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Blooming Lotus Bakes Old Favorites in New Ways

Blooming Lotus Bakes Old Favorites in New Ways

Aug. 4, 2015
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Susan Goulet has long been on the leading edge of healthy living. Fifteen years ago she launched Milwaukee Yoga Center at a time when interest in the ancient discipline was not as widespread as today. Last month, she opened a new venture, Blooming Lotus Gourmet Bakery (2215 E. North Ave.), with partner Lars Schloemer.

Blooming Lotus is unique for being entirely grain as well as dairy free. “There are vegan bakeries in Milwaukee using organic grain and cane sugar—and there are gluten-free bakeries using corn starch, potato starch or bean flour,” she says, explaining that the important distinction at Blooming Lotus comes down to low carbohydrates in bakery made without grain or dairy.

“Americans eat a high-carb diet,” she continues. “Medical research shows that high-carb diets lead not only to diabetes but to heart disease, even Alzheimer’s.”

Most of us have gotten over the idea that healthy food equals unpleasant gruel. Blooming Lotus continues on that arc of enlightenment, proving that pleasant flavors can be coaxed from non-conventional sources. The no-corn muffins ($1.75), made with almond and sweet potato flours, are moist and have the consistency of good cornbread, but without the accustomed sweetness. The chocolate brownie cupcakes ($4) are topped with rich and creamy frosting derived from organic cocoa; the dough is prepared with unsweetened applesauce, flax meal and almond flour. Five varieties of scones ($2.50) are served and six varieties of bread ($9 for a mini-loaf), including roles and focaccia bread, nine kinds of cookies including grain-free “oatmeal” and chocolate chunk cherry and many other treats.

You can carry the goods home or enjoy them in Blooming Lotus’ quiet, airy space in the historic Clock Tower building. Strong coffee is served. Not surprisingly, room for cream means unsweetened cocoa or almond milk.

“Many people are fired up about gluten-free,” Goulet says, “without necessarily understanding what that means. The food industry is creating gluten-free products with a high content of starch and sugar. Well-meaning people are paying extra for these products but are actually getting low nutritional value.”

Whether or not grain-free becomes as popular as gluten-free, Blooming Lotus’ delicious array of bakery is proof that favorite recipes can be remade without their familiar ingredients—and taste just as good, if not better. Blooming Lotus is open Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit blbmke.com.

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