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Nutritious Blends 

Ephata Cafe offers a healthy combination of juice, smoothies and Korean fare

click to enlarge ephatacafe.jpg

The bibimbap tastes just as delicious as it is fun to say. The vibrant mixture of soybean sprouts, zucchini, cucumber, carrots and spinach comes flavored with red chili paste, paired with bulgogi beef and brown rice, and crowned with a sunny-side-up egg.

A popular Korean dish, the bibimbap is the February special at Ephata Cafe, but definitely not the only Korean item available.

Sonia Schumacher, the cafe's owner and cook, is from Seoul, South Korea. During part of the 33 years she's been in the U.S., she owned and managed Sushi Yama in Airway Heights, but always wanted to have her own cafe with healthy food, juice and coffee. So she opened up Ephata last June.

The menu offers a mixture of Korean and American items, so you can get a chicken salad sandwich ($6.95) or a Korean rice bowl ($6.95), a BLT tortilla wrap ($6.95) or some udon noodle soup ($7.95) with housemade broth, fish cakes, vegetables and eggs. For side plates ($1.50), you can order things like kimchi, dry-roasted seaweed, fruit or broccoli salad.

Treats fill the pastry case: chocolate chip cookies, organic poppy seed muffins, pineapple zucchini bread and gluten-free brownies. One of the most popular baked goods, the vegan morning glory muffins, have flax seed instead of egg, with coconut oil, raisins, molasses, carrots, coconut and walnuts.

They serve coffee from Indaba, but barista Anna Rivera says what really differentiates them from other cafes are their fresh smoothies and juices. The Island Breeze juice, a popular choice, blends orange and lime with cucumber, kale, spinach and parsley. The deep red Cheer juice combines beets, broccoli, red grapes, apple, celery, kale and parsley.

When making your juice choice, know the first ingredient listed will be the main part of the drink.

"The ones that start with fruit will be a little sweeter, so if you've never juiced before, that might be a good one to start with," says Rivera.

For smoothies, boosters can be added — whey, chia seeds, green tea and spirulina — and soon they'll be creating a few new drinks based around Isagenix protein powders.♦

Ephata Cafe • 1908 W. Northwest Blvd. • Mon-Fri, 7 am-7 pm; Sat, 7 am-5 pm • facebook.com/ephatacafe • 328-8888

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