Harvest Juicery ginger shots are my secret weapon to feeling energized during the holidays and after. The B-Power smoothie is another “good juice” item to borrow Minority Wine Report ‘s tagline: cinnamon, coconut, bee pollen, banana, avocado, blueberries, spinach, almond-cashew milk and alkaline water, all real, whole ingredients go into it. When I have one of Harvest Juicery’s smoothies I feel good for the rest of the day and the week. HJ’s motto is “Making Healthy Taste So Good”.
The primary focus of my posts are the places you can go when thinking about what is in a glass of wine. However, I’ve used the hashtag, “beverage diversity” on social media on occasion. I can get nerdy about lots of different quality beverages including coffee, spirits, green juice and even water. I love HJ and I have found the ginger shots in particular to be very effective and wanted to share a very easy thing to do that will balance out the overimbibing (out of happiness of course) and the overeating (out of deliciousness) and the lack of sleep that the holidays bring.
It is funny when I have introduced friends to Harvest Juicery the most frequent comment is that they are relatively expensive. When I worked for a wheat grass farmer, at the Green City Market here in Chicago years ago, who had a business called “Tiny Greens“, the people who most frequently visited the booth were cancer survivors. These folks had faced the possibility of the bardo and learned from other cancer survivors the power of whole greens so it was worth it to them to buy the microgreens which are nutrient dense. In my current wine study of the Alsace Master Level program with the Wine Scholar Guild, we have a video module on viticulture and winemaking given by Olivier Humbrecht, of the Alsatian biodynamic grower Zind-Humbrecht . In the video, which focused on the maximum quality approach of grape (high quality) growing versus the cost-effective protocol (cheap, high volume), Olivier Humbrecht makes the comment that prevention is more expensive than just curing the symptoms. In his case, Olivier was referring to viticulture but the same thought applies to health. Prevention gets at the root of the problem rather than putting bandaids on the symptoms. HJ’s juices are not cheap and they are not a miracle juice but at the same time they are giving your body nutrients that it needs and you will notice a difference. Have you looked at the cost of cold medicine or aspirin? I spent a morning at Harvest where Kristine Sciarra, the incredible founder of Harvest Juicery, showed me her operation and explained some of the benefits of the juices.
Krissy, (a wonder-woman) is a CIA accredited chef, who worked in the hospitality industry for many years and came into juicing after a health issue herself. She had been suffering bad migraines and doctors had put her on tons of medicines to stop them. Finally, after much research, she started juicing at home and eventually she went off the medicine and the migraines went away. One thing lead to another, she had a stint in Chicago at Equinox Health Clubs and after working from home, she opened Harvest Juicery, 5 years ago. The name is an homage to farmers. She tries to source local where possible and even brings her team up to Seedling Fruit in Michigan for a staff field day in the fall during harvest. In the wintertime, Alex Poltorak of Urban Canopy sources her organic produce from the fruit exchange in Chicago. She continues to look for viable options to compost her garbage as well and uses as much ugly fruit (fruit that has brown or soft spots and does not look “fruit perfect” so people will buy it) as possible.
Drinking cold-pressed juice floods your body with nutrients. Any kind of pasteurization or heat kills off a lot of the good microbes as Bronwen and Francis Percival describe in their new book Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes and the Fight forReal Cheese . The short of a longer story and I encourage everyone to look into this whole subject further but with a modern diet, our bodies become overly acidic and green juices rebalance our systems towards a more alkaline environment. The more acidic our bodies are the more likelihood for signs of inflammation and disease. Krissy takes great care in using quality ingredients and the processes, like cold-pressing which gives the juices the maximum amount of nutrients. Any herbs she uses, she bruises first and lets sit in the juice to get the maximum amount of oils from the herbs. All her employees are knowledgeable and passionate on the subject of juices and juicing. For every bottle of juice, they use approximately 2-3lbs of produce. They taste test the recipes to come up with harmonious flavors which are all listed on her website.
I feel lucky that I have a resource like HJ to go to. I have tried juicing at home but when you look at the amount of produce you need for one glass of juice and then the clean-up of the machine, it makes the whole process cumbersome and unwieldy to do. She offers a discount to people in the hospitality business because she realizes that a fantastic industry can sometimes be not so good for your health.
The most popular juices at HJ are the Green #1 (kale, spinach, cucumber, turnip greens, pear, lime – tart, balanced), Green #3 (spinach, kale, celery, cucumber, pineapple – my favorite, sweet and celery-forward) and Green #4 (spinach, kale, parsley, apple, lemon). Krissy went through the benefits of the different juices she offers, carrot – immune boosting, beet juice – liver detox, fennel -digestion, grapefruit – metabolism booster, red pepper – muscle inflammation. Roots and fruits as she calls them are good for ailments. Coconut water, she calls nature’s gatorade. As I mentioned above, I first learned about the benefits of ginger shots on a visit to Harvest. You literally have to down it like a shot of whisky or tequila because fresh ginger root is very strong. However, I noticed a difference in how I felt the next day and as I write this I think I need to stock up on more. Krissy said ginger helps to fight against any potential colds or flu. It literally is like a rocket booster for your immune system.
She has all sorts of other little good food goodies at her Lake Street location, like avocado toasts using Publican Quality Breads, pitaya bowls and protein bites. HJ is also my source for Sparrow Coffee who sources to fine-dining restaurants and will be the focus of another post,”What Makes Sparrow Coffee So Good?” So the holidays are so much fun and go by so quickly but with HJ juices you have an easy way to keep your system in balance during and after the holidays! Drink good juice!! Cheers!