Life | All Juiced Up!

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All Juiced Up!
Text by Sonal Ved
Published: Volume 22, Issue 3, March, 2014

‘Wellness drinks’ are the buzz word among spas, health cafes and delis in the city. Sonal Ved finds out how to juice-out maximum benefit from this trend

You are what you eat’, goes an old adage. Turns out, you are what you drink as well. With restaurants in the city adding an array of wellness juices to their health-conscious menus, staying in shape has simply become easier. By that, we don’t mean grizzled combinations such as sweet lime and orange or ginger and lemon that have been around for eons. Rather, juices made using cool combinations of fruits, vegetables and herbs that pack in oodles of flavour along with restorative health benefits, known as wellness juices.

According to Chef Xavier Fernandes from Salt Water Cafe, “Wellness juices aren’t like sugar-free cakes or gluten-free bakes that do damage under the pretext of being heroic. These not only look and taste good; they are actually good for your system.” At his Churchgate-based cafe, one can guzzle down tall glasses of carrot and celery, grape and coriander, cucumber and green apple juices, along with crisp salads and wholesome sandwiches. The juices served at this recently-opened cafe, carry the right mix of sweetness, tartness and fruitiness and help battle seasonal colds and flues with their holistic choice of ingredients.

The same can be said for the ‘power boosters’ served as a part of the Spa ’n’ Dine menu at the Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai. Here, guests sip on drinks concocted from nutritive ingredients such as almond milk, spirulina, turmeric, gotu kola and coconut water, post indulgent spa therapies. The idea behind maintaining an extensive and focused wellness menu is to target specific areas such as purifying blood, building immunity, countering age signs, toning muscles and battling other urban woes.

What separates wellness juices from regular drinks is that the former uses exotic blends and never-heard-of combinations. HAS juice bar, the glamorous juicing joint off Worli’s walking track has an extensive menu that features unusual combinations such as mango and muesli, tomato and ginger, mint and bottle gourd, watermelon and chocolate, black salt and mint among others. “Here, each juice has a purpose, like honey and ginger calms a sore throat, apple and watermelon aids weight loss, orange and pineapple is designed for runners and so on,” says Hemang Bhatt, the director of the chain. Since each fruit has an inherent health-boosting property, the idea is to highlight that and let people choose their drink depending on their health and palate requirements.

At the Nariman Point-based restaurant, Amadeus, Farhad Taraporevalla, the manager, says that the kitchen ends up churning as many as three dozen Gym Junkies (a drink made using a combination of toasted muesli, low fat soy milk and bananas) each evening for workout enthusiasts. While other drinks such as fresh kiwi, green tea-mango and yogurt are a hit with warm salads and cold tapas.

Although the trend of wellness juices is catching on among fitness lovers, it remains to be seen if any of the ‘shakes’ become a mainstay like our local orange juice and nimbu pani!

RECIPES
KIWI, CUCUMBER, MINT AND WILD HONEY QUENCHER

INGREDIENTS: Kiwis, 8; Cucumbers, 10; Mint sprigs, 12; Wild or pure honey, 12 ml; Ice cubes; a juicer/food processor; sieve.

METHOD: Peel kiwi and cucumber and chop roughly. Pluck mint leaves and wash thoroughly. In a blender, blitz kiwi with mint and cucumber and strain with the help of a sieve. Discard the pulp and add honey to the freshly extracted juice. Add ice cubes and strain them out after 2-3 minutes.
Serve immediately.

TOMATO, CORIANDER AND BLACK SALT
INGREDIENTS: Tomatoes, 10; Fresh coriander leaves, 30 gm; Carrots, 10; Pinch of black salt, Juice of half lemon.

METHOD: Wash the tomato and coriander and chop into small pieces. Peel the carrot and chop it too. Blend in a mixer into a thin paste. Add water to obtain a smooth consistency. Strain the juice using a sieve and add black salt and lemon juice to it. Serve chilled.
(Recipes by Chef Ridhi Kapur, Trident, Bandra Kurla, Mumbai)

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