classic açaí bowl

Classic Açaí Bowl | A Nutritionist Eats

If you have no idea what an açaí bowl is…know that you are not alone.

I probably wouldn’t know either except that I worked in the natural food industry for five years (meaning you see everything out there!)…and now I live in Southern California, where Açaí Bowls are available at every juice bar. And said juice bars are on every corner. If you live in Southern California and you don’t know what an açaí bowl is, then you might be alone. (Not really though because plenty of people in my office didn’t know what it was when I was eating it.)

Classic Açaí Bowl | A Nutritionist Eats

We can start at the beginning.

What is Açaí?

Açaí is a superfood berry from the Amazon and açaí bowls are essentially an açaí smoothie topped with fresh fruit and some granola. Traditionally, the bowls are simple with sliced banana, granola and some guaraná syrup for some sweetness.

Classic Açaí Bowl | A Nutritionist Eats

 

Açaí has very little naturally occurring sugar – each serving of 100 grams of puréed açaí contains 0-2 grams of sugar. For comparison, 100 grams of bananas contain about 12 grams of sugar.

 

 

Classic Açaí Bowl | A Nutritionist Eats

Health Benefits of Açaí:

When açaí came onto the health food scene years ago, it was touted as a superfood. The term superfood doesn’t actually have a legal definition and is used more for marketing, but in my opinion ‘superfood’ means that a food has high levels of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, healthy fats, etc. (Old School Superfoods you have at home!)

Classic Açaí Bowl | A Nutritionist Eats

 

Açaí is rich in antioxidants, fiber and healthy fats. Pretty impressive for a little berry, so I definitely consider it a superfood.

 

 

 

Classic Açaí Bowl | A Nutritionist Eats

How to Make an Açaí Bowl:

While the possibilities are endless, I wanted to stick with the classics. (With that said, I can’t wait to try some of the fun additions featured in this great graphic from Sambazon: Anatomy of an Açaí Bowl)

Açaí bowls are really easy to make, they just require a trip to the natural food store to pick up some puréed açaí (found in the freezer) and a blender! The toppings are up to you. Since it is naturally really low in sugars, you might need to add a little honey or agave, or maybe the toppings will add enough. You can always try it without and then drizzle with honey if you need it.

nutrition facts*: 337 calories, 11 grams of fat, 6 grams protein, 57 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fiber (*calculated using unsweetened almond milk)

Classic Açaí Bowl

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: blender breakfast beverage gluten-free high fiber vegan vegetarian spring summer

Ingredients (2 servings)

    Açaí Bowl

    • 7 oz frozen açaí
    • 1 cup milk of choice
    • 1 banana
    • 1 Tbsp honey (optional)

    Toppings

    • sliced banana
    • berries
    • granola

    Instructions

    Blend together açaí, milk, banana and honey.

    Pour into bowls and top with desired toppings.

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    whole-grain oat muffins

    (We just returned from Thailand and I can’t wait to tell you more about it – it was absolutely amazing!)

    Whole-Grain Oat Muffins | A Nutritionist Eats

    Ok, I’m usually an anti-muffin person. Why? Because most of the time they run a fine line. They’re either essentially a cupcake or they’re so healthy that they don’t resemble anything close to an actual muffin. So if I’m going to eat a cupcake, I’m going to eat a cupcake – with lots of frosting. And if I’m going to eat a healthy breakfast, I’m going to…you get the point.

    But these muffins. Oh my. I don’t do a ton of baking but when the LA Times featured Clementine’s whole grain muffin with plump dried cherries, I knew it was a muffin I needed to try. Clementine is a bakery/cafe a few blocks from my office and I’m there a few times a month. Rarely do I get any of their baked goods though (even though their blondie is amazing), I usually stick with their deli salads and cold-brew coffee. (Other copycat Clementine recipes: lentil, beet & goat cheese salad and fall chicken salad)

    Whole-Grain Oat Muffins | A Nutritionist Eats

    So here I had this recipe for a muffin that I figured had to be good, but I had never tried it. Research time! I picked up the muffin one afternoon and actually thought I would save it for breakfast the next morning. Um, nice idea in theory, but totally not realistic. After I finished my lunch, I dug into the muffin (a small portion!).

