Want a feel-good solution to the oppressive Orlando heat? Cold-pressed juice.
Veg’n Out, a casual vegan eatery, recently opened in the heart of the Lake Nona Town Center. It’s slinging smoothie bowls, cold-pressed juices, salads, grain bowls and more.
Not vegan? No problem.
As someone who finds a way to put cheese into every meal possible, I’m here to tell you that vegan restaurants are not just for those on a vegan diet.
My first taste of cold-pressed juice was served at Village Juice Co., a family-owned healthy cafe based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Usually, I seek out smoothies with plenty of sugar, so I was hesitant to try juice packed with kale, carrots and other healthy (but not always super tasty) ingredients. One sip later, I was officially hooked.
After moving to Orlando, I found the only places to get fruit-forward beverages were chain smoothie spots. And while they’re refreshing, they’re not always an order you can feel good about.
Enter Veg’n Out. Whether you’re seeking something fresh, or looking to transition into a plant-based diet, this spot has you covered.
Veg’n Out owner Ashley Torres started consuming a plant-based diet after her husband needed to make the switch due to health reasons. She quickly realized that while it may have seemed intimidating at first, plant-based foods pack a delicious punch.
“Sometimes plant-based diets seem overwhelming or hard to get into because you aren’t familiar with the ingredients,” Torres said.
At Veg’n Out, you don’t have to worry. Each vibrant dish is packed with both food you’ll know, as well as some surprises. For instance, I’d never had goji berries prior to visiting Veg’n Out, and after ordering the “Strawberry Superfood” smoothie, I learned they’re a good source of both protein and fiber.
THE MENU: JUICES. SMOOTHIE BOWLS. SALADS.
The Veg’n Out menu is thoughtfully curated with the expertise of local certified holistic nutritionist Rachel Hilinski, who studied at the and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York.
Gone are the days of visiting three separate places to get a full-bodied meal, from salads to smoothies and grain bowls. Here, you can get it all.
“Integrating the three of them makes the concept really unique,” Torres said.
If you’re looking to stock up on healthy items for the week, start with the cold-pressed juices. They’re pressed in-house with organic ingredients, sans-preservatives.
We purchased the “Sunkissed” juice (orange, pineapple, lemon, ginger, probiotics) and the “Sunrise” juice (carrot, grapefruit, orange, cucumber, ginger). As someone who usually forces down a yogurt solely for the benefit of probiotics, these juices make it easier to get the beneficial bacteria my body needs to stay healthy, especially amid the COVID-19 crisis.
If you’re seeking something Instagram-worthy, opt for a smoothie bowl. These vibrant, texture-filled dishes are prepared with fresh, natural ingredients and topped with peanut butter or almond butter drizzle.
We opted for “The Four Seasons” (açaí and banana base with homemade hemp granola, fresh berries, shredded coconut, nut of choice, almond or peanut butter drizzle, hint of agave), named for a dish the owner enjoyed while at a hotel with the bowl’s namesake.
The staff pick is the “Blue Heaven” (mango, pineapple, banana, blue majik, flaxseed and coconut milk with homemade hemp granola, shredded coconut, fresh pineapple, and almond or peanut butter drizzle). You can also build your own, if you’re feeling adventurous.
On the go? Grab a smoothie instead. The “Strawberry Superfood” (strawberry, pitaya, banana, dates, goji berries, coconut water) produces the most incredible hue of pink when blended. There’s no added sugars, but the natural flavor of the fruit gives it the perfect balance.
There’s also oat bowls, açaí bowls, salads and grain bowls packed with natural, organic and delicious ingredients if you’re looking for a grab-and go meal.
Before your eyes are drawn to the menu, you’ll be greeted by the most incredibly friendly staff. It was our first time inside, and the cashier listed all of the offerings. Another staff member shared her favorites and explained the nutritional benefits of the ingredients in the options we chose.
While there’s no seating inside, there will soon be casual outdoor seating, where Torres expects friends to gather after class or work to enjoy a refreshing bite.
Here’s the main takeaway: Even if you aren’t on a plant-based diet, you need to visit Veg’n Out. It has a community feel, and there’s something for everyone on the menu.
Can’t wait until we can travel again so I can stop in for a taste!
We can’t wait to take you there!