Excellent Brazilian Real Estate Investment Available

Brazilian Real Estate Offer – Countryside Estate Property

I am offering for sale the property adjacent to where I live in São Pedro de Alcântara, in the near-countryside just outside of Florianópolis, in south Brazil. Below, you can watch the introductory video explaining the broad details of the property.

Full Playlist of Informative Videos at Youtube

I have created nearly a dozen informative videos in a Youtube playlist covering all aspects of the land itself, as well as information about investing in real estate here, information about the region, the lifestyle and much more. Those interested are encouraged to view all the videos and then to contact me at the contact page here if you have more questions and an interest in a possible purchase.

The Basic Details

The videos go into great detail on all aspects of the property. The quick summary is this,—the land is 40 minutes outside of Florianópolis, in the near countryside, which is spectacular in its beauty, surrounded on all sides by virgin south Atlantic subtropical forest. The property is 2.5 hectares (6.25 acres) in size and the asking price is R$150,000. The property is easily accessible, has easy access to water and electricity and is about half pasture and half forest. There are 1500, 5-year-old pine trees planted, to be harvested for sale in 15 years, when they are giant. Some thinning is needed between now and then which will eventually lead to about 350 adult, full-size trees that, today, would be worth R$150 to R$200 per tree.

A 15% security deposit will be required. We will exchange, sign and notarize a purchase agreement via a courier such as FedEx or DHL (unless you are here, in person, of course), and money will be wired to my account here in Brazil. I can and would like to receive a portion of the payment in the U.S., if possible, though not a requirement.

The rest of the info is in the videos and please contact me if you have more questions.

High Yields from South Brazilian Rural Property

South Brazilian Real Estate: The Largest Returns I’ve Ever Seen in Real Estate

Giant Bee Hive in Native TreeHey, want to feel really, really bad? You know, that rotten feeling you get when you learn that you missed out on a single guaranteed investment that went through the roof? Well, you did. And so did I, in part. There’s still time to make excellent money in south Brazilian rural property, though the craziest yields are off the table, for now.

I’ve lived in Florianópolis in the south Brazilian state of Santa Catarina for eight years now. I’ve studied real estate for this entire time. The first four years I studied values on the island and the second four years I studied values not only off the island, but off the coast, too, in the gorgeous countryside anywhere from a 40-minute drive to a two-hour drive from the best beaches. Over the course of my first five years here, property values on the island skyrocketed, and everyone here was amazed. Values doubled once, and then again almost a second time. For example, a lot selling for R$20,000 in 2003 was selling for R$40,000 in 2005 and then for R$70,000 in 2008. Today, it probably sells for R$120,000. Over the full eight years, that’s a 500% return. Movement in prices on the island are fairly flat right now.

Feeling bad in gut? That wasn’t the part to feel bad about! Check this next part out.

A Story About Typical Land Appreciation in the Near-Coast Interior of Santa Catarina

Veggie GardenOver the past ten to twelve years, while everyone on the island who owned property was doing cartwheels to celebrate their newfound wealth, something even more remarkable was happening 90-minutes away. There are many, many gorgeous cities and countryside towns nearby. This example is of a town named, Anitápolis, in the Sierra region of Santa Catarina, sandwiched between the State park and the Federal Park. The story of Anitápolis is the same as stories of Urubici, Rancho Quemado, São Bonafácio and others. All of these areas were on my radar as I spent several years studying the values of large pieces of rural property, sizes in excess of 50 acres. Here, we use “hectares” as a measurement, which is 10,000 square meters, or 2.5 acres. I will use hectares in this article. 20 hectares is 50 acres.

In Anitápolis, a man named João was showing me property. He wasn’t a realtor, per se, but there are no realtors in that town and he had lived there his whole life and knew everyone and I was introduced to him as someone who knows everyone and everything for sale, and would help me out for a small commission in the end.

João’s Personal Experience

Somewhere between 12 and 15 years ago, João bought a 30 hectare piece of property for R$3000. Back then, you could hardly give away land. The price was practically free. People needed cash. The price was about $25 per acre, seriously. And this isn’t just any land. It had a river running through it and natural water springs, open space with rich topsoil and closed rainforest. The scenery in Anitápolis is breathtaking.

