Superfoods That Don’t Suck
Most food is either tasty or good for you. These 20 items, sourced from the city’s most popular health shops and restaurants, happen to be both
Activated charcoal, the most Instagrammed ingredient of 2017, is reputed to absorb toxins and maybe even prevent hangovers. It also turns anything an inky black, including this juice, which packs a greengrocer’s worth of veg. It looks like paint water, but the taste is surprisingly verdant. $7.95–$11.95. 573 King St. E., 416-306-1986, impactkitchen.ca.
Extra Butter Coffee
Caffeine is good enough for most coffee junkies, but some coffee addicts swear by the energy-boosting effects of blending in a hunk of fancy butter. This one, with almond butter, is denser than a standard-issue latte, with the perfect balance of creaminess and bitterness. $5.75. 283 Roncesvalles Ave., 647-340-7791.
Kupfert and Kim
This Korean-inspired soup is a bona fide superfood bonanza, swamped in nutrient-dense seaweed and antioxidant-rich kimchee. It doesn’t smell very appetizing, we’ll admit, but that’s how you know the fermentation worked. Plus, it does great things for your GI tract. $11.85. Various locations, kupfertandkim.com.
Bolt Fresh Bar
The virtuous acai berry is said to lower cholesterol, clear up skin conditions and address erectile dysfunction. Here it’s combined with pineapple, banana, granola and chia seeds. The hearty scoop of whipped coconut cream topper is optional. $9.50. 1170 Queen St. W., 416-588-8103, boltfreshbar.com.
The Witches Brew
Kombucha is a fermented tea of bacteria and yeast that’s good for your guts. When made well, as at this Kensington shop, it’s a slightly sweet and deeply cooling tonic that tastes like a really good mocktail. The pineapple-ginger variety, with turmeric and cucumber, tastes like a healthier version of Hi-C. $8. 160 Baldwin St., 416-599-8925, thewitchesbrew.ca.
Chia seed pudding bowl
Chia seeds are high in fibre, omega-3s and antioxidants. They’re nearly flavourless when eaten plain—think slippery oatmeal—which is why OJ’s layers on sliced strawberries, bananas, blueberries, honey and granola. It’s a light, virtuous breakfast that tastes better than it looks. $5.75. 120 Adelaide St. W., 416-364-5083, ojstoronto.com.
If cow’s milk is too dairy for your diet, this raw, unpasteurized nut “mylk” is a moustache-worthy alternative. The almond-cashew-coconut flavour, with a pinch of Himalayan salt, isn’t as smooth or creamy as the bovine original, but it’s denser, with a mild flavour that works with coffee or cereal. $10 for 500 mL. mylko.myshopify.com.
The Fix and Co.
Yes, there are more popular ways to consume cannabis than by eating hemp seeds. But when blended into smoothie form, they deliver tons of protein and fibre without the THC wallop, which is negligible. We like the Fix’s strawberry, pear, mint, coconut yogurt, acai powder and hemp milk option best. $10. 1 Thirtieth St., 416-259-7525, thefixandco.com.
If you have trust issues with supermarket granola, so often jacked with sugars and streusel, this mix of gluten-free oats, seeds, nuts, coconut flakes, goji berries and raisins is for you. And because it’s prebiotic (google it), it’s fuel for the probiotics that keep your digestive system happy. $9.50. 264 Dupont St., 416-515-2002, liveorganicfood.ca.
Who says tequila can’t be part of a virtuous diet? This concoction mixes tequila with Moore kombucha, lemongrass and ginger. The effect is as salubrious as it is intoxicating. A splash of Amaro Montenegro and a sprig of fresh thyme add a herbal note. $11. 1122 Queen St. W., 416-532-3555, hello123forever.com.
Greenhouse Juice Co.
Turmeric, the bright-yellow spice, has shed its rep as a mere soup enhancer to become something closer to an all-purpose miracle substance. A dose of the raw juice is the intake method of choice for diehards, but it goes down much easier in latte form, blended with almond milk and ginger. $4.95. Various locations, greenhousejuice.com.
Health nuts are shooting straight apple cider vinegar these days, for its purported weight-loss qualities. A less aggressive option: a swig of this cooling concoction, made with apple cider vinegar, ginger and organic cane sugar. And (avert your eyes, purists) it goes very well with rum or bourbon. From $4. Find retailers at falseox.com.
Maca root is a Peruvian herb and purported libido booster (results may vary). Either way, it makes a damn tasty drink, with raw cashews, almond or peanut butter, dates, raw cacao, banana, and cinnamon. It tastes so good, you’ll wonder whether it’s more dessert than superfood slurry. $8.98. Various locations, revitasize.ca.
These dense, golf ball–size orbs are ideal for pre- and post-workout. They’re protein-packed, plant-based and gluten-free, and come in peanut butter–chocolate or sunflower-cinnamon varieties, clustered around puffed rice like spherical Rice Krispie squares. $1.50 each. 471 Church St., 647-352-8807; 469 Front St. E., 416-306-6480, fuelplus.ca.
Jelly-like and translucent brown, these capellini-style strands form the briny base of the popular Umami Bowl. The taste is perfect harmony, the earthy minerality of the noodles, nori, mushrooms and miso offset by the zippy Mediterranean tahini dressing and iodine-rich kelp. $14.25. 55 Avenue Rd., 647-349-1085, palmlane.ca.
ELXR Juice Lab
Living a plant-based lifestyle no longer has to mean giving up on the probiotic richness of yogurt. These creamy parfaits, made mostly from coconut, come in three flavours. Carrot spice, our favourite, is loaded with medjool dates, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. $6.50. 2901 Bayview Ave., elxrjuicelab.com.
This drink’s striking colour comes from Blue Majik, a trademarked brand derived from spirulina, a.k.a. blue-green algae, which is loaded with iron and B vitamins. Thankfully, the concoction only looks like liquefied Smurf: the taste is close enough to powdered lemonade that you’ll forget you’re drinking algae. $8. Various locations, freshrestaurants.ca.
Pulp on Portland
It’s full of collagen, glucosamine and other stuff that’s said to be good for your joints. But its most appealing feature is taste: this one, made from organic chicken bones, is rich and satisfying, with a whack of basil, rosemary and other herbs. It’s guaranteed to warm your bones on a mid-winter day. $8. 67 Portland St., 416-340-0067, popjuicebar.com.
Magic mushroom tea
Chaga is a mushroom (non-hallucinogenic) that true believers swear by for lowering cholesterol and boosting immunity. This cold tea from Nutbar, made with burdock root, dandelion, cinnamon and cardamom, gives off an earthy, autumnal punch, with a hint of umami from the chaga. $4.75. 1240 Yonge St., 416-519-2700, nutbar.co.
Peanut butter oats
IQ Food Co.
Plain oatmeal simply doesn’t cut it these days. Not when you can turn your porridge into a finely tuned delivery mechanism for all kinds of micronutrients by adding chia seeds, peanut butter, almond milk, raw honey, banana and even more peanut butter to a cup of steel-cut oats. $5.23. Various locations, iqfoodco.com.
A Skeptic’s Guide to Self-Care
Part 1: Golden Getaways
Spas for quieting the mind, calibrating the qi and pampering the body
Part 2: Child’s Pose
Toronto’s chillest kindergartners strike a pose
Part 3: Superfoods That Don’t Suck
Twenty things that taste as good as they are
Part 4: Silent Meditation
What it’s like to go mute for 10 days: a memoir
Part 5: Feel Good, Look Better
Luxe gear to get zen in style
Part 6: Run for Your Life
Six endurance events for endorphin-chasing masochists