Lisa Reed has had a pretty amazing year. Her Garden of Flavor line of raw, organic, and cold-pressed juices, once available only to clients of her nutrition consulting service, are now available in Heinen’s and Whole Foods Market stores throughout Ohio.
As demand increases for “living” raw juices and cleanse programs, she must continually look for additional sources for the fruits and vegetables that go into her deceptively delicious beverages.
While Reed does have to source some juice components from elsewhere—she recently flew in 90 pounds of organic turmeric root from Hawaii for her newest creation, Tumeric Tonic—other ingredients, like cucumbers, leafy greens, and root vegetables, are grown a few hours south of Reed’s Chagrin Falls kitchen at Green Field Farms, a certified organic farm in Wooster.
Most of her juices contain something grown in Ohio. Twisted Roots, for example, is a refreshing and tasty combination of beets, carrots, and lemon. Mean Green, a core product and a staple of her cleanse program, contains celery, cucumber, spinach, romaine, kale, and lemon.
Sourcing locally can be a challenge but it is important to Reed, who said “It has been suggested that we move our juice kitchen or utilize a co-packer in a different locale where produce is more readily available, but that isn’t who we are.”
So how does Garden of Flavor maximize the relatively short Ohio growing season?
Fruits, such as apples, and root vegetables, such as carrots and beets, can be stored for a few months in cold dark rooms, extending the availability of local organic produce. In addition, her growers extend the season of kale and other organic greens by using hoop houses, which allow the crops to be sowed earlier in the season, and enable repeat planting, adding an additional four to six weeks on either end of the growing season.
“Our juices are very fresh and perishable, designed to retain the living enzymes and nutrients,” she explained, “so we don’t freeze or store our finished juices.”
Garden of Flavor is on an exciting trajectory. Their rainbow palette of raw juices is expanding to other locations in the Midwest and eastern United States. When dealing with a raw juice product, maintaining a superior level of freshness to retain optimal nutrients is paramount. “Because we make our juices in smaller batches, we are very selective when it comes to determining in which stores we place our juices so that we can ensure they receive the freshest juice possible,” Reed said.
Reed’s passion for juicing started at a young age and was heavily influenced by her mother. A cancer diagnosis eventually took her mother’s life, but Reed has remained an advocate for the benefits of consuming raw juice, particularly green juices. She also made health and wellness her career. She’s a certified holistic health educator, a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City, a raw food chef, and she holds a certification in plant-based nutrition from Cornell University’s eSchool.
She’s kind of a juicing evangelist, eagerly promoting the many nutritional benefits of raw juices and partaking in the occasional cleanse. Her juices are designed with different benefits in mind. Three of her juices contain probiotics that support digestive and immune health. Others are made with “superfoods” like goji berries that are packed with antioxidants. According to Lisa, a good rule of thumb for beginners is to start with a daily serving of a green juice made with dark leafy greens that is low in sugar and contains lemon. She offers a one-day cleanse 6-pack of juices, each offering specific benefits to the body. Hard to believe that packed into those six servings is approximately 20 pounds of organic fruits, vegetables and nuts!
There are many myths around juicing. Reed carefully explained “just because it’s juice doesn’t necessarily mean that it is healthy or suitable to incorporate into your lifestyle in a significant manner.” Many juices contain high amounts of sugar, so consumption of fruit juices should be minimal. Juicing delivers a highly concentrated dose of vitamins, nutrients, enzymes, and chlorophyll, making it critical to use only organic, pesticide-free, and non-GMO produce.
But not everything about juice has to be about healthy meal substitution, sometimes its just about being delicious. According to Reed, the Appleade can be frozen into popsicles or ice cubes to chill summer beverages. “We have also been told that our Cucumber Fresh makes a refreshing martini!” she added with a smile.
Find out about the nutritional benefits of juicing, and view the full line of Garden of Flavor juices at GardenOfFlavor.com.