I want to offer a huge thanks to ChocolaTree Organic Eatery & Marketplace. They welcomed us with open, loving arms and made Steve and I feel like family! The whole team was amazing and Rebecca Magick took great care of us while we were there. Though the meals were provided to us free of charge in exchange for a blog post, this review is my honest opinion of the food and the experience. #Ad
The journey began with an unending view of Ponderosa Pine trees. Then suddenly the jagged canyon’s red rock appeared. And as we traveled along the curving road more pine trees crowded the two lane pass. Known as the smaller cousin of the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, offers a breathtaking series of switchbacks exposing the area’s colorful and stunning rock formations. With camp sites dotted along Oak Creek; tunnels of Pine stretched overhead and chunks of rugged rock, this drive through Coconino National Forest is a dream come true for nature lovers. There are surprises around every tight curve – cabins, parks, markets, resorts, picnic areas, cafes and visitor centers. And dozens of trailheads snaking their way up along the mountainside. I was completely awestruck by the force of this beauty! I loved seeing the unexpected blue spruce jutting out from the sea of green pines. Finally, the rich, warm brick-red soil welcomed us as we headed into Sedona.
If it wasn’t for some of the touristy shops, wandering through Sedona was like being on the set of a Western. There are several round-abouts to keep the pace of cars slow and not a single traffic light to be seen. Sedona is famous for being surrounded by spiritual vortexes – the intersection of natural electromagnetic earth energy. This energy is very powerful and intensifies everything it comes in contact with. Your emotions – good and bad – can become quite amplified. I was happy when I arrived and the longer we were there this incredible sense of bliss and peacefulness overwhelmed me. It was a very lovely experience. Though several of these vortexes were acknowledged and named by a local Medium in 1980, this phenomenon is not new. Several First Nation tribes that include Navajo, Yavapai and Hopi Indians recognized the spiritual power and used them for sacred ceremonies.
But before wandering around this lovely little city, we had a date with ChocolaTree Organic Eatery & Marketplace. This organic oasis offers raw, vibrant, vegan food to nourish the senses. Their vision in creating 100% organic, gluten-free and home made meals is to protect the health and vitality of our planet. Each dish they serve is a celebration and a symbol of gratitude for each of our Earth’s elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Spirit! From the instant we arrived, we were surrounded by signs of empowerment and positivity. Fountains soothed and birds sang. The Garden Oasis is a huge, peaceful eating area where you can relax with friends, try out a hula hoop or practice yoga from their aerial silks. I chose relaxation but I did meet a local Buddhist who was giving the aerial silks a try and a child giving the hoops a whirl.
We started with two of their warm tonics – the Pachamama Latte was a blend of Brosimum Alicastrum seed tea, coconut creme and cinnamon. Planted by the Maya Civilization 2,000 years ago, the seed is full of vitamins and loaded with antioxidants. The Heart Love is a blend of medicinal mushrooms, nettles, maple, cacao and spices. These delicious drinks set the stage for what was to come next. The Green Goddess Salad is a huge healthful platter of seasonal greens, massaged kale, sprouts, avocado and cucumber topped with sea vegetables, herb pate, sprouted seeds & spirulina drizzled with cilantro vinaigrette dressing. What a feast! We shared a Live Sampler of tahini hummus, pico de gallo & guacamole dips with onion flatbread, chia crackers and nori nachos. While all of the Sampler was scrumptious, the raw nori nachos were amazing! The sweet buckwheat waffle was served with fruit & coconut creme and chocolate sauce for drizzling. Steve claims he is willing to head back at any time even though we have most of the U.S., the Atlantic Ocean and at least half of Europe in between us and that waffle! Finally, we ended this incredible experience with their Double Chocolate Ganache. This live dessert was almost overwhelming with its decadence. This rich dark chocolate cheesecake was made with a blend of raw cacao, raisins, dates and coconut. Famous for their raw chocolate, they couldn’t let us leave without savoring their vegan butterscotch, strawberry heart and almond butter treats. It was a sweet finish to a perfect afternoon.
In addition to offering up these soul satisfying meals, they offer a small market, the raw chocolate factory, a bakery, mediation events and catering. This delightful space was a form of mediation that left us both joyful and rejuvenated! If you have the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon, be sure to add an extra day or two to your vacation so you can enjoy all that Sedona has to offer.
So let’s explore the world together and as always…eat, drink & be vegan!