Acai Berry from The New Food Lovers Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
Monday, June 28, 2010
Much like the quinoa grain that I wrote about in an earlier posting, the Acai Berry, pronounced ah-SAH-ee, is gaining a lot of attention. I just saw that a popular brand of frozen fruit bars has come out with a new Acai Blueberry flavor. Native to the tropical areas of Central and South America, the Acai berry is being touted as the new superfood and is known by some as the "power berry". That's because it's exceedingly rich in nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, oleic acid and potassium, to name a few. The dark purple grape-sized fruit grows on the acai palm, which is also called the cabbage palm because natives eat its young, tender leaf buds as one would cabbage. Hearts of palm is another food source harvested from this tall palm. The acai berry contains only a small portion of pulp-about 90 percent of it is an inedible nut. The pulp, which has a flavor reminiscent of berries with a hint of chocolate, is quite delicious and deteriorates quickly. That's why consumers in North America on have access to acai in juice form (primarily as a concentrate), which can be found in the refrigerated or freezer section of natural food stores. It's also available as frozen pulp, or in a powdered form. Because of its ascribed health benefits, acai has become a favorite addition to smoothies.