10 Healthy Austin-Based Products to Kick-Start Your Resolutions
Reset in 2022 with nourishing food and beverages created by local brands
By Darcie Duttweiler
Goodbye holiday season, and hello 2022!
With a new year always comes new year’s resolutions. Whether you’re looking to eat healthier, cleaner or more organically — or go meat or dairy free — there are always numerous amazing local Austin brands paving the way to make it easy. From plant-based noodles to at-home smoothie bowls, there are plenty of ways to make 2022 not only healthy but also tasty. Many of the products on these pages can be found at a grocery store near you, so there’s never been a better time to … well, just eat better.
From soy to hemp, there are so many different types of dairy-free milk products out there, and it can be challenging to know what’s the right one to choose. Fronks offers small-batch simple nut milks made solely from organic sprouted almonds and cashews, and lightly sweetened from organic medjool dates. Plus, it’s free of preservatives or additives — making it delicious and as pure as it gets. Since there are no other sweeteners, it’s an easy way to cut down on your sugar intake. The glass bottles are also gorgeous in your fridge.
Like Fronks, Chop Chop is also a member of PREP ATX, a new Austin food community and the largest commercial kitchen facility in Texas. This plant-based noodle company is producing elevated instant noodles with 100 percent natural ingredients. The umami-forward flavor is devoid of any prawn or pork products and is instead seasoned with miso, kombu and a bunch of other natural ingredients. The cup o’ noodles also offer less sodium and more fiber than your average instant noodles. Flavors include Tom Yum, Korean BBQ, Tokyo Curry and Penang Curry. Simply add water, heat and enjoy.
If you’ve had the luxury of snagging a seat at Otoko’s intimate omakase, you’ve seen zany Chef Yoshi Okai hard at work behind the counter. The outgoing chef is one of Austin’s most decorated culinary masters and has recently partnered with Portland, Oregon-based tea company Smith Teamaker to produce Yoshi-Cha, which blends Chef Okai’s signature Japanese and Texas influences. The traditional roasted green tea is complimented by yaupon, sage and a kick of sancho pepper, making it a punk rock version of traditional green teas and a perfect way to reduce your caffeine intake. Better yet: $5 from every tin sold will be donated to the Austin Asian Community Health Initiative, an organization devoted to improving the health and well-being of Asians in Central Texas. It’s available in the tea pairing at Otoko’s omakase and for purchase at the South Congress Hotel Lobby Shop, Mañana and online at Smith Teamaker.
Blenders & Bowls has been a beloved smoothie and acai bowl shop for more than 10 years, but last spring, they debuted their products into grocery stores nationwide. The pre-blended smoothie bowls are available as pints with four servings, giving you the option to add your own toppings or adding a little bit of liquid to blend into a smoothie. The company also offers grab-and-go single serving smoothie bowls with gluten-free granola and a spoon inside the lid. All of their products are gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan and have no refined sugar, making them the ideal snack or breakfast. The Magic Dragon flavor is a personal favorite. Just make sure to let them thaw a bit before you nosh down.
Although it originally started in Portland, MilkRun launched in Austin last November and now offers Austinites delivery of the best grocery staples sourced from small- to mid-size farms and producers located within 150 miles or less of the city. Committed to the highest sourcing standards, MilkRun ensures fresh, ethically-produced fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, coffee and more. Now that’s what we call farm to table! Even better? MilkRun pays 50 percent of revenue back to its farmers to ensure a sustainable local food system.
Who says ice cream has to be bad for you? Luv Fats is a small-batch, dairy-free ice cream company founded by Chi Ndika that utilizes the healthy fats of avocados and coconut milk in its ice creams (not to mention love). Did you know that avocados have more potassium than bananas and are a good source of Vitamins K, E, B6 and B5? Ndika also celebrates her Kenyan and Nigerian roots in her flavors, which range from Kenyan Coffee to Soy Sauce (yes, really) and makes everything from fresh produce, nuts and herbs found mostly at local farmer’s markets. Get the goods at Texas Farmer’s Market at Mueller on Sundays, Bee Grocery or Mozart’s Coffee. Their first ice cream cake, which is comprised of layers of vanilla ice cream, candied hazelnuts, stracciatella ice cream, chocolate cookies, dark chocolate, and pie crust crumbs, is available for pre-order on their website.
Looking to elevate your sparkling water addiction? Mayawell is a line of bubbly prebiotic sodas that are good for the gut and better for the tastebuds. Unlike probiotics, which are beneficial live bacteria found in certain foods or supplements, prebiotics are types of fiber that feed the friendly bacteria in your digestive system. Put it this way: What’s good for your gut is good for your body. Not only does Mayawell offer four sparkling bevs, they also work closely with indigenous communities across Oaxaca to harvest their agave and donate 2% of profits to nonprofit Hermano Maguey. Pick up their newest flavor, Raspberry Cucumber.
Mi Madre’s Restaurant might not be known for healthy food, but that’s not stopping the owners’ daughter from providing cold-pressed juices and health shots with her company Vida Pura Juicery. If you’re looking to detox from over-indulging this December, Vida Pura offers two-day cleanse kits perfect for eliminating toxins from the body and giving your digestive system a rest. Everything is made fresh in-house with no preservatives. Although Veronica Torres closed her shop in December, consumers can purchase her juice cleanses and other products at Mi Madres or for delivery on her website. Stay tuned for a new store sometime this spring.
When eating healthier and more organically, that definitely boils down to your eggs, too. Whether you’re boiling, scrambling, frying or poaching ‘em, it’s easy to see the difference when you crack open a Vital Farms egg. The yolk is just so much more vibrant in color, and there’s definitely a higher quality taste. Not only are the eggs more delicious than others, but the chickens are happier, too. Every Vital Farms egg comes from a pasture-raised hen who enjoys a minimum of 108 sq. ft. roaming room with plenty of freedom to enjoy fresh air and sunshine. Seriously, every carton of eggs includes a photo of the chicken of the month, so you can feel doubly good about what you’re about to enjoy.
You don’t normally think of candy bars as healthy, but Hu chocolate bars are free from dairy, GMOs, emulsifiers, soy lecithin, gluten, refined sugar, cane sugar or sugar alcohol, so to say they’re clean is an understatement — as well as healthy as a candy bar can get, considering it’s Paleo-friendly, too. Launched in 2013 in founder Jordan Brown’s apartment, the company now offers chocolate bars to grain-free crackers at thousands of stores nationwide. After recently relocating to Austin, the founder and his company have also recently released grain-free cookies to the market too. We’re partial to the hazelnut coffee chocolate bar.