Some thoughts on packaging... July 03 2016 3 Comments
We wanted to address our stance on some of the packaging we use as we’ve had a few comments recently. If you have been following us for the past 2.5+ years you’ll know how passionate we are about re-using our glass bottles. Choosing to use glass for our juice is a massive commitment that generally makes things far more difficult on a daily basis - think storage space, transportation, weight, sterilisation, re-washing and re-using hundreds of bottles by hand and the potential of lower sales due to inconvenience for customer.
We didn’t make this decision because glass looks cool, because most of the time it’s completely frustrating and the temptation to switch can be strong. We made this decision because we don’t think business should come before the planet and the creatures we share it with. We also think glass retains the quality of the easily perishable raw juice as much as possible, so it made sense to us.
As we’ve grown away from being a wholesale business and into our new shop, the chance to invent new, non-juice products has developed. This includes things like smoothies, raw desserts and salads. All of this means packaging of some sort. We don’t have proper sit-down seating and our kitchen is unfortunately in a different premises, so we are very much a grab & go type place. This means customers need to be able to take their food away. Our heart wasn’t in this at all at first but we realised for every person that buys from our shop that’s one less person going into a big food chain or place that sells unethical products.
After thorough (and often contradicting!) research we decided on using some BPA-free rPET packaging for some of our food items and smoothies. PET is one of the most easily recyclable plastics in the world and rPET is even better as it’s not a virgin material. It still needs to be disposed of properly so we have dedicated bins in our shop and can only encourage people to do the same outside, but plastic recycling is quite easy to come by these days. We know it still isn't perfect and we do hope for better alternatives in the future.
We also looked into PLA (plant plastics) and although we used it briefly in the past, we are unable to use it now as we are certified organic by the Soil Association. It turns out something in the growing process is genetically modified and is potentially damaging to local soil and wildlife. If you sell organic food you are essentially forbidden from using it. Yes, it is compostable under specific conditions but it’s hard to come by industrial food recycling facilities on a daily basis and when disposed of improperly, which is highly likely, it can be difficult to degrade. So there are big practical constraints there too. We do feel if there was a massive overhaul in the way we recycle, where composting was as easy and normalised for everyone as plastic recycling, it would be worth pushing forward with PLA. It is a common misconception that PLA magically degrades in the bin or your back garden. So until recycling systems change, it just ends up in the rest of the rubbish in the bin or being stuck in with easily recyclable plastics like PET by accident, sort of 'getting in the way' of that pre-existing system.
After the amount of time that went into figuring out how we could cause as little harm as possible, you can understand how frustrating it is when someone bashes our packaging as if it’s not something we care deeply about. Without sounding too defensive and borderline arrogant, we truly feel we try harder than most companies when it comes to environmentally-conscious business practice. It’s not a competition and two wrongs don't make a right but we will always look for ways to improve in this area. It goes beyond packaging for us. For example, we only serve plant-based food and this will always be the case. Even with this simple act that most people will look past, we are drastically slashing our carbon footprint by not selling animal produce. We only use certified organic produce thereby retaining the quality of our soil and water; we up-sell stainless steel straws to our customers to encourage them not to use a plastic straw each time; we encourage up-cycling of our bottles; we give away some of our pulp; we have dedicated food waste/dry mixed recycling bins in our kitchen as well as a recycle bin in our shop so our packaging can be disposed of properly; we have recycle incentives for our glass bottles and of course there’s the general labour that comes with re-using every bottle. We aren’t just saying this to blow our own trumpet and we know we sound completely self-righteous-y but this is a huge amount of dedication that makes our daily job a lot more challenging. Being told to try harder can be tough.
We get that it’s tempting to bash companies and pick on areas where you think they could improve. So many businesses jump on the environmentally-friendly bandwagon to look ‘ethical’ when in reality they are still causing a staggering amount of damage. We get that it’s just to save face for them but this is something genuinely so close to our hearts in every way possible. We hope that’s obvious from the fact we clearly reflect on the issue a lot and even chose to do this blog. If you can think of any smart ideas where you think we could cut down on packaging even further, then feel free to let us know.
A Green Guide to Christmas December 20 2015
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and it’s also the most indulgent. We splash our cash and treat ourselves and others to fine food and generous gifts. While it’s a time of comfort and joy, we often overindulge and can end up overwhelmed, but with some simple steps and mindful merriment, you can have a feel-good festive season that’s good and green.
Oh Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches, but how sad they seem when abandoned and unwanted on the pavement in the new year. Consider an even greener tree by making your own upcycled alternative or renting one.
You can rent a living potted Christmas tree from Locavore in Glasgow, which they’ll deliver to you and then collect in the New Year, to replant and prolong its life. I feel a bit like Phoebe in that episode of Friends where she wants to rescue all the unattractive unloved Christmas trees. Tree hugging and saving all the way!
You could also get crafty and make your own take on a tree from old wood and unwanted off-cuts, or make some eco decorations from old newspaper. Unique and eco-chic!
GOOD GREEN GIFTS
For me, Christmas is all about spending time with the people I love and being mindful and grateful in good company. I’m not really bothered about stuff and would happily do without yet another gift set or more things to find a place for. This year, the gifts I’m giving are experiences and things to be enjoyed.
Give the gift of goodness by treating your healthy foodie friend or family member to a Juice Warrior gift voucher. At this time of year, we’re all too busy rushing around and buying for everyone else that we often forget to look after ourselves. A gift like this is invaluable and often a treat that many would wish for but reluctantly indulge in. Anticipate the inevitable January detox mission with a thoughtful voucher for a welcome cleanse in the new year.
GET YOUR GREENS
Ward off winter bugs and catching colds by getting lots of greens in. Dark green vegetables like kale, spinach and sprouts are crammed with nutrients and antioxidants, and adding some lemon juice will increase your absorption of iron with the addition of Vitamin C for extra winter wellness. Get your greens with morning juices or smoothies and pile your plate high with glorious greens at Christmas dinner.
Whatever your winter holds and however you choose to spend it, be mindful, grateful, healthy and happy. Here’s to a feel-good festive season.
Coconut Oil: What Is It Good For? Absolutely Everything! November 21 2015
I’m nuts about coconut oil. I carry a wee pot of it around in my bag and I keep a jar in my kitchen and another in my bathroom. Why? It’s one of the healthiest, most amazing and versatile ingredients around. From coffee and cooking, to mouthwash and moisturiser, it has so many uses and benefits.
Here’s how I use it:
A lot of oils turn toxic when you heat them, so your beloved olive oil could be doing you more harm than good if used for frying. Save olive oil for dipping and drizzling, and cook with coconut oil instead. Coconut oil has a high smoke point, so it retains its goodness at high temperatures and it’s very mild, so it doesn’t flavour or overpower food as you might expect. I like to make sweet potato fries with it. Guilt free goodness and a perfect pairing.
Oil-pulling is an ancient detoxifier, teeth-whitener and supposed weight-loss aid, which has recently become popular among reality stars, bloggers, vloggers and health fad fans. Companies have even capitalised on it by selling overpriced pouches of flavoured teeth-whitener.
