It's been an extremely hectic couple of months here at the Pantry, and sometimes we find ourselves run a little ragged. For a quick energy boost, coffee can get the job done, but it's not really a holistic way to refuel, and it can lead to the dreaded crash and burn. And chemical-filled energy drinks (blech!) are simply not an option. So on extra sleepy or sluggish mornings, we like to rock fresh juice for a clean boost.
Making juice at home is fine and dandy - certainly a cheap and healthy way to get a super dose of vitamins and minerals to rev up your engine. But with an early call time to get started on a long day of cooking, sometimes there's just not time. When we're on a grab-and-go kind of schedule, there are some pre-made bottled juices that make our bodies happy!
Evolution Fresh from San Bernardino, California, makes a veritable rainbow of smoothies, juices and waters. They do the classics (OJ, lemonade), but also a bunch of interesting and tasty combos: cucumber + pineapple + ginger, sweet greens + lemon, and lots more. The Super Green smoothie is especially killer, blending sweet and tart fruits with the green goodness of spirulina, chlorella, wheat and barley grasses and dulse - and of course, no sugar or extra junk is added. A bottle really gives you a kick in the pants on a rough morning! Evolution Fresh cold presses and squeezes the juices and use a High Pressure Processing technique which safely processes the juice without heat. Because their stuff is raw it retains more awesome nutrients and flavors than pasteurized juice.
Amid all of the fancy, often discouragingly expensive bottled juices, we still love good old Odwalla . Aside from having a million flavors, including a line of organics, they are a super responsible company. They recycle 98% of their trash (impressive, right?) and some of their water, have strict standards for chemical safety, and bottle their 12 ounce sized products in 100% plant-based plastic derived from sugarcane. They also donate money to the Organic Farming Research Foundation, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Haiti Hope project, and more. This year, they teamed up with the Nature Conservancy's All Hands on Earth campaign, which aims to plant 10,000 trees in cities across the country. That's a lot of gold stars!
Harmless Harvest Coconut Water claims to make "the world's best coconut water," and we wholeheartedly agree. Aside from being insanely delicious and rejuvenating, they use sustainably sourced, organic coconuts from small ecofarms. They also use High Pressure Processing, so their coconut water is totally raw. Once in awhile, you'll see a bottle of pink Harmless Harvest coco water, which is due to mega high levels of antioxidants! Pretty AND healthy - we love it.
Not all juice is so virtuous, though. Did you guys hear about the class action lawsuit against Naked Juice? The lawsuit takes issue with their use of the phrases "100% Juice" and "All Natural," because there are in fact additives in many of their flavors. Naked also claims to be GMO-free, but the lawsuit claims that their smoothies made with soy contain genetically modified soybeans. Though PepsiCo, their parent company, refutes these claims, they've agreed to a settlement for customers who purchased Naked products between 2007 and 2013.
It's pretty disappointing and frustrating when companies misrepresent their products and use phrases like "All Natural," which get rendered somewhat meaningless. The whole Naked lawsuit is just a potent reminder to do your due diligence about the stuff you consume, even the products that appear to be health-conscious on the surface. Luckily, there are plenty of awesome companies making juice, and all kinds of other stuff, in ways that are equally good for the planet and good for us!