Start the year off on a healthy note with this guilt-free treat!

Bacara Resort & Spa

The period just after the holidays is reality-check time for anyone watching their weight. The scales insist on registering every last buttery indulgence and, for many clients, those New Year’s resolutions fade faster than the final bars of “Auld Lang Syne”.

Help clients with sluggish systems kick-start their January regimen by offering them a recipe that’s satisfying yet healthful, such as the Açai Breakfast Bowl, served at the Spa Café at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, California. It’s refreshing and restorative and, according to executive chef David Reardon, “a favorite with guests because of its health benefits and invigorating combination of flavors and textures. It’s our top seller in the mornings!”

The recipe’s fruit base is a sweet, slightly tart blend of blueberries, strawberries, açai berries and goji berries. (The gojis should be parboiled for 15 minutes to rehydrate and soften them.) A splash of orange juice lends a smoothie-like consistency, while granola provides crunch.

The dish delivers a powerful antioxidant punch: açai berries are high in anthocyanins, a form of plant antioxidant thought to help lower cholesterol; strawberries and goji berries are rich in vitamin C, which helps fight free radicals and bolster the immune system; and blueberries are an excellent source of bone-strengthening vitamin K.

You can boost the bowl’s benefits by pairing it with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice or, in winter, a warming cup of green tea. Whatever the accompanying beverage, this is one tasty wake-up call!

Açai Breakfast Bowl

1 oz. organic açai purée
1 oz. frozen blueberries
1 oz. frozen strawberries
4 oz. fresh orange juice
¼ oz. goji berries, parboiled
1 oz. fresh blueberries
1 oz. granola
1 oz. fresh strawberries, sliced
1 banana, sliced
1 Tbsp. agave syrup
1 sprig mint
Purée the first five ingredients in a blender. Garnish with fresh blueberries, strawberry and banana slices, granola, agave syrup and mint.

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