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Photographs: Lindsey Howald Patton

As I've mentioned recently, smoothies are one of the best things I'm aware of. Not only am I, as a bit of a health nut, helpless against their nutritious charms, I also have a very specific soft spot for food that packs a variety of unexpected, yet somehow complementary, ingredients into one basic form. Especially when it's delicious things like fresh homemade coconut milk, kale, spinach, blueberries, banana, Medjool dates, and tahini.

The tahini, by the way, was an inspired change that the folks at Earth's Healing Cafe recommended when they were out of the Love & Light smoothie's ($7.55) usual raw cashew butter. As it was being made, I explored the six feet or so of space inside the tiny storefront. The room smelled wonderfully of celery, and as I watched, a man behind the counter jammed whole stalks of the vegetable, leafy tops and all, into an industrial juicer. To the left of the doorway are shelved jars with colorful contents, all assembled neatly into an herbal apothecary where eschewers of scientific medicine can buy white willow bark instead of aspirin or slippery elm bark for digestion.

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As for the smoothie, it was lovely. As always, I wanted about three more. The flavor was very banana, with just enough blueberries to bring some tartness against the creamy blended fruit. Actually, it ended up tasting sort of like kiwi (or perhaps my taste buds were just fooled by the color). Although there is plenty of spinach and kale packed in here, impressively overpowering blueberry's bold purple, the greens are meek background characters flavor-wise. I didn't taste the tahini, either, although I wish I had more—it would have brought a toasted and slightly bitter depth to the banana and dates' perfect amount of sweet. I'd definitely order it again, although there are too many tempting smoothies at this health food mecca to go back twice for the same one. The cacao and cinnamon-laced Dark Maca is next on my list.

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Earth's Healing Cafe

Earth's Healing Cafe

  • Ravenswood

1942 W Montrose Ave btw Damen & Winchester Chicago IL 60613 7737280598

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