Do you ever get that real hankering for a smoothie? Something packed with fresh fruit and creamy, almost like a liquid lunch. I definitely do, but also have learned to quell my yearnings, because creaminess comes at an unmentionable price to the dairy-intolerant tum. Most pre-packaged smoothies and those made freshly in cafes are made with cows milk or yoghurt. It's just another one of those things you really fancy from time to time, but learn to live without (admittedly in my case not without harbouring a small grudge).
Last week I wandered into Beets on Bernard Street. It's a kind of mini Real Foods on the Shore, but with a more delicatessen-styled interior and finish. Its the sort of place that reminds you that you really do make your own choices about how you eat, rather than invoking a more resigned feeling that can hit in some healthfood shops. It's quite small floor space, so their range is by necessity limited. They do however stock basic wheat-free staples like flours and pastas, dried fruit and pulses and fresh local veg. I particularly like a quick rummage in their 1/2 price basket for the odd cook-it-quick challenge. These provide reason enough to recommend Beets, but I digress...
Their delicious sounding menu board of their trademark smoothies, although not advertised to include soya alternatives, is willingly transformed by simply asking. Last week, I was feeling delightfully drowsy post-acupuncture, was peckish and really fancied something packed with goodness. Feeling resilient, I braved rejection and asked if I might have soya milk instead of regular yoghurt, figuring this was more than enough to ask of the catering trade. And what do you know, I was asked 'wouldn't I prefer soya yoghurt?' Wouldn't I ever! I ordered a Number 3 (Mixed berries, apple juice, banana and soya yoghurt) and it was delicious. I wasn't even asked to pay a penny more for my intolerances (£2.55 small, £2.95 large). A wave of respect engulfed me. Three Cheers to Beets.
So if you're in the area, go support this fantastic little shop that comfortably takes intolerances in its stride. It's a wonderful feeling.
Beets: 49 Bernard Street, Leith EH6 6SL (0131 476 5086). Open until 6 all week, all year (except Sundays until 5pm). It's likely to be open until 7 or 8pm during the summar months depending on custom. Beets doesn't have its own website, but is listed at http://www.leithlinks.co.uk/business/delicatessens/beets/beets.html and otherwise speaks for itself.