When I visited California last month, my friend Jenna asked what I wanted to eat while I was there. “Definitely Nekter” was my only request. I had spied a few tasty looking “bowls” on some of the healthy Instagrams that I follow, and it seemed like these thick smoothies in bowls covered with goodies seemed to be all the rage-and I needed one in my belly-pronto! Sure enough, the thing tasted like heaven.I needed another. Actually, I needed about a dozen, but after begging the two infants in the back seat to have just a smidgen more patience while we traipsed the freeway, aimed for the juice bar, we arrived only to find that they had closed for the day, and my craving would just have to take a hike. My bright pink “Pitaya bowl” had me smitten, and I couldn’t imagine leaving without another taste! I HAD TO FIND the fruit so that I could make Hattie her very own-because how awesome is a bright pink breakfast? Awesome. Buying the actual fruit to take home was out of the question since it was out of season, and to have frozen packets sent to my house would have cost me nearly half of my “entertainment” budget, so I had to figure out another option….
The original “bowls” that I had mentioned seeing were actually açaí bowls. Açaí, pronounced, (ah-sigh-e), and unlike the fluorescent pink Pitaya dragonfruit, it’s a little easier to find here in Louisiana. I picked up some frozen packs of açaí puree at Target in the frozen section (Simply Balanced brand). I bubbled a bit with excitement from the moment that I bought the packs until the next morning when I made my very own açaí bowl! Oh, ya’ll, it was SO GOOD. I’ve eaten them for lunch, breakfast, and as a snack on the floor of the kitchen, sharing with a toddler-which is a totally normal way to eat a snack when you have anyone in your house under the age of three.
Açaí is predominately found in the Amazon of Brazil and is rich in anti-oxidants, fiber, fatty acids, yada yada yada. Don’t you love when people try to convince you to eat something, when you were already convinced at the “smoothie in a bowl” part. This treat doesn’t require much persuasion..I’m still not sure why I’m trying…
image via google
To make it I ran one of my little açaí packs under some warm water for a few seconds and then smashed to try and break it up a bit. I added a banana and a TBSP of almond milk (coconut would work too) to a blender and blended until smooth. I then added 5 large frozen strawberries and blended. Added in the açaí pack last, and blended until chunks were smooth.
Pour mixture into a bowl and cover with every good thing you can find. I did banana slices, “nut”ola, shredded coconut, and strawberries.
Tip: You want the mixture thick enough to spoon into your mouth, so go easy on the milk.
I’m still obsessed with pitaya, which is actually a cacti. I may or may not have ordered a cutting from someone off of Ebay and emailed a “specialist” about the best way to attempt to grow the plant here in South Louisiana. During a date with my husband last week, I dove into a story about how excited I was about the pitaya cutting that I was going to transplant, and he informed me that NO ONE knows what a pitaya is. I divulged that it was simply a dragonfruit (duh, Ben), and he chuckled and said, “well, that clears it up…” I’m told it may take up to 3 years to get fruit. I’m losing patience and my cutting hasn’t even arrived yet. I guess I shouldn’t expect my farmer’s market to have any available in the near future. The wildest products I’ve found seem to be the accidental double yolk free range eggs.