Robeks

Some of Robeks' fresh juice and smoothie ingredients. (Alison Geisler, ageisler@ctnow.com / December 16, 2013)

Robeks, juices, smoothies, West Hartford, Milford, Stamford, Fairfield and Westport.

It seems like every year, there's more and more of a push to try to eat healthfully. Now that we're approaching New Year's Resolution season, changing habits and lifestyles will be on our minds.

But eating better can be difficult. It takes a lot of planning to keep fresh foods in the house that will be used before the spoil, and sometimes grabbing a meal on the go is an effective way to try to do it all. But at Robeks, a smoothie chain started in California in 1996, getting enough fruits and vegetables is as easy as getting your morning coffee from Starbucks. It's OK if you don't believe us, but these fresh fruit juices and smoothies are delicious.

A chain fruit juice and smoothie place seems like a very California idea, but the number of Robeks locations in Connecticut shows that New Englanders think it's a good one. As of February 2013, Robeks had 118 locations, nearly a dozen of them in Connecticut, including West Hartford, Milford, Stamford, Fairfield and Westport.

While Robeks has a menu, they will make any combo requested if they have the ingredients. You can swap juice bases, use Greek yogurt instead of regular, and add power shots and supplements as you wish. In the West Hartford store, basic smoothies range from $3.89 to $7.99, freshly squeezed juices $4.49 to $8.49, depending on size, and prices may vary between locations. Power shots and supplements increase the price.

One surprisingly tasty menu item is the Tropi-Kale smoothie. It's blended pineapple and kale, but you'd never know it was really that good for you if no one told you. It tasted like candy, and I finished mine off by adding some cayenne pepper to the last third or so for an added kick. If kick is your thing, you'll want to try the 2-ounce lemon ginger shot to wake up your body and mind. Or if you're hungry, a split banana bowl (frozen banana and chocolate blended with Greek yogurt, topped with sliced bananas and chocolate) hits the spot and then some.

So if you're going to spend money everyday grabbing a coffee to go, consider switching to a smoothie or fresh fruit juice instead. Your body will thank you in the long run.

 

The Details: West Hartford, Milford, Stamford, Westport. More locations at robeks.com