Acai is available from health food stores, in either frozen pulp (purée) or berry form, or as a powder.
Acai (pronounced a-sigh-ee) berries are a Brazilian superfood high in antioxidants. The fruit comes from a palm tree and resembles blueberries in appearance.
- 125 g (4½ oz/½ cup) natural yoghurt or 125 ml (4 oz/½ cup) milk kefir
- 40 g (1½ oz/⅓ cup) crushed ice
- 2 peeled bananas, frozen and roughly chopped
- 200 g (7 oz) frozen unsweetened acai berry pulp, broken up
- 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
- lime juice, to taste
- honey, to taste (optional)
- Crunchy citrus toasted granola (see note)
- fresh figs
- pomegranate seeds
- shaved Brazil nuts
- edible flowers
- honey (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Whiz the yoghurt or kefir with the ice, banana, acai pulp and chia seeds (if using) in a high-speed blender or small food processor until smooth. Scrape down the inside of the blender or processor bowl if required. If the mixture isn’t moving well in the blender, add a tablespoon or two of water or kefir, being careful not to add too much liquid.
Taste the smoothie and add a squeeze of lime juice and a drizzle of honey (if necessary) to balance the flavour to your liking.
Spoon the thick smoothie mixture immediately into two chilled bowls and top with granola, figs, pomegranate, Brazil nuts and flowers. If you like, finish with a drizzle of honey.
• To make dairy free, replace the yoghurt or milk with a non-dairy alternative. To make vegan, also swap the honey for rice malt syrup, pure maple syrup or a couple of drops of liquid stevia.
• To make the crunchy citrus toasted granola, preheat the oven to 130°C/265°F (fan-forced). Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Combine 225 g (8 oz/2½ cups) rolled (traditional/porridge) oats and/or rolled barley with 50 g (13⁄4 oz/1 cup) flaked or shredded coconut, 70 g (2½ oz/½ cup) slivered almonds, 150 g (13⁄4 oz//3 cup) pepitas (pumpkin seeds), 45 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) linseeds ( flax seeds), 40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) sesame seeds, 2 strips each orange, lemon and lime rind, shredded, and 1 tablespoon mixed spice in a large bowl. Add 115 g (4 oz/⅓ cup) honey and 50 g (13⁄4 oz) melted butter and mix until well combined. Spread the mixture over the trays, keeping little clumps of mixture together for extra texture. Bake for about 50 minutes, stirring gently after 25 minutes, until just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and cool on trays (the granola will crisp as it cools). Gently stir in 75 g (23⁄4 oz/½ cup) dried
apricots, and 2 dried figs, both thinly sliced. This recipe makes about 750 g (1 lb 11 oz/8 cups). Store in an airtight container for up to 2–3 weeks.
This recipe is from Breakfast Bowls (Smith Street Books). Photography by Chris Middleton.