Sweet spots for healthy baked goods in Vancouver

Maybe it’s because I grew up with sisters who love muffins, loaves and scones, or perhaps it’s a carb thing I’ll never give-up, but show me a healthy baked good, and I’m a happy gal. I’m also picky about ingredients, favouring quality stuff like almond flour, coconut oil, organic dark chocolate and cinnamon. While not always easy to find, guilt-free treats do exist here in Vancouver. [Photo credit: iStock.com/john shepherd]

The Naam Office

1
2724 4th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6K 1R1

Known for its 24-hour vegetarian fare, including legendary miso gravy fries, the Naam also offers an impressive selection of vegan and gluten-free deserts. Clearly someone in the kitchen has a sweet tooth with a talent for creating decadent pies, cakes and cookies. From their raspberry chocolate cheesecake to their Noh Pie (no dairy, no sugar, no wheat) with banana, dates and nut-cream, there’s something for every palate. Not to mention generous-sized portions too. For something lighter, I’m a huge fan of their oatmeal bee pollen cookie. Add a scoop of Mario’s Tofulati ice cream, and now you’re talking sweet.

Culprit Coffee

2
2028 Vine St, Vancouver, BC V6K 3K1

What’s better than an almond-milk misto or matcha tea latte? How about a decadent gluten-free, dark chocolate brownie or a chocolate-chip salted cookie to go-with? It’s no wonder Culprit Coffee has earned a cult-like-following (including Paleo fans) as finally, we can get a decent scone (Earl Grey infused) or muffin without the extra sugar, dairy or gluten. Made in house using organic and quality ingredients, these treats are a bit pricier than most, but I’m okay with that. Thankfully they sometimes have day-olds at a reduced rate; the key is getting there before they’re gone.

Glory Juice

3
78 2nd Ave E, Vancouver, BC V5T 1B1

You wouldn’t think a juice bar would win my praises for something as rich as a dark chocolate brownie ganache, but leave it to Glory to do just that. Made from raw organic cocoa, maple syrup and Spanish almonds, at $7 a pop, it’s not the most inexpensive of treats, but totally worth the splurge. For something lighter on the budget, their dates with nut butter totally deliver. Sweet and salty, they’ve combined roasted almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pink Himalayan salt and coconut sugar, paired with low GI dates. Enjoy with house made raw almond milk and you’ll be in heaven.

Whole Foods Market

4
510 8th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1C5

From muffins and cookies to scones and squares, there’s no shortage of baked goods to be found at Whole Foods. While many of their snacks and pastries may appear healthy, I know better. Hence why I stick to their Healthy Starts Here (HSH) options, including their almond-flour based blueberry muffin. And when it’s dark chocolate I’m craving, I’ll hit up the Whole Foods on Cambie for Uprising Bakery’s vegan chocolate chunk cookie. It’s not easy to find this cookie, hence why I buy double per visit, freezing one for later. Which, truth be told, often comes sooner than later.

Edible Flours

5
2280 Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V6K 2E3

Whether you’re gluten-free, vegan and/or sensitive to eggs, dairy or soy, this alternative bakeshop has your sweet-nothings covered, and then some. From chocolate and vanilla cupcakes to lemon-blueberry scones, Edible Flours makes it all with love, and without any refined flours, sugars, dairy or eggs. On my last visit, I opted for their gluten-, egg-, dairy- and sugar-free spiced zucchini loaf, which contains organic quinoa, rice and almond flour, and is lightly sweetened with maple syrup and organic vanilla extract. To say I’ll be back again (and again) just for this moist, warm slice of heaven wouldn’t be a stretch.

When it comes to vitamins and supplements, Vancouver has a ton of healthy spots to shop and explore. And not all of them have to break your budget either. Whether it’s a protein powder you’re after, or your monthly dose of Vitamin D, here’s a list of places to get your healthy fix and more. [Photo credit: iStock,com/stock_colors]
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