A fresh take on smoothies at Ginger Juice

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Why: Owner Krissy Goecks opened Ginger Juice almost two months ago. Next door to Our Bar in the revitalized section of Main Street downtown Washougal, the modern juice bar offers locally sourced, fresh snacks, as well as organic juices and smoothies. The juice bar’s menu reflects seasonal availability of items and changes daily. Hot beverages such as hot lemonade, apple cider and teas are on hand, as are a few salad options, a yogurt parfait, which incorporates delicious balsamic vinegar from Navidi’s, and a small variety of snacks.

Atmosphere: A visit to Ginger Juice feels like a walk through a Pinterest board. Walls are adorned with handcrafted items with dedicated spaces for photos, community messages, business cards and simple decoration. Limited seating in the light, bright bar consists of a couple of tables with chairs and a few places at the bar that integrates display boxes underneath Plexiglas.

What I tried: I tried the popular Mean Green juice and a Greek salad, and my dining companion settled on the Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana smoothie and the Veggie and Hummus plate.

The juice was sweet and refreshing, and I found that the salad, though it departed from typical Greek salad ingredients, tasted distinctly Greek. Spinach was used instead of lettuce, it had almonds and chia seeds on it, and pimento stuffed Spanish olives were used in place of Kalamata olives.

Along with the obvious ingredients, the smoothie had spinach in it. Though it wasn’t necessarily appetizing to look at, it was tasty — not quite as sweet as expected, but healthful.

The hummus was served with carrots, broccoli, cucumber and a handful of savory rice crackers.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: All of the smoothies begin with a healthful foundation of greens and incorporate a fruit, a protein source, hemp hearts and chia seeds.

Some of the health boosters include ginger, cacao nibs, hemp hearts, flax seeds, honey, goji berries, coconut oil, turmeric and cayenne pepper.

Other observations: Goecks is very knowledgeable about the products she uses and the menu items she prepares. Gluten-free options are available and substitutions may be made for ingredients. Customizing to avoid food allergies can be done as well.

Cost: Juices are all 16 ounces and cost $5.25 to $5.75. Smoothies are all 16 ounces and cost $6 to $6.75. Salads cost $5 for a small, $8 for a large. Snacks are $4 to $5. Hot beverages are 12 ounces and cost $2.50 to $3.50. Health boosters are 75 cents each.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Telephone: 360-335-8883.

Where: 1887-D Main St., Washougal.

Web:www.facebook.com/gingerjuices

Health score: Ginger Juice received a 0 on Dec. 11. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.