Vendor at Excelsior, Hopkins and Wayzata markets
By Paige Kieffer
The Excelsior Framers Market has a new vendor, I Look So Good Smoothies, whose owner makes savory healthy smoothies in downtown Excelsior on Water Street.
The smoothie vendor is run by local foodie Amanda Erickson, who hails from Plymouth. Her food truck is also available 7:30 a.m. to noon, Saturdays at the Hopkins Farmers Market, 16 Ninth Ave. S.; and 1:30-5:30 p.m., Thursdays at the Wayzata Farmers Market, 688 Lake St. E.
Erickson said she started working out regularly a few years ago to lose weight and get healthier. She became inspired to help out others with fitness and began considering going into the field.
“After I’d work out, I’d go to a certain smoothie chain to reward myself for a good workout,” she said. “One day I asked, ‘what time do you come in to juice all the juices,’ and they said that they were from concentrate. So I was like, ‘you’re telling me I’m getting 14 grams of unwanted processed sugar into my body when I think I’m being healthy and putting nutrients into my body when I’m not?’ I said to myself, ‘if I had my own smoothie joint, I would never use anything from concentrate, and definitely never use sugary juice to mask my ingredients.’”
Horrified, and already motivated to provide a healthy service to others, the clouds parted and Erickson said she decided to start up a smoothie food truck.
“I lost a ton of weight when I started working out and I started seeing what I was putting into my body,” she said. “Certain things that would make me feel terrible that I never noticed that before. So I thought I should go into the fitness industry to help and then the smoothie thing happened and then I knew I wanted to make healthier smoothies.”
Erickson said that sugar is one of the most harmful things to a person’s health, and she wanted to create a great tasting smoothie that has very little sugar.
“Everyone counts calories and that’s stupid,” she said. “Calories are good. Carbs are good. Sugar is not. So I have to help people into re-tricking themselves that things can taste good and not be sweet. That’s my goal. You can eat really healthy and it’s going to taste good but it’s not loaded with sugar.”
Erickson said she’s been making smoothies for years. For nine months she worked at developing and perfecting four healthy smoothie recipes.
“I’ve always been making smoothies on my own for as long as I can remember,” she said. “I’ve always loved smoothies so much and I worked for a long time making the healthiest smoothies.”
Next Erickson went on a search for a food truck. Her friend’s uncle sold food trucks and got her connected with a 1951 International. He offered to paint the truck, but Erickson refused, liking the rusted charm of her new food truck.
“Everyone’s food truck is so perfect and I’m not, and it fits me,” she said. “It’s funky and it’s fun. Like me!”
Each of Erickson’s four smoothies has between 20 and 35 grams of protein, less than four grams of sugar and less than 400 calories. She uses 310 Protein Powder in chocolate or salted caramel flavors and the smoothies are sugar, dairy, soy, egg, nut and gluten free.
“There’s nothing bad in my smoothies,” she said. “I’m not masking anything.”
Erickson mixes with cashew milk because it has 50 percent more calcium than milk and zero grams of sugar per serving. Her smoothies also have all-organic avocado, blueberries, mangoes, peaches, bananas and strawberries.
The names of the smoothies show off Erickson’s upbeat attitude including, “Shake Ya Hass,” “Nobody Likes Shady Beaches,” “Giiirl Let That Mango” and “Tropic Like its Hot.”
Erickson, who’s new to the farmers market scene, has enjoyed the reactions to her smoothies. She said, “Everybody’s reactions have been so positive. It’s so wonderful.”
For more information, visit ilooksogoodsmoothies.com or call 906-364-1230.
Follow Paige Kieffer on Facebook at facebook.com/mnsunsailor.