Copycat Almond Butter Bliss

Let’s pretend it’s summer. Well, if you were in the Northeast the past few days, it’s probably not all that difficult to imagine. We’ve had unseasonably warm weather and my feelings on it have been perfectly captured by Sarah Andersen.

Back to what I was saying before. It’s warm out. You’re sick of salads. What do you eat?

An açaí bowl!

Açaí (ah-sigh-ee) is a berry that’s kinda like a cross between a blueberry and a grape. It’s high in antioxidants, low in sugar, and high in iron, calcium, fiber, and vitamin A. It’s got a sweet, berry yet chocolate taste to it. You’ll often see them in smoothies and often referenced as a superfood. TLDR; they’re good for you.

They’re also incredibly finicky as a commodity. As soon as they are picked, they start to lose their flavor and their potency. They grow in tropical climates (think Brazil). So when we in the USA finally get our hands on these babies, they’ve been processed into a puree or turned into a freeze-dried powder. It’s the only way to preserve its tastiness and health benefits.

So why am I talking about açaí and what are they doing in bowls?

Juice Generation, a coveted health spot for the wellness minded, makes a fantastic açaí bowl. The problem is that the bowls cost $12 in NYC and I personally can’t justify buying that a couple of times each week. So, like every other thing I love but is too expensive, I found a way to make it at home. Mine is a bit less creamy as I attempted to keep it as low calorie as possible.

If you haven’t had a bowl from Juice Generation and you have access to one, you should *absolutely* give it a try. You won’t be sorry, even if it looks a bit like mud.

Copycat Almond Butter Bliss

What you’ll need

  • High speed blender
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • spatula
  • measuring spoons/cups

Ingredients

  • 2 packets açaí puree, frozen (run under water for a few minutes to loosen it up a bit)
  • 3 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 3/4-1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup Nature’s Path Hemp+ Granola
  • 2-3 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes

Steps

  1. Place the contents of both açaí into the blender. Add 1/2 of the banana, 2 tbsp almond butter, ice cubes and 3/4 cup almond milk. Blend until smooth. It should be thicker than a smoothie. Add the remaining almond milk to make it blend better if needed. Keep adding more milk if it needs it.
  2. Once the mixture is thick but smooth, pour into a bowl. Evenly top with the granola. Spoon the remaining almond butter in the center of the bowl and top with banana and strawberry slices. Sprinkle with coconut flakes.
  3. Enjoy!

Tip: If you want to eat this for lunch, make your base in advanced and place in the freezer. Let it thaw for about an hour before lunch. You can prep the strawberries + bananas before hand as well. You can also halve the recipe for a smaller portion. Add some protein powder to make it a touch more filling.

Approx: 610-670 calories

Freekeh, Tomato & Spinach Salad

What is this freekeh stuff people are talking about?
Well, freekeh is the green head of wheat- it is picked while it’s young, roasted, and then dried. It has a nutty flavor and be used to make risotto, salads, or pilafs. It’s incredibly healthy for you- it’s been honored as a “superfood.” This recipe below is inspired by a recipe on Freekehlicious (sourced below). You can find freekeh at our local cooperative or farmers’ market. Try it out sometime!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole freekeh, cooked (How the hell do I do this?)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Dill, to taste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (try to omit juice if possible)
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 ear of corn, cut from the cob
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped loosely
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained
  • Goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
Directions
  1. Cook freekeh in a rice cooker on on the stove (covered) for one hour until soft but still with a bit of bite.
  2. In a small bowl, mix lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, and dill. Slowly pour the olive oil into bowl while whisking. Set aside.
  3. Prepare vegetables are directed. When freekeh is finished, combine tomatoes, red onion, corn, spinach, beans, and cheese (optional). Pour dressing evenly- taste and adjust flavors as needed.
  4. Serve as a side salad or enjoy on its own!