Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why do many of us never take the time to sit down and make a substantial meal? Instead, our mornings usually consist of hitting the snooze button numerous times before springing out of bed only to realize there is only ten more minutes to get ready and out the door, thereby reducing breakfast to the nearest fruit or yogurt you can grab on your way out the door.
However, once 2017 hit, I resolved to not be one of these breakfast neglectors. Make breakfast a priority, a healthy priority at that. No more giant Dunkin Donuts muffins or Chick-Fil-A burritos. If I was going to start my day right, I needed to fuel with the most nutritious items. So, I started researching local places that I could swing by on my way to work that would give me my morning dose of healthy power while remaining affordable but still tasty. And that’s how I found (drumroll please)… Create Your Nature.
Anyone that has read my blog or knows me knows that I hate chain restaurants. I am always searching for hole-in-the wall, local, naturally sourced, or unique eateries that don’t show up in every state around every corner. I feel like finding out about Create Your Nature was the best breakfast breakthrough (say that five times fast) that could have ever happened to me. I am officially hooked. Seriously, if you have never been here, make this a priority ASAP.
The small café is located in Winter Park on the main stretch of Orange Ave. The outside is altogether unassuming, one small sign above the door and a few chairs lining the windows even indicating that it exists. However, when you enter, it’s like you are being transported to a modern, chic coffeehouse (they do serve Foxtail Coffee in their establishment as well).
It is full of color and life, has a vibrancy that energized me, and exudes the perfect ambience to give me the added boost to start my day and tackle anything I may encounter. The colors inside the restaurant felt representative of the “taste the rainbow” concept our plates are supposed to hold to give us the most nutrients possible. Don’t doctors always say make your plate as colorful as possible?
The staff was more than accommodating. Since I had never been before, I had more than one question about my options. I needed recommendations, which they were more than happy to give. And let me not forget to mention how friendly and enjoyable they were to talk to. Julie, the General Manager that I was blessed to meet on my visit, took the time to chat with me. I never felt rushed or pushed aside like a regular old customer. It really starts the day right when you run into people who put a smile on your face and exude confidence and positivity. We could all use a bit more happiness and positivity in our lives.
Finally, let me talk about the most important part…the menu. Create Your Nature is open for both breakfast and lunch. They have signature acai bowls (and if you don’t know the health benefits of acai, check it out on their website here), oatmeal bowls, oatmeal mason jars to-go, and a number of different salads. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also opt to create your own of any of the above items mentioned. There is a glass case of at least fifteen different fresh ingredients to choose from, from spinach and avocado, to mango, tomatoes, coconut, you name it. Julie even told me they have added dragon fruit to the menu (talking about having a burst of color in your morning smoothie).
I decided to try something I have never had before: savory oatmeal. Usually my oatmeal is topped with brown sugar and a multitude of different fruits (they have that option for all you fruit lovers out there) but this time I wanted to be adventurous. New place, new food to try. There were a couple of different savory oatmeal for the picking. I decided on the Lacey Caprese. Ever heard of a caprese salad? Well, essentially, this was a breakfast take on a caprese salad. I had the option of steel cut oats or a steel cut oat and quinoa blend as my base, so I chose the latter of the two after hearing how nutritional quinoa is. The oat blend was topped shaved parmesan cheese followed by a heaping serving of diced avocado and tomatoes. To top that off, it included a drizzle of basil infused olive oil, fresh cracked black pepper, and a dash of sea salt. Sounds pretty interesting, right? I was told that if I mix everything up when it was still hot, the cheese melted into the oats and mirrored almost a cheesy grits or cheesy rice. I was all for it, although it was almost too pretty to mix together.
The flavor exploded in my mouth. The oat/quinoa blend was the absolute perfect consistency. Not too grainy and not to sloppy or mushy. There was even a bit of chew from the addition of the quinoa, which gave it a nice texture change. The parmesan cheese added a touch of richness but nothing too overpowering. The avocado was perfectly ripe and creamy, and the tomatoes added a bit of sweetness and acidity to blend nicely and offset the richness from the cheese. In my opinion, it was that little drizzle of olive oil and the fresh pepper that made the biggest difference in the world. It balances the sweet tomatoes and salty cheese. It made the avocado slices pop. It mimicked that small hint of fresh basil normally found in caprese salads. It gave a smooth and buttery taste to the oats. It was robust, but also subtle and nuanced, adding a delicacy that hit my taste buds not all at once, but rather, a little at a time, rounding out the complete flavor and giving the aftertaste almost a surprise brightness.
I can honestly say that savory oats are now my new favorite. Create Your Nature is a gem hidden in the hustle and bustle of the always busy Winter Park. It offers a freshness, a vivacity, and a quiet escape from the craziness of daily life. It is a chance to start your day right, fueling your body, mind and spirit with energy through positivity and delicious, healthy, and the freshest foods possible.