We’ve all seen the hype around juicing, juice cleanses, juice fasts, etc. I feel like there’s an abundance of high-end cold-pressed juices at Whole Foods and whatnot… $7+ for a juice? Is it worth it? What makes some juices better than others? Is this really better for me than just eating some fruits and vegetables? What IS cold-pressed? So many questions, so few answers.
Serendipitously, Austin-based Daily Greens reached out to me at the beginning of the summer and offered me a sample box of their juices and I couldn’t say no. It was time to see what all the fuss was about. It was time to taste the rainbow.
So, what makes a cold-pressed juice superior to its classic counterparts? I’ll take it straight from the mouth of the Daily Greens website:
High Pressure Processing (“HPP”), otherwise known as pascalization, uses high pressure instead of heat to inhibit microflora growth in fresh food and therefore naturally extend its shelf life. Unlike pasteurization, pascalization is an external process; the raw product itself is never touched. Our pressurizing method uses evenly distributed pressure of cool water to destroy any harmful bacteria, such as Listeria, E. coli, Salmonella, lactic acid bacteria, yeast and mold, thereby making it safe for public consumption.
Because of the chilled temperature at which the juice is treated, alongside the minimal impact that pressure has on the structure of the components responsible for nutrition and flavor, the juice remains raw and the nutrients and taste remain the same.
My takeaway from all this: more nutrients! Closer to the structure of the original produce! Tons of greens and fruit! I can get behind that.
I think some people are weirded out by the idea of juicing vegetables. While I love most vegetables, there are certain things I can’t get behind. For example… I really, really, do not like celery. Does juiced celery taste any better? I mean, not by itself, no. But when combined with other, pleasurable flavors, it becomes a lot more palatable. As far as kale, spinach, and most other greens… those have a pretty mild flavor.
Case in point about the taste of these cold-pressed wonders: my very favorite flavor of Daily Greens was their “Renew,” made with mint, spinach, cucumber, watermelon, dandelion (!), pineapple, celery, and lime. Yes, celery was in this one but it was still delicious and very refreshing! Of course if you put watermelon and pineapple in anything, I’m probably going to be a fan. (Other recommended flavors from yours truly? The “Elevate” and “Rejuvenate.”) Anyway, all of these green juices really did make me feel energized, fresh, and light – versus a glass of your average fruit juice, which is tasty but sugary and not at all filling. (I will always have a soft spot in my heart for POG but I know it’s really not great for me… sigh.)
Let’s get one thing straight, though: I won’t ever be one of those people who regularly goes on juice fasts. I think health juices are a great way to supplement your diet and get some extra nutrients in, and a couple times I had a Daily Greens for lunch when I was having a hectic day at work. But I think they’re best enjoyed as part of a rounded, healthy nutritional routine. And Daily Greens seems to agree – they do offer a juice cleanse program but it’s only for 3-4 days AND, most importantly, they also encourage eating as many raw fruits & vegetables during the detox so you still feel full. So I think I could manage that! They also make sure to say “We do not believe in “crash” juice cleanses in which only juice is consumed for days on end, as these types of diets can result in many negative side effects” – good for you, Daily Greens friends.
After my big taste test, I do think there IS a big benefit to cold-pressed juice. More nutrients, tons of flavor, super fresh… it might cost a bit more but I think the perks are worth it. I’m definitely going to try to add more green juices into my diet. Even some celery! When it’s mixed with watermelon, at least.