Kara Martin30 Jun 2015 AT 06:00 PM

5 places in Abu Dhabi to grab a healthy smoothie

The best spots for a guilt-free drink
Kara Martin30 Jun 2015 AT 06:00 PM
Cucumber, pneapple, apple, kiwi and lemon smoothie
Cucumber, pneapple, apple, kiwi and lemon smoothie
Nolu Cafe
Nolu Cafe

Green and guilt-free shakes, smoothies and juices are all the rage at the moment, but it’s not always easy sifting out the good guys from those hiding harmful additives. Here are six places in the capital that are keeping it real so you can quench your thirst this summer without the worry or weight gain.

Where: Bodytree Studio
This community yoga, pilates and dance studio’s smoothie and juice bar very nearly gets as much independent traffic as the exercise rooms themselves. It’s that awesome. Their colourful menu features inventive raw, organic concoctions that are still so close to earth you’re practically eating them as well as slurping them. Honourable mentions include their pulp-packed “Bounty” with young Thai coconut bits and water, almonds, dates, cacao and more; “Nuts and Bolt” with tons of seeds, honey and homemade peanut butter; and the incredible “Cinammon Apple Pie”, chock-full of guilt-free goodness. We’re dying to try newer creations like the Carrot Cake Smoothie (carrot juice, banana, cashew milk, spices, walnuts, dates) and they’ve made a Ramadan-inspired chai karak blend with lots of Arabian spices. They sell reusable glass bottles and cups for these too. To-go bites, wheatgrass shots and gourmet teas and coffees are also available.
Contact: www.lifeisnectar.com

Nab Juices
Where: Souk WTC
Hungry health geeks should steer clear of any Instagram feed bursting with artistically prepared health treats and dreamy, colourful concoctions frothing over in, of course, jars. Newbies Nab Juices’ (nab means pure in Persian) original recipes come from picking the freshest fruit, veg and other all-natural additives and mixing and playing around with flavours until they’ve nailed the definition of a thirst-quencher. If you’re an almond fan, a number of their blends use its milk and butter as key ingredients, while their fruity mixes feature the fruit and nothing but the fruit. They also sell raw sugarcane juice and coconut water onsite as quick refreshers, organic snack bars and bowls, and bags of superfood products for added oomph to your homemade endeavours.
Contact: www.instagram.com/nabjuices/

Liquid Nutrition
Where: WTC Mall, Dalma Mall, Mazyad Mall, Al Raha Beach and CrossFit Abu Dhabi
The athletic, health-conscious and time-restrained in Abu Dhabi could not stop talking about the arrival of this leading Canadian functional beverage brand last year. Their smoothies list is comprehensive and thoughtfully broken down based on benefits and how you’re wanting to feel after sipping. For example, the “Immunity” section features concoctions named things like “Zest”, “Kick” and “Zen” with all-natural ingredients that work accordingly, while there are other sections labelled Hi-Protein and Harmony, as well as one specifically for blends that can act as healthy meal replacements. It was the first time we tasted a protein powder-infused anything and went “Wow!” They’re not only completely vegan, and sugar and additive-free, they’re powerfully yummy and packing taste.
Contact: www.liquidnutrition.com

Where: Al Bandar and The Galleria Maryah Island
We like them because they give you the most freedom of choice. Pages of pick-and-choose smoothie ingredients, from milky, nutty, fruity and protein powdery bases, all the healthy trending seeds you might want to sprinkle in, to multiple options for sugar-free sweeteners, toppings and more. It probably gets annoying to staff how often customers feel inclined to add, subtract or switch up something in the process, but it’s worth it when they instantly post the result to Instagram. In case you suck at blending, they also have some creative suggestions on the menu. An added bonus is that unlike a lot of the other places here, Nolu’s is also a proper health-conscious, amazing, kooky Afghani-Californian sit-down restaurant we highly recommend.
Contact: www.noluscafe.com

The Raw Place
Where: Souk WTC
This premier organic, plant-based grab-and-go retailer is admittedly expensive, but we can’t get over the lively taste of all their drinkable goods. A health-freak’s godsend not just for smoothies but also the city’s best pressed juices and raw sweet and savoury bites. They’ve also started selling all manner of bizarre, all-natural ingredients that you can add to smoothies you buy in-store or make at home, like bee pollen, matcha powder, and hemp and sacha inchi protein powders. It’s serious.
Contact: www.therawplace.com