Is “Vitality Bowls” Vital?


Margaret Ross, Staff Writer

If you have a blender at home, you can make a Vitality Bowl for under $10. Vitality Bowls, the self-proclaimed “Superfood Café” in Walnut Creek, features organic smoothie-like bowls made with açaí and a combination coconut or soy milk, fruit juices, and fresh fruits. The bowls all contain the same organic açaí blend base, which can beat eaten with a spoon. Aside from being an overrated smoothie in a bowl, the dish doesn’t offer any benefits you cannot find in your kitchen. Although a Vitality Bowl is an accessible antioxidant packed meal, it is a passing, pricey fad.

The main ingredient, açaí berry, has come into fashion lately. Although açaí is rumored to be an incredible superfood, very little is actually known about the new craze. The berries have high antioxidant concentration, and may speed up metabolism. However, the berries, which can be purchased frozen at many grocery stores, are the only interesting components in the bowls. The mundane toppings, which include, and are in fact limited to, fruit, nuts, honey, chocolate chips, and granola, appear in about twelve slightly varied arrangements on the menu. Your Algebra II teachers happily remind you that there are 108 more permutations of the same ingredients that Vitality Bowls could have included.

Looking more outside of the bowl, the Walnut Creek branch of Vitality Bowls does not provide the most enjoyable environment in which to eat your money away. The tables, icy cold stainless steel, are less comfortable than the tiny desks at school. Along the walls are tacky, poorly designed posters advertising the “superfoods” that you are there to consume. Even if you get your bowl ‘to-go’ to avoid the bare atmosphere, you will inevitably encounter a hoard of Lamorinda moms in line, sporting the latest Lululemon and gossiping about their daughters’ prom asks and Downton Abbey. Either way, you are better off sticking to your trusty blender at home.

To make your own Açaí Smoothie, blend:

Açaí berry powder (whole foods), or frozen açaí berries

Additional fruit of your choice – Bananas, strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries recommended (to make an energizing green smoothie, add spinach or kale)

Soy or coconut milk

Juice (optional, depending on your fruit choice)

Chia seed, oats, or granola

Honey and/or cinnamon

Peanut butter or almonds (optional, depending on your fruit choice)