How many fruits and veggies do you eat every day? Have you ever really paid attention? According to a recent report by the CDC, only 17 percent of Americans reach the daily recommendation for fruits. And for veggies, it’s even sadder, at just 13 percent. (Rhode Islanders, you clock in at about 14 and 9 percent, respectively.)
I’m pretty good about stuffing my face with spinach, apples, broccoli, beets, and pears on a regular basis, but do I meet the guidelines everyday? I think I’d have to go with definitely not.
“You’d have to graze all day long to get that much,” says Brigid Rafferty, founder and owner of The Power of Juice located in Middletown, RI. “Our bodies want it, but our lifestyles don’t allow it,” says the Cordon Bleu–trained chef, who points out that eating three meals a day is a social convention rather than a biochemical one. With her fresh, raw, and mostly organic concoctions, she says, you can meet between one-third and one-half of your daily allowance with just one jar.
As a regular juicer, I can tell you from personal experience that it increases energy. And if your trying to cut back on sweets or alcohol, a blast of juice can curb your cravings, too. But if you think juicing is just about dieting, think again.
Sure, people juice fast — various programs have participants consuming only juice or juice plus restricted “clean” foods for three to five days — but you can also use juice to supplement your regular diet or as a replacement for unhealthy snacks. “It’s more about abundance than deprivation,” says Brigid. “It’s all about the vitamin boost.”
In other words, it doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game, says Brigid; the end goal should be getting more fruits and veggies into your life. And while she admits that juicing can be pricey, she also points out that hauling, preparing, and paying for the actual recommended amount of produce we’re supposed to eat (think: a giant bucket per person per day) can be expensive and time consuming, too. “Some people think juicing is an elite thing, but my mission is more about educating people,” says the chef, “even more than making juice. We need to stop reaching for the empty, garbage food.”
The Power of Juice is one of few Rhode Island operations making cold-pressed juices – a method where produce is pressed using hydraulic plates; this in turn creates less waste and preserves more vitamins and phytonutrients – but there are other local options for fresh juice varieties. Most of these use centrifugal juicers, which use blades to rip up fruits and veggies, thereby introducing heat and oxygen. This makes the juice less shelf-stable — you’ll want to drink these right away – compared with cold-press varieties, which can last, refrigerated, for up to 72 hours. No matter where you go, though, as Brigid puts it, “It’s better than a bag of Doritos!”
Ready to give fresh juice a shot? Here are four places where you can start sipping.
1. The Power of Juice
Located on Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown, The Power of Juice uses organic and conventional ingredients to make their nutritious cold-pressed juices. Also available are vegan mousses, chia puddings, and nut milks. Ready to go all out? Chef Brigid offers three- and five-day juice fasts that deliver 6–8 pounds of produce per day in liquid form. Environmental considerations include glass packaging (which can be returned for points toward a free drink) and some serious composting of waste materials. Stop in at the store front or find them at the Aquidneck Grower’s Market. No time to shop? The Power of Juice delivers bulk crates on island and to Jamestown.
2. Raw Power Juice Bar & Kitchen
Located on lower Broadway in Newport, Raw Power is known for serving up tasty raw, vegan, and vegetarian dishes (they’re kosher, too), such as zucchini “noodles,” acai breakfasts, and hearty rice bowls. They also make juices on demand. Specialties include the targeted Hang Over and Digestion juices, while the Green, Carrot, and Orange series give you a base layer for customizing your own drink. Or just pick your fave fruits and veggies to make up your own. Bonus: These guys offer delivery, too.
3. Keenwah Super Food Eatery
Like the name implies, at Keenwah, also located on Broadway, healthy is always on the menu. Wholesome, fresh varieties here include green juices and lemon-based drinks. Pick one up to go or order off the menu to satiate your palate and your recommended daily allowance.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article listed Eva Ruth’s Specialty Bakery. The bakery is not making juice at this time, but may offer it again in the spring.