trying out all kinds of exotic foods from various countries. He was also a Blue Belt in BJJ and even got to compete in a tournament or two! Before his unfortunate and untimely passing, the famous BJJ Celebrity was kind enough to share one of his very own recipes on how to make his Acai Bowl.
The following recipe can be found in Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites: A Cookbook
1/2 to 3/4 cup acai juice, Sambazon brand preferred
2 bananas, peeled
7 oz. frozen unsweetened acai puree, Sambazon brand preferred
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries or raspberries
1/2 cup granola, for garnish (optional)
1/4 cup cacao nibs, for garnish (optional)
Vitamix or other blender with a fairly strong motor
Place the acai juice and one of the bananas in the blender’s pitcher, then add the frozen acai puree, blueberries, and strawberries on top so that the blades suck in the frozen items. Pulse as needed to form a smooth sorbet, scraping down the sides of the pitcher with a spatula as necessary.
Slice the remaining banana. Divide the mixture between two bowls and top each with the garnishes. Serve immediately!
Other Great Acai Bowl Recipes!
There's a ton of great Acai Bowl recipes out there, it can get hard to choose! But quite honestly, if you are able to get the base just right, everything else like garnishing and whatnot is going to be fairly simple.
This recipe is from Chelsea's Messy Apron that we've tried out and absolutely love it! She's got a few more nice looking recipes that look amazing so definitely check it out!
Here's a couple more that you might enjoy!
As you engulf yourself in the BJJ lifestyle, your likely to encounter a change in your fitness and developing a healthier lifestyle altogether. There’s a reason why BJJ practitioners and fitness athletes are getting into Brazilian Acai bowls. They’re packed with a ton of vitamins and minerals to keep you rolling for days! Brazilian Acai Bowls are a perfect compliment to your training. This superfood has inflammatory benefits that’ll reduce your injuries all the while keeping your energy levels high. If you plan on training for the long haul, adding a nice Acai Bowl to your BJJ diet plan could be great for you in the long run. The benefits are awesome and they taste great too!