Beautiful looking acai bowls topped with colourful fruits purchased from your local cafe may seem like a healthy menu option.
However, there may be a lot of sugary ingredients in that bowl (or smoothie) that you’re not aware of.
We love the acai berry - it’s full of antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and it is one of the Berries included in our freeze-dried organic berry powder - Bare Berries. Berries like acai are great for skin health and heart health. But unfortunately much of this nutrition is lost in the packets of frozen acai that most acai bowls are made with.
More often than not, acai that comes from a packet is already sweetened. As well as this, juice, bananas and more berries are added, so they become quite dense in fructose.
Here are a few tips to make sure you’re buying or making a smoothie without added sugar.
Things to avoid:
Any smoothie bowl or smoothie that uses fruit juice as a base should be avoided. Fruit juice contains around 23g of sugar per cup, so milk, nut milk, or coconut water are healthier options.
Acai packets with preservatives
A lot of packaged fruits contain preservatives. It’s best to avoid preservatives altogether.
Chances are, you smoothie is already quite sweet if it has fruit included, so there’s no need to add extra sweeteners. If you’re really craving something sweet, try to add a natural sweetener such as honey or a couple of dates.
Even though they look great, smoothies loaded with extra fruit on top does add extra sugar to your smoothie, so don’t overdo it. Toppings such as granola and dried fruit should be mindfully limited. Try topping your smoothie with buckinis, cacao nibs, or coconut instead.
Making your own smoothie bowls at home can be the healthiest and cheapest option.
This way, you know exactly what’s going into your smoothie, and you can include more of the flavours you like, without the extra sugars and additives. Here are a few tips to making a nutritious smoothie bowl.
Things to include:
Protein is an integral part of any smoothie recipe. Protein contains essential amino acids which your body needs to reach optimal health and recover quickly from exercise. Adding a source of protein will also ensure that the smoothie will keep you fuller for longer, keeping you away from simple carbs, sugars and snacking between meals.
A high-quality milk is an important base for any smoothie. At Bare Blends, we use almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, dairy milk and coconut water in our smoothies.
Not only does a good milk taste better, but you can make sure you’re not consuming any unnecessary sugars that are commonly in store-bought milks. To avoid this, make sure you check the ingredients list before you purchase, and choose organic nut milks.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
Add a handful of spinach, kale, or celery to your green smoothies to add essential vitamins and minerals.
If you don’t have time to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies, our nutrient-rich freeze-dried powders are a great option. Bare Greens is a nutritionally loaded greens powder, and an economical and convenient way to get organic greens in your diet, at $1.82 per serve, it’s often cheaper and easier than buying fresh greens. Bare Berries is also an excellent way of getting a vibrant berry flavour and an antioxidant boost.
Healthy fats are a major energy source for your body, and they help to balance your hormones, blood sugar levels, and keep you feeling satiated.
Adding a handful of nuts or a good quality nut butter (one that contains 100% nuts) adds a healthy dose of good fats to your smoothie as well a delicious nutty flavour. Our favourite nuts to add to smoothies include cashews, roasted hazelnuts, and pecans. If you’re not a fan of nuts, you could add a teaspoon of coconut oil.
With healthy choices comes natural portion control. Aim for smaller bowls instead of big ones, and if you end up with a lot of smoothie, share it with a friend. The protein will still keep you feeling full throughout the day.
The best acai alternative?
What isn’t common knowledge about acai is that it is a highly perishable fruit, and needs to be eaten within 24 hours to reap the full benefits.The only other way of preserving the full nutrients of acai berries is by freeze-drying them.
Bare Berries is a certified organic freeze-dried berry powder containing acai as well as macqui, aronia, bilberry and more. It is a unique blend of wild organic berries that synergistically provides the entire body with unsurpassed antioxidant and anti-aging protection.
Research shows that the powerful health benefits of berries work synergistically and are far more effective when a full spectrum of berries is consumed rather than single berries or isolated compounds.
Bare Berries is a simple way to add extra organic nutrients into your diet without having to have the fresh perishable alternatives on hand, with just 1.48g of naturally occurring sugar per serving.
So next time you’re craving an acai bowl, ditch the single berry fructose trap and open your mind, body and tastebuds to an array of health benefits from 12 organic berries freeze-dried into our Bare Berries blend.