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Unbelievably Delicious, Raw and Vegan Fare at Bliss Cafe

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Unbelievably Delicious, Raw and Vegan Fare at Bliss Cafe

The waldorf sald is one of the many unique items on the menu at Bliss • Credit: Photos by Bonnie Schiedel

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Unless you count wild blueberries, there weren’t many options if you were looking for raw, vegan cuisine on your visit to Thunder Bay—until now.

Bliss Sign

Bliss Café at 87 Cumberland St. North recently opened and has quickly gained a devoted local following for its unique dining experience. Owner and chef Helen Liba serves up a carefully curated selection of gluten-free, dairy-free dishes, all made fresh to order by Liba in the tiny open kitchen at the café. Everything is completely delicious and completely healthy, and nothing is cooked above 47°C (118°F) in order to preserve all the natural enzymes in each ingredient.

Bliss salad dill

When Liba first heard about raw food cuisine six years ago, her reaction was, “Who wants to eat veggies and dip all day long?” But, intrigued by the potential health benefits and inspired by the movie Simply Raw, she decided to learn more, taking classes at centres in Chicago and Puerto Rico and discovered that raw food, while simple, goes far beyond veggies and dip.

Liba, who is also a healing massage practitioner and biofeedback technician at Superior Shores Wellness Centre, soon began developing her own recipes and decided to make her dream of opening a café a reality.

bliss alfredo

Nuts—mainly organic cashews and almonds—play a starring role in many of the dishes at Bliss Café, offering flavour, protein and a remarkably creamy texture. A popular lunch, for example, is falafel made with puréed fresh herbs and almonds, served in a wrap made from an apple and zucchini purée that has been cooked in the dehydrator.

Her zucchini “alfredo” (above) is made from ribbons of zucchini tossed in a creamy sauce created with puréed cashews, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice, then popped into the dehydrator for 15 minutes for a gentle warming.

Bliss crackers hummus

Liba also likes to serve flaxseed crackers topped with hummus, curried lentil soup, fresh salads with a dill dressing, and onion bread.

Bliss cheesecake

The to-die-for desserts range from chocolate raspberry, strawberry or apple caramel “cheesecake” to apple cinnamon bars, all made from fruit, nuts and sweeteners like maple syrup, dates and raw chocolate. Beverages include organic teas and coffees, housemade smoothies and Helen’s handmade hemp milk.

Bliss chocolate cake

Bliss Café is open Fridays and Saturdays 11-8 and Sundays and Mondays 11-7. Be sure to pay a visit—Bliss Café is bound to top your list of favourite Thunder Bay restaurants.

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