The azaleas are blooming in Baton Rouge, and so is our craving for a refreshing array of juices and smoothie bowls, signaling to our bodies: Hey, winter is over!
Originating in the Amazon rainforest, the fruit from the açai palm has become an increasingly popular snack for Louisianans. Legendary Brazilian jujitsu developer Carlos Gracie claimed that frozen açai pulp, paired with other jungle fruits, could maximize energy and even create miraculous health breakthroughs. The açai bowl recipe traveled from Rio de Janiero to the United States (namely Hawaii and southern California) in the early 2000s, finding a home with surfers who couldn’t get enough of this healthy, post-surf pick-me-up. Today, these bowls dominate the health food scene and often incorporate other superfoods such as kale and pitaya as the main ingredients.
Lucky for my fellow açai addicts, and those who are curious to give it a try, we rounded up a few of the places you can treat yourself to a healthy snack that tastes even better than it looks.
This Red Stick staple is credited with bringing the açai bowl to the Capital City. The refreshing fruit-based bowls make for a delicious and nutritious breakfast, mid-day snack or evening dessert. The Big Squeezy also offers a number of juices such as Spicy Lemonade, Root Awakening, 24 Karrots and Sweet Tart, all of which can act as a meal or as part of a variety of cleanses. Click here for the full menu.
As one of Baton Rouge’s newest additions to the health scene, this one-stop shop is a popular place for students and families near LSU to grab a smoothie on the go. The shop allows customers to play with their fruit combinations by offering açai, pitaya and kale-based bowls. In addition, customers can top their bowls off with an overflowing assortment of fruits, nuts, granola and drizzled spreads such as chocolate, honey and Nutella. Click here for the full menu.
Tucked into one of newer shopping centers on Burbank Drive, Main Squeeze is serving up classic cold-pressed juices, superfood smoothies and handcrafted smoothie bowls. The shop also offers the plant-based beverage Mylk, wellness shots, hot tea and coffee, as well as frozen blended coffee. Like its counterparts, Main Squeeze also offers juice cleanses to get a kickstart shaping up for summer. Click here for the full menu.
Some of the freshest and tastiest smoothies in Baton Rouge come from Whole Foods Market in Corporate Towne Center. Hidden behind the cash registers is a build-your-own smoothie and juice bar where the experts prepare your order right in front of you. With more than 10 ingredients available, smoothies have the potential to be different every time you stop in. Whole Foods is also the best place to stock up on açai and other fresh ingredients for making bowls and smoothies at home. Click here to order online.
This addition to the East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s Main Library has locals going crazy with healthy cravings. Smoothies featuring strawberry, green apple and mixed berry are available. The newly opened restaurant also offers larger bites such as soups, salads and sandwiches if you’re feeling a bit peckish. Click here for more information.
Located next door to Maxwell’s Market, this shop opened its doors just a few months ago. Offering a new take on Taiwanese bubble tea, Teatery also offers brewed loose teas, as well as smoothies and yogurt. This stop is great for people who are looking to be adventurous and try something new. Click here for more information.
Where do you get your favorite fruit-based treats? Tag us on Instagram at @inRegsiter to show us your recipes and favorite spots around town.