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Our #wednesdaywisdom - what’s yours?

It’s Earth Day every day at sweetgreen. With one of our core values being ‘think sustainably’, we are constantly looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint:

  • All of our packaging is compostable and 100% plant-based
  • We source our food locally whenever possible so it doesn’t have to travel far
  • All of the furniture and wood you see in our stores is reclaimed and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council
  • Our paints and wall coverings are low VOC (meaning they have low chemical emissions)
  • We offset most of the energy used in our stores with wind energy credits

This year, we’re bringing this same environmental commitment to sweetlife

What are you doing to make an impact this Earth Day? Leave a comment here, or share your story with us on Twitter and Instagram!

We’re always looking for new ways to eat our greens, which is why we created this smoothie.  Although it’s made with 2 cups of spinach, it has a fruity taste that makes it the perfect warm-weather drink. Sticking with the theme of the April VB6™ salad, this smoothie is vegan and can be enjoyed by all!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups spinach, packed
  • 2 coconut water ice cubes (directions below)
  • 1 frozen ripe banana
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1.25 tbsp raw almond butter, unsweetened

Directions:

1 day - 1 week prior to making smoothie:

  • Peel a ripe banana (ideally covered in brown speckles) and freeze whole 
  • Pour coconut water into ice cube trays and freeze

The day of:

  • Place fruit, spinach and almond butter into blender
  • Blend until combined and smooth
  • Add coconut water ice cubs and blend until desired consistency reached

Yields 2 servings. Approximate calories per serving: 165.

In honor of Fitz and The Tantrums' return to sweetlife this year (remember their amazing performance in 2012?), we present the first installment of our ‘Food that Fitz’ series! Each Friday leading up to sweetlife, we will be posting a recipe created by vocalist Noelle Scaggs.

Up first is Scaggs’ Braised Mustard Greens. She generally swears by kale, but likes to switch things up every so often with mustard greens. Noelle created this dish in particular to “reunite with this lovely leaf.” This recipe is versatile and, according to Noelle, is best served with poultry or polenta cakes.

Ingredients:

  • 3 bunches organic mustard greens
  • 8 oz pancetta
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp raw sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in medium pan until sizzling
  2. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent, then sit aside
  3. Place pancetta in same pan and cook until fat renders and pancetta starts to brown (about 5 minutes)
  4. Pour soy sauce, sugar, and apple cider vinegar into pan, then add onions and garlic
  5. Stir until mixture comes to boil, then lower heat and slowly add in mustard greens
  6. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until tender, serve warm and garnish with salt and pepper

Serves about 4-6.

You already know what you’ll be eating this year at sweetlife, so now it’s time to learn about all of the drink options (for those 21 and over)! This year, we’re partnering with Flying Dog Brewery to create a ‘sweetlife pale wheat’ ale, made with locally-sourced wheat and hand-selected hops from the Pacific Northwest.

Learn more about all of our great tavern partners below:

Flying Dog Brewery

Based in Maryland, Flying Dog has been brewing since 1990 and is best known for its pale ales. This year, they’ll be serving our custom sweetlife pale wheat brew.

DC Brau 

Proudly brewing from inside the District, DC Brau was started by two friends in 2009 and is the first brewery to operate in Washington, DC since 1956. They’ll be serving their popular pale ale beer, ‘The Public’, this year.

Mountain State Brewing Company

Based in West Virginia, Mountain State Brewing Co. was started by two friends using family brewing recipes and techniques. This year, they’ll be offering their ‘Cold Trail Blonde’, an American Blonde beer made with oats and wheat.

Peak Organic Brewing 

Peak Organic is dedicated to using local and organic ingredients. Based in Maine, they’ll be serving their ‘Summer Session Ale’, which is made with local wheat.

Stillwater Artisanal Ales 

Hailing from Baltimore, Stillwater will be bringing its ‘Stateside Saison’ to sweetlife. Made with European malts and aromatic hops, this ale is unique in that it merges the tradition of old-world brewing with modern-day craft brewing techniques.