It’s basically just coconut oil and you can do it yourself for a fraction of the price. Coconut oil reduces inflammation, kills bacteria and whitens teeth. Simply swish a spoonful around like mouthwash for ten minutes then spit it out. You can also use it to brush your teeth and it leaves a pleasant taste.
I love getting coconut-oiled up from head to toe. It has a nice velvety consistency and a little goes a long way. It’s natural, chemical-free, healing and moisturising. This magical stuff works wonders on dry skin and it also soothes and speeds up healing of cuts and scrapes. I also use it as a lip balm and it has mild SPF properties, so has the added bonus of slight sun protection.
Coconut oil makes a nice, natural underarm deodorant which is both soothing and effective. It melts nicely into the skin and is naturally deodorising and antibacterial, so it’s perfect as a clean, green, chemical-free deodorant.
I could go on and on and sing the powerful praises of this amazing oil again and again. Just buy some and give it a go if you haven’t already. You don’t even have to fork out for the cold-pressed pricey stuff – it can be found for a couple of quid in the world foods section of the supermarket.
For kitchen cooking, bathroom body-care and so much more, make coconut oil a household staple and enjoy the benefits of this endlessly useful elixir.
Will the real raw juice please stand up? November 10 2015
If you drink cold-pressed juice on a regular basis you might already be aware of the difference between HPP and truly raw, cold pressed juice. If you’re not and don’t understand how juice found in supermarkets can have a shelf life of up to a month, while claiming to be raw, let us explain!
Raw means unpasteurised which essentially means unheated. Raw juice lasts up to four days. Juice that has been High Pressure Processed (HPP) has not been treated using standard heat pasteurisation so technically, it is raw. Although it’s raw by definition, it isn't fresh, because fresh juice doesn't last longer than four days. These companies can still say it’s ‘cold-pressed’ because they are juicing the produce using the same cold pressing method, but it’s what happens after that determines if this matters or not.
SO WHAT IS HPP?
Juice companies that use high pressure processing send their juices away because the equipment is too large and expensive for most companies to buy themselves. Juice has to be in flexible plastic bottles and it is loaded into a high pressure chamber that is filled with a pressure transmitting fluid. The juice is subjected to up to 15 minutes of elevated pressure from the ice cold liquid that surrounds the bottles. This essentially makes the juice more commercially ready as it kills various micro-organisms which means the juice has a longer time to sell. This makes it easier for businesses as they aren't racing against sell by dates. In the future we plan to sell from retail units of our own so figuring out how to make it last longer isn't really a concern for us. Our concern is that the juices taste the best and have the most health benefits.
WHY IS IT NOT IDEAL?
Some studies claim vitamin and mineral levels are only slightly altered by the process. Although it’s suspected the process alters healthful enzymes and good bacteria and any remaining may not survive after four days. High pressure processing targets bad bacteria to make the juice more ‘safe’ but in doing so kills much good bacteria also. When we start to alter and process the natural states of foods and juices, it obviously isn’t the ideal way to consume them. We all know fresh is best. By definition, fresh food means foods that aren’t processed or last longer than it would take for it to naturally decompose. So whether HPP companies can really claim to be selling a fresh product is another concern.
Taste is obviously totally subjective. However if you’ve tasted real fresh raw juice vs. HPP juice you will know yourself there is no comparison. It just makes sense that the older product won’t taste as good. Some foods get better with age but unfortunately fruit and vegetable juice isn’t included on that list! I’m sure a lot of people prefer the taste of beer and fizzy cola to most green juices. What we mean is if you’re a green juice person, we know what you’ll prefer.
BENEFITS OF HPP
We’re not going to be completely bias and say this type of juice doesn't have a place in the market. Of course it does. If you’re desperate for your green juice hit and can’t get a hold of/make your own real raw juice then it’s definitely better than nothing. Say you’re going camping or travelling and need something that lasts more than four days, of course it’s useful. It’s not like it’s completely void of anything good and you’ll probably never find a HPP juice company adding sugar or flavourings. It is not evil and it is 100% better than the majority of syrupy, flavour enhanced ‘fresh’ juices on supermarket shelves. What we are questioning is whether it can really be called raw. HPP tends to be quietly mentioned on the bottles of these companies but you’ll still hear the companies touting the benefits of raw juice, which they have essentially snubbed by using this process.
There are obviously a billion and one more important things in the world… but we just wanted to put this out there so customers can decide whether it’s deceptive or not for such products to be marketed this way.
Gut Feeling October 08 2015
The average adult’s body contains around 100 trillion good and bad bacteria which mostly live in the gut. Good bacteria helps digest food, produce vitamins and protect against infections.Bad bacteria essentially causes the opposite and can bring on the likes of colds, bacterial throat infections and diarrhoea. Thankfully, we have access to medicine such as anti-biotics that can kill infections caused by bad bacteria.
We are all aware of anti-biotics because we are prescribed them all the time. It’s the understatement of the century to say how lucky we are to live in a society where we can be prescribed something that kills viruses so effectively. Anti-biotics have saved millions of lives since their discovery and that should obviously never been downplayed. However, there is also evidence of an undeniable over prescription of anti-biotics. Plus if you eat meat and dairy, you can be sure you’re getting your daily dose (whether you like it or not!) there too as farm animals consume over half the world's antibiotics!
We are much less aware of probiotics, which some scientists are claiming can do the same job, or at least help in some cases, but in a much more harmonious way. Whilst not necessarily used for extreme conditions; they can be used for other gut-related probelms that don't require as high a dose of antibiotics. Anti-biotics aren't able to distinguish between good and bad bacteria so they can damage our gut health by killing good bacteria too. Probiotics, on the other hand, can boost gut health, so it comes as no surprise that people are taking an interest in using this more natural route where possible. More research is still needed but some experts are predicting that probiotics may be as widely prescribed by doctors as anti-biotics one day.
Anti-biotics aren’t the only things that can damage your gut. Long term food choices can have an impact on our bodies’ good and bad bacteria; processed foods and alcohol wreaking the most havoc.When the balance between our good and bad bacteria is out of kilter for a length of time, a range of conditions and health problems can ensue. So before considering supplements it’s wise to make sure you’re eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and organic wholegrains as this will give you a head start. Eating lots of fruit, drinking lots of micro-nutrient rich juice and sticking to a mainly plant based diet can go a long way to improving your gut and digestive health without probiotics. However, probiotics do a great job of stimulating your immune system (60% of which resides in the gut) by fighting off bad bacteria which you may come in contact with unexpectedly.
Most people already know that probiotics can help with digestion as well as rebalancing your gut flora but research is now showing that they may also help with allergies, common colds and flus, high cholesterol and vaginal infections.
Probiotics are considered safe for most people including individuals with impaired immune system but as with all supplements it’s recommended you speak with your doctor first.You will find PROVIOTIC probiotic on our site as it is not only allergen free but also vegan (many probiotic supplements aren’t vegan as milk is used in the growth process). The bacteria from Proviotic is found on a snowdrop flower on the mountains of Bulgaria and is grown in carrot juice. Snowdrop flowers and mountains sounds like some sort of gimmicky fairytale but the reality is this probiotic has gone through rigorous scientific research at some of the most prestigious academic institutions in the United States. Their research shows that PROVIOTIC is able to outcompete some of the most pathogenic bacteria better than any other probiotic on the market.
