Progressive Grocer

Grocerant February 2017

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16 SOLUTIONS FEBRUARY 2017 for a more traditional pick-me-up that customers crave in the morning. Maca powder, made from a root in the radish family that's grown in the mountains of Peru, has also been shown to boost energy, so many smoothie shops use it as a base or add-on ingredient. Portland, Ore.-based Greenleaf Juicing Co. substitutes maca for coffee or tea in its morning smoothie with cacao nibs, almond butter, oats, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup and almond milk. e Grand-daddy Purple smoothie at KURE, meanwhile, blends maca with gingko and ginseng for more energy-boosting help, along with açaí berries, goji berries, blue/green algae, strawberries, coconut yogurt, kale, coconut water and ice. And Real Good Juice Co. mixes maca with almond butter, almond milk, dates, cacao and banana for its Silky Smooth Sounds of Sonny Sanderson's Saxophone smoothie. Gutting it out As gut health—in terms of better digestion and strong immune systems—remains at the forefront of consumer health concerns, probiotic smoothie ingredients are find- ing a receptive audience. "We are testing and planning to use probiotics—in the form of our house-made probiotic coconut yogurt—in our smoothies," says Project Juice Test Kitchen's Weiss. "Gut health is one of the most important aspects of overall health and wellness, and more people are catching on and looking for this in products." Other smoothie shops are using kefir, a fermented dairy beverage similar to yogurt that's rich in probiotics and low in lactose so it can be more easily digested. Herbs and spices can also provide immune-boosting properties to smoothies. Owen + Alchemy, a juice and smooth- ie shop in Chicago, and Sip Organic Juice Bar in Portland, Ore., both blend in echinacea, an herbal remedy for colds, and turmeric, a yellow-tinged spice known for its anti-inflam- matory benefits and its beautiful golden orange coloring properties. Indulgent options Not all smoothie customers are looking for a health halo, however. Some want their smoothies to serve as desserts or sweet treats with plenty of frozen yogurt or tasty add-ons like chocolate. Tropical Smoothie Café, with locations nationwide, makes its Bahama Mama smoothie with strawberries, pineapple, coconut and white chocolate, while the Peanut Butter Cup smoothie pairs peanut butter with banana and chocolate. Mocha Madness has chocolate, coffee, cappuccino and nonfat yogurt for a balance of energy and indulgence. Red Mango, with more than 200 locations nationwide, has also introduced a line of smoothies featuring its signature frozen yogurts, from healthier fresh fruit-based options to sweeter treat-like variations with chocolate and peanut butter—but laced with a "fat burner" booster to help cus- tomers justify the extra calories. G 1. Camu camu. Experts say these tart-tasting, immunity-boost- ing berries—derived from shrubs in the Amazon rainforest and sold in powdered form—contain more vitamin C than any other single food source on the planet and provide essential amino acids good for muscle growth and recovery. 2. Teff. Quickly surpassing quinoa as a new "it" grain, this naturally gluten-free seed with origins in Ethiopia runs high in calcium, iron, protein and amino acids. 3. Tree water. This natural source of electrolytes comes from birch and maple trees and can also help control sugar levels and boost thyroid function. 4. Baobab. Fruit from this African tree is rich in vitamin C and comes in chewable and powder form. 5. Banana flour. Made from green bananas, this flour is naturally gluten free with a nutty flavor to thicken and enhance the taste of smoothies. 5 superfood smoothie ingredients to watch Avocado adds richness and creaminess without dairy. Baobab fruit pulp can be dried for ingredient usage.

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