Dr. Bob’s doughnuts are vegan, gluten-free and steamed. They are round, but there’s no hole in the center. A heart is stamped in its place instead. They require toppings. And a spoon.
Can they even be called doughnuts?
Tasha Richards, a co-owner of Dr. Bob’s Donuts & DoYos, argues yes—but not super convincingly. The shop hosted its official grand opening over the weekend at 336 Lincoln Street in Roseville.
“Doughnuts are an aid to obesity, they’re hurting society,” she said. “We wanted to show people that they can eat something that tastes good but still has nutritional value.”
The resulting doughnuts are packed with ingredients like maca powder, flaxseed and hemp protein powder. The dry mix—which can be purchased on its own—is combined with an equal proportion of water, then steamed into a dense cake. Err, doughnut.
Pick from vanilla, unsweetened chocolate or sweetened chocolate, and proceed to load on the toppings. The shop strongly resembles a frozen yogurt joint—even selling non-dairy frozen yogurt to put on top of a doughnut, dubbed a “DoYo”—with a sauce and glazing station, fresh fruit, chia seed puddings and other jelly-substitutions, and dry additions like hemp seeds and slivered almonds.
Then, just like a frozen yogurt shop, you’re charged by weight—63 cents per ounce. You can expect a lightly adorned doughnut to run you $2 or $3.
Richards said that for people who are trying real hard to be healthy—or have dietary restrictions—these doughnuts can be life-changing. She said she lost 80 pounds replacing unhealthy foods in her meal rotation with Dr. Bob’s doughnuts.
“It’s like eating a protein drink, but our nutritional value is much better than that,” she said.
When phrased like a superfood meal option for health nuts, then sure, Dr. Bob’s products deliver. But anyone—vegans and gluten-free eaters included—seeking a doughnut will be sorely disappointed. And maybe even repulsed. These are not Doughbot’s vegan doughnuts, nor are they remotely comparable to Pushkin’s delightful gluten-free baked goods. The round cakes are dry and flavorless—apart from a bizarre, unpleasant aftertaste—and a slew of toppings are mandated to hide them.
Oddly, “Dr. Bob” does not appear to have any legitimate credentials for providing dietary advice.
He has a Masters of Business Administration, and a career of managing people in big companies. He claims to also be a naturopathic physician, but cites the now-defunct Clayton College of Natural Health as his place of education. The non-accredited, private, for-profit, online school’s reputation on the web is that it churned out diplomas with little actual training—or in the Huffington Post’s words, it was “The Biggest Quack in Natural Health Colleges.”
Let’s not forget Dr. Bob’s other major qualification, courtesy of his website:
When he was 10, he created a Gatorade type energy drink that helped his team win their little league championship. That was 8 years before Gatorade was developed.