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Fruit smoothies, superfoods and breakfast on the run

South Park finally gets its own organic market

Produce at Stehly Farms Market.
Produce at Stehly Farms Market.
Place

Rad Habits

2967 Beech Street, San Diego

As quickly as the past several years of gentrification took over South Park, one problem lingered: access to organic produce. Crack parks became dog parks, empty buildings became restaurants and restaurants became fusion restaurants, and still its craftsman home loving residents had to drive into Hillcrest for organic kale, heirloom tomatoes and fresh berries.

Newly opened on Beech St., and sure to be appreciated by South Park's yoga set.

No longer. Stehly Farms Market opened a branch on Beech Street, somewhere between Grant's Market and the Ginseng yoga studio. The North County farm opened its first storefront last year in Linda Vista to rave reviews. It provides citrus and avocados, sourcing a host of other produce from neighboring farms around the county. You might think of it as a permanent farmer's market featuring the best local agriculture has to offer. And its prices reflect that.

But I'm not here to review produce selection or judge a pricing scheme that would make Whole Foods blush. I checked out the shop to sample the service half of its operation: its juice bar.

After all, with so much fresh fruits and greens, it only makes sense they would sock it all together for some refreshingly nutritious smoothies. I mean, the only added investment is a blender and a brightly colored menu to hang from the wall.

A 12oz Fruit Smoothie Number 06, with pineapple, coconut water and compostable cup; $5.50. Stehly Farms Market.

The kid manning the counter must have thought I was high for how long it took me to read that menu. First, it's broken down into beet juices, carrot juices, green juices, fruit juices, fruit smoothies and superfood smoothies. Juices run three or four bucks at the small end, with some of the larger, more nutrient-rich beverages hitting the ten-dollar mark.

This was a hot day, so I wanted something refreshing and cool. When I spotted a blueberry-and-pomegranate-juice smoothie I instantly ordered it and paid. Then, before the cashier could even so much as give me change I switched to one with pineapple, banana, yogurt and coconut water. I probably would have changed my mind again if he hadn't made my drink immediately.

It's tough to see so many different drinks with strawberry, papaya, mango and pear and settle on just one. Then you get the greens and superfoods going, and suddenly almond milk, bee pollen, and spirulina sound vital to your daily health. Apparently, you can add on or assemble your own drink based on choices available, though I hesitate to see the Frankenstein of a smoothie I'd come up with if left to my own devices.

Ultimately, it's the health consciousness that will help this pricey market succeed. This is a neighborhood of people with disposable incomes trying to do right by their bodies; people who'll probably stop by in the morning for a ten-buck açai bowl. If produce this good were more prevalent, and cheaper, you gotta believe the health care debate would be moot. Till then, my $5 smoothie was outstanding, and because they provided it in a recyclable, compostable cup, I'll allow myself to feel pretty good about drinking it.

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Produce at Stehly Farms Market.
Produce at Stehly Farms Market.
Place

Rad Habits

2967 Beech Street, San Diego

As quickly as the past several years of gentrification took over South Park, one problem lingered: access to organic produce. Crack parks became dog parks, empty buildings became restaurants and restaurants became fusion restaurants, and still its craftsman home loving residents had to drive into Hillcrest for organic kale, heirloom tomatoes and fresh berries.

Newly opened on Beech St., and sure to be appreciated by South Park's yoga set.

No longer. Stehly Farms Market opened a branch on Beech Street, somewhere between Grant's Market and the Ginseng yoga studio. The North County farm opened its first storefront last year in Linda Vista to rave reviews. It provides citrus and avocados, sourcing a host of other produce from neighboring farms around the county. You might think of it as a permanent farmer's market featuring the best local agriculture has to offer. And its prices reflect that.

But I'm not here to review produce selection or judge a pricing scheme that would make Whole Foods blush. I checked out the shop to sample the service half of its operation: its juice bar.

After all, with so much fresh fruits and greens, it only makes sense they would sock it all together for some refreshingly nutritious smoothies. I mean, the only added investment is a blender and a brightly colored menu to hang from the wall.

A 12oz Fruit Smoothie Number 06, with pineapple, coconut water and compostable cup; $5.50. Stehly Farms Market.

The kid manning the counter must have thought I was high for how long it took me to read that menu. First, it's broken down into beet juices, carrot juices, green juices, fruit juices, fruit smoothies and superfood smoothies. Juices run three or four bucks at the small end, with some of the larger, more nutrient-rich beverages hitting the ten-dollar mark.

This was a hot day, so I wanted something refreshing and cool. When I spotted a blueberry-and-pomegranate-juice smoothie I instantly ordered it and paid. Then, before the cashier could even so much as give me change I switched to one with pineapple, banana, yogurt and coconut water. I probably would have changed my mind again if he hadn't made my drink immediately.

It's tough to see so many different drinks with strawberry, papaya, mango and pear and settle on just one. Then you get the greens and superfoods going, and suddenly almond milk, bee pollen, and spirulina sound vital to your daily health. Apparently, you can add on or assemble your own drink based on choices available, though I hesitate to see the Frankenstein of a smoothie I'd come up with if left to my own devices.

Ultimately, it's the health consciousness that will help this pricey market succeed. This is a neighborhood of people with disposable incomes trying to do right by their bodies; people who'll probably stop by in the morning for a ten-buck açai bowl. If produce this good were more prevalent, and cheaper, you gotta believe the health care debate would be moot. Till then, my $5 smoothie was outstanding, and because they provided it in a recyclable, compostable cup, I'll allow myself to feel pretty good about drinking it.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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