You’ve heard people touting the antioxidant benefits of acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berries for years, but they haven’t always been easy to find. Meet the acai bowl, which became all the rage in places like L.A. in 2014. Sedona joined the club last year, and acai bowls are on the menu at several local eateries. Some of our favorites can be had at Berry Divine, which specializes in acai bowls and smoothies. The bowls are available in soft-serve or blended form. (FYI – the drive-thru only offers soft serve.) The soft-serve bowls are 100 percent organic and made with acai berry, apple juice, beet juice, lemon juice and cane sugar. The blended bowls feature organic acai berries blended with frozen fruits and superfoods – each bowl has its own unique blend (more on that later). Adamant about organic? You can order your blended bowl with all organic ingredients for a slight upcharge.
Our favorite bowl is the Summit, which we order blended. Its base consists of acai berries, strawberries, peanut butter (this is why we find it irresistible), protein powder, cacao nibs and cashew milk. The blend is very much the consistency of frozen yogurt, though it’s not quite as cold, and it doesn’t melt as fast. The bowl is topped with strawberries, shaved chocolate, cashews, hemp-seed granola (for a satisfying crunch) and honey. It’s sweet enough to make you feel like you’re having a treat, but it’s also hearty enough to work for breakfast or lunch. The Cleanse Bowl is a blend of acai berries, strawberries, spinach, kale and red beet juice. If you are a green-smoothie addict, this one is for you. It’s not as sweet as the Summit, and the consistency is closer to that of a thick smoothie. It’s topped with bananas, pineapple, strawberries, hemp-seed granola, lemon zest and coconut oil.
If your sweet tooth knows no bounds, you want the Red Rock Bowl. It’s blended with – you guessed it – acai berries along with strawberries, raspberries, cherries and red beet juice. The bowl is topped with more raspberries, bananas, goji berries, hemp-seed granola and raspberry puree. Additional toppings (chia seed, bee pollen, etc.) and blend add-ins (avocado, guarana, ginger, etc.) can be added to any bowl for an additional cost. Enjoy your bowl indoors surrounded by surfboards or sit outside on Adirondack chairs. – Erika Ayn Finch. Photo by Deb Weinkauff.
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