Deep purple in colour, they may appear like a swollen egotistical blueberry at first glance, but in fairness acai berries weigh in twice as potent and five times as expensive.
Ass-sigh-eee, dahlings, is the latest Brazilian bomb. This small Amazonian berry is so nutrient-dense that even Coca-Cola has started sniffing for its scent.
Acai berries grow in clusters on tall palm trees native to the Brazilian rainforest. Sadly, these beauts are highly perishable so we can only taste them in pure freeze-dried form. And fancy mocktails. I found some powdered acai last week in Cork, by a small Irish company called Iswari who deliver nation-wide. Apparently Cork is a massive market for this berry. No wonder they’re all so mirthful and merry down there. Sea air, my arse.
Living in Britain? You’ll easily source some online with Of The Earth.
You can expect to taste a confusing hybrid of deep blackberry and cocoa. This makes it a brilliant partner for fruity smoothies or hot cocoa. Recipes for acai chocolate ganache are already doing laps on the food blogosphere.
In truth, acai’s nutritional purchase excites me more than its weird flavour; heart-healthy plant sterols, inflammatory-reducing anthocyanins and boisterous antioxidants. That’s a jolly-fine combo. No, it won’t lower cholesterol like some dodgy websites promise, nor will it cure Pram Brain. It is, however, another nourishing berry to introduce to your culinary playground but not necessarily your medicine cabinet. For teenagers, it certainly beats snacking on Kinder Buenos or finger nails.
One thing we can be sure of is that scientific evidence consistently proves that eating well is good for body and mind. Eating poorly will short-circuit your system. Once you taste these acai-laced truffles, I promise you’ll never cavort with the office vending machine again.
Practically humming with energy, sesame and chia will deliver a cargo of minerals to service your toes. These seeds are also steaming with B vitamins to nourish frayed nerves and broken wings.
And get this. Just two truffles will deliver 100% of your vitamin E recommended daily allowance (RDA). Phoo-argh! This vitamin is hailed as one of the most powerful antioxidants in the fight against free radical damage (that’s Doctor Code for aging skin).
But don’t keep these for your mid-life crisis. Toddlers dig them too.
For 30 servings:
2 tablespoons acai powder (optional)
4 tablespoons tahini (not nut butter)
4 tablespoons date syrup
6-8 tablespoons milled chia seed
5 tablespoons ground almonds
2 tablespoons (+ more to dust) raw cacao powder
With a fork, beat the acai, tahini and date syrup together until sumptuously glossy. Hazelnut butter tastes great too, but doesn’t quite deliver the same smooth finish that tahini achieves.
Measure in the remaining ingredients and encourage them to samba. This may take a bit of persuasion.
Taking a small cherry-size ball of mixture, roll between the palms of your hands to form a soft truffle. Drop each one into cacao or cocoa powder, roll around to coat, and set on a cold plate.
As soon as 30 or so truffles are made, transfer them to the freezer. Keep your thirsty fingers busy while the truffles set. 30 minutes should do the trick.
You can store these truffles in the freezer for up to 3 months, making them a humdinger of a snack when sugar cravings call.
There’s no need to stick to acai powder. Try ginger for a cheaper alternative, or dust the truffles in beetroot powder for Barbie-loving toddlers. A 250g jar of beetroot powder may look costly, but I promise it lasts for months and months. We sneak it into home made ice pops for our little thugs.
Really stoked to see professional athletes like Gordon D’Arcy tweet their nutritional snacks and hits. He’s one very cool guy, influencing a whole fleet of younger athletes …
— Gordon D’Arcy (@Gordonwdarcy) July 17, 2014