    It was so good and wholesome!

    Whole-Grain Oat Muffins | A Nutritionist Eats

    These muffins are dense, and pretty short but I promise you that they taste more like the ‘cupcake muffins’ than the ‘healthy muffins.’ That’s all to say, they are delicious! I (again, lacking any sort of patience) dug into them right out of the oven was honestly a little surprised by how good they tasted. Richie (and my coworkers!) agreed.

    As you can see, they are packed full of oats, almond and flax meal and chia seeds. I love that the streusel topping gives it the ‘cupcake muffin’ feel without the typical white flour and sugar requirements of a ‘cupcake muffin.’ There are a few things that I think are worth discussing: 1) I decided to make the serving size two muffins. I felt it was a more realistic serving size. 2) These are calorie-dense. They are full of good-for-you ingredients that aren’t low in calories. Most of the time, I focus on ingredients rather than calories and this is a prime example.

    Whole-Grain Oat Muffins | A Nutritionist Eats

    Nutritionally, these muffins are pretty impressive. They are 100% whole-grain, gluten-free and have an impressive 10 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber per serving. Yes, there is real sugar in these muffins (remember I wanted them to taste like a cupcake muffin?) and normally I’m the type of person who is anti-ANTI-sugar, but for comparisons sake, the 17 grams of sugar are similar to what you would find in a strawberry greek yogurt.

    nutrition facts (for two muffins): 405 calories, 25 grams of fat, 10 grams protein, 39 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fiber

    Whole-Grain Oat Muffins

    by

    Cook Time: 25 minutes

    Keywords: bake bread breakfast high fiber high protein vegetarian

     

    Ingredients (24 muffins (12 servings))

      For the Streusel Topping

      • 1/4 cup brown sugar
      • 1/4 cup soft butter
      • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats

      For the Muffins

      • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
      • 2 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
      • 1/3 cup coconut oil (liquid)
      • 2 eggs
      • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
      • 1 cup almond meal
      • 1 cup flax meal
      • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
      • 1/4 cup chia seeds
      • 1/2 cup brown sugar
      • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
      • 1 tsp baking soda
      • 1 tsp salt

      Instructions

      For the Streusel Topping

      In a small bowl, stir together sugar and butter until smooth.

      Add oats and mix until combined.

      Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet and place in freezer until hardened, about 10 minutes.

      For the Muffins

      Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

      In a medium bowl, combine oats and buttermilk and set aside.

      Beat together the oil, eggs and vanilla in a stand mixer with paddle or large bowl with a hand mixer.

      Whisk together the dry ingredients: almond meal, flax meal, sliced almonds, chia seeds, sugar, baking powder and soda.

      Add oat and buttermilk mixture to egg mixture and with the mixer running, slowly add in dry ingredients, 1 cup at a time.

      Spoon the batter into lined muffin tins, filling them about 2/3 of the way and sprinkling with streusel topping.

      Bake the muffins for 12 minutes, than rotate pan. Bake another 12- 14 minutes until golden brown.

      Cool slightly before removing them from pan.

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      breakfast tacos with chipotle sour cream

      Breakfast Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream | A Nutritionist Eats

      This recipe has been a long time in the making but it’s quite fitting that I’m sharing it today. Why? Because I’m on my way to Mexico and plan on eating many versions of mexican breakfasts for the next week or so. I had something similar – goat cheese breakfast tacos – at a restaurant (almost a year ago!) and while I loved the idea of the goat cheese tacos, they didn’t blow me away. I’ve been wanting to recreate them ever since.

      Breakfast Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream | A Nutritionist Eats

      So I finally got around to making them and it turns out that the chipotle sour cream totally stole the show. Dare I say…it left the goat cheese totally and utterly pointless. (Which in my world is a bit shocking given my intense love for cheese.)

      I made the tacos again, this time omitting the goat cheese and they tasted just as good. No point in adding calories you can’t taste, am I right?

