superfood guide

AÇAI This deep purple power berry from Brazil is world famous for a reason – it tops the charts for antioxidant capacity, keeping your cells healthy, plus it’s delicious & fun to eat. Açaí is traditionally prepared as an extra thick smoothie, served in a bowl topped with granola & fresh local fruit.Choice uses only organic unsweetened Tambor açaí which is processed just after being harvested (açaí berries begin to lose their vitality only 24 hours after being picked). A good açaí bowl is a Choice way to start your day- truly a breakfast of champions!

BEE POLLEN A biodynamic & nutritious force field food that packs energy, vitality, + endurance. Fresh pollen is soft & sweet, collected through a delicate harvesting process. The hardworking bees create it by packing pollen from neighboring plants into a single cell in the honeycomb then adding extra nectar and density. While we give madd love to bee-free vegans, Choice consciously uses this superfood by sprinkling it on top of acai bowls for a nutrient buzz!

BLUE GREEN ALGAE “brain-on” A rare superfood algae that is insanely dense in nutrients + can help foster ninja like skills.It hails from Klamath Lake, Oregon, where pure crystalline waters combine with a mineral rich volcanic lakebed + intense sunlight, giving rise to a super nutritious algae bloom.Algae were the first life forms + the first food on Earth.It is called an “AFA” – The scientific term APHANIZOMENON (genus) and FLOS-AQUAE (species) are actually zoological terms of classification that literally mean “invisible living flower of water” in Greek. Single celled algaes could be considered Earth’s first food.

CACAO RAW unprocessed chocolate. Inside this rainbow of pods are the actual seeds covered in white flesh. Cacao pods grow in a Dr. Seuss-like fashion from the trunks & branches of the beautiful cacao tree. Top of charts antioxidant, pure cacao gives you a unique choco buzz – contains a natural caffeine!  Choice uses raw cacao powder to make all kinds desserts, or blends the “nibs” (hearts of the pods) into smoothies for a yummy chip crunch.

CHIA SEEDS Tiny powerhouses that are cleansing, hydrating, and loaded with proteins. Popularized by the “Chia Pet” craze of yesteryear, they sprout easily when soaked, & form a gel-like mucilage akin to tapioca. They may be trending but are actually nothing new, as Aztec warriors crossed the desert for days on end with chia seeds under their tongues to prevent dehydration. Health advocates love their lightness – no starch, no sugar – as well as their ability to assist digestion. Choice mixes chia seeds w/ coconut milk for easy chia puddings & we do sprout our very own Chia Christmas Tree on the front bar every year!

DULSE A hearty freshwater seaweed that boosts metabolism, beats sluggishness, + has extreme detoxifying abilities. Dulse is an exceptionally potent source of iodine, which regulates the thyroid + plays an important role in the body’s toxin defense system. Thankfully, the ocean provides this resource to help protect us from toxic stress of our modern world. Choice likes to snip dulse up into tiny strips (use scissors for greater ease) + load it into miso soup or toss it into a kale caesar for a vegan oceanic flavor.

GOJI BERRIES Small, bright red antioxidant soldiers nicknamed “the happy berries.” Gojis are thought to slow the aging process thanks to the famous Tibetan monks whom, from decades of drinking goji berry-infused well water, demonstrated extreme vitality & vigor in their old age. These berries top the antioxidant charts, boost immunity, and will always be cherished by the health community. Choice finds that gojis are amazing top of açaí bowls or inside of desserts!!

GREEN JUICE  We’re gonna go ahead + rank good ol’ green juice as a superfood because at Choice it’s practically a food group of its own. We aim to balance the flavor of a green juice with uplifting, bright notes (citrus, fresh herbs) and neutral, earthy tones (cucumber, celery). The rich chlorophyll content of the greens supports healthy pH in the body and helps cleanse the blood. Although green juice does not deliver the fiber content of the vegetables to the drinker, it can pack a small CSA-box worth of vitamins + minerals into a single glass. Cheers!

HEMP  SEEDS An excellent source of plant protein, most of which is the most digestible type of protein, edestin. Hemp is a wonder plant w/ many industrial uses, & its seeds are tiny but with a nutty taste that’s super versatile in the kitchen. They are full of omegas + crucial amino acids that most plant proteins lack. Choice uses hemp seeds as an açaí bowl topping, or as a nutritious sprinkle in salads.

