The last few years have seen an explosion in awareness of new superfoods, such as goji berry, chia seeds, and açaí (pronounced ah-sigh-ee).
Açaí fruit is a berry that comes from a palm tree native to Central and South America. The berries are small, round, dark-purple globes that look similar to Concord grapes.
Long eaten as a staple by indigenous populations in the regions where it grows, açaí came to the attention of Americans within the last decade, and had become very popular as a super food, primarily coveted for its purported antioxidant properties.
Açaí berries are rich beneficial omega fatty acids, including oleic acid and linoleic acid, which have been shown to reduce bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol, helping to prevent heart disease. Açaí pulp also contains high levels of dietary fiber, which also lowers cholesterol. In addition, açaí is a good source of potassium, manganese, copper, iron, magnesium, B-complex vitamins, and vitamin-K.
Because the berries contain large seeds, they are generally consumed juiced or otherwise processed. Here are a few recipes to get you started with this exotic super fruit:
Super Breakfast Kick
7 ounces frozen açaí berries
1 cup mixed frozen fruit and berries (your choice)
1/4 cup granola
Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until liquefied.