Why the hell are we putting turmeric in an almond mylk? August 29 2015
Turmeric has been used for over 4000 years to treat a variety of ailments in Ayurvedic medicine.
It's the active ingredient in this spice curcumin that makes it so good for our health. It appears that this ancient spice has had a bit of a 're-birth' and has become one of the most sought-after ingredients, on the lips of every healthy foodie.
You might traditionally have used turmeric in a curry, but little did you know that this innocent looking root could pack a lot more than just a flavour-punch! There are lots of claims out there that the anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin could help prevent memory deterioration, cardiovascular disease and control blood sugar levels.
We aren't claiming that if you start sprinkling turmeric all over your dinner you will never get sick, that's just not possible. Most of these health 'claims' need to be taken with a hefty pinch of salt. However, there are a lot of every day ailments that can be relived by adding a little turmeric into your diet. And its beautiful golden sunny hue is enough to make anyone smile!
Fresh, like most things, is always best.
So buying turmeric root is always preferable. Turmeric powder can often cause tummy upset, or be overly processed. Not to mention the gritty texture that can come with adding a little too much!
Due to its inflammation fighting properties, turmeric has been proven to be an indigestion fighting wonder-spice!
Many people find that it can reduce symptoms of bloating and gas.
This may be due to the curcumin, which stimulates the production of bile in the gallbladder. It can help settle the stomach after a hefty meal, or indulgent weekend. One of my favourite digestive aids is a mug of hot water, knob of turmeric and ginger root with a slice of fresh lemon. Leave this to infuse like a tea for 3-4 minutes and then drink, add a little raw honey if you need it sweeter. It's particularly effective before a meal or in the evening if you want to settle your stomach before bed. For those a little more hardcore, add a drop of apple cider vinegar to really get your gastric juices moving.
These anti-inflammatory properties aren't only helpful for tummy troubles.
Turmeric supplementation has been shown to be just as affective in the relief of joint pain as popping a couple of ibuprofen. You can buy turmeric tablets which provide a much higher dose of the spice than by consuming it in its natural source. However, as with all dietary supplements always consult a health professional before taking.
Everyone should be able to get as much out of the food that they consume as possible, that's why this new almond mylk, 'Sovereign' is perfect. As the name suggests, this mylk is a luscious golden colour. The subtle kick from cayenne compliments that earthy flavour of the turmeric, and it’s sweetened very subtly and naturally by coconut nectar. Fresh turmeric root as opposed to powder has been used to avoid any unpleasant gritty residue, and to make sure that you are getting all the goodness from raw produce.
This mylk is a perfect tonic when you are feeling a bit over-indulged but feels like such a treat at the same time!
It's a great replacement for your morning or afternoon coffee- you will feel the re-energising benefits without the slump. Consuming it after dinner is a particular treat for those sugar monsters amongst us always looking for something sweet to 'finish' off a meal.
However, if you just aren't sold, and can't imagine using a curry spice in your almond mylk then why not get creative in the kitchen? Adding turmeric to eggs, homemade hummus and grains whilst cooking is a great way to get some of the healing benefits into your diet, and not to mention it makes everything look delightfully sunny!
If I were to tell you to swap your lunch today for a bowl of kale you might look at me as if I was crazy, but stick with me here.
I stumbled across a variation of this salad when I was browsing my local supermarket’s deli section. After buying it a couple of times, I decided to try and replicate it in my own kitchen and - no surprises here - that the homemade version tastes so much better!
This is a delicious raw kale salad with an orange, soy & ginger dressing that’s packed with flavour, protein and antitoxins – you’ll be going back for second helpings I’m sure!
Sadly kale is nearly out of season, so I’m trying to get my fix now. This meal has become a staple in my diet and I have it 2-3 times for my lunch per week. Not to mention that I estimate around 12.5 grams of protein in one portion (half the recipe outlined below).
Before we begin, I want to stress the importance of massaging the kale. I’ve seen a couple of different bloggers talking about massaging their kale, and even though I enjoy my time in the kitchen, it’s something I’ve always skipped due to timely nature of it. Five minutes massaging a vegetable?! However, it kept appearing in recipes so I decided to dig a little deeper and find out what all the fuss was about. Now that I’ve read about the benefits, and tried it in my favourite dish, I’m converted. I can’t believe I was eating kale in any other way before. It totally transforms the flavour and texture of the leaf. This process breaks down the kale, leaving you with a tender, less-bitter leaf that is easier to digest. Additionally, I’ve found that massaging the kale helps the leaf absorb the dressing easier -meaning that you can skip some of the marinating time if you get too hungry!
I also use my own juicer for the oranges in the recipe below. This obviously yields more juice than the traditional hand method so if you aren’t using a juicer I recommend you up your orange quantity by half (aka 3 oranges!).
Hopefully you enjoy this as much as me and find it an easy way to get some more raw green goodies into your diet!
Massaged Kale Salad with an Orange, Soy & Ginger Dressing
Prep time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Actual hands-on time: 10 minutes
Makes: Enough for 4 as a side dish or 2 hungry lunches!
- Juice of 2 large oranges (or 3 if juicing by hand)
- 100g ginger
- 50ml groundnut oil
- 30ml dark soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten free option)
- 30g flaked almonds
- 30g pumpkin seeds
- 20g sunflower seeds
- 50g cranberries
- 200g kale, stems removed
- Wash & rinse your kale. Get as many as the stems out now as you can – this is the bitterest part of the leaf. Once you’ve rinse your kale, get stuck in with your hands and massage for 3-5 minutes. The kale will soften but still hold its shape. If you feel it getting to mushy – stop! Set the kale aside in a colander to drain some more while you get on with the dressing.
TIP: If you’re picking up the already torn kale (like most supermarkets package it) you can probably get away with 3 minutes else you risk the kale becoming a big green pulpy mess.
- For the dressing I use a mixture of juiced and grated ginger. I find that by using a mix I still get the strong flavour I want fully integrated into the dressing, but with a bit of texture too. If you are lucky enough to have a juicer at home, juice around 40grams of the ginger, and grate the rest. If you’re not using a juicer – grate the whole lot and pop it in your mixing bowl.
TIP: Before you put the oranges in the juicer, take the pulp from the ginger out add to your mixing bowl for extra zingy-ness!
- Juice your oranges and put into the bowl of ginger (remembering to take the wax off the orange if juicing).
TIP: if you are juicing, you’ll get some of the normal foamy-ness from the oranges. Sift this out for a more visually pleasing dressing or just leave it if you don’t care!
- Add the ground nut oil and soy sauce to the orange & ginger and mix. Your dressing is done!
- Now mix the massaged kale with the dressing in a large bowl then add the flaked almonds, cranberries, pumpkin & sunflower seeds. Leave to marinate for a couple of hours in the fridge, making sure to stir every now and then so that the juices don’t sit at the bottom.
- Serve to your family & friends and never hear a complaint about kale again!
How to make a macro bowl May 22 2015
You may have heard the term 'Macro bowl' being thrown around the internet alongside beautiful looking bowls of plant based goodness!
