Jal Gua is an organic cafe in Corktown that wants to revolutionize the way you eat. This spot provides everything from a super healthy lunch on the go to thirty-day challenges that have resulted in some customers losing ten or even twenty pounds.
Jal Gua is named for Emmanuel Jal and the superfood he created. His life experience as a child soldier and knowledge of an impoverished diet led to the invention of Jal Gua. A 250 gram bag retails for $20, a mixture of sorghum and moringa powders. Sorghum has 240,000 antioxidants while moringa has 92 essential nutrients, 300 healing properties, and more.
The interior is friendly and colourful and the decor blends the homey with the exotic, with cute pillows, bench seating, a bar, tons of plants and a mural. There's also a workshop space downstairs where meetings and mentoring programs are held, but it's down a narrow set of stairs along with the washroom.
Everything in this cafe is made with the special ingredient Jal Gua. Their "fireballs" are perfect on-the-go protein, made with Jal Gua, almond butter, cocoa powder and honey. At 110 calories each they're sure to keep you going, and with topping like matcha coconut flour, pumpkin seeds, and goji berries, they're delicious too.
We also try a soup ($6.95), which as Jal demonstrates can easily be made at home. It's less than 150 calories combines Jal Gua soup mix, then simply uses salt, lemon, flaxseed oil, and a little fermented cabbage for flavour.
Next is the Miracle Salad ($8.95) a base of mung and pinto beans and sorghum topped with kale, broccoli, and tomato, and dressed with a flaxseed dressing that contains Jal Gua. Jal made moringa and sorghum the core of his diet when he began to experience high blood pressure: changing the way he eats has made him healthy again.
We also try a chicken wrap ($10.50), which is yummy for being nothing more than beans and chicken with a little kale wrapped in a tortilla. This would make a great grab and go lunch.
Jal Gua also serves fermented sorghum porridge ($6.95), not seen many places and something that any good hippie would be eager to try. Blueberries, strawberries, orange, sliced apple and cinnamon add sweetness to this humble food.
"This is the only place in the city where you eat and your weight goes down," says Jal. He's a consummate community man who wants to share his secrets with Toronto to support and help others. Stop in to Jal Gua and turn your diet around, or just drink a cup of coffee in a relaxing, worldly environment.
Photos by Jesse Milns