When the Heat is On, Juice it Up at Healthy Nibbles (Brooklyn)
I have a thing for freshly made juice.
While ordinary packaged juice can do the trick now and then, and smoothies are fantastic in their own right, very few drinks can replace the energy boosting, fresh, flavour and the “I’m doing such a great thing for my body” feeling that freshly juiced fruits and vegetables can deliver.
And until it’s socially acceptable to drink champagne at 8:30 in the morning, I’ll continue to stand by the above statement.
In all seriousness, I’ve only recently jumped whole heartedly onto the juicing wagon. I know it’s been a hot ticket item in North America for ages now, but my first real tryst with juicing happened in Cairo. Less than two years ago. On 26th of July Street. In the heart of Zamalek. It was a typical this must be what hell feels like scorching July morning and I was walking home from a yoga class when I hit the proverbial wall of exhaustion. In that instant I knew there was absolutely no way I would make it home unless I had something to drink. Something with electrolytes preferably.
Something. Like now.
I had always seen people pop into a tiny local juice bar amidst the exhaust and fumes of the 26th of July corridor. With nets of grapefruits, pomegranates and oranges hanging out front and two meter stalks of sugar cane lined up in the back, it’s the sort of place most Westerners want to go into, but many retreat from for fear of Hep C washing up in their cup. In spite of my apprehension I’d noticed this place was consistently busy: with businessmen, with policemen, with housewives and ‘It Girls.’ It had baoabs frequent the place and labourers as well, clientele who’d slip in quietly, place their order, chug their juice and be gone. That day in question I was so desperate for something saccharine coursing through my system that I went up to the counter, slapped down 10 Egyptian pounds and hoarsely asked for a pomegranate juice followed by a mango – “two glasses, in quick succession please” – in my most shoddy, yet endearing Arabic.
By God, it was some of the best juice I’ve ever had.
But I digress. Let’s move on to juicing in New York, shall we?
There are countless juice bars and cafés across this city, and while I’m sure to cover the gamut and feature several intolerant-worthy places on this site in the upcoming months, I’m going to start with one that’s closer to home. On that’s in my neighbourhood and much enjoyed by the locals. Situated along Flatbush Avenue, about halfway between the Barclays Center and the edge of Prospect Park is Healthy Nibbles, an organic-friendly bistro that offers local food and drink – with various vegetarian and vegan options – and it also moonlights as a picture frame shop.
Just in case you needed added incentive.
While their food options sound quite appetizing (grilled chicken wraps, salads, soups, vegan burgers and patties) and they display fantastic looking vegan desserts in their fridge, I frequent this place because of the juice.
And I do so with the ferocity of a woman possessed.
Why? Because their juices are damn good. Because I enjoy the various concoctions listed on their juice board (e.g. the Immune Booster that consists of apple, spinach, ginger…*swoon*). Because the staff has been courteous and helpful each time I’ve stopped in for a fix. Because they’re open at 8:00am every morning, which means once my 6:30am yoga practice is a thing of the past I’m just in time to procure my first breakfast of the morning. I frequent this place because while the prices are a tad steep, I like that I can add extras, such as flaxseed or wheatgrass if I’m so inclined.
The thing is, fresh juice is going to cost relatively the same regardless of where you go in New York City. The only difference to be had will be the service, the locale and the creativity of the people behind the counter. With that said, if you’re a juice fiend like me and find yourself in the heart of Brooklyn on any given Sunday (or Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday…) , take a jaunt up to Healthy Nibbles.
Juice hard. Juice well.
305 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, New York
Monday to Saturday: 08:00 – 21:00
Sunday: 08:00 – 18:00