HIMALAYAN SALT Cherished in the raw food world, this salt famously contains 84 trace minerals that coincide exactly with the mineral profile of a human body. Used in the kitchen to boost any dish, its superpowers also translate to the home as many believe that raw or polished Himalayan salt rocks have a soothing energy. “Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun & the sea.” Pythagoras circa 550 b.c.e.

KALE  Kale is a dark leafy green that plays a key role in health regimens & is nutritionally best eaten RAW. Highly dense in vitamins & chlorophyll, it is a core member of the ‘cruciferous’ family, loaded w/ antioxidants & notorious for fighting cancers. Choice puts kale in just about everything – salads, smoothies, açaí bowls, juices, or dehydrates it into kale chips. We feel strongly about this plant, which is often mistreated, but so delicious when prepared right, and is the feature of our “What’s Fresh” daily menu.

KEFIR “Pro-biotic” means “for life.” Probiotic foods deliver healthy bacteria to our inner ecosystems which enhance our immunity, digestion, & energy levels. Unhealthy bacteria have nowhere to hide if the surface area of our internal organs is already colonized with healthy bacteria – it’s literally a competition in there!! Any liquid that has been activated with a mother ‘culture’ can be considered a kefir & will develop an effervescent fermented taste. Choice offers premier non-dairy kefir made from local cocos.

KOMBUCHA This popular elixir has a storied history as its place of origin – Manchuria, China – is fabled to have no concept of ‘cancer’ whatsoever, with no known cases on record or even a translation for the word. The term kombucha refers to any black or green tea brew that is fermented, lightly effervescent, & slightly sweet. As it brews, the mother culture (called a SCOBY :: Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria & Yeast), expands to fit whatever container it grows in, while feeding on the tea + sugar in the brew. The result is a delicious & functional beverage with many touted health benefits. Brewers further infuse the results with fruits, herbs, or spices, concocting innovative flavors & varieties of this traditional drink. Choice offers an array of local kombucha & loves the uplifting, pro-biotic effects of this thirst quencher.

LUCUMA An exceptionally low glycemic sweetener made from the ever so delightful eggfruit. Lucuma, which is dried & powdered flesh of the eggfruit, contains a unique form of fructose called FOS which passes undigested through the system, having a “PRE-biotic” effect while adding no sugar to the bloodstream. Eggfruit has been found in gourds at ceremonial burial sites of indigenous Peruvians, and is a popular ice cream flavor in modern Indonesia. Choice opts for lucuma to add a low-glycemic malty sweetness in our raw chia brownies.

MACA An incredible root native to the high Andes of Peru, its hazelnutty taste & energizing effect makes it an all time Choice favorite as a superfood infusion. “Maca is a gift from nature, nutrient rich soul, & the people who cultivate it. It’s a Single Ingredient that contains silica, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, manganese, selenium & boron as well as Vitamins B1, B2, B12, C, & E. We got ya covered.” – Sol Raiz Organics, Maui born company that provides us with the most primo Peruvian maca.

NONI An ancient Hawaiian cure-all with hundreds of internal & topical uses. The leaves, fruit, & bark are all used medicinally to strengthen immunity on a cellular level. The fruit, left to ferment in a covered jar, produces an infamously foul smelling but potent healing juice. We have heard there is practically NO physical ailment that a “Therapeutic Dose” of 4oz noni cannot address. Choice makes a homemade fresh-ferment of neighborhood noni & serves shots straight. Try adding it into our slushy green lemonade, the True Blue Hawaii, to cover the (acquired) taste or freeze the ripe fruit to use like an ice pack directly on any injury!!

QUINOA An ancient grain that is a nutritional treasure: gluten free, low glycemic, and full of protein. Pronounced “KEEN-wah,” it is actually the seed of a plant relative to spinach, stocked with calcium & iron. Spanish conquistadors burned the Aztec’s quinoa fields in an attempt to cripple their source of strength and power. Choice jazzes quinoa up with coconut oil + garlic, so ono!