Somewhere in the range of five to eight years after the purchase, the value of this land had “exploded” to R$30,000, a 1000% yield. João couldn’t resist. He needed the money and he sold for R$30,000. Two years ago, when he was showing me properties, this same piece of land, though not for sale, was easily worth R$300,000. The going price of land, though it’s not an exact science, was about R$10,000 per hectare.

A 10,000% Yield

View of Neighbor's Property in the ValleyEven as an accountant, I can’t believe that I’m doing the math right, and maybe I’m not, but I’m pretty sure that an increase from R$3,000 to R$300,000 is a 10,000% yield over about a 12 year period. Even if the yield percentage is off, what isn’t off is that you take the value of the land and then add two zeros. Think about that for a minute. If you had come here twelve years ago and made good decisions to invest $100,000 USD’s in semi-large rural properties, you’d have land worth $10,000,000 today.

Now, that’s not even true. You’d actually have land worth $20,000,000 USD’s today. Why is that? Because over that time the Brazilian Real has doubled in value against the U.S. Dollar. So crank up that yield to 20,000% when stated in the dollar.

I’ll add quickly that this is not an isolated event. I’ve heard dozens of similar stories and seen many examples with my own eyes.

Ramping Up that Yield Even Higher

Feeling queasy? We’re not done yet! Here’s another thing to consider. The price per hectare of land here is considerably lower for large properties than for smaller properties, often by a factor in the range of 4-7. For example, a 50-hectare property out in this region may cost R$250,000, or R$10,000 per hectare. If there were a one-hectare property across the street, it would cost about R$50,000, or a factor of five times more expensive per hectare. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s true. It’s simply that there are a lot of Brazilians who can scrape together R$50,000 to buy a piece of land and precious few who have over R$100,000. And, remember, you have to pay cash here, or have something of value to trade, such as a car, or a bunch of cows. And I’m not joking about the cows.

The Power of Subdivision

Orchids growing on palm treeEnter the process of subdivision, here called “dismemberment”. I’m not referring to a formal, legal subdivision, I’m simply referring to breaking a big piece of land into small pieces to be sold off individually.

For rurally zoned property, there is always a size limit to how small a piece can be broken off and sold without creating a legal subdivision, known here as a rural condominium. The size limit various from city to city, but the variance is small and is often equal to two-hectares. So, if I have a 30-hectare property, I can break it into 15, 2-hectare pieces and sell them off without much difficulty.

Now, because much of this land is forested, and you can’t clear-cut the forest, some of this property has less utility. So let’s keep this example very simple and very conservative. Let’s say our 30-hectare property above can be broken into six, 5-hectare properties, each with space to build and farm, as well as some forested area. At a very minimum, the value of these pieces rises instantly to R$20,000 per hectare from R$10,000 per hectare, though in reality this is going to be closer to R$30,000 per hectare.

Our Final Yield Calculation

Using a per hectare value of R$20,000, we can once again double our yield. Now, this piece of land that began at R$3,000 (and, actually, less than $1,000 USD’s at the time), is now worth at least R$600,000 today. My calculator tells me this is a 20,000% yield, though I still think I’m doing something wrong. In U.S. dollars, because the Real has double in value against the dollar, this would be a 40,000% yield.

In Closing

This article uses a historical example to demonstrate the extraordinary yields that have been made here over the past decade and a half. It wasn’t so much a “how-to” article, though much can be inferred from what I’ve written, because values out there are still climbing very fast.

I’ll finish by giving you a more contemporary example. After studying rural land values for four years, and aggressively spending two years in search of one to buy for myself, I finally found something with most of what I was looking for, including an honest seller who was desperate to sell. I bought a 44-hectare property in July of 2010. I’m sorry, but I won’t say for how much. What I will say is that today, less than two years later, I’m confident that it’s doubled in value. Adding to this, I know that I can break off one or two pieces that total no more than ten-hectares, and sell them today to recover 100% of what I paid, keeping the best part for myself, 34-hectares in size. Additionally, there is a plantation of eucalyptus trees that in eight years, will be ready for harvest, and will yield, conservatively, 120% of what I paid for everything.

