I'm a freelance writer, blogger and animal wrangler living in Brisbane's western suburbs. Many of my stories offer great giveaways to readers - subscribe to hear about them first.
Published October 29th 2016
Satisfy your sweet tooth while feeling holier-than-thou
What if I told you there was a way to have your cake and eat it too? To savour an overflowing cup of 'nice' cream, minus the guilt? To snaffle vegan doughnuts that are as kind to animals and the environment as they are to your tastebuds? Good news: Charlie's Raw Squeeze is a destination where you can not only pander to your sweet tooth, but feel virtuous while doing so.
Charlie's Raw Squeeze bills itself as a '100% vegan superfoods bar', but in bringing to mind alfalfa sprouts and oatmeal, this description doesn't really tell the full story. What I discovered on my first visit to Charlie's Kenmore outpost, hiding in plain sight on busy Moggill Road, is that this sunny oasis oozes with luscious indulgence - think smoothies, cakes, chia cups, acai bowls, slices, doughnuts, coffees, and assorted other snacks, all of which can be enjoyed guilt-free.
Joining sister stores at a range of Brisbane locations including Ashgrove, Everton Park and Newstead, Charlie's Raw Squeeze at Kenmore dishes up raw, organic offerings with plenty of options for those who like to dine gluten-free, dairy-free, cruelty-free and refined sugar-free. Cold-pressed juices and salads are made directly from the fruit and vegetables displayed in the store - and if you're inspired to do a bit of cooking yourself, you can purchase these in store. ('They sell ugly carrots!' my companion remarked with glee, pointing out that organic produce never looks quite as 'pretty' as the produce in the supermarkets.)
Step on in for 100 per cent vegan treats. Author image.
I started with a turmeric chai latte made on almond milk (in line with Charlie's vegan philosophy, cow's milk was not even an option). It had a heat and sass that was divine. Other drinks include squeezed juices like the tropicana (kiwi fruit, watermelon, pineapple, mint), smoothies including the red velvet veggie (beetroot, avocado, celery, red apple, maple syrup, frozen banana, coconut milk) and a full range of organic coffees.
It was a bit too early for lunch when we visited, but Charlie's Raw Squeeze offers a great range of salads - like the taco bowl (rice and lentil salad, walnut mince, guacamole, bean salad, tomato salsa and vegan cashew cream) and or the black bean falafel salad (black bean and kale salad, fresh humus, falafel and pickled turnips with tahini drizzled on top).
Instead I opted for a macadamia 'nice' cream featuring frozen banana, crushed macadamia nuts, maple syrup and coconut milk, while my companion chose the Tim Tam-inspired doughnut - topped with a home-made biscuit which was just as good as the trademarked thing. Indulgent, yet healthy. What a refreshing combination!