SEABUCKTHORN   A bright yellow berry that is rich in Omega fatty acids, benefitting the hair + skin. Sea buckthorn berries grow on a shrub indigenous to Scandinavia, have tart tasty juice loaded with carotenes, vitamin C, & the oft overlooked Omega 7. The berries are made into topical oils and lotions that benefit the skin and hair. Choice blends seabuckthorn juice for a tangy kick into our “OM-Mango” omega packed açai bowl (which also contains omega rich ingredients Flax Oil + Açai).

SHILAJIT A potent mineral resin that oozes from the base of certain high elevation mountains, such as the beautiful Altai Mountains of Siberia. This black, tar-like goo is a fascinating + elusive gift from nature, widely used in Ayurvedic medicine to sharpen the mind & strengthen the body. The word shilajit translates in Hindu texts as “Conqueror of Mountains and Destroyer of Weakness”. Neither plant nor animal substance, shilajit is possibly the most epic dirt on the planet. It is composed of fulvic + fumic acids, which are the compounds that make Earth’s topsoil so fertile. Choice blends shilajit into creamy smoothies to add a grounding, mega-mineral boost!!

SPIRULINA A single celled algae that is named for its structural shape of a spiral coil. Our spirulina hails from seaside ponds on the Big Island of Hawaii & boasts a seriously impressive nutrient profile. Spirulina was first tapped as a superfood source as early as 8th century Mesoamerica when the Aztec Indians would cake it into patties and dry them in the sun, to later munch on. Choice loves to keep it local & knows that using spirulina here is a HI-vibe way to green up!

TURMERIC Named ‘Olena + cherished in ancient Hawaii, this super root was commonly used as a dye and a spice, for energetic purification, and for healing a wide array of ailments. Its strength lies in its golden roots or “rhizomes” which contain its potent anti-inflammatory compounds, and can be easily consumed fresh or powdered. A powerhouse like this is of huge benefit to a human body because inflammation is actually the underlying cause of much pain + disease. Truly spanning the globe as well as the ages, the use of turmeric dates back 4000 years to the Vedic culture of India, and today is being whipped up into “golden milk” lattes in hip cafes. Since the medicinal constituent in the root – curcumin – is not easily absorbed in the blood stream, it is advantageous to take turmeric along with black pepper which interestingly enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%!!! So, all of the cold-pressed juices that contain turmeric at Choice also contain black pepper.

WHEATGRASS This potent grass is mainly chlorophyll & is said to contain every mineral known to man! Wheatgrass juice is extremely alkalizing, blood cleansing, detoxifying for the liver, & healing for the mouth and gums. It seems counterintuitive that a “wheat” product can be Gluten Free, however, this is very young grass of the wheat plant & it is harvested long before any gluten has formed. The Choice crew was stoked to visit our local source, an incredible family sprout farm in the heart of Wailuku, to check out all stages of the growth process.

ZEOLITE A common green clay related to bentonite that has extreme toxin-trapping abilities. Molecularly shaped like a honeycomb, zeolite’s intense negative charge draws in toxins like a magnet & traps them inside its hexagonal structure. Now stuck inside this cage, toxins, radiation, & chemical pollutants are swept out of the body along with the clay. Topically, you can mix zeolite with apple cider vinegar to make a powerfully drawing mask. Choice blends uber-pure zeolite powder into simple nut-milk based drinks for everyday detox, to help counteract the toxic stressors of an urban lifestyle.

COFFEE  From fruit to roasted seed, this plant has many gifts to give. The familiar roasted seed (far right) is a cherished institution worldwide – revered for its tantalizing aroma & undeniable effects. Coffee reminds us, as with many foods, that moderation is key & we hope to only foster healthy habits that add amazingness to your life. Choice keeps it simple & serves it only cold-pressed. Try adding a few high quality coffee beans to a smoothie for a nice texture & buzz factor!!

KIAWE FLOUR  An incredible gluten free flour made from the pods of the prolific kiawe tree. Kiawe is most notorious for its sharp thorns that fall to the ground + can puncture your shoe, threatening barefoot bliss with every step. Vince Dodge of Oahu is providing a truly local resource with his Wai’anae Gold kiawe flour. He sums the it up when he states, “Ai ka me loaʻa. Eat what you have. Eat what comes from your ʻaina.”