Breakfast Porn

My new obsession comes in the form of a rainbow of fruits, nuts, and seeds sitting atop a dripping swirl of creamy, nutrient packed goodness…known as the Acai Bowl (also deemed “Breakfast Porn” by the Huffington Post).  The acai berry is the star of the show-a small berry that looks similar to a dark purple grape.  This berry has been named “the most antioxidant-packed fruit on earth”.  Originating in Brazil and becoming famed in Hawaii, the acai bowl traditionally blends the pulp from the acai berry along with other juicy fruits (optional), coconut milk or water, and fresh juices. This creates the base for an acai bowl, which is essentially a thicker version of a smoothie.

This voluptuous mixture then gets poured into a bowl and is topped with granola, nuts, coconut, slices of fruit, chia seeds, honey and anything else you might want to try. The acai bowl is similar to a parfait or a mound of frozen yogurt with topping overload, but with far less guilt following an indulgence session.  To top it off, this nutrient-packed bowl is simple to prepare at home.  You can mix and match fruits and flavor combinations to your heart’s desire, while styling the elements and presenting the bowl in a picture-esque fashion.

Being that I don’t always have access to fresh acai pulp, the bowls that I have come up with in my own kitchen don’t always include this ingredient–morphing into something more like a thick “smoothie soup”, if you will. Still delicious.  A simple formula for a perfect smoothie consistency= a few splashes of fruit juice (you can always add more) + couple handfuls of a frozen/fresh fruit combo + small handful of ice.  (acai juice & frozen pulp seems to be more readily available than the fresh fruit-available at Whole Foods and in the specialty juice section of most grocery stores). In lieu of fruit juice, coconut water works beautifully also. Mix it up and create new combinations. I love the medley of frozen dark red cherries, fresh pineapple, fresh raspberries, frozen banana and frozen or fresh passion fruit pulp. If you want a creamier consistency, more similar to a dessert treat, add a spoonful or two of greek yogurt.

You want the texture to be thick like frozen yogurt or a slushie…you do not want it to be so thin that it is actually like eating a soup. Pour the concoction into a pretty bowl and prepare your toppings (the best part). [you might want to put the smoothie into the freezer while you do this part so it doesn’t melt]. Slice up any and every combination of fresh fruits you desire and layer them around the bowl.  Add a few crumbles of your favorite granola, a sprinkle of dried coconut flakes, some chopped nuts, and a drizzle of honey. Go topping wild and drizzle some peanut butter or almond butter, chopped dates, chopped dried fruits, figs, goji berries (a superfood delight), chia seeds, or dark chocolate chips. Below I have included some photos of beautiful bowls with particular attention to detail in arranging the fruits and toppings to make it picture perfect (click the linked images for details).   Enjoy!

 

Advertisements

“I measure life by countries, not years”

This post is inspired by one of my favorite quotes, seen below.  These beautiful words sum up my idea of carefree, uninhibited happiness, while grasping the essence of my everlasting love for travel…

IMG_6247

Upon reading this one stormy afternoon, I felt inspired & excited for future adventures abroad, laced with a refreshing fear of the unknown & all of the endless possibilities that await. So I drew upon my own experiences to come up with my take on what Travel Is….

 Travel is the taste of fresh pastries in a hidden alley coffee shop. It’s a $5 picnic for two on the back of a train. Travel is getting lost on purpose and wandering the streets with no map. It’s meeting a complete stranger on the subway and spending the next 12 hours exploring with them. It’s the lively urban buzz that surrounds you at all times. Travel is a random Wednesday turning into one of the best nights of your life. Travel is the smell of street foods filling the smokey air. And Coca Cola cans printed in different languages. Travel is smiling and nodding and pretending to understand when someone’s accent is too thick. Travel is meeting your soulmate on a random street on a random night at a random concert in a random pub. Travel is flirting with foreign boys and getting them to buy you sandwiches. Travel is taking a nap in the sunshine on a park bench. It’s people watching all day. It’s chip flavors and candy bars you never knew existed. Travel is the taste of the unknown somehow mixed with a faint hint of familiarity of home. Travel is the sharing of stories in a hostel. Travel is jumping into the ocean with new friends in the middle of a storm. It’s blisters on your feet from walking, but not caring. Travel is a burst of energy every morning. It’s being at a music festival and as the sun goes down, in that very moment, realizing how beautiful life is. Travel is being in the countryside and looking up at the same night stars that you’ve seen all your life. Travel is getting lost and finding yourself. It’s crying from laughing so hard with someone who was born on a different continent than you. Travel is learning to appreciate how relaxing a hot shower really is. Travel is listening to a special song on your iPod while gazing out of the train at the green countryside passing by. It’s hiding out in the back of a Starbucks for hours to use the free WiFi.  Travel is learning to not take sh*t for granted. It’s is realizing that it’s okay to not know your path in life yet. It’s realizing that your 20s are your years to explore and figure things out. Travel is beaming with happiness and feeling alive every day.

A few of my favorites…