EVERYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT THE ACAI, THE CURRENT (HEALTHY) FASHION
Everyone has heard of it, some have seen it, nobody knows exactly what it is.
The açaí is the latest health trend: just think that in the last year, on Google, searches of (and around) açaí-bowls have more than doubled. Starting from Hawaii, fashion has conquered the entire West Coast, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and has slowly made its way in other states by enriching the offer of frullaterie and juice bars or giving life to specialized premises, including food trucks . And according to the Baum + Whiteman report, among the eleven food & beverage trends of 2016, the açaí -bowl, defined as “the next big hipster food”.
But what is it, why do we like it so much and above all why should we eat it?
WHAT IS THE ACAI
It is the berry of a tree that grows mainly in the state of Pará, in Brazil . For centuries, the main diet of the native populations of Brazil has been based on the berries of açaí, considering them rightly rich in nutrients. Even today, in many Amazonian villages account for 42% of total calories. In Tupì language it literally means “[fruit that] cries or expels water “. From the word of the native Tupì – once one of the most important indigenous populations of Brazil – it is then derived the Portuguese-Brazilian açaí (pronounced however “assaí”).
Unless you are in Brazil, not far from a market that markets fresh berries, the much-loved puree is mostly frozen or frozen.
WHY EATING THE ACAI
If you like them it’s not just because of the beautiful dark purple color or the taste – halfway between dark chocolate and blueberry – but also for nutritional benefits. The açaí berry is rich in fibers, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins A, B, C and E, mineral salts (calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium), essential unsaturated fatty acids (Omega 3, 6 and 9), antioxidants a go -go (to the point of being one of the best sources in the world, even up to twenty times more antioxidants than red grapes). The natural açaí pulp contains very few sugars: maltose, fructose and glucose are present from a minimum of 0.1 g to a maximum of 0.8 g per 100 g.
According to many nutritionists, the berry of açaí is the n. 1 superfruit . The therapeutic properties that derive from it are many: it increases energy and resistance, supports the immune system, promotes sleep, fights aging and inflammation, protects the heart.
But be careful: 100 grams of fresh açaí pulp contains just over 45 kcal, but the same quantity of dried pulp powder exceeds abundantly 500 kcal.
HOW TO EAT ACAI
Açaí na tigela or açaí in the bowl, as you prefer to call it: the açaí puree is the most popular way to eat it, shake with banana pulp and juice (apple for example) and served in a bowl or glass with muesli and fresh fruit in pieces (Guarana syrup is added in Brazil).
In addition to the puree, on the market is found the juice of açaí, pure or mixed with other juices, purees or red fruit extracts, pineapple, coconut, banana, apple but also almonds, guarana, yerba mate, chia seeds, ginger .. .
Someone with an açaí prepares an exotic hot chocolate : it is made with cocoa, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, hot pepper, honey or agave syrup. And who reinvents cocktails, such as Caipirinha for example, or energetic long drinks (one for all: açaí juice plus banana, pineapple, ginger and orange juice ). The açaí pulp can also be cooked: with dried or fresh figs (plus ginger, honey, chocolate and vanilla) it turns into a jam to serve hot or cold, perhaps with croutons of bread and cheese (vegan or not).
A liqueur is also prepared with the açaí berries. Macerated in Cachaça and then reduced to puree, ginger root, orange peel and cane sugar are added to the infusion. The final result is a liqueur with marked citrus, spicy and “chocolaty” scents. The low alcohol content makes it perfect as an aperitif.
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