Good luck to you in all you do. Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have at info@brazilforlife.com.

About Joe Naab

Joe Naab is the author of Brazil for Life!, a how-to living guide for those who want to start a new life or have a second home in Brazil. He offers a two-hour private phone consultation for those who want more specialized information to suit their specific needs. He also coaches people through the entire expatriation process and can help those interested to obtain Brazil’s Business Investor Permanent Visa. He can be found at http://brazilforlife.wpengine.com and reached by email at info@brazilforlife.com.

Dispelling Five Myths Surrounding the Brazil Business Investor Permanent Visa

The Five Most Commonly Encountered Myths Associated with the Brazil Business Investor Permanent Visa

The Brazil Business Investor Permanent Visa is one of the best and most available permanent visas for those who have the money to invest, right now R$150,000. This is also a great visa for those who don’t actually need to open a serious business, but rather need a vehicle to get permission to live here. As an example, I came here mostly to avoid work for several years, to relax, and to recover from having worked too much. I wanted to buy a house and I wanted to get my money out of the U.S. banking system. This was in 2003.

The investment requirement was much higher at the time. What I did was to create a business that invests in real estate (but not a realtor, an investor). My business bought my house. I lived in it and made it my office. I spent money on home improvements. I later sold it for a nice profit. At no time was my business ever audited, at no time did I have employees, and the renewal process was a breeze.

Myth #1: You Have to Have Employees to Get the Visa

Though there is some truth to this, it is technically not true. To understand this, we must first understand a very important distinction.

The Difference Between A Business Plan and an Actual Business

Most people who get Brazil’s Business Investor Permanent Visa do so by creating a new business from scratch, so we’ll focus on this.

In most cases, when you are applying for the investor permanent visa, your business is not yet open and functional. For most people, they only want to open and invest in the business if they get a permanent visa that allows them to live in Brazil all year. This makes sense, right? So, when you are applying for the permanent visa, there is no requirement to already have employees because it is assumed that you haven’t yet opened your business. What is required of you is a short and simple business plan, and this business plan will make mention of the employees you plan to have in the future.

I know this may sound obvious, but it’s a critical distinction to make and one of the great myths associated with this visa. You can be as creative and optimistic as you want in your business plan and your business, once running, is under no obligation whatsoever to execute the business plan in it’s exact form. It’s a plan, right? Things can change. There is almost no chance that your business will even be audited during the three year “probation” period of the first issue of the visa. If it is audited, and you are making a sincere effort to run the business, you don’t have to have even a single employee (yet). You simply explain why you don’t have one yet, that you expect to grow and that you will add one soon.

Granted, it would help if you have at least one employee at some point. One way to keep the cost of this low is to hire a housekeeper or maybe an executive assistant on a minimum wage salary, about R$450 per month plus 31% social security taxes, called INSS. No one will work for you 40 hours per week at this salary, but they don’t have to. They might give you 15-20 hours per week for this and you can have them do useful things for you and as long as they are a registered worker for your business this counts as having an employee for the purpose of maintaining your visa.

Myth #2: You Have to Start Conducting Business Right Away

Why the hurry? Sure, if you need to start making money right away then get started. Many foreigners who get this visa really don’t need the money, it’s just that this is the only visa available to them to get permission to stay year after year. They may have their own money in savings or an online job of some kind. If this is the case, you can wait a year or two after the visa is issued to start your business. It will be open, legally, and maybe you are “working out of your home” in the beginning, but in terms of renting an office space to open a café, or small language school, or Pilates Studio, or whatever it may be, you can take your time and simply say that you are having a difficult time finding the ideal space to lease. In the meantime, the R$150,000 you have sitting in your business bank account is earning you about R$900 per month after taxes in simple bank interest.

