Often touted as a “superfood” by marketers, these berries (like other berries) do have high levels of antioxidants that protect cells, reduce the effects of aging and may decrease the risk of some diseases (including heart disease and cancer).
But beyond their antioxidant benefits, I enjoy acia berries because of their rich and almost chocolatey flavor. The berries have a unique but delicious taste – and, they make for a great post-workout snack.
After we exercise, our bodies need an immediate dose of protein and carbohydrates. Though most people realize the importance of post-workout protein, carbohydrate consumption is often overlooked. After a workout, carbs restore muscle glycogen. And, if the body doesn’t receive post-workout carbohydrates, it may actually breakdown muscle for this same purpose.
In fact, because the body needs carbohydrates quickly, it’s one of the few times when simple carbs are recommended over complex carbohydrates which are absorbed slowly. In other words, it’s a good time to eat foods with added sugar or honey.
That’s why, while visiting San Diego, I’ve fallen in love with a popular local snack: Acia bowls. Almost all the smoothie shops have them, and they’re a delicious way to deliver protein and simple carbs to your body when they’re needed most.
Here’s how you can make a yummy, post-workout acai bowl at home.
- Frozen acai smoothie pack (available at Whole Foods Market and many grocery stores and chains)
- 1/2 frozen, pealed banana
- 1 cup vanilla (or strawberry) protein powder
- 7 frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup soy milk, almond milk or apple juice
- 1/2 fresh banana, sliced
- 3 – 4 fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1/4 cup granola
- 1 tablespoon honey
In a blender, combine acai smoothie mix, protein powder, frozen banana, frozen strawberries and soy milk, almond milk or apple juice. Blend until smooth and add additional liquid until a thick but well-blended mixture is achieved.
Pour contents into a bowl, and top with sliced strawberries, bananas and granola. Drizzle honey over top.
It’s a simple and easy recipe, but it’s exactly what your body needs after a good workout. In the comments below, let me know if you share my love for acai!
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