For a while now, I've been planning to write my guide to Tel-Aviv city and share it on the blog. But somehow, I never get to it and with new amazing places opening up all the time I keep postponing this post. Finally, I decided that maybe instead of a fully comprehensive guide, I will start with devoting separate posts to my favorite spots around the city, starting with my favorite neighborhood coffee shop - Anastasia.
Café Anastasia is down the corner from our apartment, it's the first 100% plant-based restaurant in Tel Aviv (and maybe in Israel), they're open 7 days a week, and most importantly - they serve amazing coffee with fresh homemade almond milk they make from scratch every morning!!
You can find me sitting there at least once a week, usually with Bella (our dog) who's even more obsessed with the place then I am (they do have excellent vegan dog food).
Apart from excellent coffee, they serve great food for breakfast, lunch or dinner and they have the most amazing drinks and smoothie bowls. It's hard to say what's my favorite dish because everything is just so delicious, but the following are high on my list:
Shakshuka (a vegan take on a classic Israeli dish of tomato sauce and eggs);
Scrambled "egg" sandwich or just the scrambled "egg" in general;
Oatmeal Porridge (with the creamiest hazelnut butter);
Any of their smoothie bowls (though I do usually opt the banana for mango);
Cookie dessert (divine ice-cream sandwich bites).
As I was working on this post (while sitting at my favorite spot in Anastasia) a great thought came in my mind - why not ask for a recipe to share with you all? Well, they agreed immediately so here we are. The 'Blue Ella' smoothie (Ella in Hebrew means goddess) is one of Anastasia's most popular smoothies! I like to refer to it as the new and improved version of açai, which is a superfood that is known to be the king of smoothie bowls.
First, the color of this blue smoothie is even more beautiful and appealing, but most importantly, it is made with Blue Majik powder which is a nutrient-dense superfood that is extracted from spirulina and is actually what gives it its radiant green color.
I am no health or nutrition expert, but I do find superfoods to be very beneficial and I like to incorporate them into my meals and smoothies. So when I heard about this blue superfood I just had to try it out, and Anastasia's smoothie gave me the perfect opportunity.
I will tell you right away- this stuff is not cheap! But you can easily make this smoothie with normal spirulina which will give it a greener shade.
Just wanted to clarify - this post is in not funded by Anastasia. My comments and recommendations are 100% genuine and based on personal experience.
Place all of the smoothie ingredients, except for the ice, to a high-speed blender and blend until well combined. Taste and adjust if needed. Add the ice cubes and blend for 20 more seconds.
Transfer into bowls, jars or glasses and top with your favorite toppings.
Anastasia Cafe recommends that you pre-soak the dates in water to make them softer and easier to blend. If you have a good high-speed blender I find this step to be unnecessary.
I'm not a great fan of banana, so often I will replace it with an equal amount of mango.