Myth #3: You Can Use the Money You Invested for Personal Expenses

No. Definitely not, and this could get you into trouble. You can not take out capital and add back capital freely as you can do with an LLC or Corporation in the U.S. If you take money out it can only be by paying yourself a taxable wage. If it’s low enough you won’t pay income taxes, but 100% of it will be subject to the 31% social security tax, called INSS. If you do this steadily for 15 years you will qualify to receive social security payments when you reach retirement age.

Further, you can’t simply gather receipts from things you spend money on that you can creatively call a “business expense”. And, even if it is a legitimate business expense, you still have to get a receipt in the name of your business, with your business’ tax ID number, and in a form that makes the expense deductible for your business. This means that the issuing party provide their business tax ID number on the receipt, the date, and their signature. Otherwise, you cannot deduct these types of expenses.

Myth #4: The Ministry of Labor will Review my Permanent Visa Application with a Great Deal of Scrutiny

No, not true, or partially true only to one extent, – they demand that the application process be complete and application forms filled out correctly. What I mean is that they care nothing at all about the type of business you plan to create, whether or not it’s “good for Brazil”, etc. Though you may read this on an official site somewhere, it’s not legally true.

Let me give you some background. I flew up to the Ministry of Labor in Brasília and interviewed, at length, the National Director of Immigration and her three person staff who have the responsibility of reviewing and approving these visas. Without exception, they each made it very clear that they are under legal obligation to approve every single business investor permanent visa application that is submitted property. They can make no subjective judgment whatsoever (nor do they care to!).

Think of the trouble and expense you’ve gone through to have reached the point of application for the visa. You’ve already created a business in Brazil, opened a bank account for the business, and wired in at least R$150,000 of your own money. They aren’t going to say, “well, we don’t think Brazil needs another English teacher”. Nor can they legally do this.

It’s very simple. Open and fund the business property, send in a complete, error-free application, and your visa will be approved within 30 days, by law.

Myth #5: I Need an Attorney to Get the Business Investor Permanent Visa

You in no way need an attorney to get this visa. You can use one, certainly. All of them are happy for the business and if you don’t want to do any of this yourself, and you are a keen negotiator and know how much to pay for this service, then go for it. 99% of them will never have done this before, though they will claim that they know it all. To do the entire process for you, from beginning to end, you will receive quotes of R$10,000 to R$20,000. Or, you might get a quote for R$5,000 in the beginning and then find that this was only to take you to a certain point, and not to the end.

Be very careful engaging Brazilian Attorneys in Brazil. The best and most ethical ones, who hopefully came to your through a strong referral, plan to earn about R$250 per hour when they make a bid to help you. Some won’t provide a fixed bid, they’ll charge by the hour and you are in grave danger of sticker shock at the end of the process.

If you choose to pay someone to do it all for you, a reasonable price might be R$5,000 to R$7,000, and expect to pay about R$1500 in other costs. If you do it entirely alone, expect to pay only the R$1500 in other costs. You can employ someone like me, who won’t do the work for you, but will provide you a detailed checklist, will coach you through through the process, occasionally make phone calls for you in Portuguese, for about R$4,000, give or take a bit depending on complexity. And, by the way, I do this process much faster and more efficiently than any attorney. Without exception, the people I’ve helped through this visa all started with attorneys and the process was done completely wrong at great expense and I came in to clean it up.

Bonus Myth #6: I am Required to Have a Brazilian Business Partner

You are not required to have a Brazilian business partner. This type of business does require two owners and an Administrator who is not an owner, but can be one of the owners. The only thing required here is that the Administrator, not either of the owners, be either a Brazilian or a Foreigner with a permanent visa. This is required because until you have your permanent visa, you are not allowed to sign legal documents on behalf of your business.

Be careful who you choose. The administrator is the only person who can manage the business bank account, and you’ve just wired R$150,000 into it! Once you have your permanent visa the first thing you can do is have the articles of incorporation (called “Contrato Social”) amended to make you the Administrator and to remove the original person. Then, make sure to pass this information on to the bank.

In Closing

I hope this helps clarify and dispel some of the more common myths surrounding Brazil’s Business Investor Permanent Visa. Good luck to you!

