A SAMBAZON Smorgasbord of Thanksgiving Recipes
When most people think about cooking with Açaí, they immediately think of smoothies and smoothie bowls. Certainly, there are few things more refreshing than a cold and creamy Açaí smoothie, or an Açaí bowl overflowing with granola, coconut, and fresh berries. But Açaí can go to more places than just your blender. If you haven’t met its savory side, you’re missing out!
Açaí tastes delicious in savory recipes, where its earthy, slightly chocolatey taste brings a unique flavor, and its gorgeous purple color brightens up the table. Açaí pairs well with many ingredients that work in savory dishes, like fruit, cheeses, coconut, nuts, chiles, chocolate, root vegetables, salad greens, and herbs. It can even be used as a marinade for meats or seafood.
This Thanksgiving, experiment with Açaí as part of your holiday meal. The appetizer recipes included in this post are perfect for entertaining, and a fun way to show off the savory side of Açaí. Although nutrition is low on my list of concerns on a holiday, as a registered dietitian, I do love that these recipes bring in the superfood power of Açaí on a day that’s often pretty low in the produce department. Açaí is a rich source of anthocyanins, an antioxidant that gives Açaí its characteristic bright purple color. I always love to share with clients how the compounds found in produce that give them their bright color or strong flavors or scents are often the same compounds responsible for their health benefits.
I hope you enjoy these appetizer recipes for Açaí-chia jam and caramelized butternut squash crostini with Açaí-balsamic drizzle. On a day full of rich eating, these Açaí recipes bring some bright flavor to the table. Both of these thanksgiving recipes are simple to make and can easily be prepped in advance. I’ve also included a refreshing Açaí cranberry lime sparkler to wash it all down. It has a relatively low alcohol content, so it’s the perfect cocktail recipe for sipping throughout the day. It’s also a cocktail you can make a large batch of, so if you’re doing a lot of cooking on Thanksgiving, you won’t be distracted by preparing cocktails for guests every few minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Ready In: 1 hour | Yield: about ¾ cup
This Açaí-chia jam is the perfect accompaniment for a simple cheese or charcuterie board. Ground chia seeds, which gel up in liquids thanks to a mucilaginous coating, help quickly thicken the Açaí into a jammy consistency. The chia also gives this homemade jam a nice dose of omega-3 fats and fiber. Leave the chia seeds whole if you prefer a bit of crunch and texture in your fruit jam.
This Açaí-chia jam pairs well with salty prosciutto, creamy goat cheese, funky blue cheese, and soft rinded cheeses, like brie or camembert. Round out your cheese board with toasted or seasoned nuts and dried or fresh fruit. This recipe makes plenty, so enjoy leftovers on buttered toast or spooned over Greek yogurt. It also makes a delicious salad dressing mixed with red wine vinegar and olive oil. Feel free to experiment with other flavors added to the jam, like jalapeno or chipotle for a sweet and savory jam, or fresh thyme for an herbal note. The jam will last at least 1 week in the fridge.
· 3 Sambazon Original blend Açaí Superfruit Packs, thawed
· ¼ cup cane sugar
· 2 tablespoons lemon juice
· Pinch of salt
· 3 tablespoons ground chia seeds
1. Stir Açaí, sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt together in a small pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until slightly thickened.
2. Stir in ground chia until well combined. Let sit until room temperature, then transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Caramelized Butternut Crostini with Toasted Hazelnuts and Açaí-Balsamic Drizzle
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes | Ready In: 1 hour | Yield: about 16 crostini
This elegant vegan appetizer is perfect for Thanksgiving entertaining. Cubes of butternut squash are caramelized in the oven, spooned over toasted bread, and garnished with toasted hazelnuts and an Açaí-balsamic drizzle. The combination of bright orange winter squash and purple Açaí will brighten up your holiday table! If preparing this appetizer in advance, make all the ingredients separate and assemble them right before serving. To make your drizzle dazzle, spoon the Açaí-balsamic sauce into a plastic zip-top bag, squeeze out the extra air, and snip a corner off the baggie to drizzle it over the crostini. Feel free to use other types of squash for this recipe, like acorn or delicata squash.
· 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into ½-inch cubes
· 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
· 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
· 2 Sambazon Pure Unsweetened Açaí Superfruit Packs, thawed
· 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
· 1 baguette, sliced into 1-inch thick rounds
· Chopped fresh chives, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Toss butternut squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, tossing halfway, until the squash is tender and lightly caramelized.
3. Meanwhile, combine Açaí, balsamic, and a pinch of salt in a small pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until very thick, about 20 minutes.
4. When the squash is ready, lightly drizzle the baguette with olive oil and toast in the hot oven. When ready, top each bread round with a scoop of butternut squash, sprinkle with hazelnuts and drizzle with Açaí-balsamic sauce. Garnish with chives and serve.
Açaí Cranberry Lime Sparkler
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Ready In: 5 minutes | Yield: 1 pitcher
This Açaí cranberry lime sparker is the perfect refreshing cocktail for Thanksgiving. It’s light, fresh, and bubbly, so you’ll have plenty of room for your Thanksgiving meal. Plus, this cocktail is a little light on the vodka, so you’re not getting overly tipsy at the holiday table – perfect for sipping throughout the day.
· 4 SAMBAZON Original Blend Açaí Superfruit Packs
· Juice of 2 limes, plus 1 lime, sliced
· ½ cup vodka
· ¼ cup simple syrup
· 4 cups cranberry-flavored seltzer
· Ice cubes
1. Combine the Açaí, lime juice and slices, vodka, and simple syrup in a large pitcher. Top off with cranberry-flavored seltzer. Serve in tall glasses filled with ice and garnish with additional lime wedges or whole cranberries, if desired.
What do you think of Rachael Hartley's Thanksgiving side dishes and cocktail recipes? We love making your thanksgiving table more delicious by combining the Delicious Powers of Açaí with vegan appetizer recipes. Share with us in the comments below if you tried any of our vegan thanksgiving recipes or the best thanksgiving recipes that you've come up with over the years with Açaí as an ingredient.
Khoo HE, Azlan A, Tang ST, Lim SM. Anthocyanidins and anthocyanins: colored pigments as food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and the potential health benefits. Food Nutr Res. 2017;61(1):1361779. Published 2017 Aug 13.
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