Superfood Tonics and Vegan Ice Cream from a blender

Chef Jason Wrobel (Photo from

I had the opportunity to take a class with vegan and raw food chef Jason Wrobel at Organic Avenue on the Lower East Side last week. You might know the name Organic Avenue from the line of juice cleanses. At the event, Jason brought his use of Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs from LA and showed us some of his favorite recipes. I was equally intrigued and disappointed that Jason used the herbs. Intrigued because I’m a big fan of TCM, but disappointed that I’d never be able to make these recipes at home without spending a ton of money on ingredients I’d probably never use again.

The common thread through most of the ingredients was that they’re superfoods. I’m intrigued by superfoods because they are the most efficient way to get some really great nutrients. They are, by definition, calorie sparse and nutrient dense. Many of the ingredients Jason used were high in minerals and vitamins. He artfully explained the benefits. Unfortunately, there were so many, it’s impossible for me to repeat them here.

The most impressive part was when Jason used a Vita Mix to blend up some ice cream. And keep in mind when I say “ice cream” I really mean vegan frozen substance that kind of had the consistency of sorbet. He started with a healthy amount of ice, then added the ingredients and used the plunger while the blender did it’s thing. The results were a little surprising.

Of the six recipes, my favorite concoction was the Chocolate Jing Ice Cream. No surprise since I’m a bit of a choc-o-holic. This was the last thing that we tried and I was getting a little tired. Jason said it was heavy on the yang side, meaning it would create heat and energize us. It was actually creamy with a deep chocolate flavor. It did perk me up a little bit and made me a little loopy!

For a look at some of Jason’s recipes, check out this link to his website.

As for the event itself, I felt it was a little overpriced especially considering it was a 3-hour seminar over dinner time and didn’t include any food other than samples of the recipes. I wasn’t interested in paying $10 for a bottle of Organic Avenue’s green juice, and there wasn’t much else to choose from. I seemed to be in the minority though. Most of the other attendees happily sipped their juices as we learned about the tonics and ice creams.