Açai bowl, as featured in Breakfast: The Cookbook

The Phaidon Nutri Blast - Acai Bowl

This Brazilian dish from Breakfast: The Cookbook is a great way to start the day

How’s social isolation going for you? A bit taxing? You may well want some healthy, tasty food, that doesn’t take too long to make. That’s why we’re excerpting a few choice recipes from our culinary back catalogue, such as this one, from Breakfast: The Cookbook. Author Emily Elyse Miller, travels the world in the pages of this book, gathering and reproducing recipes from far and near. 

This particular entry, from Brazil, is a kick-ass combination, as it was developed by Latin America’s most famous martial artists. “In the 1980s, Jiujitsu master Carlos Gracie froze the pulp (for a longer shelf-life) and added it to the training diet of the fighters in his gyms,” she writes.

“In Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the frozen pulp was sweetened and served like ice cream. Across Brazil, Hawaii, and Southern California, açai is now served in a bowl topped with granola, coconut, and fresh fruit, often in beautifully arranged patterns.”


Breakfast: The Cookbook
Breakfast: The Cookbook

Sound good? Well, here’s what you need. A pack (3.5 oz/100 g) of frozen açai pulp, cut into pieces; a banana, peeled, sliced, and frozen; a tablespoon honey or agave; 2 tablespoons coconut water, almond milk, orange juice, or your choice of nut milk, juice, or water; 4 tablespoons granola; 2 tablespoons shredded coconut (optional); fresh sliced fruit, such as banana slices, cut mango, and berries, for serving (optional).

In a blender, combine the açai, frozen banana, honey, and coconut water. Blend until smooth. Pour the smoothie into a bowl and (if using) top with granola, shredded coconut, and sliced fruit.

For more on this recipe and many, many others, order a copy of Breakfast: The Cookbook. It’s a great collection of hundreds of home-cooking recipes which celebrates morning meals as they're prepared in kitchens across the globe. Each recipe is accessible and straightforward, with notes offering cultural context and culinary insight.