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Why going to Bare Bowls is worth more than a pretty Instagram picture

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Take a trip to the trendy Palo Alto eatery, which specializes in smoothies and acai bowls, and waiting in line you will find many Lululemon-clad girls more than likely coming from the Mariah Carey ride at SoulCycle.

If you haven’t made a trip to Bare Bowls yet yourself, chances are you’ve heard of Bare by simply scrolling through your Instagram feed. You’ve probably come across quite a few pictures of pretty bowls perfectly topped with fruit and granola, artfully faded by the Nashville filter and captioned with a statement about treating one’s body as a temple.

Maggie Harriman / The Stanford Daily
Maggie Harriman / The Stanford Daily

Well… I would be lying if I said I wasn’t guilty of pretty much all of the above. By now, the workers at Bare Bowls actually know me by name. I have tried every bowl on the menu (and even variations on each one) and have definitely Instagrammed my fair share of pictures of these bowls.

As a Southern California native, I’ve had my fair share of acai; acai bowl shops are as common as Starbucks. A giant tub of smoothie topped with granola and fruit makes the perfect post-beach snack or meal. Bare Bowls puts its own classic Northern California spin on this treat, eschewing refined sugar and artificial ingredients. While their nut butters and milks are homemade, they source their granola from local artisans.

The bowls at Bare are worth so much than a good picture and a lot of likes. And they are definitely not just for the many young women that post them to their feeds; they are perfect for everyone. Here is why you should take a trip to Bare Bowls and treat yourself to an acai bowl immediately, whether or not you have already.

The Brazilian acai berries (pronounced ah-sigh-eeeeee, just to clear that up) that make up the base of these smoothie bowls are extremely high in antioxidants, which some researchers argue could mitigate the risk of cancer. Additionally, some research has found that chemicals in acai could lower cholesterol levels. Acai berries can also help prevent getting that winter flu; due to their high levels of vitamin C and ellagic acid, which in combination have been shown to boost immune function.

Maggie Harriman / The Stanford Daily
Maggie Harriman / The Stanford Daily

The benefits of eating acai stretch to the exterior, too. Their high antioxidant levels also promote skin health. Brazilians themselves have been eating acai for centuries to treat their own skin problems.

However, if you aren’t “feeling acai” and want to try something different, many of the bowls at Bare are made with pitaya, the naturally neon pink dragon fruit. Pitaya is high in magnesium, as well as antioxidants that help the heart and immune system and vitamin B, which help to metabolize fat; these things in turn promote brain, muscle and bone health.

You can treat yourself while giving you the health boost that your body needs. And what is even better is the fact that you truly will eat this acai bowl purely for taste, and not because it’s what is good for you. And yeah, while it is more expensive than your average scoop of ice cream, Bare Bowls will not only leave you feeling great, it will also serve as a meal or substantial snack.

Want some recommendations? My favorites are:

  • Gorilla: (acai blended with peanut butter, banana, date and almond milk; topped with banana, strawberries, granola, hemp seeds and honey). Adding strawberries is highly recommended.
  • Unplugged: (acai blended with cacao, banana, strawberries, date and almond milk; topped with banana, granola, cacao nibs, crushed almonds and honey)
  • The Palo Bowl (not on the main menu): Pitaya blended with almond butter, banana, strawberries, date and almond milk; topped with banana, strawberries, granola, crushed almonds and honey.)

If your mouth isn’t watering yet, well then, I encourage you to go back and check out Instagram.

Enjoy, and I will probably see you there.

Contact Maggie Harriman at mpharrim ‘at’ stanford.edu.