I really would like to eat more healthily, especially at lunch time. I love my food and there’s nothing I like better than tucking into a good sandwich in my lunch hour. But I usually feel a bit bloated and sleepy afterwards, and I know I’m not doing myself any favours. But it’s hard to kick the habit!
So when I learned about a new healthy food pop-up called Huna Blends opening just around the corner from my office in Shoreditch, I was keen to see what it had to offer.
Huna Blends sells ‘Manna Bowl Meals’ and Power Shakes. Now I’m sure you can work out what the latter is, but perhaps not the former, as they’re the first company to bring them to the UK. The Manna Bowl meal is a cold-blend bowl served as a thick sorbet (a granita of non-dairy milk – hemp, coconut or almond) with a choice of two different crunchy toppings. ‘Crunch A’ consists of toasted buckwheat, crisped rice, mixed seeds, dried fruit and coconut. ‘Crunch B’ is made up of crushed kale and flax chips, mixed seeds, goji berries and chia seeds. So that should give you an idea of the general make-up of one of these bowls.
I went along to their pop-up where I was met by the owner, a very cool character called Stephen W Parsons, an award-winning British music composer/producer.
He lived for a long time in California and saw the huge rise in health food pop-ups at the beach, run by ‘surfer dudes’, with queues around the block. And so he thought he’d bring it to the UK. Everyone seems to be particularly health conscious when it comes to food these days. Whereas 10 years ago, the celebrity chef was all about comforting home cooking and dinner parties, today’s celebrities such as Deliciously Ella and Hemsley + Hemsley are much more focused on health. While I don’t agree with cutting out meat entirely, there are many aspects of these health food diets that I do believe can only benefit you.
Stephen made me a Manna Bowl with apple, beetroot, Mediterranean lavender, acai powder, hemp milk and spirulina, with ‘Crunch B’. The texture took some getting used to, to begin with. I have quite sensitive teeth when it comes to cold food, so it was quite hard to eat the sorbet and be able to crunch through the toppings, but I got used to it. The flavours worked perfectly together, with different ones coming through as I ate it – the taste of the lavender was heavenly.
The menu is incredibly diverse, here are just a few that I picked out:
The Wipeout Bowl: Blueberry, banana, raw chocolate, almond milk, cacao, peanut butter (no palm oil)
Fire Walker Bowl: Edamame beans, red pepper, courgette, carrot, chilli jam, catuaba powder, hemp milk.
Acai Glow Bowl: Acai pulp, strawberry, apple, coconut, chia seeds, burnt orange.
Each bowl is currently being sold for £7.00. Personally I think that’s quite pricey, but I understand that you’re going to pay more for fresh, high quality ingredients. This is where we have a serious problem in the UK – rubbish food is just too cheap and healthy food is too expensive. You can buy a ready meal for a couple of quid which will make you feel full (but will be full of E numbers and additives). And for some families on low income, they’re hardly going to fork out on healthier foods if it costs three times the price.
Would I pay £7.00 for one of these bowls again? Yes, because I really liked it, but I wouldn’t be able to do it too often. I would perhaps have one on a Monday for lunch, after a weekend of food/drink indulging, to help ease my guilty conscience 😉
Some interesting facts about Huna Blends:
- Huna is a Hawaiian word meaning hidden or secret breath and is our link to the rich culture and imagery of the Polynesians.
- Huna Blends specialise in raw, gluten free, non-dairy healthy superfood chilled bowl meals and power shakes made from frozen fruits, vegetables, spices and superfoods.
- All Huna Blends products are vegan friendly and completely gluten free. Non-dairy milks include Hemp, almond and coconut.
- Huna Blends contains superfoods such as Maca, catuaba, cacao, lucuma, acai, sprouted grains, baobob, blue-green algae and spirulina.
- Huna Blends fruits are flash frozen at source.
- Huna Blends products are ethically sourced and packaged.
If you’d like to try Huna Blends out for yourself, they are currently located at the Pump Shoreditch pop-up over summer. You can find out more information on their official website.
I was invited to try a Manna Bowl for review purposes by Huna Blends and Me:Mo Interactive but did not receive any payment. All views are my own.