By Kim Fuller Published in the Vail Daily
Look for the Green Elephant everywhere in the Vail Valley — on cars, water bottles, random posts, parking garage meters — because stickers promoting this juicery’s giant vegetarian muse have been stuck all over the area, along with the growing demand for more green.
PICTURED ABOVE: A quinoa bowl with broccoli, kale, beets and tomatoes
Completely organic and plant-based, Green Elephant’s menu has grown from its bread-and-butter products, or cold-pressed vegetable and fruit juices, to include made-to-order smoothies, foods, snacks and desserts, all packaged to-go.
“Quick and easy, that’s our thing,” explains Co-owner Leo Flynn. “We hate to say the ‘fast food’ word, but we are a grab-and-go, healthy, organic, fast option.”
The flagship Green Elephant is in Avon, but there’s a convenient, food-on-the-fly stop in Lionshead, as well. Flynn says the next big offering is going to be delivery, with a subscription service available for repeat orders. There’s even a special phone app, like a loyalty program with discounts and special offers, which customers can use in-store for purchases or to order fresh juices and foods delivered straight to their work, home or hotel.
All the products coming out of Green Elephant are vegan, but even meat eaters will be excited about the menu. Just try the homemade hummus for a snack, the peanut soba noodles for a taste of Thai, or take some sips of the cucumber avocado gazpacho from an 8-ounce bottle. The southwest kale salad and strawberry walnut salad are staples, and the Mexican walnut-stuffed pepper and almond burger hummus wrap are filling enough for a full meal.
PICTURED ABOVE: The strawberry walnut salad with spinach and cucumber and a cashew balsamic vinaigrette.
“You just have to find the right combinations out there; it’s stuff that we try, and it’s recipes we have acquired,” says Flynn. “There are vegan dishes that have been around for a long time at nice vegan restaurants and small vegan cafes, but mainstream doesn’t really know about them.”
Meet your sweet cravings mindfully with Green Elephant’s vegan cheesecakes, made from ingredients like cashews, coconut milk and maple syrup and served as a choice between vanilla, blueberry or cacao flavors. Try the raw maca cacao truffles, too, made with dates, cacao, coconut oil, maca and salt.
“There’s always a demand for sweets,” Flynn says. “We have options that taste good and make you feel good.”
Keep an eye out for more Green Elephant footprints all over the valley, and especially for the new juice bike — a converted icicle tricycle — that will be cruising around Avon on deliveries. Grab your green fix from one of their vendor booths at the Avon Farmers Market on Saturdays throughout the summer, or at other special events around town.
PICTURED LEFT: Green Elephant offers a menagerie of delectable grab-and-go options, such as fresh, all organic cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and one-ounce shooters in bottle form, ready for your on-the-move lifestyle.