Jonesing for juice: The latest food fad makes a splash

You won't be hard-pressed to find a spot for your juice fix, with numerous locales featuring a multitude of imaginative, fresh-squeezed options. Photo: Staff photos You won’t be hard-pressed to find a spot for your juice fix, with numerous locales featuring a multitude of imaginative, fresh-squeezed options. Photo: Staff photos

We’re all guilty of it—a cupcake for a snack…an entire Benny Deluca’s pizza for dinner. It happens. Charlottesville, however, has embraced the perfect antidote for indulging in all the tantalizing foods the city has to offer: plenty of juice options. Whether found in a bottle, such as the locally owned Lumi juice, or made fresh daily from organic fruits and vegetables, juices can provide health benefits and be a tasty treat at the same time. So, grab your straws and start slurping.

The Juice Laundry

Clean Green

Kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, apple, parsley, ginger
and lemon

$5 for 9 oz.; $9 for 17 oz.

It’s what non-juice drinkers fear: the unidentifiable green beverage. But to The Juice Laundry founder/owner Mike Keenan, the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.

“A lot of people who try really potent green juice may be turned off by it, but really quickly people develop a taste and craving for it and how it makes you feel, what it does for your body and your energy level,” Keenan says. “When your body feels like that, you don’t want to go back to feeling sluggish.”

The Juice Laundry’s 25 different juices, shots and smoothies are 100 percent “no questions asked, 365-days-a-year organic.”

The Juice Place

Corpse Reviver

Ginger, orange juice, oil of oregano and reishi (an herbal Chinese mushroom)

$3.25 for a shot

The team behind C’ville’s newest juice location, on the Downtown Mall, created several juice and smoothie variations, playing with temperature and texture, before deciding on the final menu of 10 signature juices and six smoothies. The Juice Place’s Corpse Reviver shot is a healthy take on the classic cocktail.

“I put it on the menu as a joke. …Then I made one just because you have to try it out, and it was delicious,” says General Manager Hadley Rodland. “It’s got a lot of health benefits, [and] it’s eye-opening, putting you back on your feet from a rough night before.

“The first thing you taste and smell is oil of oregano. Then really powerful reishi, then [you] finish with orange, so the last taste in your mouth is with pure, fresh-squeezed orange juice, like a spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. It’s euphoric, almost.”

Integral Yoga Natural Foods

Liver Flusher

Beet, grapefruit, lemon, ginger, milk thistle extract and cayenne

$5 for 8 oz.; $8 for 16 oz.

General Manager Wahe Guru Singh likes to think Integral Yoga Natural Foods, the oldest standing organic food outlet in Charlottesville, had a hand in bringing the juice craze to town. Its juice bar has been operating for more than 20 years, with a blend of local, organic fruits and vegetables and herbal extracts and spices linked to better health.

The Liver Flusher, for instance, is made with ingredients such as milk thistle and lemon juice that are traditionally used to detoxify the liver, with “a little ginger and cayenne to give it a bit of a kick.”

Gypsy Juice

Sage peach lemonade

$3-4 for 16 oz.

You’ll find it at festivals, you’ll find it at farmers markets and, if all goes as planned, you’ll find it at a Nelson County storefront before too long.

Gypsy Juice, true to its name, isn’t a conventional juice producer. It doesn’t promise that its juices are organic, and it uses imported fruits and vegetables when they can’t be found locally. Its owners are focused on something else.

“We’re more into creating unique flavors than worrying about if the fruits are local or organic,” owner/operator KC Sperry says about options that include iced raspberry rose green tea and iced peach ginger black tea. “We’re fun and unique…we don’t pretend to be cold-pressed like other juice places.”

Smojo smoothie & juice truck

Cucumber, kale, white beet, ginger and pear

$4.50 for 16 oz.

Smojo owner/operator Beth Harley came up with the idea of adding seltzer to freshly squeezed juice, such as grapefruit, carrot and lime, for a refreshing respite while enduring the heat inside her smoothie truck.

“We offer the option of juice over ice and seltzer, which I think people really like and will bring them into the juice realm,” Harley says.

The Smojo truck, with its signature smoothies and juices, can be found on Mondays at the UVA Research Park, Thursdays at the Uteam Farmers Market and often at Sprint Pavilion events. Harley is currently looking for a permanent brick-and-mortar home near UVA.

Related Links: Jan. 15, 2014: Juice junky

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