Last week’s bout of seriously hot days threw my appetite in a completely different direction. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but each time the heat exceeds 30 degrees, all I long for is a smoothie or a meal on the lighter side. To state the complete obvious, Melbourne is overflowing with smoothie bars and healthy eateries, but finding those actually worth paying double figures for (let’s not deny the price of smoothies is a tad ridiculous) proves limiting. That said, here’s my spots that never seem to fail.
Serotonin Eatery masterfully embodies all things health in a quirky and fun style. Instead of simply gathering up all that’s healthy and light, Serotonin go the extra mile to create dishes that are simply extraordinary. Take their “Smiling Smashed Avo” for instance: it’s smashed peas and beetroot relish on sprouted loaf and fresh chilli, resulting in what I’d say is their most popular dish. If you’re after a vegan option, swap the feta with Serotonin’s house-made almond feta. On the smoothie front, my top picks are the Choc, Cacao & Banana (with organic cacao and ripe bananas), the Peanut Butter Protein Shake (using pea protein, banana and coconut milk), and the Coconut Espresso Bomb (with whole coconut and espresso). Ask for a smile on the top to your smoothie and they may just have something for you, too.
Combi in Elwood is no stranger to health-enthusiast Bayside babes. Like Serotonin Eatery, their smoothies are visually awe-inspiring, yet they feel slightly more coastal and tropical. Try their Liquid Passion (with passion fruit, mango, coconut flesh and home-made nut mylk) or their Shine On (with coconut flesh, tropical fruits, spinach, home-made nut mylk and vanilla protein powder). As for food, their toasties are simple pleasures not to be ignored — the avocado with shredded vegetables and spices is my choice pick.
Laneway Greens have me addicted across their three store locations in Swan Street, Richmond, and Flinders Lane and Collins Place in the CBD. I often return for their whole food bowls, namely the Grilled Free-Range Chicken & Greens (chicken, quinoa, greens, hemp seeds and a sweet surprise of grapes) or the Cape Grim Beef & Seasonal Greens (greens, slow-cooked egg, brown chilli and soya dressing). When I’m opting for a liquid breakfast or lunch, the Blueberry, Banana & Pure Maple serves me well, featuring almond milk, cinnamon, and natural almond butter, while the Spinach, Spirulina & Pink Grapefruit (with avocado and banana) is filling and packed with nutrients. The hot weather may be overwhelming, yet it’s a lovely time to enjoy the lighter side to dining, and bounce around the summer radiating with health. For those still sinking beers and burgers, that’s okay too, summer’s a time when your happiness comes first.