If the terms “juice cleanse” or “organic fruit smoothie” strikes fear into your heart (and wallet), you are not alone.
Many steer away from this trend because they think it is only accessible to wealthy socialites -— that 1 percent of society who sip their expensive wheatgrass shots in order to shed a pound off their already slim figures.
But, don’t let this stereotype prevent you from going out and buying freshly squeezed juice. A whole world of delicious and nutritious experiences awaits you and, if you don’t believe in the amazing benefits (and tastiness) of juice, it’ll only take one sip from a Juice Crafters creation to change your opinion.
Juice Crafters, a family-run business with locations in Brentwood and the Pacific Palisades, just expanded by opening a new branch in Downtown Los Angeles, finally making its products accessible to those who live near the center of the city.
Owner and manager David Nia calls the store a healthy alternative to fast food.
“I want to give people who are always busy and on the run — between classes, work, interviews, etc. — a better option to energize themselves between their daily activities,” Nia said.
The juice bar is designed so that customers can just walk in, order their beverage and be on their way. Still, don’t let the speed fool you: The cold-press juicer the store uses enables the drinks to have three to six times more vitamins, enzymes and vital nutrients than other juicers.
Nia said his family’s 80-year-old juicing method is able to extract so many nutrients because it utilizes tremendous hydraulic pressures that keeps the juices minimally exposed to heat and air. This creates, according to Nia, the freshest juices on the planet.
Though it is a bold proclamation, when you try one of Juice Crafters’ fresh, organic beverages, the claim feels justified. Unlike some other organic smoothies that mix vegetables and fruits together, the products at this restaurant have no weird aftertaste and don’t resemble green sludge.
The Silver Cup smoothie, for example, is a sweet and satisfying mix of almond milk, coconut water, kale, dates, bananas and walnuts. In addition to its vibrant and appealing color, the smoothie also has all the taste and richness of a fine dessert, just without the excessive sugar or carbs.
Juice Crafters also sells three Complete Whole Body Cleanse plans, which include three-, five- and eight-day juice cleanses all consisting of different combinations of Juice Crafters’ cold-pressed juices. Juice cleanses have come under fire recently as being dangerous for your health and the store rightfully warns beginners against trying anything more than a one- or three-day cleanse, as completely altering your diet in such an extreme way is risky and should only be done under the guidance or recommendation of a certified health professional.
Nia also states that a juice cleanse is not recommended to customers under 18 years of age, and that if a customer, of any age, does elect to go on a cleanse, that it is very important to listen to one’s body and alter one’s diet appropriately — even if that means discontinuing the cleanse.
The restaurant also offers a few options that can serve as a stand-alone meal, including a rich, invigorating and exotic açai bowl. The açai bowl is the perfect option for a harried student, as it contains an energy-boosting combination of açai berry, almond granola, coconut, banana, strawberries and guarana (a Brazilian plant containing double the caffeine of coffee beans).
All of the other orders on the menu appear to be as equally fresh and delicious. Also, every ingredient is fresh and never frozen. The price tag for the juices can be expensive (most smoothies run about $7.50), but Nia said that the cost is necessary to maintain the quality of her products. She is adament about using fresh, quality ingredients.
“I would rather spend money on more employees to cut the fruits and vegetables and prepare fresh product for the customers than on frozen ingredients,” Nia said.
The focus on quality does not end there. The menu is almost entirely vegan (aside from the usage of bee pollen in some of the smoothies) and does not use soy. The bases for the drinks — such as almond milk and coconut water — are all created from scratch at the restaurant itself.
There is no arguing that introducing fresh, healthy and organic food into your everyday diet benefits the health of your body and mind immensely and adds energy into your life. And with spring-cleaning season fast approaching, indulging in Juice Crafters’ all-natural elixirs could be a way to clean up more than just your dorm room.