These Drinks Around Delaware Offer a Wealth of Health Benefits

Drink your nutrients on the go with fresh juices, kombucha and spice-spiked lattes.

Lisa Daisey–DiFebo was 19 and working in a Hawaiian juice bar when she developed an appreciation for healthy, raw ingredients. Back in her hometown of Ocean View, she drew from the experience to open Juicebox in 2012. The shop was ahead of the curve. Although it’s taken a while, juices and other drinks with health benefits are now a hot beverage trend. Here’s where to find them.

The main squeeze

Juicing, which removes the nutrient-dense liquid from fruits and vegetables, is nothing new. Consider that TV fitness guru Jack LaLanne, who died in 2011 at age 96, had a juice bar in a gym that opened in 1936. Fresh juices gained a new audience in the 1960s and 1970s. But not all products were appetizing. Take wheatgrass, for instance.

In the 21st century, juice recipes are both healthy and flavorful. For instance, Popeye’s Punch at Juicebox has cucumber, kale, apple, spinach, ginger, fennel, celery and lemon. The fruit provides the sweetness, with no added sugar.

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Lisa Daisey–DiFebo worked in a Hawaiian juice bar when she was 19. Today, she owns two Juicebox locations selling cold-pressed and organic juices, coffee, smoothies and more.
Lisa Daisey–DiFebo worked in a Hawaiian juice bar when she was 19. Today, she owns two Juicebox locations selling cold-pressed and organic juices, coffee, smoothies and more. Courtesy of Juicebox.

“We offer organic juices to order as well as cold-press drinks that are shelf stable for five days,” says Daisey–DiFebo. (Cold-pressed juices contain the maximum amount of liquid possible without traditional pasteurization, which explains the short shelf life.) 3 Town Road, Ocean View, 616-1025; 31264 Americana Parkway, Selbyville, 564-7718; myjuicebox.biz

Farther north, Nectar Café puts its beverages’ health benefits on the menu. For instance, the restaurant’s Virgin Mary includes five daily vegetable servings in one glass. Customers can add whey protein, vegan protein or yogurt to their 16-ounce juice for an extra fee. 226 Main St., Millsboro, 297-5805; 111 Neils Alley, Lewes, 645-5842; cafenectar.com

In New Castle County, Green Box Kitchen in downtown Wilmington also sells cold-pressed juices, including the Watermelon Breeze, featuring coconut water, lime and mint. 400 N. Market St., Wilmington, 274-2195; greenboxkitchen.com

Smooth sailing

Green Box’s menu includes 16-ounce smoothies, such as Soul Glow, made with pineapple juice, bananas, mangos, cinnamon and turmeric.

What’s the difference? Most smoothies blend fruit or vegetable juices with another liquid, such as milk, yogurt or plant-based milk. For instance, Green Box’s Protein Junky starts with an oat milk base.

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In Claymont, Java Bean Café uses almond milk to thicken a spinach, apple and banana smoothie. 3533 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, 798-8888; javabeanclaymont.com

One of Juice Joint 2.0’s most popular smoothies is the BPB&J (banana, peanut butter and house-made strawberry jam)—a throwback to owner Lanice Wilson’s childhood. Have it your way with a remarkable number of add-ons, including chia seeds, hemp seeds, sea moss, and extra fruit and vegetables. 102 S. Union St., Wilmington; thejuicejoint.de

Good for the gut

Juice Joint 2.0’s beverage selection includes kombucha, typically made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast.

Some say the fermented beverage is good for the gut biome. Others maintain it can help with various disorders, such as blood pressure problems. There’s no conclusive evidence, however.

At the beach, homemade kombucha is literally on tap at Seedbol Kitchen (formerly Seed Eatery). Flavors include blueberry and ginger or pineapple and basil. 18979 Coastal Highway, Unit 10, 313-5981; seedbol.com

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Kombucha is also on tap at Green Man Juice Bar outside Lewes and in downtown Rehoboth Beach. There is no shortage of healthy drinks at this OG of good eating. Smoothies, for instance, are made with fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt. (There is a vegan option.) 32447 Fairfield Road, Lewes, 827-1068; 12 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-4909; greenmanjuicebar.com

A shot of wellness

Many places with healthy beverages offer wellness shots. Bountiful Bowls in Lewes, for instance, has three kinds: immunity, antioxidants and energy. Toss it back for between $4 and $5 each. The shop also sells smoothies and cold-pressed juices. 3308 Dreamweaver Lane, Lewes, 490-1287; bountifulbowlsde.com

If you need a wake-me-up, try Dolce’s Refreshers, lightly caffeinated iced beverages with green coffee extract and fruit, such as strawberries or mangoes. The restaurant’s CBD Refresher brings an infusion of CBD to the mix. Although CBD does not contain THC, the ingredient in marijuana responsible for the high, you must be 18 or older to order the drink. 36 N. Walnut St., Milford, 422-5760; dolcebakery.com

Hot and healthy

Dolce is the local go-to for coffee, but the beverages aren’t limited to beans. Consider the turmeric latte with the steamed milk of your choice. Part of the ginger family, the yellow spice contains curcumin, which Chinese medical practitioners have used for centuries.

Dolce isn’t the only coffee shop with vividly hued drinks. The Greenville and Avenue North Brew HaHa! locations sell honey-infused lattes with matcha or golden turmeric. If you can’t part with espresso, try the Aztec chocolate flavor, full of adaptogens, which reportedly help you cope with the effects of stress. 1000 Renaissance Way, Wilmington, 660-7655; 3838 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 658-6636; brewhaha.com

Because matcha tea leaves are grown in the shade, they retain vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. Kaffé KARMA in Greenville sells blue matcha with butterfly pea powder. “It’s extremely popular,” says owner Katie Kutler. “We promote it as a decaf option for matcha, and it’s stunning.”

A restaurant and yoga studio, kaffé KARMA is one of only a few establishments to offer mushroom coffee, generally made with medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, lion’s mane and cordyceps. A regular-brewed drip coffee gets a splash of Rainbo 11:11 mushroom tincture. “Enjoy your favorite coffee taste, plus enjoy the benefits/power of mushrooms,” Kutler says. Drink it hot or cold. (The restaurant also sells refrigerated DRAM Mushroom cola.)

Meanwhile, the coffee shop’s chagaccino is a latte with Rainbo 11:11 mushroom tincture, raw cacao powder, raw sugar and cinnamon. It is also served hot or cold. 342 Buckley Mill Road, Greenville, 274-2151; kaffekarma.com

Bone broth is another way to sip an abundance of nutrients. The broth is cooked longer than regular stock—up to 24 hours—to release collagen, minerals and amino acids. The extra hours also produce a richer flavor.

The Post in Forty Acres adds beef bone broth to its Bloody Maria on the brunch menu. “Can’t wait to help cure some hangovers with that,” says owner Dan Sheridan. 1715 Delaware Ave., Wilmington; 655-1800

At least the hair of the dog can have a healthy component.

Related: Where to Find Mouthwatering Avocado Toast in Delaware

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