Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt

orangeleaf

By Nancy Smorch

The other day, my older sister Roseanne came for a visit, and wanted to check out nearby downtown Holland. As an antique junkie, she wanted to visit Cottage Corner, on the edge of River and 7th. Sadly, we were running late, and they were closing up just as we arrived, but as we were walking away I noticed a new frozen yogurt place called Orange Leaf  had gone in just a few doors down.

I've mentioned in previous posts that although I do love frozen desserts, I've had a hard time finding options that are made with quality ingredients (and are still gluten free)… so the sign in the window that mentioned that Orange Leaf uses milk from a local dairy called Country Dairy caught my attention.

We went in, of course—neither of us could resist the lure—and we were in luck, because the owner, Molly Latchaw, happened to be there. Roseanne and I asked her a few questions about her place, and Molly chatted with us as she showed us enthusiastically around the store.

Her enthusiasm was infectious. She told us what quality ingredients they use in their frozen yogurt, like low-fat milk and premium cane sugar, and how they try to purchase from local farmers and businesses as much as possible. She even mentioned that, as produce season begins to pick up, the Holland Orange Leaf will buy ingredients from the local farmer’s market, which means even more local and organic options!

While talking with the Molly, she also explained that Country Dairy, located in New Era, Michigan, and the reason I was drawn into Orange Leaf in the first place, supplies Whole Foods with milk for their brand. The dairy is essentially (though not certified) organic—meaning no hormones or antibiotics are used on their animals, and the cows are almost entirely grass fed.

After hearing all of this, I was excited to put their frozen yogurt to the taste test.

When I scanned over the options for toppings to put on the frozen yogurt, I was pleasantly surprised at how fresh the fruit looked. The blueberries, mango pieces, strawberries, and kiwi chunks all looked bright and healthy, and, of course, there were plenty of options for crumbled candy additions, honey, whipped cream, and peanut butter or Ghiradelli chocolate sauces. Each store provides at least 30 options!

And, even better, all of the flavors they had available for that evening were gluten free! I swirled together coconut and brownie yogurt and loaded it with strawberries and blueberries.

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So, then came the taste test. I had set my expectations pret-ty high after speaking with Molly, and hearing about the quality of the ingredients they use in their product…

I am happy to report that Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt exceeded even these. The product itself amazing, a great creamy and sweet treat, and the toppings were delicious. I was fully satisfied with the "healthier options" Orange Leaf strives to provide.

As if that weren’t enough, the atmosphere in Orange Leaf is really engaging. It’s bright, fun, and energetic—a welcoming place you would want to hang out or just plug into for a bit.

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If you’re anywhere near downtown Holland, Michigan, this summer, I highly recommend stopping in at Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, grabbing a bowl and maybe spending a few minutes chatting with Molly.

Remember, the next time you go into a restaurant, a coffee shop, a dessert place—or anywhere someone is making your food—ask about what process and ingredients are going into what you’re about to eat. Where do the supplies come from? How are they prepared?

Talking with Molly was easy, and her excitement about her product contagious. Know your food—know what you are putting into your body!

Take the first step and reap the (delicious) benefits of a strong and healthy existence!