"I've got sunshine on a cloudy day; when it's cold outside, I've got the month of May." Remember the old song? You're probably singing the rest of it now, right? That's how I felt at Blendabowl on a chilly February afternoon as I sat with two smoothie bowls, happily tasting both with a wooden spoon. The bright-colored bowls coupled with sunshine streaming in through full-length windowed walls and beachy music transported me from the bitterly cold weather to a beach.
Blendabowl is a café that offers frozen smoothie bowls and traditional smoothies, chili, homemade protein balls, and a variety of grab-and-go items that are all healthy, especially for those who have food allergies and sensitivities.
If you've never tried the smoothie bowls, you're in for a treat. They're somewhere between a smoothie and ice cream but dairy-free. Each comes with your choice of four toppings, including two fruits plus a top layer of crunchy homemade granola. Choose from strawberries, bananas, blueberries, blackberries, mangos and pineapple. Then you can go from tame to exotic on your other toppings — from honey, almonds, chia, coconut and nut spreads to cacao nibs, hemp hearts, and bee pollen!
The acai bowl has a base of its namesake fruit. If you're unfamiliar with acai, the purple fruit is considered a powerful, nutritious superfood. Unsweetened, it's got a truly unique taste — subtly tart and earthy. Some say acai tastes a little bit like chocolate — perhaps. Blended with banana and apple juice, it tasted like a combination of sweet, luscious fruits, including grape, apple and raspberry. I chose bananas, strawberries, chia seeds, and coconut for toppings. The mix of textures was a big part of the appeal — crunchy granola (we're talking fresh granola, not your average store variety), sweet fruit, flakey coconut, and a smooth, creamy base.
I didn't think I'd like the passion fruit bowl. I don't usually favor tropical mixes. For years, acai has been my favorite, but the passion fruit bowl kicked acai to second place, much to my surprise and delight. It featured a blended passion fruit base (an accepted antioxidant) with almond milk and agave, topped with bananas and mango. I picked chia seeds and honey for my toppings. I wasn't sure about the honey, but the server said it really gives the bowls an excellent "finish," and it really did! Mangos and bananas delivered a one-two punch of tropical flavor, and both were perfectly ripened for optimal sweetness. This bowl was tangy and satisfying. I was trying to think of how to describe it when a waitress stopped by my table and, with a big smile, said, "It tastes like sunshine, doesn't it?" I agreed wholeheartedly. What a great description!
Though it was sunny and warm in my head, I knew I'd have to brave the cold soon, so I ordered a cup of Blendabowl's new vegan quinoa chili, served with tortilla chips. Hot and fresh, the chili, with tomatoes, corn, onions, beans and quinoa, was a combination of savory/sweet. A comfort food, it was warm and filling and felt healthy.
There is a lot to love about Blendabowl and it’s an excellent option if you're watching what you eat, because you can control your calories depending on your toppings. There is an astounding array of gluten-free options, and the bowls are dairy-free, so if you're dealing with allergy or tummy troubles, this might be the place to go.
Two bowls, chili, and a protein ball came to less than $30. The bowls can make a great breakfast alternative.
Check out the website, www.iloveblendabowl.com, to view the whole menu and preorder. Blendabowl is currently operating on winter hours, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so plan ahead.