Pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”, acai is a berry harvested from the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. It is a tiny little purple berry but packs a powerful nutritional punch in that small package.
Acai is an incredible source of antioxidants (more than blueberries), healthy omegas, fiber, and protein. It is considered a “superfood”, something that I focus on in my nutrition practice. Will blog more on superfoods in a future post.
One 100 gram pack of unsweetened acai puree has 70 calories, 5 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. 45 mg of Omega 3, 595 mg of omega 6 and 3225 mg of omega 9. If you remember from some of my other posts, omega 3 is also a big focus in my nutrition philosophy.
So, acai berry is now a regular fourth ingredient that goes into most of my smoothies. Keep in mind that it is a dark purple color. So if you are adding acai to a pineapple, mango smoothie, it will no longer be yellow. Here I am getting ready to make my smoothie for the day – strawberry, rasberry, banana smoothie with half a pack of unsweetened acai puree, chia seeds, untoasted wheat germ, and ground flaxseed. I add some unsweetened almond milk and a dash of honey for taste. Notice that I am using frozen strawberries and frozen raspberries. Frozen fruit allows me to always have fruit handy and stocked. I have fresh strawberries too, but would rather eat them whole than use them in my smoothies. Frozen fruits in smoothies give it an icy kick, especially great for the warmer weather we are having this weekend in New York City!