Store-Bought Juice Labels Busted!

Fresh real juice in Tampa, Florida

Juicing at home may be fast and easy, but it does require cleanup, leading many to cut out the work by purchasing juice from the store. One of my clients found me because she had made exactly this mistake: She bought a bottle of juice, drank it happily, and then looked at the label. That bottle of green juice contained more sugar than two regular sodas! To add insult to injury, that juice was part of a line of prepackaged cleanses. Don’t make the same mistake.

Here’s what you should know about less-than-fresh juice.

  • 100% Juice doesn’t mean much. Food companies can legally print “100% Juice” on their labels while still including additives, flavorings and preservatives (not to mention a lot of added sugar and salt).
  • Key minerals, vitamins and live enzymes are destroyed by the pasteurization process most juices go through – and if that doesn’t do it, keeping juice on the shelf for days will!
  • “Not from Concentrate” juice often still uses “flavor packs” to add flavor back in after a lengthy storage process.
  • Even in juices labeled “All Natural,” synthetic ingredients may be hidden, like Fibersol-2, Fructooligosaccharides, or Inulin. Naked Juice was sued for using “All Natural” in their label while containing all of these ingredients.

It’s okay, you don’t have to clean your juicer to reap the benefits of fresh juice (even if it does just take a few seconds to rinse after use!). We have all the fresh, low-sugar, super-food-power-packed, straight-from-the-organic-farm juice you want. We carefully compose each juice recipe to maximize health benefits and flavor – and, you’re invited to check out our labels any time. We know you’ll like what you see and love what you taste!

How Clean Is Your Juice Cleanse? Check the Sugar Content

How clean is your juice cleanse?

Most of us – at least most of us reading this blog – monitor our intake of refined sugars very carefully. We use stevia in our coffee and agave nectar in tea and lemonade, and sure, once in a while we’ll indulge in a sweet dessert. What we don’t want is our healthy diet infiltrated by sugar in sources we’d never suspect, like high-end fruit and vegetable juice cleanses.

Recently, we’ve been looking at the nutrition labels of high-end bottled juices, and we were shocked by what we found. While the calorie counts ranged between 100 to 200 per bottle (not unreasonable, depending on the ingredients), we realized that nearly all of those calories came straight from sugar!

The worst offender was one 12oz bottle of green juice which had 38 grams of sugar (that’s just under 10 teaspoons). The same amount of sugar content in 12oz of Coca-Cola. To put that in even more perspective, the World Health Organization recommends a total of 6 teaspoons of sugar per day.

Your Juice Diet Could Destroy Your Teeth 

Chewing whole fruit does amazing things for your teeth. An apple or carrot may contain quite a bit of sugar, but they also act as natural “toothbrushes,” scraping off plaque with each bite while stimulating saliva to wash away cavity-causing bacteria. But, when you wash your mouth in 38 grams of sugar without the saliva-inducing, plaque-scraping structure of the whole fruit, the sugar sticks to your teeth and feeds the bad bacteria responsible for tooth decay.

In most sugar-packed juice blends, apple juice – a very high-sugar fruit juice – is ingredient #1, with healthy additions like spinach, kale, carrots, ginger, and turmeric coming in near the bottom. The spoonfuls of sugar may “help the medicine go down,” but the health costs of drinking between 50 to 100 teaspoons of sugar for each of the three days of your average juice cleanse is … disturbing. You could eat chocolate cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have had less sugar by the end of the day than if you drank five of these juices.

Not All Juices Are Like That

A well-balanced vegetable and fruit juice can taste great without relying on sugary fruit juices as the primary ingredient! At Intelligent Gourmet, we rely on refreshing cucumber, nutrient-rich greens, alkalizing citrus, and protein-packed nut milk to create juices that are balanced and chock-full of natural vitamins, minerals, and medicinal herbs, without all that sugar.

Do you know what’s in your juice?

turmeric juice

The Juice is Loose! The Rising Popularity of Juicing

Fresh Juice, Intelligent Gourmet

For something that is essentially cold, juice is hotter than ever. Juice shops are springing up on every corner, like Starbucks in the ‘90s. A New York Times article, “The Juice-Bar Brawl” says it best:

“Half a decade ago, most people who were found guzzling and gushing about juice – not grocery store O.J., but the dense, cold-pressed stuff that is made by pulverizing mounds of ingredients like kale, beets, ginger, spinach and kohlrabi – were either zealots from the raw-food fringe or Hollywood celebrities who believed that a ‘juice cleanse’ would nudge their toned bodies even closer to radiant perfection. But along the way, more people started drinking it. And for consumers and entrepreneurs, a realization took hold: juice did not have to be part of a challenging, expensive cleanse. It could simply be lunch.”

Yes, the industry is booming. And for every boutique juice shop like ours, there are more and more conveyor-belt chains popping up like dandelions in a fresh bed of wheat-grass. We like dandelions (they’re delicious additions to salads), but we also like our ability to create a variety of juices that are high quality, constantly changing with the seasons, and customizable to what our clients need and want. We also don’t think there’s a mass-produced substitute for our years of expertise in the field of health, nutrition, and making healthy foods taste delicious.

What Sets Our Juices Apart

Our juices don’t just include fruit juice, they’re carefully balanced with natural nutrients like hemp protein, turmeric, or almond milk, to give you the foundation for mind and body balance. There are some things you can’t quite achieve with a conveyer belt.

But we are thrilled that more and more people are finding out about juices. We love them. Come in and try one of our 16oz fresh-made juices for just $12.50. Like the New York Times says, “it could simply be lunch.”

Taste the Rainbow: 5 Ways to Use Juicing Pulp

Juicer pulp rainbow

It pains me to throw away perfectly good food, even if it’s been shredded and largely dehydrated. So for those of you juicing at home, here are a few tips for reducing your waste – while reducing your waist. (If you’re on a cleanse, just freeze the pulp.)

Before you whisk that pulp into your next recipe, know that the moisture content varies depending on which juicer you use. Expect some trial and error as you adjust.

1. Green Juice Crust-less Quiche – You’ve seen those photos on Pinterest of mini breakfast quiches baked in muffin tins, right? Using muffin tins is a great way to plan easy breakfasts for the week. Just whisk together your eggs and greens (and goat cheese or feta if you’re inclined) for a delicious portion-controlled breakfast. Spinach, kale and chard pulp is the perfect healthy addition.
2. Soups & Stews – Saute your carrot, celery and parsley scraps along with chopped onion for a healthy base for broths, soups and stews. Literally, just add water (and vegetable broth or tomato juice if you want to kick it up a notch).
3. Pancakes – Carrot and sweet potato pulp make for bright orange and deliciously sweet pancakes and waffles.
4. Muffins – Use apple, carrot and ginger pulp for carrot-apple tea cakes.
5. Beet Carrot Cucumber Salad, with Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnuts – The name says it all. Combine your beet, carrot and cucumber pulp (removing any large pieces), make a simple vinaigrette (2Tb honey, 1 ½ Tb Dijon, 3 Tb red wine vinegar, 1 ½ Tb minced shallots, salt, pepper, olive oil), and toss with goat cheese and toasted walnuts. Great for picnics and potlucks.

What’s your favorite way to use pulp? Compost? Birdfood? Sweets?