Macro bowls stem from Macro nutritional and macrobiotic ways of eating. I'm not one for following one particular diet as you know, but the idea of getting every macro nutrient you need in one meal is an appealing quality (think Carbs, fats and proteins, and probiotics!) The actual Macrobiotic movement, favoured by the likes of Tracey Anderson and Gwyneth Paltrow, involves a lot of vegetables, whole grains and pulses. It's essentially the complete opposite of the current trend for Paleo. But since it is National Vegetarian Week I thought it would be good to share with you my own spin on the Macro bowl that is the perfect versatile meal for you to throw together when you are short of time using pretty much anything you have in your fridge!
I sometimes call it the kitchen-raider dinner!
For good balance each meal should be a rough combination of grains (or other carb), vegetables, protein and fermented foods.
I like to go for approximately
- 40-60% vegetables -greens, squash, beetroot, onions and garlic - include some sprouts and herbs if you can too
- 20 % grains/carb - personally I use pseudo cereals like Quinoa, buckwheat and millet or sweet potato. But you could use brown rice!
- 10% protein - be this animal, eggs, dairy, bean or organic tempeh/tofu
- 5 % fermented foods for tummy health - miso, sauerkraut, yoghurt
- 10% fats - avocado, tahini, olive oil, seeds and nuts
It's not an exact science, but remember the emphasis is on getting in every element that you need. So make sure you have something from every spectrum, not only will this keep you satiated but your body will also thank you for it!
Here are some examples of macro bowls I have thrown together in no time! The possibilities are endless, you will be hooked!
Protein...Where do you get yours? May 03 2015
One question I'm often asked is if you choose to start eating more plant based, how on earth do you possibly get enough protein?
Well it's not impossible but it's very important you educate yourself on how and where to get what you need to prevent illness, lethargy and deficiencies.
Protein is built out of amino acids - if you have any gym-going friends you may have heard this term being thrown about from time to time. All humans need a certain amount of protein in order to function, grow and repair tissue. Having a variety of each amino acid is the main cause for concern for those following a plant based diet (take note, if you eat processed foods this can affect you to, even if you eat meat!) Amino acids come in three different forms:
NON-ESSENTIAL: our bodies have a supply or are able to make them on its own;
ESSENTIAL: We must get these from the food we eat, and
CONDITIONAL: not essential unless our body has been put under serious stress like illness or a marathon...
NOW... this doesn't mean you have to make sure your body is getting ALL of these amino acids at one meal in order to make a complete protein source! It’s more important for your body to consume a wide variety of amino acids every single day! You’re body is pretty darn amazing and can make up for lost amino acids on the days your diet may be lacking in them.
Protein is so important for your body's functionality it helps you digest food, re-build muscle after exercise, hormone production, keeping the immune system working and gives you a lovely healthy glow (think lush skin, hair and nails!)
You can get your protein from all sorts of amazing sources (not just chicken and beef!) And this is especially important for anyone looking to eat a more plant-centric diet! This is not just good for our bodies, but also for the planet!
If you do choose to add meat to your diet go for the best quality sources such as Wild caught fish, free range and organic eggs, grass fed beef, milk and butter.
Those that are naturally sourced and are as unprocessed as possible (Quorn does NOT count).
Here are my top 5 plant based natural protein sources that you can use to put a little more variation into your diet! There is life after meat!!!
Little tiny morsels of pure protein power, 3 tbsp = 10g protein. They are also a vegan source of omega 3 fatty acids. Sprinkle on salads, add to smoothies and soups or into porridge to boost the protein content and keep you fuller longer! Juice Warrior also do a delightful Hemp mylk which is a great dairy and nut free mylk alternative for those who are intolerant.
One of my favourite pseudo cereals. It's technically a seed, but contains carbohydrates and fibre. It replaces starches in many recipes that call for grains. Completely gluten free and high in protein about 1/2 a cup of cooked quinoa has between 7 - 9 g of protein. Use it in place of rice with a curry, as a porridge alternative!
Soy (Tempeh, organic tofu, edamame)
So soy doesn't always get such a good reputation, but organic pure and unprocessed sources can be highly nutritious for a plant based diet. Tempeh, tofu, and edamame contain all amino acids, and are therefore the easiest source of a complete protein. If you can't get organic tofu i would stick to Tempeh as it contains healthy gut friendly bacteria from fermentation. A rough serving of soy products gives around 20g protein. Tofu is a good meat replacement for those who miss out on a solid protein source on their plate. Use in stir fries or scramble tofu like eggs in a little coconut oil and turmeric for a nutritious weekend breakfast treat!
Beans are an amazing source of protein, carbohydrates, and fibre. They are quite starchy, and some people find them a little hard to digest. Therefore I would personally recommend sprouting or soaking all beans and pulses before cooking to break down any phytic acid in the outer husk. It’s also a good idea to avoid combining pulses with other starches or protein sources. So next time you make a three-bean chilli, omit any meat and serve with a side of cauliflower rice instead! A cup of cooked beans packs a punch of 15g protein.
Possibly my favourite subject! Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios...etc are so rich in minerals such as selenium ad vitamin E; heart healthy fat; Vitamin E as well as being protein rich! a 1/4 cup of nuts can give you 7-9g of protein, so make a really good post-gym snack. They are also incredibly versatile, from making mylks, butter, cheese (you heard me), energy balls and adding to savoury meals to boost the protein content. Despite being so nutritionally amazing, watch your portions as a small handful can work out as a pretty energy dense snack! If you find nuts slightly harder to digest, it may be worth soaking them overnight before you eat to breakdown the tough outer layer that our bodies tend not to like much!
There is no one definitive way of eating, it’s all about variety (it's the spice of life, right?) But it may be worth while giving your body a break every once in a while from meat and dairy, and try incorporating some amazing plant sources of protein. Not only will it leave you feeling light and energised, but you will also benefit from the fibre, minerals and fats that these plant sources provide!
Raw Chocolate Caramel Easter Egg Recipe April 02 2015
Easter! Its the season of all things chocolatey and sweet, and a sign that we have made it through the depths of winter (and for some of you valiant lot, Lent) Therefore we must be joyous, and embrace spring with welcoming arms and, here’s hoping a few less layers of clothing!
But why should we jeopardise all that healthy eating you’ve been doing in order to shift those extra Christmas pounds? For just a few (too many) sickly sweet chocolate eggs? Yes I admit easter egg chocolate is like no other but once I found out the health benefits of raw chocolate and how good it could taste, there was no going back. I have the perfect recipe to keep you on track and allow you to join in on the fun of easter!
A bit about Raw cacao.
It contains a plethora of health benefits and body enriching nutrients! If you thought being healthy meant giving up this food group (yes, I do consider chocolate a necessary food group!) then think again! One of my favourite minerals that raw cacao contains is magnesium which is responsible for maintaining a healthy nervous system and aiding sleep its also a must for any anxiety sufferers as it relaxes the muscles. Its not a fallacy that it helps make us feel better, Phenylethylamine and Serotonine levels in chocolate have been proven to improve our mood. These compounds are present in individuals that are relaxed, cheerful and creative. Its also a surprisingly great source of dietary fibre. I wouldn’t substitute it for your usual serving of veggies at dinner, but it helps to stimulate the bodies digestive enzymes, so perhaps that small square of chocolate after dinner isn’t such a bad idea?
