Not much beats a cinnamon roll and a cup of coffee from the Duffeyroll Cafe on South Pearl Street to get the morning going. But sinful sweetness is a rare morning treat; better instead to stick with the healthy stuff for the first meal of the day. Sometimes, though, the laws of the universe get broken, and healthy ingredients come together for a meal that actually tastes great. Such is the case with the latest trend of breakfast and lunch shops selling super-fruit bowls and smoothies. One such place, Berriegood Co., opened recently in the Platt Park neighborhood just a few doors down from Duffeyroll.
Owner Kali Handford left the corporate world in 2014 to pursue her goal of bringing açaí and pitaya bowls to Denver. She was ready to open Berriegood Co. last September when she was diagnosed with cancer and had to delay the opening. While receiving treatment in California, she was able to get the doors open at the end of last fall. Now ready to come back to Colorado full-time to complete her treatment, Handford hopes to get Denverites on board with bowls that are equal parts refreshing and filling.
Açaí is a tropical berry known for its high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols; pitaya, or dragon fruit, has also received attention as a superfood. Handford explains that her bowls and smoothies, made from a wide variety of tropical fruits, coconut and almond milk, flax and hemp seeds and other nutrition-packed toppings and add-ins, have been a big part of weathering her medical treatment. "Food has become my medicine, in a way — along with modern medicine," she notes.
Berriegood's bowls begin with a blended, frozen base of fruits and either acai or pitaya. Other fruits — sliced banana and strawberry, shredded coconut and fresh kiwi, for example — are layered on top. Crunch is added in the form of hemp-seed granola, cacao nibs and chia seeds, and the natural sweetness of the fruit is augmented with a touch of honey.
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Smoothie ingredients include matcha green tea, kale, spirulina, peaches, soy milk and bee pollen. Although there are eight pre-set bowls and eight smoothies listed on the menu, the choices of toppings and blender add-ins make the flavor combinations nearly limitless. And ingredients can be substituted to accommodate gluten-free, paleo and other dietary needs.
So while the neighbors along Old South Pearl won't soon be giving up the occasional splurge with a flaky, gooey cinnamon roll, they now have a superfood alternative that feels no less indulgent.