In defense of the $20 superfood smoothie

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On a recent trip to Simply Sublime—the health food mecca in East Hampton, NY—my eyes lit up when I saw a new menu item: the Superfood Smoothie. With a name like that (and since I’d just finished a nutrient-depleting long run), I had to order it.

Then I noticed the cost: $20 for 24 ounces—a price tag I had never witnessed firsthand before (although of course I’ve heard tales of Gwyneth’s daily recipe). My usual order, a Wake Me Up or Avocado Smoothie, is about half that: $8 for a 16-ounce and $14 for the 24-ounce size—not cheap, but not too far off the going rate in New York City for a healthy blended beverage.

What were they putting in there to justify spending a Jackson (or, er, Tubman) on a smoothie? Superfoods—in particular, seriously exotic ones that might have you balking at checkout if you grabbed a bag of them at Whole Foods. Think acai, goji berries, camu camu, bee pollen, and macqui. (In fact, pomegranate was one of the most “normal” ingredients in there.) It’s full of enough powerful antioxidants, vitamin C, and inflammation-fighting ingredients to make any health nut start foaming at the mouth. But what sealed the deal for me was mangosteen.

Ever since I read about Annie Tevelin’s love for mangosteen—and her subsequent creation of SkinOwl and the Mangosteen beauty serum that she says cleared up her acne—I have been searching for the elusive mangosteen in any way, shape, or form. An eight-ounce bag of it in powder form isn’t cheap (and the serum clocks in at $85 a bottle), so in that post-run haze, $20 actually didn’t sound so crazy.

And Simply Sublime isn’t the only spot touting a high-priced bev; Juice Press proudly advertises the $15 Guru smoothie with special signage, while on the West Coast Lifehouse Tonics has garnered serious buzz around its $14 adaptogen-packed, meal-replacement shakes. Could it be that, in this era of $40 boutique fitness classes, my threshold for outrage has been pushed upward?

It’s hard to say—but as I sipped my $20 super-elixir, I not only enjoyed its unique, slightly tart taste (featuring many ingredients that I had literally never tried before), but I could sense it was healing my insides. (That’s what I told myself, at least.) Soon after sipping it down, I got that skin-glowing feeling you usually notice after a fancy facial. The smoothie was so good that I went back the next day and got another one. Go on, roll your eyes—but I haven’t had a single breakout in the days since.

If you ever come across a not-so-cheap health beverage that’s chock-full of superfoods you’ve only read about, I say: treat yourself.

And if you’re not quite there yet, you could try making it yourself—you’d have to spend a lot upfront to get all of the ingredients, but when you break it all down by serving your DIY Superfood Smoothie would clock in around $12 a cup:

Now that you have the recipe ready, which blender should you use? Check out these three powerful options for the smoothie-obsessed. And if you want to try Jennifer Aniston’s favorite blend, here’s what she mixes in hers

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