In this New Year, we reflect back on how grateful we are to have grown up with Sickles Market aka the original health food store in our backyard. With access to fresh fruit and veggies and seasonal eating all year round, we always appreciate the good things that come from the ground up. After enjoying every sweet treat and holiday cocktail in town in our previous columns, we decided on a mix of appetizing and healthy choices to kick off the New Year. Never a fan of resolutions, but more lifestyle improvements, we were pleasantly surprised to find a number of places that prepare better-for-you meals. From vegan entrées to meal replacement drinks we tried it all, and most of it was scrumptious. With that, let’s begin and end with a healthy choice.The Honey Crunch Super Smoothie and Sweet Beets Juice arejust a few of the refreshing options offered at Freshicas.Freshicas Juice BarJanuary is the perfect time to try new things and to expand your tasting territory. If you haven’t been to Freshicas Juice Bar yet, then we must ask you: where have you been? Freshicas is modern, refreshing and filled with endless options, including smoothies, protein shakes, acai bowls and cold press juices. There were so many options we were almost overwhelmed.After trying a little bit of everything, here are a few of our favorites: The Sweet Beets Juice ($7.50) actually made us feel upbeat. With a lovely ruby red color that only beets can create, this juice is made with beets, pineapple, apple, carrot, lime and zingy ginger. Next up was a super smoothie because we never back down from a flavor challenge, it was super indeed! The Honey Crunch Super Smoothie ($7.50) was our absolute favorite! Oh, honey, you gotta try this! Made with honey, hemp granola, bananas and almond milk, it was blended perfectly and extremely flavorful. Better than any breakfast we’ve had in a long time and our Dad’s scrambled eggs are pretty epic. Honorable mentions include the So Fresh Juice ($8.50) and Cherry Chocolate Chip Protein Shake ($7.50). Freshicas Juice Bar205 W Front St., Red Bank, NJ. 732-939-8919Kitch OrganicKitch OrganicQuick! Get out of your Kitchen and head over to Kitch Organic ASAP. This fantastic spot on the west side of Red Bank has all the Two River towners raving. Kitch Organic will help those “hangry” pangs for a healthy and sumptuous lunch. The K.O Signature Salad ($12) is filling for one and perfect for two to share. It’s filled with kale, avocado, toasted pepitas and cranberries, sprinkled with lemon pepper and lemon juice. It was bright and light, and we will definitely be ordering it again. The West Side Turkey Burger ($13.50) was generous in size, a well-seasoned burger served with tricolored peppers, shredded zucchini, lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado smash and a dollop of chipotle aioli. All that yumminess is served between two fresh pieces of warm focaccia bread. It’s no surprise that this dish has become a favorite of ours. The Avocado Toast ($10) is on their house-made seeded bread, accompanied with a generous slathering of avocado spread, sprinkled with red pepper flakes and made complete with a side salad. This is a trendy dish with lasting power, and Kitch Organic does it very well. Sweet, salty and savory, we definitely made all the right choices. Kitch Organic75 Leighton Ave., Red Bank, NJ. 732-741-5400Seed to SproutSeed to SproutSeed to Sprout has been on our radar for a while. Off of River Road this unsuspecting spot is loaded with vegan eats that are delicious even for non-vegan diets. We ventured to their Fair Haven location for Saturday brunch. First we ordered The Hot Shot ($2/single) to get our motors running. With a bold and tart mix of ingredients that include cayenne, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, and flax oil, it’s a definite “shock” at first sip. This mini-potion awakens the mind, body and spirit.Next up was the Dandy Blend Latte ($5) with agave and house-made coconut creamer. This hot drink is not to be overlooked. Dandy blend is a herbal coffee substitute (no caffeine) made with extracts of roasted barley, rye, chicory root, dandelion root, and sugar beet. Whoa END is all we could say! Warm, rich, and bold in flavor, we didn’t realize these ingredients would equal the healthy latte of our dreams. Skip your mocha lattes and Frappuccinos and get yourself a Dandy Blend Latte today.Our stomachs were now primed for brunch, so we ordered a short stack of Banana Bacon Pancakes, a Bacon Cheddar Melt, and their seasonal Scone. The pancakes ($12) were made with sliced bananas, chocolate chips and coconut bacon. Fluffy and airy, the rich banana taste was not overpowering and the coconut bacon satisfied our taste for bacon – almost. The sweetness of the chocolate chips pulled it all together. We cautiously took a bite of the Bacon Cheddar Melt ($12), with seared marinated tempeh, caramelized onions, coconut bacon and cashew cheese, served on millet and flax bread, with a side of marinated kale. It was a very lovely surprise, and a healthy spin on a typical bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. The flaky and light Cinnamon Date Scone ($4) was delicately paired with their creamy coconut butter. It was the perfect ending to our brunch. Seed to Sprout, 560A River Road, Fair Haven, NJ. 732-268-7533Ocean CafeWe must ask readers a second time, if you haven’t been to Ocean Café: where have you been? This cafe is filled with healthy options for lunch and dinner. We decided on the Chicken Lettuce Wraps ($7.95) and Red Lentil Soup ($3.50). The Chicken Lettuce Wraps are made with minced chicken, shallots, peanut sauce and extra peanuts! These tasty wraps are packed with protein and the essential nutrients to get you through the day. The Red Lentil Soup is lovingly made with olive oil, onions, garlic, vegetable stock, red lentils, and butter. This soup is addictive and we’ve been back to Ocean Cafe twice just for this decadently rich, healthy and hearty soup. Ocean Cafe21 Monmouth St., Red Bank, NJ. 732-842-4222All in all, there are so many healthy and most importantly delicious food spots in our surrounding towns to choose from. We hope you are taking January by storm and adding new tastes to your palettes. Did we miss any local healthy restaurants or juice bars? Let us know at [email protected] and Sasha Sickles, members of the Sickles Market family, write about food, culinary trends and casual eateries in their monthly column “Two River Tastes.” You can reach them at [email protected] or follow their food journeys on Instagram @torikaylan and @sasha_ad.