Craving a flavorful, fresh, and nutritious Mediterranean meal? Look no further than Cava restaurant! On the East Coast, most Zoe’s Kitchen locations have turned into Cava store. This trendy fast-casual spot offers customizable bowls, salads, and wraps that are loaded with unique flavor combinations and wholesome ingredients. But with so many delicious options, it can be hard to know what choices are the healthiest and questioning “is Cava healthy””.
So, is Cava healthy? Yes, Cava is a healthy option compared with other fast-causal spots because they offer an array of high-quality, fresh ingredients such as fresh veggie toppings, grain blends, and lean protein options.
Read on to discover our tips and tricks for building the perfect bowl at CAVA, while keeping nutrition and taste in mind.
Have a gluten allergy or just prefer to avoid it, there are so many options at Cava!
Start with a Solid Base
When you start ordering your Cava meal, the first step is choosing a base for your bowl, salad, or wrap. You can choose from grains like brown rice, black lentils, or white basmati rice, RightRice, or the healthier salad option with mixed greens. For a more substantial and filling base (plus nutrition boost!), a better choice is the Greens + Grains option, which combines your choice of greens salad base and grains like black lentils or brown rice. These types of grains are packed with fiber, protein, and essential minerals – perfect for anyone monitoring their carbohydrate or caloric intake. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a lower-carb meal, opt for greens as your bowl’s foundation. Cava offers tons of greens options like baby spinach, arugula, and various blends, all of which offer a boost of vitamins A, C and K, potassium and fiber.
Pro tip: My favorite base menu item is RightRice, a grain made from a clever blend of lentils, chickpeas, peas, and rice, offering an amazing nutritional boost with more protein and fiber compared to regular rice.
Load on the Veggies
When building your CAVA bowl, don’t forget to load up on the available vegetables. This not only offers an essential dose of vitamins, minerals, and fiber but is also a great way to enhance the taste and texture of your meal. Options like Persian cucumbers, fire-roasted corn, tomato + cucumber, lentil tabbouleh, romaine lettuce, cabbage slaw, and kalamata olives provide a garden-fresh element that is simply irresistible. Adding these fresh ingredients will increase your meal’s overall volume and fiber, keeping you fuller for longer.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for added flavor, add pickled onions! They will add a flavor combination of tangy, sweet, and freshness.
Opt for Lean Proteins
Cava offers several protein choices – from braised lamb, spicy lamb meatballs to falafel, and of course, their grilled chicken. To keep your meal as healthy as possible, it’s best to opt for leaner cuts of meats. Within their protein sections, stick to grilled options like the flavorful grilled chicken or the plant-based protein-packed falafel, made with chickpeas and lentils. Both options are low in saturated fats and high in essential nutrients, ensuring your body gets the nourishment it needs.
Choose the Right Dressings and Dips
With so many mouthwatering dips and dressings, it can be tempting to drizzle them all over your bowl for a flavor explosion. However, bear in mind that the extra sauces can lead to additional calories and sodium. We recommend picking one or two sauces that complement your bowl without overpowering it. Consider sticking to Cava dips like red pepper hummus or tzatziki, rather than more calorie-dense options like Crazy Feta or Harissa. When it comes to dressings, consider their lemon herb tahini, greek vinaigrette or yogurt-dill dressings, both of which provide great flavor with minimal added calories.
Pro tip: Ask the staff to put your dressing in an individual condiment cup, so you can drizzle your desired amount of dressing on your bowl!
Pick and Enjoy: Curated Bowls
Cava has several chef curated bowl options if you prefer to just pick and go! Two great balanced options are the Balsamic Date Chicken bowl or Tahini Cesar Bowl.
Balsamic Date Chicken Bowl: Grilled chicken, roasted eggplant dip, roasted red pepper hummus, fire-roasted corn, cabbage slaw, tomato + cucumber, brown rice, spinach
Tahini Cesar Bowl: Grilled chicken, hummus, pita crisps, pickled onions, feta, romaine, arugula, and Tahini Caesar dressing
Be Mindful of Portions
While indulging in Cava’s delectable food, it’s essential to remember the importance of portion control. By limiting yourself to a single scoop of dip and drizzling on your own dressing, you can keep your calorie intake manageable – even at a fast-casual dining spot like Cava. If you’re still concerned about going overboard, consider splitting your bowl into serving sizes and take home half for leftovers the next day!
For further nutrition facts, dietary restrictions, and allergen information, check out the Cava website.
BENEFITS OF HEALTHY MEDITERRANEAN FOOD
This nutrient-rich diet is primarily composed of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats from nuts and olive oil, and lean protein sources like fish and legumes. With less reliance on red meats and animal products, Mediterranean meals can help lower inflammation and blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease, and alleviate depression symptoms. Don’t forget the positive impact on your cognitive health – regularly consuming this delicious and balanced cuisine supports optimal brain function and even reduces the risk of cognitive decline as we age. Nutrition experts all around the world encourage the Mediterranean lifestyle to reap the incredible health benefits, all while enjoying vibrant flavors!
Enjoy your Cava bowl!
With its high-quality ingredients, customizable menu, and focus on fresh flavors, Cava is the perfect place to satisfy your Mediterranean cravings with healthy choices. Not is Cava healthy, but it has quickly turned into one of my favorite restaurant chains with its various food options and good food! By using this guide to help navigate the menu, you can easily make nutritious selections that align with your healthy lifestyle and personal preference – without sacrificing taste. So the next time you find yourself ordering Cava for a healthy meal, remember these key points to create a delicious, wholesome grain bowl you can feel great about. Happy eating!31