I remember when acai bowls were all the rage in 2015. And I distinctly remember trying my very first one in Austin, Texas – a couple of days after I won my pro card.
I’m sure the fact that I had been eating nothing but tempeh and asparagus for the last few months was a contributing factor to my level of acai bowl enjoyment. Nevertheless, I remember thinking that shizz was insanely delicious.
It was like a sweet & creamy bowl of super fruit goodness. With just the right amount of crunch.
Acai (pronounced “ah-sigh-eeeee”) is a low-sugar–therefore low glycemic–purple berry harvested from the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Like most berries, it’s super high in antioxidants but as luck would have it, acai is even more antioxidant-rich than your everyday strawberry or blueberry.
Acai berries are also high in omega-3 fatty acids which is something we vegans tend to be low in. And speaking of lows, it’s even lower in sugar than cranberries which means you can eat more of ’em without raising your blood sugar. All this being said, you probably wouldn’t want to eat them alone because their lack of sugar also makes them uber-tart.
Thankfully some genius somewhere had the brilliant idea to mix acai powder (or puree) into a bowl of coconut yogurt, coconut milk or banana nice-cream, then sweeten the hell out of it with either some dates, maple syrup or agave, throw some fruit and granola on top and voila: THE most sweet & satisfying bowl of creamy vegan goodness you can swallow… 🙂
I was pretty stoked to come home from Texas and start making these at home for breakfast everyday. But low and behold, no matter what kind of acai bowl I created, it was always super high in carbs AND fat and relatively low in protein. So it wasn’t long before I went back to my tried & true everyday protein smoothie breakfast.
But this week, thanks to a client request, I had a brilliant idea of mine own. And as God is my witness, I finally created a delightfully satisfying, high protein, low carb and low fat acai bowl that’s sure to make every meatless meathead’s heart sing.
My ingenious idea? Pair a crunchy TVP topping with a bean-based, creamy bottom! Mind-blowing, right?! Here’s the recipe:
High-Protein, Low-Carb, Low-Fat Acai Bowl
Acai Bottom Ingredients (enough for one bowl:)
1/2 cup chickpeas (cooked/rainsed/drained if canned)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 scoop Purely Inspired Organic Vegan Protein Powder in French Vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp. Sari Foods Organic Acai Powder (discount code Shorkey15 will save you 15%)
1 tsp. maca root powder (good for energy boost and balancing hormones)
TVP Topping Ingredients (enough for a few bowls:)
2 cups organic TVP (textured vegetable protein)
2 Tbsp. organic coconut oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. brown rice syrup (low glycemic sweetener) or Lakanto Liquid Monkfruit Sweetener (zero calories, zero additives AND zero glycemic) **Discount code shorkey30 will save you 30% – you’re welcome** 🙂
1 tsp. ground Ceylon cinnamon
Dash of sea salt
TVP Topping Method:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Start the TVP “granola” first. Just mix the TVP with melted coconut oil, sweetener and vanilla in a big bowl until evenly coated then lightly grease a baking sheet with some coconut oil or put down parchment paper if you’re being really strict on fat/calories. You could also heat all of the liquid ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat. Then remove from heat and stir into the TVP + spices.
Spread the TVP granola onto baking sheet and bake for about 12 – 15 minutes.
Allow it to cool tbefore topping your acai bowl.
Acai Bowl Method:
Combine chickpeas, blueberries and almond milk in a blender and mix until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Stir until creamy and purple-y. 🙂
Once you’ve got an ice-creamy texture, you can add a bit of stevia if not sweet enough or some vanilla extract or fresh mint leaves or even fresh ginger (digestive health + anti-inflammatory benefits.) Get creative!
Then add your TVP granola and whatever else you want depending how healthy/hearty you want it: unsweetened, shredded coconut, hemp hearts, dried fruit, raw fruit, nuts, seeds – whatever floats your boat (I mean bowl.) 🙂
TVP topping (per half cup serving): 220 cal, 24 g protein, 7 g fat & 14 g carbs.
Acai bottom: 318 cal, 23 g protein, 6 g fat & 44 g carbs.
That’s a whopping 47 grams of protein per 538 calorie bowl. And only 58 grams of carbs and 13 grams of fat.
Bon appetit, vegan hippie meathead crew! 🙂
-Sam Shorkey, Jacked on the Beanstalk