Gallery: Inside and outside [3 Images] Click any image to expand.
by Jamie Brinkman
In November of 2013, Active Culture-Natural Foods Cafe finally made a second home here in San Clemente. Having been around for over three years in Laguna Beach, there were already plenty of fans in San Clemente, and the constant crowd that can be seen from El Camino Real on their patio, shows that plenty more have become fans in the last couple of months.
Named both for the active lifestyle found in our beach cities and the active cultures found in frozen yogurt, this cafe offers food to fuel a busy life, whether on the go or just looking for a leisurely meal. Anyone can walk into this shop and find something healthy and tasty, that’s 100% whole and organic- the kind of food where all the ingredients can be pronounced and counted on two hands.
There are vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, soy free and raw choices on the menu, None are over processed or filled with chemicals, dyes or hydrogenated oils. In fact, the entire menu is based on seven simple foods- organic brown rice, quinoa, beans, steamed lentils, homemade raw organic almond milk, coconut, and non-fat, gluten free, organic frozen yogurt. All of the juices are fresh squeezed and the shakes are all made from a dairy free coconut base. There are 10 organic, nonfat self-serve frozen yogurt flavors and over 25 different topping options, including fresh fruit that is cut daily.
With options for breakfast through dinner, there’s truly something for whatever mood you’re in. Feeling vegetable deprived? Try the Big Salad, with organic mixed greens, brown rice, lentils, garbanzo beans, carrots, red cabbage, a plethora of other vegetables, avocado, sunflower seeds and a house made vinaigrette. Or if you’re having a more voracious appetite, you might want to try the BBQ Burger - a homemade lentil burger with cheese and all the veggie fixings, served on a whole wheat bun, and accompanied by chips. Wash it down with one of their fabulous freshly brewed iced teas sans an organic lemon slice.
And what about feeding the insatiable appetites of children?
Active Culture has the answer for that too. In a time where happy meals are slowly becoming less of the norm, they are providing another alternative to those little red boxes. They have created a kid’s menu that is colorful, fun and delicious. All of the options have been kid tested and approved by the owners’ (Faye and Jennifer) children. And their creative names and presentations for menu items like the Cheeky Monkey Bagel- a toasted sprouted bagel served open-faced and spread with organic peanut butter, banana slices and a drizzle of honey - are quickly becoming San Clemente favorites.
Active Culture is not just focused on body health, but with the health of the environment as well. From the moment you walk into this natural food cafe, you are hit with a sense of connection to the earth - succulents sprinkle the tables as centerpieces and a stand holding two large jugs of water with glass and biodegradable cups, greets you at the entrance. They strongly focus on taking an active role in helping the environment and minimizing their own carbon footprint. In fact, it’s not just the drinking cups that are biodegradable; the frozen yogurt cups, the bowls, the napkins and the cutlery are all 100% biodegradable, compostable and BPA free. The owners say they are proud to strongly support local, organic, and sustainable vendors.
The food at Active Culture is all delivered and made to order as fresh as can be. With plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, Active Culture - Natural Foods Cafe is becoming a San Clemente Staple. Go visit and get your healthy on.