Açaí and pitaya bowls have a large following in the surfing community, and they are also becoming increasingly popular in health and nutrition circles.
These Instagrammable superfood bowls are packed with nutrients, giving surfers all the energy that they need for a morning of riding and helping IG models to stay trim, strong, and healthy.
Many food trends are based on misinformation or fads.
They’re triggered by celebrities who don’t know better or marketers who know too much.
But açai and pitaya bowls are probably just as healthy as claimed, if not more so.
In fact, these two ingredients work very well together and provide a host of nutrients and health benefits.
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What is Açai?
Açai is a fruit produced by the açai palm.
The fruits are small, round, and blackish-purple in color, not unlike small grapes or olives.
Açai palms grow in Central and South America, where the fruits have been a staple food for hundreds of years.
However, it’s only in the last few decades in which açai berries have been considered a health food or “superfood”, with much of that popularity coming in the last decade.
How Do You Pronounce Açai?
At first glance, you would be forgiven for reading “acai” as “Ah-kai”.
In actual fact, açai is pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”.
It’s quinoa all over again.
What is it with superfoods and weird pronunciations?
Is Açai Good for You?
Açai berries are very good for you.
Berries in general are incredibly healthy as they are packed with antioxidants, compounds that can boost your body’s defenses and eliminate cancer-causing free radicals.
They are not as nutrient-dense as other berries, but they are unique in that they contain many fatty acids, as well as amino acids and omega-3.
It’s an unusual combination for a berry, but it’s a welcome one.
Can Dogs Eat Açai?
Açai berries contain theobromine, the same chemical found in chocolate and the same one that can make your dog sick.
Don’t let your pooch eat açai!
Are Açai Keto?
Although açai is a berry, it is very low in sugars and high in fat, making it a good option for keto dieters.
What Does Açai Taste Like?
The taste of açai is very unusual, unlike any other berry.
They are not as sweet as strawberries and blueberries, and while they do have some of the tart elements of blackberries, they also have a taste not unlike raw chocolate.
Does Açai Have Caffeine?
Açai does not contain caffeine, but it does contain theobromine, which you can also find in chocolate.
What is Pitaya?
Pitaya is also known as “dragon fruit”.
It’s a beautiful fruit with spiny skin and either red or white flesh.
Pitaya is native to the Americas, but these fruits are grown everywhere from Mexico to India and Australia.
How to Pronounce Pitaya
Pitaya is pronounced “puh-tai-uh”, although as noted above, it’s also known as “dragon fruit”.
Can Dogs Eat Pitaya?
All forms of dragon fruit should be safe for your dog to eat.
Whether they will actually eat it or not is a different story, though.
Is Pitaya Keto?
Dragon fruit contains quite a lot of carbs.
It can be consumed on a keto diet, but only in moderation, and if you want the diet to stick, it’s best to avoid fruits like the dragon fruit.
What Does Dragon Fruit Taste Like?
Although the dragon fruit looks like a strange and exotic fruit, the taste is surprisingly familiar and relatively mild, with many comparing it to a cross between a kiwi and a pear.
Is Dragon Fruit Good for You?
Dragon fruit is often said to be high in vitamin C, but its vitamin C content actually pales in comparison to other fruits.
For example, a 150-calorie serving of pitaya will give you around 15% of your RDI of vitamin C while a 40-calorie serving of kiwi will give you over 100%.
That doesn’t mean that dragon fruit is nutritionally void, though.
As with açai, these fruits are packed with antioxidants, including betacyanins, caratenoids, and polyphenols, and these compounds have been linked to a host of health benefits.
How to Make an Acai and Pitaya Bowl
Açai and dragon fruit provide an array of health benefits from their one-two punch of antioxidants and healthy fats.
But if you want a true superfood mix, and one that will provide you with a balance of macro and micronutrients, you’ll need more vitamins, fiber, and protein.
Fortunately, a typical açai and dragon fruit bowl contains these nutrients in abundance.
For best results and minimal waste, use frozen fruit. It’s much cheaper and means you can store a week’s worth of daily smoothies in just a few bags.
If you can’t find açai berries, or just want a quicker and easier solution, look for açai juice.
To make your açai and pitaya bowl, simply chop your dragon fruit and add to a blender with acai berries or juice as well as a handful of strawberries and a couple of frozen bananas.
Blend the mixture until smooth and scoop it into a bowl.
Add some frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries), sliced strawberries, chia seeds, and more of your favorite toppings to create the perfect bowl.
You can also add some nuts for additional protein, creating the ultimate smoothie bowl.
The great thing about these smoothie bowls is that you don’t need to follow strict recipes to get great results.
Just freeze the fruit, blend until smooth, and adjust the tartness and sweetness with additional fruits and juices.
If you like a bit of crunch, add the chia seeds and nuts.
If not, stick with the fruit.
If you’re looking for something with a little more protein, use more chia seeds or nuts, or blend some Greek yogurt or protein powder into the mix.