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Juice from Scratch

Cooked from scratch, farm-to-table, house-made… more and more cafés and restaurants offer their customers healthy dishes made fresh by hand and on-site, often using local ingredients that are natural or only minimally processed. And there is a growing consumer segment looking for foods that have these qualities: natural, unprocessed, prepared fresh, healthy – and with real-food flavor.

Over the past few months, I have been to several scratch kitchen restaurants and so far, I have not been disappointed as far as their food is concerned. They all offered tasty soups and healthy salads, simple yet out-of-the-ordinary vegetable and meat dishes, and delicious desserts. But, there was one thing missing from all the menus I have held in my hands – an omission that was as much surprising as disappointing: fresh juice. Why do cafés and restaurants offering meals made from scratch not offer beverages made from scratch?

 

COOKED FROM SCRATCH

From scratch is a term that originated in the sporting world, where “scratch” was used to describe the starting line, which was scratched into the ground (http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/start-from-scratch.html). So, starting from scratch means that you start from the beginning, without any preparation or advantage. As far as cooking is concerned, from scratch is a bit harder to define. Where is the starting line in cooking? – Do you need to grind your own grains to bake a cake from scratch? Do you need to butcher your own meat to cook steak from scratch? Do you need to pull your own carrots out of the ground to make a salad from scratch?

Different people might give different answers to these questions and the starting line is not always clear when it comes to cooking. Most people agree though that cooking from scratch means using only basic staples and minimally processed pantry items to prepare a meal. It also means using fresh and raw ingredients, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, even if they don’t come from your own garden. Boxed cake mixes, prepared frozen meals, highly-processed bagged breads, and ready-to-pour sauces out of a jar definitely do not qualify as from scratch.

 

SQUEEZED FROM SCRATCH

Unfortunately, for many restaurants, the made-fresh-from-scratch effort stops when it comes to beverages, even though juices and fresh juice-based beverages can easily be made from scratch. With the help of a quality juicer, fruit can be squeezed fresh and on premise every day and with very little effort. Juices can be served pure, like orange, grapefruit, or tangerine juice; they can be turned into lemonade or limeade by adding sugar and water; or they can be used for a low-calorie spritzer of half juice and half sparkling water.

Orange juice

So, as a fairly health-conscious consumer who likes to eat real food that is not overly processed, I am perplexed and disappointed when I can order a great meal made from scratch by a chef on premise, but my beverage choice is limited to sodas and highly processed juices. Why not serve freshly squeezed orange juice with that breakfast muffin made from scratch? Why not offer freshly prepared lemonade for your lunch customers? How about a juice spritzer? Fresh-juice beverages are premium options that can easily be added to every menu. The customer looking for healthy, fresh, and made from scratch doesn’t just want these qualities in their food, but also in their beverage!

 

TASTE FROM SCRATCH

Many people move away from overly processed to more simple and fresh foods because they want to eat healthy and reduce the amount of additives, such as flavorings and preservatives, in their foods. For many, the move also goes hand in hand with the desire to experience the taste of real food. The same is true for beverages. Freshly squeezed juice tastes like fresh fruit. It is superior to processed juice, which is never fresh and usually void of all fruit flavor due to the extensive processing.

So, don’t limit the fresh-and-from-scratch experience to food, but extend it to your beverage preparation. Add freshly made juices to your menu!

New to juicing? Not sure if juicing is the right thing for you? Interested in juicing but not sure which juicer is right for you? – Contact us and we’ll be happy answer your questions, address your concerns, and discuss your ideas with you.

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October 25, 2016