      Breakfast Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream | A Nutritionist Eats

      But back to the star. The chipotle sour cream is just…well, it left me wondering two things: why has this little can of chipotles been in my cupboard for almost two years and what else can I do with it?! (Brainstorms are in the works and chipotle chili is happening.) So all this is to say – you can’t (CAN. NOT.) leave the chipotle sour cream off. It takes a few short minutes and is so worth it.

       Breakfast Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream | A Nutritionist Eats

      The rest of the tacos? They are full of good stuff. I’m talking black beans, scrambled eggs, caramelized onions and fresh avocado slices. It’s pretty much the breakfast dreams are made of. And if you like eggs throughout the day, they would make a killer lunch or easy dinner.

      nutrition facts (4 servings): 380 calories, 13 grams of fat, 20 grams of protein, 46 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber

      Breakfast Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream

      by Emily Dingmann

      Prep Time: 15 minutes

      Cook Time: 5 minutes

      Keywords: breakfast gluten-free high fiber high protein vegetarian eggs Mexican

       

      Ingredients (4 servings)

        For the Chipotle Sour Cream

        • 1/2 cup sour cream
        • 1-1 1/2 chipotles + sauce depending on heat preference

        For the Tacos

        • 1/2 onion, caramelized
        • 6 eggs
        • 8 corn tortillas
        • 1-15 oz can of black beans
        • optional: avocado slices, chopped cilantro

        Instructions

        For the Chipotle Sour Cream

        Finely chop the chipotle peppers (you can basically mash them together)

        Mix into sour cream.

        Add some of the sauce as desired.

        For the Tacos

        Whisk eggs together in small bowl and scramble until cooked through.

        Heat tortillas in microwave until hot.

        Assemble tacos: layer beans, eggs, onions and sour cream on tortillas. Top with avocado and cilantro if desired.

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        daily eats: 2.19.14

        Hi All! How was Valentine’s Day? We spent the evening drinking my favorite wine (Evolution) and celebrating a birthday at a bar called Mickey’s in our neighborhood. Lots of fun and lots of boys in underwear. :)  It was also a great weekend (aren’t all three day weekends?) – we saw Gravity (I hated it!), hung out with friends, went for a hike and ate a lot. Oh, and started watching House of Cards…or I should really say, binge-watched House of Cards. Do you watch it? We’re obsessed.

        workout: 45-ish minute run/walk at the gym (about 3.5 miles total)

        beverage 1: green juice: romaine + cucumber + parsley + lemon + wheat grass + pineapple

        how this nutritionist really eats | A Nutritionist Eats

        beverage 2: coffee + 1/2 & 1/2

        breakfast: bagel + cream cheese during a work meeting

        Nutritionists never “recommend” eating bagels for breakfast – they are high in calories, not very filling, and studies always show you eat more than if you were to eat eggs in the morning – BUT you know what? I love them. If I try to avoid them, I’ll think about bagels all day so I eat the bagel, enjoy it and not give it another thought. Could I be skinnier (or stronger – which seems to be the latest word) if I stopped eating bagels and cupcakes and cheese? Probably. Would I be happier? No.

        My definition of eating perfectly isn’t about eating “100% clean” or “whole30 approved” or  “low-carb.” It’s about eating a balance of good (for you) food and good (for your soul) food.

        lunch: egg salad (2 eggs + mayonnaise + onion) with a big salad (greens + cucumber + cilantro dressing). Loved this ultra-simple egg salad.

        how this nutritionist really eats | A Nutritionist Eats

        snack: brown rice crackers + cheese stick + a few fried peanuts

        how this nutritionist really eats | A Nutritionist Eats

        dinner: parmesan crusted chicken breast + asparagus was on the menu. Then there was a last-minute invite to visit Top Round and we never say no to a dinner date. Revised dinner was a roast beef sandwich with provel cheese, horseradish cream, roasted mushrooms on a sesame bun + curly fries + a few bites of custard. It was delicious.

        photo (86)

        approximate nutrition stats: 1,940 calories, 96 grams fat (44%), 191 grams carbohydrates (39%), 16 grams fiber, 27 grams sugar, 83 grams protein (17%)

        thoughts: The calories weren’t as high as I would have thought – a pleasant surprise! Fiber and protein are lower than I usually like, but today was heavy on the good (for your soul) food and that’s ok.