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Dorothy Dean presents: acai bowls

xYou can customize your acai bowl with different fruits, juices or leafy greens. (Audrey Alfaro)
xYou can customize your acai bowl with different fruits, juices or leafy greens. (Audrey Alfaro)
By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

I know I’m not alone when I say 2018 flew right by. Like in a flash.

With the holidays over, we quickly move into the season of New Year’s resolutions, gym memberships and healthier eating – or an attempt at them at least.

But really, clean eating isn’t that hard. The toughest part is the willpower to steer away from processed and unhealthy foods loaded with empty calories, fats and sugar.

And I find that if you start your morning with a healthful breakfast choice, you tend to stick with healthier options throughout your day. Instead of “one day at a time,” try approaching at it as “one meal at a time.” From breakfast to lunch, then lunch to dinner, one good decision rolls into the next. A full day of clean eating is not only rewarding for your body, it also gives you the feeling of accomplishment and leaves you glowing. And before you know it, it just becomes habit and your body will be craving nutritious meals and snacks.

So here’s a quick and healthy way to jump start your day: an acai bowl.

Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is a dark purplish berry, about the size of a grape, that grows on acai palm trees which are mostly native to Brazil, along the Amazon River. They’re rich in antioxidants, nutrients, fiber and heart healthy fats. The pulp is sold in frozen packets and found at almost every grocery store. This recipe blends it with a banana, a splash of coconut water, frozen berries, yogurt and some honey for sweetness. It’s then topped with your choice of berries, nuts, granola or anything that adds texture, protein or nutrients.

This super creamy bowl has a sorbet-like texture, it’s basically a thick smoothie. But if you prefer a sippable version, just add in more coconut water, or liquid of your choice, such as almond or coconut milk or juice. Also, spinach, kale, protein powder, avocado or other fruits can be blended into your bowl for added flavor and nutrients.

Acai Bowl

Adapted from dinneratthezoo.com

1/2 cup coconut water, divided

1 banana

1 cup frozen berries

1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon honey

1 frozen packet of acai berry puree (100 grams), broken into pieces.

Toppings of choice, such as almonds, berries, banana slices, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, granola, chia seeds, mint sprigs

In a blender, add 1/4 cup coconut water, banana, frozen berries, yogurt, honey and acai and blend until smooth. If too thick, add remaining coconut water. Pour mixture into bowl, arrange on desired toppings and serve immediately.

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