No Way, Not the Juice!

When USA Today reported PepsiCo’s decision to no longer label its Naked brand juice as “all natural” the news came as a surprise to many of the brand’s customers.

What would come as a surprise to me, a freshly pressed juice fanatic was news published by The Guardian with the warnings of two U.S. scientists, Barry Popkin and George Bray, that smoothies and fruit juice are a new danger!

Instead of sitting with my hands crossed awaiting a follow up to Popkin and Bray’s research, I decided to lean forward and gain a better perspective on the juicy lifestyle that I and so many of my friends enjoy.

I reached out to Amy Waldman, founder, and director of the Bethesda-based Purée Artisan Juice Bar who so graciously agreed to help clear my confusion. I shared with Waldman The Guardian article. “The dangers referred to in the article is commercially processed and packaged smoothies with added sugar and/or those that have been pasteurized,” said Waldman. “A freshly made, raw, organic smoothie from a reputable juice bar is completely different. Purée uses no sugar, and we include lots of vegetables.”    

Her response was exactly the clarification we sought as we delve into an In My Humble Opinion (IMHO) Q&A with self-proclaimed juice junkie Amy Waldman.

IMHO: What is the difference between pressed juice and juice from concentrate?

Purée: Pressed juice is fresh, with all vitamins, phytonutrients, and healing plant power intact. Concentrate is highly processed and void of any and all nutritional contact. Any vitamins listed in the concentrate have been synthetically added.

IMHO: Purée’s juices are only good for three days. Why is the shelf life of many common juices sometimes 10 times that much? 

Purée: Because it has been pasteurized! Pasteurization kills all potential microbes or chance of spoiling. But it also kills everything good in the juice too. In this regard, the [Guardian] article is right – the plethora of bottled juice is sugar water and of no value.

IMHO: Are there any glaring additives we should avoid when reading ingredients used IN store bought juice?

Purée: All store bought juice is pasteurized. Period. It is against the law to sell fresh juice except manufacturer to customer, i.e. Juice Bar to a customer. A juice bar can be within a grocery, but anything on the shelf with a life longer than 3 days has been processed. If you have to buy pasteurized juice know you are not receiving any of the health claims. Once it is pasteurized, it is gone. Period.

Especially be careful with the new High-Pressure Processing or HPP processed juices. HPP is not new but is being marketed as such for juice companies and it is bad news! If you are in a pinch and craving a juice, stay away from coloring, added sugars including fructose, anything ending in “tol” like malitol, xylitol, etc., thickeners, anything you can’t pronounce, and plastic.

We hope the information Waldman shared helps you feel a bit more confident in your juice choices. If you’re in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, you may want to make your way over to Purée to try one of their incredible fresh juices or gain a little inspiration.

Or, take to your own kitchen and experiment a little. While in no way does my home juice compare to the artisanal quality of a Purée juice, I decided to share with you my weekend ABC’s. I hope you like it!

Stay smart about what you put in your temple. You only have one!

My ABC’s

This recipe can be enjoyed whether using a blender or juicer.

Using a Juicer

2 Apples

1 Beet

2 Head of Broccoli

3 Carrots

Using a Blender

Depending on the quality of blender, chop or place whole fruit in a blender and add a few cubes of ice. Blend approximately 1-2 minutes and enjoy!  Remember, whatever you do, please consume within 3 days! No processed drinks here.

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