We bet you’ve heard of açaí and you’ve probably heard it’s healthy for you too. But you might still be wondering, “What exactly is açaí?” And, “Am I even saying it right?” (It’s pronounced ah-sigh-EE.)
Açaí berries grow on açaí palm trees in South American rainforests and look a lot like grapes. These little superfoods are packed with antioxidants, fiber and calcium. They are made up of mostly pit, which is why you usually find açaí in puree form. They make a great base for yummy, healthy açaí bowls, which you and your family can find all over Orange County.
Lazy Bird in Anaheim is dedicated to serving bowls made with thoughtfully sourced, organic ingredients. Start with a base of açaí, pitaya (Mexican dragonfruit found on cactus), matcha, chia pudding or even oatmeal. Then top with any combination of their wholesome toppings, from granolas to nut butters and dried and fresh fruits. They also serve juice blends and hot teas to complete your meal.
143 W. Center St. Promenade, Anaheim
Banzai Bowls has a menu of açaí bowls, pitaya bowls and smoothies to choose from. Try the OG Bowl, which blends apple juice or hemp milk with açaí, strawberries and banana for your base with granola, bananas and honey on top for a classic bowl. The Maui Sunrise Bowl adds pineapple juice, coconut milk and mangos to the mix for a tropical twist.
1100 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach
Nektar Juice Bar
Nektar Juice Bar serves cold-pressed juice, smoothies and juice cleanses, but you can’t exist on juice alone! So order one of their açaí bowls, like the Açaí Peanut Butter Bowl. Açaí, banana, strawberries, pineapple, dates, peanut butter and house-made cashew milk are blended together for a nutty base and then topped with hempseed granola, fresh strawberry, banana and agave nectar.
6258 Irvine Blvd., Irvine
Berry Brand inside Tustin’s Union Market is on a mission to “inspire and empower people to live a happy and healthy life.” Guests love their variety of chia pudding flavors like vanilla and matcha. They love the unlimited toppings even more. Build your own bowl at home with their recipe below.
2493 Park Ave. Suite 38, Tustin
BYO Açaí Bowl
- 6 oz. pure açaí
- 1 banana
- 6 strawberries
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon of your favorite granola
Layer pure açaí on the bottom of a bowl. Slice the banana and layer slices on top of açaí. Next, slice strawberries and line the border of the bowl with them. Top with your choice of granola. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with shredded coconut. Serve immediately.
By Jessica Mosqueda