About the Author

Joe Naab, Author of Brazil for LifeJoe Naab is the author of Brazil for Life, a how-to living guide for those who want to start a new life or have a second home in Brazil. He offers a two-hour private phone consultation for those who want more specialized information to suit their specific needs. He also coaches people through the entire expatriation process and can help those interested to obtain Brazil’s Business Investor Permanent Visa.

World Class Brazil Scuba Diving at Fernando de Noronha Island

Fernando de Noronha: One of Brazil’s Most Treasured Destinations for Brazil Scuba Diving

Sea TurtleLooking for Brazil Scuba Diving? Hidden way offshore in the Atlantic, nearly two-hours by plane, is the small, gorgeous and nearly uninhabited island of Fernando de Noronha. I had never heard of it before I got here and I expect that few foreigners and even many Brazilians have never heard of it, either. Let me share the basics.

Fernando de Noronha is simply stunning. Due to the careful preservation of this island, there are only 3500 inhabitants and only they and their families are permitted to live there. Not even Brazilians can simply up and move there. The island contains 17 square kilometers of land. Tourism is restricted to about 1000 tourists at a time. In order to discourage tourists from staying long, a daily tax is paid that doubles in value each week. For example, when I was there the daily tax was R$14. Let’s guess that today, five years later, it’s about R$20. So, for your first week there you’d pay R$140 in the occupation tax. If you stay an extra week, you’d pay R$280 (R$40 per day). For a third week you’d pay R$560 and so on, doubling every week.

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The Features of Fernando de Noronha

Moray EelLet me list here for you in a series of bullet points some of the awesome features of this island.

  • The marine life is spectacular. Loads of gorgeous fish, large and small, sharks (docile), dolphins, manta rays, moray eels, angel fish, sea turtles and so much more.
  • Crystal clear visibility, often at distances of 60 meters. Usually, for half the year one side of the island has amazing visibility, and then this changes to the other side of the island the other half of the year.
  • Fernando de Noronha is home to the world’s largest spinner dolphin colony, numbering in the thousands or possibly in excess of 10,000. One of the best day trips is to get up before sunrise to be shuttled from your pousada to the cliffs above the beach where the dolphins return from feeding all night in the open sea. As the sun rises, you see the dolphins return in great numbers, leaping about and spinning playfully. Binoculars will be provided, but they may not be of great quality and you may have to share, so consider bringing your own.
  • Though not a regular thing, we saw a large whale, a humpback I think, but I could have it wrong, and our small scuba diving boat drifted to with about 30 feet of it. We all dove in with our snorkel gear, but we startled it and it took off quickly in descent.
  • The snorkeling is as good or better than the scuba. This is because there is incredible marine life very close to shore on many of the beaches. Unlike scuba diving, you are not limited by time due to the air in your tank, nor are you obligated to follow the leader, even if you’d like to stay and observe something for a while longer. Also, colors are much more brilliant in shallow water.
  • Though there is very limited nightlife, there is one popular gathering place called Praia do Cachorro, where there is a bar, restaurant and live forró music every night.
  • The beaches are gorgeous and often deserted due to the restrictions on how many people can be on this island at a time. Because I live in Florianópolis and have daily access to equally gorgeous and often deserted beaches, when I was in Noronha I focused on the Marine life, scuba diving and snorkeling every day. We don’t have that kind of marine life and visibility here.
  • Fernando de Noronha is home to Brazil’s largest sea turtle colony. There is an important project on-going to restore and grow the sea turtle population. They are very heavily concentrated on one beach, Praia do Sueste, where you can snorkel with them, see dozens of them and swim alongside of them.
  • Take the all-day full island jeep tour. You’ll likely be in a caravan of jeeps with one to three dozen people, touring the full island and stopping at many of the beaches with time to snorkel and time for a great seafood lunch.
  • During the summer months of January through March, there is world class surfing, with waves of 3-4 meters.

Spinner DolphinsHow to Arrange Your Trip

You will likely fly to Noronho out of the cities of either Natal or Recife. Both of these cities are also great places to visit so you can combine visits to several places if you have the time. The trip to Noronha is most often bought as a package that includes your pousada (bed and breakfast) and airfare. Once there, I noted that the pousada where I stayed had a daily rate half that of what I was charged through the tourist agency, and next time I will book directly with them.