Now, lets get one thing straight. The cacao I am talking about is chocolate in its purest form, unprocessed and naturally sweetened. It isn’t unfortunately at all present in those laptop size slabs of chocolate flavoured sugar and milk you can get for £1 almost everywhere! Raw chocolates do tend to be a bit on the pricey side, but you can make it yourself at home easily and it's fun! If you grab yourself some reasonably priced and very cute little moulds you can turn your kitchen into a mini chocolate factory this easter weekend! Kids and adults alike will love making these, and its also a great way to experiment with exciting flavour combinations and shapes! Oh, and you can feel oh-so virtuous about eating these eggs! They don’t spike blood sugar levels like commercial chocolate, and you can’t eat quite the quantity of it either because of its richness! Which simply means you get to enjoy these little treats for longer, that’s hoping you don’t have too many hungry little monkeys lurking about! The lime and chilli egg is a great present for a serious chocolate lover, and kids will love to munch on the mini eggs!
Lime chilli egg with mini eggs filled with a salted tahini caramel
• 1 bag (roughly a cup) of melted cacao butter
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1 cup raw cacao powder
• 2 tbsp date nectar (or coconut sugar/maple syrup)
• 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
*optional add-ins for large egg*
Juice of 1 lime & 1/2 tsp chilli flakes/cayenne
• 1tbsp white tahini (available in all large supermarkets!)
• 2 tbsp date nectar (or coconut/maple)
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• pinch quality sea salt *please add this it MAKES the whole thing work!!!!
- Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil in a pan / double boiler (please don't microwave if you can help it!) then add your sweetener.
- Remove the heat and add in the cacao powder, vanilla and cinnamon and whisk well until it becomes smooth and velvety! Have a little taste here, to check the sweetness.
- Fill the little moulds about 1/3 full and then pop into the freezer to set.
- If you are flavouring your large egg now add the lime juice and chilli to the remaining mixture and paint the remaining chocolate pix onto your large egg and place into the freezer.
- While you are waiting for them to set, make your caramel by combining all of the tahini, syrup vanilla and salt in a small bowl and mix well until it becomes sticky and thick (and actually looks like caramel!!!)
- After about 15 - 20 minutes, remove the moulds and pop them out of their cases. Now you can use the caramel to stick the sides together. You won’t need too much here as it will get a bit sticky on the outsides! Place them back into the freezer to set.
- Once your large egg is set you may need to melt a little of your remaining chocolate scraps again to ‘glue’ the two sides together. I also used a little drizzled over as a decoration! Put these back into the freezer for the last time to set completely.
- This can be stored in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to enjoy, although I dare you to leave it any longer than an hour!
Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe February 04 2015
Cut out cake. That is a sentence I refuse to say. Ever.
Being healthy is all about enjoying life and that includes your food. If you are sitting down to a lacklustre meal every evening, praying for the weekend so you can have a blow out and get at the dairy milk, then you are on a fast track to self-destruction. What we eat should be nourishing, but also delicious. And I wholeheartedly believe that almost anything can be ‘Healthified’. That means that your ‘favourite foods’ that may not be very beneficial to your health, can be made more nourishing (and often better tasting!) than the original!
Naturally I thought it would be appropriate to share a little recipe with you, that will get some veggies into your diet with the added benefit of curbing that cake craving, oh AND its super-duper easy to make! Now many ‘healthified’ recipes out there tend to be chocolate based; whilst that suits me down to the ground, I know that not everyone is a fan of the cacao bean. (I shall try not to judge you chocolate haters) To indulge you non cacao-cravers, I have chosen my second favourite cake-like treat (FYI, 1st is a brownie) and that is Carrot cake. Nothing quite beats the slight spicing from cinnamon and nutmeg, earthiness from the carrot and crunch of the odd walnut. Well apart from a squidgy and gooey chocolate brownie just out the oven....just saying.
Did I mention that this carrot cake it completely raw, vegan, gluten free and very low in even natural sugar?
And it packs a nutritional punch. Walnuts contain essential omega 3 fatty acids and B vitamins, which means they are a great option to supplement your diet with if you are vegan, vegetarian, or avoid dairy. Low in carbohydrates and high in protein makes them a total power food that will energise you, keep you full and repair muscles pre and post exercise. Not to mention that a portion of this carrot cake is super high in dietary fibre, which promotes healthy digestion and detoxification. But it is my secret ingredient that should have you grabbing for a slice the second you have whipped up a batch - bonus is you don’t even have to wait on it cooling! Turmeric. My current spice obsession. Turmeric is an amazing little spice that has been used in Asian cooking and Ayurvedic medicine thousands of years, and quite rightly!
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and studies have claimed that it can help with many ailments including Inflammatory Bowel disease, even Multiple Sclerosis. As well as this, using it regularly can ward off colds and flus with its antibacterial properties. Another reason I love using it so regularly is because of its digestive benefits, it stimulates the gallbladder and produces bile which helps to flush the liver of toxins. When I feel a little upset tummy coming on I grab myself a knob of turmeric, grate it into a mug of hot water & lemon and find it starts to settle things off quite nicely. See you can have your cake and eat it!!
- 2 carrots grated
- 1 or 1/2 cup medjool dates chopped up (use less if you can, but if you have a very sweet tooth then use the whole cup, you may also need them to bind it together)
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded/ desiccated coconut
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 tbsp almond/cashew butter (I don't recommend you use peanut butter as the taste will be pretty overpowering) If you don't have these then add more coconut oil and dates or walnuts depending on your taste preferences.
- 2 tbsp ground almonds
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- Thumb sized piece of fresh turmeric (grated) - if you use powdered just use 1/4 tsp but try to get fresh at the green grocers if you can.
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1tsp cinnamon
- PINCH of cayenne
- 1 tsp mixed spice (or grating of nutmeg)
- 1 cup cashew nuts (soaked overnight then rinsed)
- Coconut mylk/water
- 1 tsp coconut palm sugar OR a small tub of COYO/other dairy free coconut yoghurt
- 1 tsp coconut palm sugar
Pop the walnuts in the blender or food processor and grind until powdery, then add the ground almonds, dates and coconut oil. Blend until it starts to all come together and add in your carrot, spices and nut butter. You will have to blend for white a wee while to make sure that it is all evenly incorporated, scraping down the sides with a spatula when needed.
Once you are happy it’s all bound together, flatten the mixture out on a lined baking tray and pop it into the freezer while you make your icing. If you don’t have Coconut yoghurt, blend the soaked cashews and coconut water or mylk in a blender - add the water slowly until it’s smooth but not too watery. Then add the coconut sugar. If you are using coconut yoghurt stir the coconut sugar in until well mixed.
Remove your carrot cake from the freezer and slather the ‘icing’ over the top’, then put it back into the freezer to all set.
Once its ready store in the fridge in an airtight container until it’s completely finished, which may not be very long. This carrot cake is a little squidgy and slightly fragile and it’s just perfect the way it is! I particularly like cutting mine into squares for perfect lunch-box portions. But do what suits you and enjoy yourself!
