California Breakfast: Acai Bowl with Granola

bowl collage

A Real California Acai Bowl on the Left, My Version on the Right

My obsession with acai bowls got renewed last week when I was visiting Jenn is SoCal. It had been an interesting morning. When I woke up in our hotel, my foot landed in a great big wet spot on the carpet. We were staying at a nice family oriented spot and the one of the washer units housed next door to us was probably leaking. It was really unpleasant so I called the front desk. They apologized profusely and offered to upgraded us to a “Junior Suite”. So we packed everything up and moved across the property into a very spacious room – nice problem to have – right? Caroline was staying with Jenn at her place and we had agreed to meet to go to the farmer’s market. I was thinking we might end up having breakfast there, but after all the scrambling around I was pretty hungry. (And ashamed to admit, maybe a bit crabby too.) There is a cute little cafe just across from Jenn’s beach house that serves acai bowls so I suggested that we grab something there. I had forgotten how refreshing and yummy they were! They are perfect in hot weather and I was telling Caroline how last summer I made one for about 26 days in a row. The lady at the table next to us stopped trying to look like she wasn’t eavesdropping and jumped right into our conversation. We had a big chit chat about methods, ingredients, and how wonderful California is. My version of an acai bowl is posted here. It might now be 100% authentic, but it sure is tasty!

Ingredients and directions for two servings or one large serving:

First, make the granola

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Either in a large bowl or directly on the baking sheet, mix the following ingredients:

4 cups regular “old fashioned” oatmeal, uncooked, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Some kind of nuts or seeds such as pumpkin, almonds, pecans, walnuts – about 1/2 cup or so of each of whatever you choose

Some dried fruit such as apricots, raisins, golden raisins, dried cherries – about of 1/4 cup or so of each of whatever you choose

3 tablespoons blue agave syrup or honey

Then spread the mixture evely on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring twice at 5 minutes and 10 minutes.

Allow to cool while you whirl up the acai bowl.

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Use a blender to combine 1 (3.5 oz.) packet of frozen acai puree (I found it at Whole Foods) which is slightly thawed, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup frozen fruit such as bananas, blueberries, mixed berries, raspberries, etc. The trick is to get it to the consistency of sorbet. The blender may have to be stopped and the mixture might have to be stirred a few times to get it all blended.

Divide the mixture between two small bowls or one large one. Top with fresh berries or bananas and granola.

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