In Closing

I encourage you to jump into Google Images and Youtube and to search for “Fernando de Noronha” to see photos and videos of this marvelous place. I’ll leave you with a few videos to wet your appetite. Enjoy!

About the Author

Joe Naab, Author of Brazil for LifeJoe Naab is the author of Brazil for Life, a how-to living guide for those who want to start a new life or have a second home in Brazil. He offers a two-hour private phone consultation for those who want more specialized information to suit their specific needs. He also coaches people through the entire expatriation process and can help those interested to obtain Brazil’s Business Investor Permanent Visa.

Making Super Smoothies With Acai for Optimum Health

Super Smoothies with Brazil’s Superfood, Açai

Three Açai BerriesGrowing in both the Amazon Rainforest, as well as the subtropical South Atlantic Rainforest, is a palm tree called “Juçara” (joo-SAH-rah), that produces the widely popular fruit, “Açai” (ah-sigh-EE). Açai is consider if not the, then one of the most very nutritious foods found on the planet. Sparing you the details, Açai is loaded with about every great vitamin and mineral your body needs, and it has great proteins, quality fats and is loaded with anti-oxidants.

Açai Must be Made into a Pulp

The açai berry has a very thick, inedible outer skin. At it’s center is a woody seed. In between the seed and the outer skin is the rich and edible pulp. Note that even this pulp does not taste all that well. It is sour, not sweet, and almost always mixed with one or more other foods to improve the taste.

Açai PulpThe pulp is extracted either with industrial-sized machines, artisan-sized machines, or by hand. In either case the process is about the same. The berries are soaked in warm water for a half hour. They are then put into a bowl (giant, large or small), and agitated in some way so as to break the outer skin of all the berries. A filter screen is put in place and water is passed through the berries repeatedly, flushing out the pulp. Hence, the pulp of açai always contains added water. Extra profit can be made by excessive diluting with water, and the typical supermarket frozen açai pulp is thin and weak. I buy mine at organic fairs or natural food markets.

Strands of AçaiThe Quality Rating of Açai Pulp

Due to the above, açai pulp is rated, “fine” (thin), “medium” and “gross” (thick). Fine will have 5% to 9% açai and the rest is water. Medium will have 9% to 14% pulp and the rest is water. Thick will have more than 14% pulp content. It is hard to make açai pulp with a pulp content above 40%. You simply need lots of water to flush out the pulp. Thick açai is not available anywhere. Buyers here aren’t that savvy and the price would be shocking relative to the prices for fine and medium.

Açai Spoils Very, Very Fast

Due to it’s high oil and anti-oxidant content, both the açai berry itself and the pulp made from the berry, spoil very, very fast (though this doesn’t keep people from selling it and consuming spoiled açai). Once harvested, the berries must be de-pulped ideally within 24 hours and no longer than 48 hours. Once made, the pulp should be consumed within 24 hours or frozen immediately, or frozen with 24 hours of having been made.

Strands of AçaiTwo Basic Ways to Eat Açai

Most everyone in south Brazil as well as all over the world thinks of açai as a dessert, or smoothie, or juice. Yet in the Amazon and the northeast, where it was first popularized, it is very rarely eaten sweet. In fact, it’s most common to be eaten on the day it was made fresh, without having ever been frozen.

In Brazil, all types of food fall into two basic categories— “Doçe” and “Salgado”. “Doçe” means “sweet”, and is anything from desserts to juices, to smoothies and more. “Salgado” translates to “salty”, but in this usage of the word it might be best to think of it as “not sweet”. This can cover bland, salty, sour, bitter and simply regular food. It’s a catch-all phrase in this context.

Washed Açai BerriesAçai Super Smoothies

For the purpose of this article we’ll focus on using açai to make smoothies. The two most common additional ingredients for açai smoothies are banana and guarana syrup. Guarana is a seed with an extremely sweet syrup that can be extracted. Also, the smoothie can be made extremely thick and served in a bowl with a spoon. This is actually more common than a smootie, and you’ll see it on menus as “tigela de açai”. Often, you’ll see the option to substitute strawberries for bananas.