'Tis the season of indulgence... December 13 2014
The season of indulgence is upon us, and unless you are a positively beatific shining example of health then you will have started to feel the effects that all this ‘winter eating and drinking’ can have on the body!
We are simply human, its all too easy to slip down one too many glasses of bubbly at the office Christmas party, or give into that sixth mince pie this week (well if it’s free..) The question is, what is all of this indulging doing to the way we feel? A heavy night out leaves you with a dry mouth, banging head and rather delicate tummy. Instead of lambasting yourself for wrecking all the weeks of health and virtue you had in the summer, why not just treat yourself with kindness and nourish your body. It’s easy to say ‘eat a salad, dink plenty of water and abstain from all things bad forever. Because the chances are, this time of year, you have another party in a couple of days that will result in very much the same antics. In this blog I want to focus on what you can do to make yourself feel as healthy as possible, without missing out on the fun this season has to bring!
Before going out make sure you have had a light meal - eating too much can often have the same result as not eating at all; cut to you with your head stuck down the toilet all night! It might sound like a bit of an old wives tale, but ‘lining’ your stomach with some slow release carbohydrate and protein (like sweet potato, pulses and brown rice) these will help you remain full and if you are watching your waistline it will save you from over indulging in any rich, unhealthy nibbles being passed around at the party. Whatever you drink, take a ‘water round’ between your drinks. Not only will this slow down your pace of drinking, but it will re hydrate your body after having alcohol. Your skin and head will thank you in the morning!
The next day, if you do wake up feeling a little worse for wear, make sure you get as much fluid down you as possible!
Be this water, coconut water (hero!) herbal tea, hot water and lemon or fresh cold pressed juice. But please, no pasteurised OJ, this is the equivalent of pouring pickling vinegar down your throat!! Try to avoid caffeinated stimulants like coffee, energy drinks and even tea. These will just add to that overwhelming free floating anxiety you will be engulfed by. As for eating, ‘Hangover food’ has become somewhat of a trend amongst over boozed, university students who gorge themselves on something greasy, fried and starchy the morning after, in an attempt to ‘soak up’ the any remaining alcohol running through their veins. I don’t have to be the one to tell you that this might be the worst thing you could do for your poor body the evening after indulging. Your liver is already in melt down from having to process the dent you made in the free bar, but now it has to break down all these genetically modified, over processed and hydrogenated sugars, oils and fats? One thing I and the most well renowned nutritionists agree with is the need for carbs. Carbs are our friends regardless, but when you are feeling fragile its best to keep it light and easy to digest. Fruit is a saviour - easy to digest, full of water (yay, hydration!) and its sweet enough to that your furry little tongue will be craving something that doesn’t remind it of what you were guzzling a few hours previous (FAO: wine drinkers, grapes are almost certainly safe) If you really can’t stomach anything too heavy don't force dense rye breads, oats or grains. Stick to things like rice (even white) like sushi which is light and easy to digest and incorporate some protein to keep it from digesting too quickly, you will be hungry! But if you can face something a little heartier then have something like eggs, peanut butter and banana, avocado or even some hummus on toast. The protein will keep you full and the carbohydrates will most certainly rejuvenate you!
Finally, take it easy!
Don’t over tax yourself the day after a night of drinking! Your wee body needs to repair after all the damage you have inflicted on it. Take a gentle stroll, or if you can face downward facing dog do some yoga. But keep it gentle - a few twists and stretches in front of the telly might be enough!
Keep yourself hydrated, happy and healthy this holiday season. Remember enjoy it sensibly!
The switch to local & organic December 11 2014
Since starting Juice Warrior we knew switching to 100% local and organic produce was one of our main goals for the company.
We believe in total transparency for our customers and have always said we were working towards this. It wasn’t just something we were saying to please everyone and we are thrilled to now be working with a collection of local producers through Locavore.
Locavore is a Community Interest Company based in Strathbungo, where they have a not-for-profit organic and local food shop. They also run a variety of activities including creating an exemplar aquaponics system in the St Enoch Shopping Centre. Although they don’t have absolutely everything that we use at the moment, we hope to work with their farmers so they can grow anything we need in the New Year.
Daniel has worked for a fruit and veg wholesaler for the past 7 years, so it’s safe to say he’s knowledgeable in the area. Saying that, even though we eat and juice a lot of plants, organic isn’t always something we’ve strived to put first for ourselves so it’s exciting immersing ourselves in this new world. Being able to drive for 15 minutes and see where your kale is growing is super fun if you’re juice geeks like us (the above photos are from our recent trip to an organic farm in Neilston).
We were already using a mix of organic and ‘conventional’ produce in the Juice Warrior kitchen but we are now closer than ever to being 100% organic!
Organic or not, everything we’ve ever juiced is thoroughly soaked and washed in a non-toxic formula. Cleaning your produce properly is obviously so important when you’re making raw, cold-pressed juice because no pasteurisation takes place.
What I’m finding even more exciting than the organic aspect, is how local the produce is. The beetroot is so firm and crunchy! I feel like I’ve never had a proper beetroot before now. The difference in taste, freshness and texture is insane! It makes you think about how long fresh produce can travel/sit in a shop before you actually consume it, and this is why local tastes so much better. Our new kale is from as close as Neilston, our carrots are from East Lothian and the beetroot is from North Berwick. Not only does local taste better, but the nutritional content is naturally going to be much higher because it’s fresh out of the ground. In turn this makes our juices even more nourishing so you can see why it’s so appealing to us. In our juice ‘Blood Pact’ alone, we press 500g carrots, 1 ½ beetroot, 250g celery and ½ lemon so you can imagine how nutrient dense a local juice is.
Although the taste and quality is miles superior, we are also happy to be buying produce that we know is better for the environment. Not only will we be using these local farms’ wonderful fruits and veggies but we’ll be giving them our waste pulp which they can put back into the ground to use as compost. Healthy soil = healthy veg!
What’s your pH? November 21 2014
I’ve always been a little bit fascinated with this ‘Alkaline’ eating movement. But if you have been living down a ditch for the last couple of years, then I’ll catch you up best I can.
It’s actually very simple; eat foods that digest in the body at as close to your blood’s optimal pH level of 7.3, simples? I know, I know when I first started reading about it I had these horrible flash backs of higher chemistry, wearing oversized plastic goggles, and ‘white’ overcoats that hadn’t seen a washing machine since the start of the school year; diligently dipping litmus paper into jars of rather watered down hydrochloric acid (pH of 0) which is super-duper acidic.
Nevertheless I remember also hearing that lemons were up there at around 2, along with household vinegar. So here’s a question, how come all these Alkaline foodies are going on about how great lemons are, surely now I know the truth, they will burn a hole in my stomach? I could have a law suit on my hands here… However, a little deeper investigation meant that my daily hot water and lemon habit could continue. When we DIGEST these substances they break down by various amazing little enzymes we carry in our bodies, until it is finally ready for absorption into the blood stream. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickled veg and other foods that taste tart on the tongue (and thus making you think they are acidic, break down to become alkaline and thus improve the digestive process, and there are millions of other delicious foods out there which help you to maintain an alkaline state.
