Review: Garden of Flavor Juices (and Pressed Juicery, too)
Juicing is ALL the rage. At my sales meeting earlier this month, I heard at least two references to juicing, one from our National Sales Manager (who apparently got a juicer for Christmas) and juices were available at breakfast and snacks (in past years, it was always soft pretzels and chocolate chip cookies). What a change.
I was exposed to juicing initially by Pressed Juicery, which is California-based, whose juices are really quite amazing– I love their pineapple-mint and their beet-based juices. The problem? Shipping to Ohio is kind of expensive, and the product itself is actually pretty expensive– $220 for three days’ worth of juice, which you have to drink immediately. That said, their juices are pretty awesome– I love the pineapple mint and the vanilla almond milk, and their Greens 2 is a great green juice. The disadvantages: you really have to plan ahead, and the price is more than this Midwesterner can stomach. That said, whenever I’m near one I pop in for a favorite and ask them politely to open up a shop in Cincinnati.
Enter Garden of Flavor. They’re a local-ish (Cleveland) juice company that uses a special cold process so that your juices can last for 30 days. They’re also reasonably priced: around $45 for a day’s worth of juice, and considering the effort (and produce) that goes in, the price is fair. You can also buy individual juices for around $7 apiece. Their juices, with a quick review of each:
2. Cucumber Fresh– my favorite green juice, this one is really light and refreshing.
3. Mean Green — not my favorite. It’s the one that has a ton of kale. If I’m juicing kale, I usually like some carrot to cover up the taste a little, or some apple. Still, I know it’s good for me, and down the hatch it goes.
4. Twisted Roots — If you like beets, you’ll like this. I love beets. They have a natural sweetness and earthiness that I just adore. The earthiness is cut a little bit with some lemon, as well as with some carrot. Really, really delicious.
5. White Knight — when you’re juicing, the almond-milk smoothies are the best ever. Thick and rich and almost like dessert.
6. Lemon Pepp — remember the old Master Cleanse with cayenne, lemon and maple syrup? Sub out the maple for agave, and this is it. Yes, I did the master cleanse for, like, a day. No, I don’t recommend it. This is a nice, light end-of-the-day drink, if a little more cayenne than my brain normally associates with lemonade.
They also have an Appleade, which is available separately. It’s really nice– not too sweet. That’s the thing with juicing: you actually realize what juice is supposed to taste like, and it’s not the super-sweet apple juice or lemonade you’re used to.
A juice fast is an interesting thing. My problem? Day 1 is pretty good. After doing the Pressed Juicery cleanse, I knew I’d look forward to my beet-based and fruit-based juices, and not be as into the greens-based juices (they’re an acquired taste, though the Cucumber Fresh from Garden of Flavor is really quite tasty). Day 2, I cheat with kale chips. Sorry, I like to chew. Day 3, I generally feel fantastic but crave pretty much anything but juice, and can’t wait until Day 4 when I can eat some actual fruit. I’m not anti-juicing at all: it’s a nice way to feel a little better after, say, a week at a sales meeting where you’re not sleeping a ton and you’re drinking more than you usually do, or after an event like the Super Bowl where you’re eating so-bad-yet-so-good foods and just need a break. I have friends who swear by it. I just like to chew.
Having the juices prepackaged for you takes all of the guesswork out of juicing, and is great for beginners. Not sure how to do it? Buy a day’s worth (or three days, which is recommended) and just drink them at regular intervals. You don’t have to worry about the mess of a juicer, making sure you have enough kale on hand, or anything like that. Eventually, if you really get into juicing, there are a ton of websites that can help you: Joe the Juicer is one that is particularly popular with my juice-drinking friends, and you can really customize the recipes for your liking.
If you’re interested in juicing, try it out. If you just want a taste, buying individual bottles is an easy, short-term commitment. Available at Whole Foods.