Perpetually #huangry. Occasionally #huangover.

#Huangry: Healthy Delusions


So, it’s the beginning of January, and that means two things for me. First, I’m still perfectly capable of believing 2016 is the year I finally take my diet seriously. (Previous installments of Huangry point to a different conclusion, but for now, a healthy diet is still a reasonable delusion.) Second, I’m still recovering from the excesses of New Year’s Eve (A quart of Mayfield’s ice cream and a magnum of sparkling wine, both consumed in bed with Netflix for company, thanks for asking!) and I’m in the mood for something that’ll lift my mind, body, and spirit. That’s probably why I find myself at Southern Pressed Juicery.

Now, this is just a personal preference, but I’ve never really gotten on board with juicing. The health benefits seem legitimate, but I’ve just never found them satisfying. I get hungry easily, and drinking non-alcoholic calories is kind of anticlimactic—chewing food just seems more substantive. I also can’t wrap my mind around the fact that there's two pounds of organic produce packed into a 17-ounce bottle. It's basically sorcery as far as I'm concerned.

The energy bowls at SPJ are more my speed. They’re beautifully presented—organic produce’s bright, natural colors seem more appealing in bowl-form than as muddy green juices. They’re also more viscerally satisfying: I can still physically chew my food, and they actually look more substantial and filling than a bottle of juice.

The Dragon Blood bowl is a particularly stunning example. It comes in tall, glass bowl, which shows off some vibrant ingredients: pitaya, banana, almond milk, kiwi, raw honey, bee pollen, and coconut chips. The pitaya, or dragon fruit, provides the vivid pink base and the namesake for the bowl. (The whole dragon thing also fuels my anticipation for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones, and compared to my #TeamKhaleesi t-shirt, this bowl is a much less obnoxious way of indulging my fandom.)

The in-your-face color palette belies surprisingly mild flavors, with banana being the most prominent. Dragon fruit, while it does provide an ample amount of body and a dose of sweetness, is pretty neutral. Combined with the fact that the bowl is served cold and has a sorbet-like texture, it doesn’t take much effort to fool myself into thinking this is dessert.

The rest of the bowl adds elements to balance out the dragon fruit and banana. Kiwi slices add a hint of tartness, and the nuggets of bee pollen are a delightful addition. They deliver pops of sweetness with the crunch of granola. The only drawback is that the pollen was mostly layered at the bottom. It’s prettier that way, but you’ll want to mix it all together so that crunchiness is evenly distributed. As far as the coconut chips go, I’m ambivalent. I’ve never been the biggest fan of coconut, and the chips get a bit soggy when you mix them into the rest of the bowl.

All in all, it’s a satisfying experience: I get to pretend I’m on a healthier path for 2016, my body and mind feel better, and I didn’t even have to force myself to eat a bunch of kale. The only thing left to do is to see if I can keep this up for another 350-odd days.

(-) CONS

  •  Not as pretty when you mix the bowl together, which you should do to maximize all these flavors

  • Brain freeze is really unpleasant when it’s already cold outside

  • $11 is a steal for actual dragon blood, but probably makes this unsustainable as a dietary staple for most people

(+) PROS

  • Light and refreshing

  • Health benefits galore

  • Tastiest way to fool yourself into believing you’re going to follow through on those health-related New Year’s resolutions

  • Bee pollen is a thing and it’s delicious???

Southern Pressed Juicery
2 W Washington St, Greenville, SC
(864) 729-8826, southernpressedjuicery.com
Dragon Blood Energy Bowl: $11

Originally published in the Greenville Journal on January 8, 2016.

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FoodAndrew Huangfood, huangry