Thursday, April 24, 2008

Acai Sorbet

This is Acai-Banana-Strawberry-Lime Sorbet, garnished with a sprig of mint. It is gluten free, vegan and contains no refined sugar.

Something that I really enjoy is browsing my local natural food store for new and interesting products. I'm always amazed by the selection -- on my trip to the store Tuesday I saw chocolate covered goji berries, roasted flax seed ground and mixed with pomegranate powder, spirulina snack bars, and freeze dried blueberries. I didn't buy any of these, but I did pick up some pureed Acai fruit in the freezer section thinking I would figure out what to do with it when I got home.

Acai (pronouced ah-sigh-ee) is a small, intensely purple, berry-like fruit that grows abundantly in the Brazilian Amazon. It it getting quite a bit of press these days as the latest superfood thanks to high levels of antioxidents, the molecules that protect our cells from free radicals, as well as of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.

The Acai fruit is not sweet at all (the nutrition label on my package shows it contains no sugars), and the flavor is complex. I thought it tasted like a combination of a very dark berry, such as a blackberry, combined with chocolate.

At first I couldn't quite figure out what to do with the Acai. I thought about making a smoothie with bananas and honey. I thought it might work well in my fruit leather recipe. I also gave some thought to adding it to some kind of mole recipe as the taste is quite complex and would marry well with chiles and other spices (in fact, I'd like to try this next). Ultimately I decided to mix the Acai puree with bananas, strawberries, lime juice and agave syrup to make sorbet.

Wow ! The sorbet came out great.

My husband is eating some right now. My older son who, as you know from previous posts, doesn't like many fruits had two servings. It is not very sweet (it could be made sweeter by adding more agave syrup) and has a depth of flavor that almost reminds me of drinking wine or eating really good dark chocolate.

I used bananas and strawberries because that is what I had. I think the sorbet would be good with almost any berry such as blueberries, raspberries or blackberries. The lime juice added just a bit of tartness.

Here's the recipe:

14 ounces Acai puree, thawed
2 medium bananas, sliced
10 medium strawberries, sliced
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup agave syrup (or to taste)

Add the Acai puree, sliced bananas, sliced strawberries, lime juice, and agave syrup to your blender. Blend until smooth. Taste, and add more agave or lime juice as necessary.

If you have a sorbet or ice cream maker, follow the instructions on your machine.

Otherwise, pour the puree fruit into a baking pan and place in the freezer. Stir every 20 minutes until set.

Serve immediately, or transfer to a lidded container and store in the freezer.

2 comments:

-Brian said...

OMG, this is good stuff!

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