Blender Bikes Stir Up Flavor At Schools

December 12th, 2018

Curious looks were mixed with hesitation by some and excitement by others as VIDA students and staff encountered a table filled with small cups of green liquid next to a stationary cycle sporting a blender on top of the front wheel. “What is that?” asked students during each of the school’s lunch period.

What is was, was one of WaveCrest Cafe’s new blender bikes, set up outside the cafeteria, inviting students to use pedal power to blend together fresh fruits and veggies and create a Green Machine Smoothie treat.


The recipe was simple: two bananas; two cored apples; 1/4 cup of fresh greens that had been picked from VIDA’s garden that morning, and 16 ounces of apple juice. Put them all in a blender, pedal away, and in a minute or so, VIDA students were enjoying a fresh and healthy treat. Students wary of a the green treats gained encouragement from their classmates, and one by one the consensus was reached; “This is delicious!” One student, familiar with making smoothies at home, suggested that carrots be added to a batch, and soon students had two flavor options to sample.

Students look on as classmates power a blender bike during lunch time at VIDA.

Students answered food trivia questions for chances to ride the bike, and many were surprised by how much of a workout it was to power the blender. VIDA teacher David Ruiz was drafted to take a turn and delighted students seeing one of their teachers participating.

VIDA teacher David Ruiz took a turn powering the blender bike and getting a little exercise.

Standing tall in the background was a popup banner outlining the 60+ California farms that source fresh produce to Vista Unified schools as a means of reinforcing our growing Farm To School program. One message of the day was this: everything you’re seeing go into the blender is available for you at lunch every day.

Fresh, seasonal fruits are offered every day, and while the source of the greens varies (the VIDA garden isn’t producing quite enough to serve every student, every day), the 60+ California farms, including many local growers, make sure that veggies are as fresh and tasty as the fruit.

A popup banner with this information about California farms, including many local farms, that provide food to WaveCrest Cafe was on display,

The blender bike has more stops scheduled for the future. Interested schools can email us to check on availability. Below are additional images from our day at VIDA.

Greens from school gardens are a common ingredient with our blender bike smoothies. It doesn’t get fresher or more local than that!
Students answered food and nutrition trivia questions for the opportunity to power the bike.
Groups of students took turns visiting the blender bike and smoothie sample station during each of VIDA’s three lunch periods.
Martha Lamb, a WaveCrest Cafe team member at VIDA, was part of the action, taking a turn on the blender bike.
VIDA teacher David Ruiz takes a turn creating smoothies for the VIDA community.
A VIDA student is cheered on as the crowd counts down to smoothie time.
Pedal power creates a delicious lunch-time treat for VIDA students and staff.
Miss Martha Lamb takes a turn with pedal power.