Cold pressed juice is becoming a Starbucks-like phenomenon, now located on just about every street corner in New York City and easily accessible in other cities around the country and world. Garden of Flavor could easily have been just another cold press juiced brand with forgettable features, but it has instead distinguished itself as unique among all other brands with the addition of digestion-friendly probiotics. We talked to Garden of Flavor founder Lisa Reed to learn more about what makes her juices so special.
Lisa Reed is a Certified Holistic Educator through the State University of New York’s SUNY Purchase College. She is also certified through the Lifestyle Medicine Institute in Loma Linda, Calif., as a Coronary Health Improvement Project program director, as well as a raw food chef. She is certified in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University and is a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City. She is the founder of Garden of Flavor.
(Interview edited for length and clarity.)
Organic Authority: Can you tell me a little more about your story and how you became involved with cold-pressed juices?
Lisa Reed: I have always enjoyed being in the garden and growing my own vegetables and some of my best memories as a girl are of being in the garden with my mom and deciding what vegetables to pick for dinner that evening. Later, I traveled around the world visiting various alternative cancer treatment centers with my mother and although many of them had different methodologies and approaches, they all had one thing in common and that was the drinking low sugar, raw green juice made from organic vegetables. I was in good health but I started drinking green juice along with my mother and within a couple of days I could feel the positive effects it had on my body.
I found that the more I researched and tried different variations of organic juices the more I wanted to learn how we can use what nature provides to live healthy lives and to heal our bodies. I continued to study how to use organic raw foods and juices to improve health and it became my passion, almost an obsession, so I decided to open my raw juice bar and become a nutritional coach for people who wanted better health naturally. As most of my customers became repeat customers who told their friends and family about how my raw, organic juices helped them feel better, there was such a demand for my juices that I hit a point where it was impossible to make any more juice out of my juice bar. At that point I decided that the best way to get the healthiest cold-pressed juice to as many people who wanted it was to make it easy for them to purchase it at their local grocery or natural food store so we opened our state-of-the-art juicing facility where we make what we believe to be the healthiest and best-tasting cold-pressed juices available.
OA: Do you use HPP (high pressure processing)?
LR: Yes. I believe that adding raw, organic, cold-pressed juice to your diet is an easy way to provide your body with the living enzymes, chlorophyll, vitamins and nutrients necessary to leading a healthy, happy lifestyle. Our goal is to make the healthiest and most beneficial juices available to anyone who wants to enjoy cold-pressed juice and as much as I loved my juice bar it had its limitations with respect to the number of people we could realistically serve. It seems all of us are getting busier and busier and many people don’t have time to make juice themselves and appreciate the convenience of picking up our cold-pressed juices while grocery shopping. By utilizing HPP we are able to extend the refrigerated shelf life and fresh taste and offer our Garden of Flavor juices, which we believe are the healthiest juices available, to many more people during their visits to the grocery store or through our website than we could at my juice bar.
OA: You use probiotics in your juices. Where are these probiotics sourced from?
LR: Many of my juice bar customers would ask me about digestive issues they were experiencing or looking to improve their immune health and I frequently suggested that they should consider taking a high quality daily probiotic. One day it occurred to me that an organic, cold-pressed juice that included living probiotics would be something that my juice bar customers would appreciate as it would provide the digestive and immune support they were seeking along with all the benefits of cold-pressed juice. I began researching how I could include living probiotics in my Garden of Flavor juices and came across the Ganeden BC30 probiotic cultures and tested it with my juices. Once tests confirmed the living probiotics not only survived but thrived in our juices, I decided to include the probiotics in four of my juice recipes. This allows vegans, those who do not consume dairy or just don’t like yogurt the ability to add living probiotic cultures to their diets along with all the benefits of our cold-pressed juices.
OA: Is juice an efficient carrier of the probiotics to the digestive tract?
LR: Raw, organic, cold-pressed juice is not only an efficient carrier of living probiotics, but also the most efficient and effective way to flood the body with vitamins, nutrients, minerals, chlorophyll and living enzymes from organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and berries. Because cold-pressed juice is absorbed rather than digested, your body runs off the natural energy provided from the organic cold-pressed juice within 30 minutes of drinking it.
OA: What makes your juices different?
LR: First, it’s how we make our juice. We built our Garden of Flavor juicing facility so that we make our recipes in a 38-degree cooler. Our fresh, organic vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts, arrive refrigerated and are kept refrigerated until we juice them in our juicing cooler. Thereafter, the juices are kept cold until our customer opens the bottle and enjoys the fresh from the garden taste.
Next, each recipe is crafted to balance both taste and nutritional benefits. Unfortunately many people develop a taste for sweeter beverages so they tend to want all of their beverages to have some component of sweetness. Although a couple of our juices contain more fruit, such as apple or pineapple, than vegetables, our most popular and beneficial juices focus on fresh green or root vegetables with only a touch of lemon or a hint of apple as the only fruit included in the recipe. This allows us to provide organic, cold-pressed juices lower in sugar (all natural of course) than you typically find. If you want apple juice, then you should drink apple juice, but if you are looking for a green juice, find one that is low in sugar, preferably with little, if any, fruit other than lemon, so that you can enjoy the benefits that are only available in fresh vegetables.
All of our juices are designed with different potential benefits in mind, such as our line of juices that include probiotics to support immune and digestive health. We also use superfoods such as goji berries, turmeric root, tomatoes, beetroot and garlic so that we can take full advantage of nature’s colorful palette. By offering such a wide variety of cold-pressed juices using so many different ingredients we are able to offer our customers not only an array of nature’s flavors, but also the various nutritional benefits provided by nature.
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Photo Credit: Garden of Flavor