Whereas some foods such as meat, dairy, processed foods and gluten, break down in the body and become acid forming. Many of these can be hard to grasp, because there are often foods that we have come to associate as helpful when ill, suffering from heartburn and some are even deemed very healthy! (milk, anyone?) The body does its best, and is very efficient at re calibrating your body’s PH when you have consumed some acidic foods. Nevertheless, if we bombard it with over processed foods, meat and dairy on a regular basis it puts extra strain on vital organs such as the liver and kidneys, as well as leaching minerals out of the bones.
This can result in fatigue, headaches, bad digestion, heartburn or other more serious conditions such as Crohn’s and chronic eczema.
If you do suffer from conditions aggravated by diet like the ones previously mentioned, it may be worth considering giving your body a rest from acid forming foods, and flooding it with alkaline foods and juices. I am not one to limit my research and stick to just one way of eating; I’m all for listening to what my body needs in the moment.One week I might be completely animal product free, the next I’ll have eggs for breakfast.
But one thing that I stick to is limiting (and hopefully one day eliminating) all processed foods.
These foods, in my opinion, make us sick and hopefully everyone is starting to realise it. I used to suffer from chronic heartburn, and from time to time it comes back to haunt me. I know it tends to happen when I am consuming more dairy, fish and eggs (i.e animal products) which has been my downfall recently. So true to form I have been doing that thing where I ‘listen to my body’ and I got back on the alkaline bandwagon! I was consuming 1-2 Of the Juice warrior ‘Alkaline cleanse’ juices per day. I didn’t feel like my body was ready for a full no-food juice cleanse just now, I have a job where I am active and on my feet all day, the last thing I wanted to do was keel over with hunger!
I started my day with a Chlorella Shot and a green juice like Goodness Gracious Green (Cucumber, Pear, Pak Choi, Spinach, Lemon) Bangarang! - (Cucumber, Kale, Pear, Lemon) Or Pearfect (Pear, Celery, Spinach, Lime) and a little snack later on. Lunch was normal food (Quinoa based salad, avocado and hummus on millet bread or buckwheat crackers etc.) then my afternoon pick me up would be the hardest of the juices to take- Essentials (Kale, Chard, Romaine, Parsley, Lemon) Not one for the sweet juice lover! Or my FAVOURITE which was Blood Pact (Beetroot, Carrot, Celery, Lemon, Ginger) I love anything with beets, ginger and celery - the ultimate juicing fruit and veg! I would have an easy plant based dinner as usual and I would then wind down my evening with a mug of herbal tea or some slightly warmed hemp seed mylk. (Hemp Seeds, Vanilla Pod, Barleygrass Powder, Dates, Pink Himalayan Salt, Filtered Water) You would think it would be hard to stomach, but I swear I love this mylk! I loved it so much that I used it in some Quinoa porridge on Saturday morning along side a green juice. Delicious!
I felt energised, I felt nourished, and I certainly did NOT feel deprived. Juicing doesn't need to be all about surviving solely on juice, because some of us just love to chew.
Winter Wellness October 30 2014
As winter draws in, the temptation to snuggle up in front of the television and devour a tin of those addictive little chocolates, with such inviting shiny wrappers, becomes ever stronger. And the prospect of sitting down to a plate of cold salad after a day in the snow is somewhat dismal.
Cold foods just don’t have quite the appeal they did when the sun was shining. But who says that salads have to be cold, or that raw foods can’t be warming? Many ingredients can mimic the affect of warmth - like ginger, chilli and turmeric. Spices are great for invigorating your internal fire - which is why such ingredients can do wonders for the digestion. Everyone waxes lyrical about starting your day with a cup of warm water and fresh lemon - and that's because it works! It kicks starts your digestive juices, it detoxifies the liver by alkalising the body, hydrates you after sleep and this gives you natural energy - you can’t say that about coffee!! Even drinking a small cup of warm water around 20 minutes before a meal (even better with a tsp of raw apple cider vinegar) will help you to better digest whatever you are about to eat. Particularly helpful if the meal contains a lot of cooling or raw foods like raw vegetables or fruits. If we live in cool climates we can find it hard to digest cold raw foods all the time - as we fail to heat our systems up appropriately. If you are a yogi like me, eating a light and fresh meal like a salad after class is welcome, because you have warmed up your organs through vinyasas (or heat in the room if it is hot yoga) Yoga also helps the organs to detoxify and cleanse itself of built up toxins, so it is then able to absorb all the nutrients from whatever you next feed it.
Another amazing thing about vegetables and fruit, apart from vitamins, minerals and energy? They are extremely hydrating!
Most of us do not drink enough water, and when we fail to drink enough water our body suffers. Even woken up and looked in the mirror and felt grey, had dry skin or blood shot eyes? Before thinking you need a holiday, or even worse - a sugar hit, go and drink a large glass of water. You don’t need to gulp it, just sip it continuously. After four of these throughout the day (on top of the rest of your regular fluid and food intake) you will feel much more awake, your head won’t hurt as much and your digestion will also thank you! When we fail to consume enough vegetables, fruit and fluid our organs suffer. Most noticeably our skin, the largest organ we have, so to keep it looking and feeling its best we have to feed it like we do our stomach!
If you find it difficult to consume adequate amounts of fluids on top of what you eat in a day, or just don’t enjoy drinking water, it might be a thought to kick start your skin regime by undertaking a fresh cold pressed juice cleanse to not just invigorate the skin, but also red-boot your system and add a little glow that you deserve to have! The Juice Warrior Cleopatra cleanse package has been carefully designed to provide your body and skin with a highly hydrating mix of fresh vegetables and fruits that contain beta-carotene, silica and potassium which all help to give your skin that hydrated ‘dewy’ look. 5 gorgeous Norwalk pressed juices and one bottle of their creamy 'Vanilla Dream’ almond milk to ensure that you are consuming efficient amounts of good fats. Containing just fresh sprouted almonds, filtered water, vanilla pod, Himalayan salt and sweetened with medjool dates. The vanilla will do wonders to warm and comfort the body, but there is nothing stopping you heating up the milk very slightly in a pan and drinking as a soothing and comforting bedtime beverage - just take care not to boil it and destroy its goodness. There are also two detox teas included, on top of your hot lemon water, and Wheatgrass and chlorella ‘shots’ which give a little much needed boost of superfood energy!
Does the prospect of surviving solely on all this liquid have you wanting to run to the bathroom already?
The juices last 4 days so can be spread over a couple of days, to ensure you are getting the benefits from raw pressed juices, but not having to give up food! Although, giving your body a break from having to digest foods, for just one day can be a great way to re-set an over-taxed body! Surely that tin of chocolates doesn't sound so appealing any more?
Let's go nuts with dairy free milks! October 23 2014
Whether it's almond, coconut, or cashew – dairy-free nut milks are varied and most definitely here to stay.
Perhaps once something only consumed by vegans and lactose-intolerant folk; alternative milks are now popular and more importantly delicious and nutritious. Besides people who just like consuming them for the taste, there are two main reasons people cut out cow’s milk and reach for nutty alternatives:
Lactose Intolerance - Approximately 65% of the human population have difficulty digesting lactose after infancy; which is a huge percentage when you think about how cow's milk is considered an ‘essential’ in many households. This can cause bloating, constipation and severe stomach cramping.
