Three East Valley locations
Slogging through the dog days of summer, it’s hard to get excited about eating a heavy breakfast of bacon and eggs or pancakes. Enter the açaí (ah-sigh-EE) bowl, a lighter and healthier alternative made with antioxidant-rich açaí berries native to the tropical rainforests of South America. At Genuine Fresche (pictured), you can choose from 16 flavor combinations, including the tropical blend ($5.49-$10.75), a pleasing fusion of organic açaí sorbet, frozen pineapple and other fruits blended to a thick, icy consistency and then capped with organic hemp granola, mango, pineapple, banana, coconut flakes and a drizzle of local honey. Or spoon your way through a rich and creamy chocolate and peanut butter bowl. I guarantee you’ll be asking yourself how anything this tasty can possibly be healthy.
Five Valley locations
Açaí bowls are essentially smoothies in a bowl that you eat with a spoon and are topped with crunchy, sweet granola and fresh fruit. Kaleidoscope Juice’s açaí bowl ($9) has a laundry list of healthy ingredients – frozen açaí purée blended with banana, raspberry, almond butter, Brazil nuts, maca (plant-based energy booster) coconut oil, cinnamon, liquid vitamins, hemp seeds and coconut water, crowned with sliced ripe banana, housemade hemp granola with just the right amount of crunch and shaved coconut with a purple dragon fruit drizzle. The goal is to blend the mix properly to achieve a sherbet or sorbet texture, says Alexandra Maw, who co-owns Kaleidoscope Juice with her mother, Andrea. “When you can stick a spoon in it and it will stay put, that’s the consistency that you want.”
Original ChopShop Co.
Three Valley locations
The Original ChopShop features an açaí bowl ($6.50) with a combo of frozen açaí blended with apple juice, mixed berries and bananas, topped with granola, strawberries, banana, shredded coconut and agave nectar. Açaí alone tends to be bitter, so the apple juice and agave nectar help sweeten the mix. In addition to antioxidants, the so-called super food also contains fiber and heart-healthy fats, but the total health benefits of the wonder berry have yet to be proven. (Some advocates say it aids weight loss.) Science aside, açaí bowls conjure summer days on a tropical beach. And when it’s 100-plus degrees outside with no relief in sight, eating an açaí bowl is a welcome, frosty diversion.
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