by Catherine Currin
photography by Laura Petrides Wall
It’s hard to top a refreshing beverage on a humid North Carolina day. Sneak in a few of your veggies, to boot, by trying a locally made produce-packed smoothie. There are many Triangle options, including JuiceVibes in Cary and Clayton (there is also a third franchised location in Greenville, North Carolina). Cary owner Stephanie Denton opened her smoothie bar in July 2017, after serving as a longtime customer at the Clayton shop. Owning a juice shop is a decision she treats as a lifestyle, she says. “I worked with the Clayton team and watched countless documentaries and researched to educate myself on the plant-based lifestyle. I’ve now been a plant-based eater for more than a year.”
JuiceVibes is bright and cheery, full of quirky motivational signs. Start each day with a grateful heart welcomes you in, for instance; pillows bearing lemon drawings and Squeeze the Day cover the benches; and a neon pineapple sign takes over the back wall. Denton’s mission is simple, she says. “Eat more from the earth, less from a box.” She doesn’t preach about it, but she does hope to make the choice easier for her customers: the shop’s menu is dairy-free and vegetarian, and most produce comes from the State Farmers Market. You can get your health fix with a fresh-pressed juice, smoothie, acai bowl, or even the shop’s on-the-go energy bites. Not sure where to start? Try one of the most popular smoothies, All Hail the Kale. A creamy coconut milk concoction, this smoothie is “packed with antioxidants, aids with digestion, and has no added sugar,” says Denton. Not to mention it’s topped with coconut flakes and hemp seeds for an added crunch. Don’t let the bright green color scare you off—while it’s chock full of greens and nutrients (handfuls of kale), the apple and banana mixed in give it a naturally sweet taste.
ALL HAIL TO KALE
Denton encourages at-home smoothie makers to find the blended ratios that best suit your taste buds. The beauty of
a smoothie is to just throw it all together. Below is a starting point.
A few handfuls kale
A handful pineapple, diced
Squeeze of a lime wedge
Coconut milk, to taste
Coconut flakes, for garnish
Hemp seeds, for garnish
Add kale through banana to a blender and cover with coconut milk. Add agave if preferred. Blend ingredients together with ice, and serve topped with coconut flakes and hemp seeds.