Ethical and Environmental Issues - There are approximately 250 million dairy cows in the world and despite its local focus, dairy is a massive global industry. As the world’s population grows rapidly, the demand gets higher which is increasingly damaging for the environment. Problems faced include increased levels of methane, water pollution, and huge quantities of land being converted to grow feed for the millions of dairy herds. Some people also feel it’s not fair to consume something that is produced for a calf. Despite these issues, it’s important to remember why we started drinking milk in the first place.
Comparitive carbon footprint chart from SoDelicious website.
Cow’s milk is extremely rich in calcium but there are differing opinions on whether it’s the ideal source for humans.
Some experts believe it’s essentially the best source of calcium whereas others believe it causes calcium losses at the same time as increasing intake. Regardless of your opinion, calcium is essential for human health to avoid diseases such as osteoporosis. Milk is only one of the MANY sources of calcium, a few other examples are: spinach, kale, broccoli, chickpeas, beans, almonds, tofu, seasame seeds and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals. If you’d like to read more about arguments for and against cow’s milk consumption check out this link .
Many shop bought dairy-free milks are fortified with the likes of calcium and vitamin D. This makes it easy to ensure you’re always getting your RDA. However some people like to make their own so that they’re ditching any potentially toxic preservatives or binders. One brand we do love is Rebel Kitchen, no added nasties and super tasty. If you do prefer to get your calcium from solid food, you can ditch the fortified milk and make your own. The basics you’ll need to start; a good blender, a muslin cloth (or even better, a nut milk bag – try amazon!) and a mason jar. Here are a few of our favourite types of dairy-free milks and their health benefits!
HEMP SEED MILK
Hemp is an incredibly nutritious food. It probably makes the ‘earthiest’ tasting of all the dairy-free milks but it’s one of the healthiest! Whether you’re eating hemp or blending it into lovely creamy milk, it contains the perfect ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 essential fatty acids. It is also rich in protein and contains all the essential amino acids. Definitely worthy of its superfood status! The 'good fat' in hemp is known to improve and protect your skin by encouraging healthy cell membranes. We have just launched a new hemp milk called Happy, it also contains a little barely grass powder for extra nourishment.
Almond milk seems to be the most popular and easily accessible plant based milk at the moment. This is with good reason because it’s ridiculously tasty and versatile. If you’re new to dairy-free milks then this is for you because the texture is very similar to cow’s milk. It’s rich in vitamin E and potassium, which means more good news for your skin. We currently make two almond milks: Vanilla Dream and Pink Russian.
If you’re a coffee addict, then I have heard time and time again that hazelnut milk is the winner in this department. This might have something to do with it having the creamiest consistency of all nut-milks, in my opinion! Like almonds, hazelnuts are very rich in vitamin E. It isn’t only a vitamin that is great for skin; it has many other roles such as protecting red blood cells and fighting disease.
Cashew milk is a little harder to find in shops, but it’s another very creamy and decadent alternative to cow’s milk. Cashews are actually seeds rather than nuts (WE HAVE BEEN LIED TO ALL THIS TIME!) They are rich in copper, magnesium and zinc. As zinc is most commonly found in animal products, this is a good source for vegans and vegetarians. We recently started selling Coco Cashew which is a chocolate cashew milk sweetened with dates. It’s like dessert in a bottle!
Talking of desserts, I could get onto dairy-free ice creams. But that’s a whole other post, and quite frankly I’d be here all day because my god they are too good for words!
Start-up life August 18 2014
I’m starting this blog just as we start to settle into our shiny new kitchen. Whilst it’s the start of many new things for us, we have actually been working on Juice Warrior since April last year.
This time a couple of months ago, we were juicing away in my mother’s kitchen using what seemed like an industrial sized juicing beast in a very small kitchen! We were constantly worried about the neighbours below complaining and, because of this, every shift had a mild sense of panic attached to it. Now that we’re working in a spacious 1000 square ft. kitchen, our juicer seems appropriately sized and quiet and every order is a delight to press!
Up until now, we’ve had a fair few challenges.
We may be immersed and clued up in the world of juicing but business was completely new to us. Just like any young entrepreneurs starting out, it was overwhelming trying to understand the start-up and day to day running of a new business. Unsurprisingly, most challenges have been in the shape of money. For every fee you pay, another seems to follow, and we had to accept early on that, in order to make business work, you definitely have to spend a bit of money. The only problem was that neither of us had much... But, luckily, this is where Princes Trust came in. We initially secured a small ‘Will It Work’ loan (which lasted less than 10 minutes!) but we were eventually granted a larger start-up loan, and this has proved invaluable in helping us move so quickly. I should add: that loan hasn’t lasted long either... But hey, stainless steel for kitchens doesn’t come cheap!
We are finally stocking our first shop (Roots, Fruits & Flowers), giving us a different avenue to sell through other than Farmer’s markets and juice cleanses. We are in the process of talking to other Glasgow cafes, shops and yoga studios and we can’t wait until we can make our juice more easily accessible for you all! Everyone who is serious about health can see how much cold-press juices are taking off in the likes of London - plus, they’ve been popular in America for what seems like forever -but we’re still a little behind in Scotland. It’s easy to dismiss it as a ‘fad’ that will die out, but anyone who is into juicing knows it’s not something that you do a few times and forget about. This is because you feel instantly more energised and healthy. For this reason, we know it will be just as big here soon and we are so passionate about being at the forefront of that.
I originally tried to start Juice Warrior with my younger sister. Luckily for me, she is very screwed on in the world of business and gave me so many useful pointers.
She is so screwed on in fact, that she was offered a massive job in England last year. Once Sara left, I immediately thought, “This isn’t going to happen”. She was like my own personal Mr. Motivator (without the jazzy spandex) and my energy would constantly yo-yo without her. I like someone to bounce ideas off of and I feel it makes the whole experience much more exciting. So it wasn’t long before I asked my boyfriend if he would stop working full-time and join me. We’ve known each other since we were 13 so we’re pretty in sync and I knew we’d work well together too. Plus, we have very similar ideas about health and lifestyle choices (although, he is maybe not as nuts as me!)
I was, and still am, one of those people who are obsessed with health to the point that I want to know the benefits or dangers of every food I eat. Crazy, obsessive, passionate - whatever you may call it, I am constantly googling and studying books about diet and food, and it is a hobby that I am now trying to make a career out of. We still 100% believe in treating ourselves whenever the hell we want but we never cease to be amazed at how exciting and rewarding a healthy lifestyle can be. I definitely feel like we’re at the point where people are becoming much more aware of what they put into their bodies and this is why I believe Juice Warrior will work so well. People are getting fed up with ingredients they can’t pronounce and products that have added sugar and a list of numbers. It may mean changing our taste buds or trying things that initially freak us out, but like us, there are new companies being formed every day that are truthful and transparent. So “hear, hear!” to a healthy future!
I plan on updating this blog at least once a month. So keep looking out for deals, discounts, videos, juicing and health tips and some more information about us and our journey! In the mean time, enjoy the video above showing our cold press juicing process.