Summer has a way of whispering sweet nothings to us about throwing caution to the wind, when it comes to eating right and staying healthy. But here’s the thing, staying healthy does not have to mean not going out or denying yourself delicious foods. We live right in the heart of a bursting culinary scene, and you can find palate pleasing nutritional choices.
The Sunflower Cafe in Berry Hill….BBQ Sandwich
The Sunflower Cafe is run by Kimber Saunders and her family, all who are lovers of food, the business of food and of health and wellness. Together they work with Chef Stephanie to create food that has no animal products, no cholesterol, no oil and mostly gluten free with soy free options, as well. Everything at this restaurant is vegan, unless you add cheese to it. But I promise you might not ever know. Their signature vegan BBQ recipe utilizes all of the flavors of traditional local Tennessee bbq sauce, their protein is rubbed with seasoning spices and then cooked to perfection and topped with an in house creamy coleslaw making each bite moist and delicious. You can get the bbq served in a whole wheat or spinach wrap or on a traditional whole wheat bun. I honestly couldn’t believe it wasn’t pork and can’t wait to get it again.
Swaney Swift’s on the Square in Gallatin….Veggie Burger
Enter a repurposed drug store, high ceilings, exposed pipes, long inviting retro bar and a vintage living room with Beach Boys music being piped in and sweet tea served in mason jars downstairs while craft beers and live music play upstairs on the weekends…it’s a high end burger joint with their mixologist specializing in milkshakes. They created The Tree Hugger because two of their daughters are vegetarians, and they know how difficult it is to find a choice for them that is tasty. It’s a combination of quinoa and black beans combined with delicious spices and seared on the grill. Topped with sweet potato fries and drizzled with house made pesto mayo, it all sits upon a bun made from Provence Bakery in Nashville.
Stephanie Waring was on a mission to heal when she began juicing. She went from having trouble getting out of bed to a juice mogul. Not only did she heal herself, she started on a journey that would turn her into a nationally recognized business owner. According to Stephanie, what makes them different is that they were the first to cold press juicing allowing their juices to retain more nutrients for absorption and to stay fresh longer (up to three days). Using the Norwalk press, and some creative juice mixology, they have created a tasty and healthy success story. I tried several juices and they were all tasty…they have some standards that you can get year round and some seasonal’s. And you can mix and match them if you like. My favorite was the “heart beet” which blends orange, grapefruit, beets, apple and ginger and tastes like liquid candy. My daughter’s favorite was “sweet thang” which is watermelon, green apple and pineapple. Soak up life and wash it down with juice!
5 Daughters Bakery
5 Daughters Bakery is found in both Franklin and the 12 South area. One might see this only as a devil’s den of confectionery pleasures and not a stop on the healthy train but oh contraire! The need for a healthy item on the menu grew due to one of Isaac and Stephanie Meek’s 5 daughters own gluten allergy, so they created the Paleo donut. They wanted to create a sweet treat that is also healthy. Paleo’s are made with no sugar, gluten, grain or dairy…sounds delicious right? Well I can tell you that I truly put them to the test and sampled them with my 12 year old daughter who came up with the word “decadent” to describe them. Her favorite was the Chocolate Orange. a moist chocolate donut glazed with a rich chocolate frosting and then topped with just a hint of orange zest which gives the donut an ever so slight citrus finish. My favorite was the S’more…a chocolate donut glazed in chocolate and topped with delicious cacao dusted marshmallows and then the bottom is coated with a graham crackeresque crumb. If you are looking for something to curb your sweet tooth but stay on the healthy wagon, it’s a must do.