The adage “eat more vegetables” is difficult when serving sizes for the average adult amount to eating four to five cups of leafy greens daily.
Tommy Klauber, owner of Polo Grill and Pattigeorge’s Fine Costal Cuisine, puts it best: “That’s a lot of chewing!”
There’s a gourmet solution cropping up around the country, which celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Gwyneth Paltrow are touting. Klauber discovered it when he was training for his first triathlon — juicing.
In 2010, Klauber decided to get in shape after things such as raising kids and owning businesses got in the way of personal health. He was feeling the effects of living unhealthily, so he joined a fitness studio, started eating right and began training for triathlons.
Klauber started working with holistic nutritionist Stacy Koski and got into making and drinking juices. He did a four-day cleanse, a juice fast, leading up to a triathlon.
The juice he drank isn’t the kind chock-full of sugar or made from concentrate, it’s made up of a combination of raw fruits and vegetables such as carrots, beets, ginger, red peppers and apple. There’s no sugar added to it, but it’s just as sweet as something loaded with sugar.
“You don’t even know you’re drinking spinach,” Klauber says.
Klauber thinks it’s not long before more people jump on the trend. For now, Polo Grill (10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch) is one of the only fine-dining establishments in Sarasota to offer freshly squeezed organic juice (Klauber’s brother, Michael, also offers a pressed juice daily on Michael’s On East’s menu). Polo Grill offers organic juice daily on its Polo Fit menu, which Koski helped him develop. The menu features organic, nutrient-dense foods presented in an eye-appealing and appetizing way — and it offers some of the most inexpensive juice of this kind in Sarasota at just $6 a glass.
Lynn Morris, owner SaraFresh Juice, has juices that start at $6, too. She was the first in town to start distributing cold-pressed, raw juice made from local produce.
Places such as Whole Foods offer national brands similar to Morris’ such as, Suja and Blueprint, for around $10 each. This begs the question: Why is this kind of juice so expensive? Answer: Because they’re packed with pounds of produce in one little bottle.
Morris explains these details from the small headquarters of SaraFresh Juice, which is tucked inside the retail warehouse for Detwiler Market. She samples a beautiful, earthy red juice made from beet, carrot, fennel, apple, lemon and ginger to make sure it’s up to her taste standards. She produces around 600 bottles a week to fill orders and to sell at the Sarasota Farmers Market. She’s just created a new variety made from Thai young coconut, spinach, banana, raw sprouted almonds, spirulina (freshwater algae), and, although it looks too green and healthy to taste good, it is divine.
Morris, like Klauber, also grew to love juicing after trying a cleanse. She found adding juice to her diet was an efficient way to pack a lot of nutrients into her diet, and she decided to start making the juices herself.
Her main goal for drinking juice (and for the people she sells it to) is that everyone gets in more good than bad.
“We’re all going to have Chick-fil-A every once in a while,” she says with a laugh.
It’s why she offers both an organic and non-organic line of juices; so that those interested in juicing, who might not be willing to spend the extra money for organic, can have their cake and drink it, too, so to speak.
She can personally attest to the benefits and says the juice keeps her energized — it even got rid of the muffin top she once had. Plus, it makes her feel better. Her boyfriend, Steve Seidensticker (owner of Libby’s and Louies Modern), lost 25 pounds juicing.
You can find her products year-round at the SaraFresh Juice booth at the Sarasota Farmers Market, at Definition Fit, 1489 Fifth St., and at Detwiler Market, 6000 Palmer Blvd.
You can also find pressed juice at Get Fit Fuel, located at 2063 Siesta Drive, which opened in March. It’s what owner Greg Gentile refers to as a healthy fast-food restaurant with portioned, balanced meals that offers delivery.
Gentile first started juicing 10 years ago because he could drink all of his servings on the go. He packed as many vegetables into a blender as he could without paying attention to the flavor. His juice was brown, but at least he was getting all the nutrients.
“This is like eating at least four salads minimum,” he says. “You wouldn’t imagine the amount of produce it takes for one juice.”
When he opened Get Fit Fuel, he started doing the research to offer the same convenience he found in drinking juice, but with great flavor so it appealed to customers. He brought on an expert juicer three months into opening and sold her organic juices in-house. They prepped 120 juices the first day (no brown ones offered) and sold out. He sold more than 100 juices daily in the first week.
“If I had known what kind of demand I would have had, I would have carried them from the beginning,” he says. He’s been carrying them for two months, and he, himself, has been drinking up to five daily. Since drinking more fresh juice, he has noticed changes in his complexion; he’s sleeping better; and he has lost 15 pounds.
He’s also taken the past two months to learn the juicing art form and, with his chef, has been developing Get Fit Fuel’s own recipes. He has ordered two of what’s considered the Cadillac of juice-makers — the Angel — that can churn out around 50 gallons of juice in an hour. Get Fit Fuel started carrying Gentile’s new original recipes Monday, Aug. 12.
“If I could drink all of my food for the rest of my life, I would,” he says.
Juice-making product terminology defined:
Masticating blender (cold-pressed) — the kind of juice Lynn Morris makes. This process uses pressure to squeeze nutrient-rich, raw juice leaving the fiber and shell of the vegetables and fruits behind. It’s cold-pressed, because when heat is used in the process, it cuts down on the percentage of healthy enzymes and nutrients. This is the most expensive method.
Centrifugal blender — This is Tommy Klauber’s favorite method for blending hard vegetables such as beets, carrots and peppers. Fruit and vegetables can be pushed through a rapidly spinning chamber, which is funneled over a mesh filter. The medium-priced method.
Blender and strainer — Tommy Klauber recommends using this if you are a beginner and don’t want to put a lot of money into juicing. It doesn’t fully separate the liquid from the pulp, but you can blend everything up, and strain the juice to leave behind the fiber segments. You could get the same effect using a citrus juicer and a blender for the citrus products. This is the most inexpensive method.
RECIPE: Carrot Juice
1/4 bulb of fennel
lemon juice and ginger to taste
This serves two, and you can make it with organic or non-organic produce.
*Courtesy of Lynn Morris
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