“It’s soooo hot.  I’m sooo hungry. Can I have snack?”  A familiar refrain from your bitty castle builders?  Too much sand in your surfside snacks?  (Not to mention too few nutrients…) Steps from the Strand in Manhattan Beach, we’ve discovered Paradise.  Opened this summer by two SoCal natives, Paradise Bowls serves made-to-order natural fruit concoctions worthy of planning a meal around.  The former pro-ball players (Padres & Yankee fans, take note) have hit a home run with their refreshing vitamin-packed frozen treats, as light and healthy as they are delicious. So skip the snack packing, the sand in teeth or the fried grab and go lunches, and try a bite of paradise for your next beachy lunch.

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Start with a Super Foundation
Every Paradise Bowl begins with either popular Acai or lesser-known but sweeter Pitaya, a cactus fruit more commonly known as dragonfruit.  So what makes these fruits ‘super’?  The term is bandied about a lot, referring to any fruit that’s heavy in antioxidants.  These international superfruit stars are perfect fuel for the active life of a toddler, not to mention their tag-along adults.

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Sweet or Tart?
With a base picked, the bowls are then built with a blend of berries, bananas, vegetables and juices.  Because there’s no added sugar, the fruit actually tastes natural – which it is. (Take that, Jamba Juice. Roll over, Robeks.)  When you sample the Electric Pink with blended pitaya, pineapple, mango, banana and almond milk your tastebuds are instantly teleported to a South Pacific village where palm fronds fan you as you scoop creamy smooth spoonfuls.  Toppings, as much for texture as taste, include bananas, strawberries, coconut and honey to taste.

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More, Roared the Hungry Ones
One might not be enough so when you go back for an encore, feel free to move in a dessert direction with something like the Chocolate Tide – which has all the rich flavor without the syrupy sweetness implied.  It’s an acai base blended with strawberries, blueberries, banana, peanut butter and dark almond milk topped with banana, blueberries, cacao nibs, granola and honey.  Supercharge the superfruit with optional add-ons like goji berries, hemp seeds or bee pollen (which some say soothes diaper rash).

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A Size for Reasons
Bowls can be ordered mini, small and large with the biggest easy to share with a little playgroup.   Thirsty?  Paradise Bowls whips up a short list of tall smoothies that’ll tickle the tastebuds as well.  Even the most finicky little food inspectors will likely try one these yummy mixes – no need to tell that it’s good for them.

Paradise Bowls
919 Manhattan Avenue
Manhattan Beach
Phone:  (310) 798-7100
Online: paradisebowls.com
Open everyday 7:00 am-7:00 pm, except Sunday, when the hours are 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

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-Kim Orchen Cooper

Photos courtesy of Kim Orchen Cooper and Paradise Bowls via facebook