What I’m talking about here are smoothies that you make yourself in your own home in a blender where you are free to experiment all you want. Because you are working with frozen pulp, and likely frozen bananas, the better the blender the better the experience. For example, I brought in a Blendtec blender from the U.S., the best blender on the market. I bought a 110v to 220v transformer so I can use it down here.

Extended List of Possible Açai Smoothie Ingredients

I’m going to end the article here with a great list of potential ingredients for your smoothies. It’s so very fun to experiment that I won’t try to give you measurements and ratios and such. Have fun experimenting. Know that the more of these ingredients you use in one smoothie, and I’ve done this, the heavier and denser the taste. If you want your smoothie to be light and fresh, try fewer ingredients.

  • Frozen açai pulp – One pack of 100gms, or 100ml, will due for one tall smoothie. Double it for twice the fun.
  • Frozen bananas – I use 2-4 small bananas. They don’t have to be frozen. I peel them first and then freeze them because I want them frozen.
  • Bee Pollen – This is my primary secret ingredient. Bee pollen is the single most nutritious and complete food source on the planet. The bee pollen I use comes from the rainforest and is extra nutritious. I use one tablespoon.
  • Honey – My preferred sweetener here is honey, because the honey here is amazing and honey is a superfood.
  • Guarana syrup – I’ve actually never used this at home, though for no particular reason.
  • Agave Nectar – Only this year did this sweetener become available where I live. Note also that you only need one of these three sweeteners.
  • Coconut water – You will need to add either water or coconut water, or both. This is how you’ll control thickness. Coconut water has a fairly neutral flavor and is very nutritious. It can be expensive, too.
  • Coconut Milk – This can make the smoothie extra creamy and will definitely add coconut flavor.
  • Raw coconut oil – Also very, very nutritious and has a strong flavor. One teaspoon is enough. It tends to solidify when combined with frozen ingredients, but the strong blenders will still mix it in completely.
  • Tahini – This is my other secret ingredient. I’ve come to love Tahini, which is a creamy spread made entirely from lightly roasted sesame seeds. It contributes a great flavor and lots of thickness. I use 1-3 tablespoons, though I don’t measure, I just pour it in.
  • Nuts and seeds – Raw nuts and seeds are very healthy and contain excellent fats and proteins. My favorites to add to this smoothie are cashew, almond and sunflower seeds. They are also great for thickening.
  • Cinnamon – Cinnamon adds a great flavor. I buy it whole and ground it in a coffee grinder.
  • Nutmeg – Much like cinnamon. A little goes a long way.
  • Ground Seaweed – Seaweed is one of the most complete nutritious superfoods. I buy it dried and either ground it first in a coffee grinder or if it’s fairly ground already I put it straight into the Blendtec, which is very powerful. A teaspoon of powder is very nutritious and doesn’t alter the taste of the smoothie.
  • Fresh Arugula – Sounds crazy, I know, but fresh arugula leaves are extremely healthy and if you don’t go crazy with them, they don’t affect the taste. When you get used to them as I have, you’ll enjoy their subtle presence.
  • Whey protein powder – This is optional for those who are working out and taking whey protein as a supplement.
  • Raw eggs – This is another optional ingredient for those wanting added protein. Be careful to use only organic eggs from a known source. I get them from my own chickens.

The Taste is AMAZING!, and the Rush Even Better

My açai smoothies are the best tasting smoothies in the world (biased opinion). I’ve experimented with any and all combinations of the above, also altering quantities of each ingredient. Do what works best for you!

About the Author

Joe Naab, Author of Brazil for LifeJoe Naab is the author of Brazil for Life, a how-to living guide for those who want to start a new life or have a second home in Brazil. He offers a two-hour private phone consultation for those who want more specialized information to suit their specific needs. He also coaches people through the entire expatriation process and can help those interested to obtain Brazil’s Business Investor Permanent Visa.