Our #wednesdaywisdom - what’s yours?

The cherry blossoms are in peak bloom! To celebrate, we’re sharing a recipe for cherry + almond energy bites. This one-bite vegan snack will satisfy your sweet tooth and will also give you a healthy dose of protein from the raw almonds and almond butter.

Ingredients:

  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1.25 cups raw almonds, soaked overnight in water
  • 1/3 cup dried unsweetened cherries
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • 3 tbsp raw unsweetened almond butter

Directions:

  1. Soak almonds in covered container overnight in refrigerator 
  2. Remove almonds the next day and place in food processor, and pulse until chopped into tiny pieces
  3. Add pitted dates to processor and pulse to create paste
  4. Toss flaxseed meal and almond butter intro processor and grind until smooth mixture forms
  5. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds and dried cherries into food processor, and pulse gently until incorporated
  6. Use hands to roll mixture into ball shapes (note: balls should be slightly smaller than a golf ball for ideal portioning)
  7. Pour coconut flakes on a nearby plate, and roll balls in shredded coconut until covered
  8. Place in refrigerator and chill until ready to serve

Yields roughly 16-18 servings. Approximate calories per serving: 130.

We’ve already covered the restaurants and food trucks that will be at sweetlife this year, so now it’s time to meet some of the local farmers and vendors that will be joining us at Merriweather on May 10:

FreshFarm Markets

FreshFarm supports the local food movement by hosting multiple farmers markets throughout the DMV all year long. We originally found many of our local produce suppliers and vendors at these markets! 

To create the feeling of a real-life farmers market at sweetlife, FreshFarm will be bringing Love Dove Farms and Full Cellar, two Maryland purveyors that are just a short drive away from Merriweather!

Keany Produce

A family-owned business that acts as sweetgreen’s daily supplier of fresh produce, Keany serves as the link between local farms and restaurants. 

This year, Keany will be contributing to the pop-up farmers market by bringing Firefly Farms, sweetgreen’s local goat cheese supplier for DC + Philly; Arnold Farms, our local cauliflower supplier for the November Salad; and EA Parker Farms.

Stop by the experience forest this year at sweetlife to meet these farmers, sample some local and seasonal fruit, and maybe even catch a glimpse of Mark Bittman, the co-creator of The April VB6™ salad!

Spring brings many changes - warmer weather, fresh produce, and new sweetgreen seasonal ambassadors. Starting this spring, we will feature an ambassador from each of the regions we operate in that embodies our core values and helps us spread the sweetlife to our local communities. Each ambassador will also teach classes as part of our passport program.

DC - Sarah Sands 

Sarah brought Dance Trance, a choreographed cardio workout, to DC. Dance Trance is all about creating an energetic environment through upbeat dance music – and making cardio fun. This Saturday, 4/12, Sarah will be leading a Dance Trance passport class – stop on by and experience it for yourself!

BOS - Ali Baldassare

Ali teaches zumba, pilates, cycling, barre, and even piloxing (pilates + boxing) at several studios and gyms throughout Boston. Set to an upbeat playlist that matches her energetic teaching style, Ali’s classes focus on giving both your body and mind a workout. 

PHL - Lauren Kelly

Lauren manages Philly Power Yoga and teaches a variety of fitness classes, including pilates, yoga and barre! Lauren uses her dance background and pilates training to make sure that your body is properly aligned, making sure you get the maximum benefits from your workout in class.

NYC - Fern Langham

Fern teaches yoga throughout NYC. Her style of yoga offers a full-body workout that also focuses on breathing and being present in the moment. Want to try a class with Fern? She’s teaching yoga this weekend at sweetgreen NoMad.

Want to take a class with our ambassadors? Sign up for sweetgreen passport today and keep an eye out for our next email this month!

{photo of Ali Baldassare taken by Lucie Wicker photography}

Our #wednesdaywisdom - what’s yours?