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Shop Local! Our Family's Small Business Story

28 November, 2015 1 comments Leave a comment

Today is Small Business Saturday.  As I woke up this morning, I began to reflect on this crazy journey we have taken over the past 4 years.  Wes and I started the business with all of the money we had between us.  Neither of us came from wealthy backgrounds or had stacked checking accounts.  Like most people, we lived paycheck to paycheck.  There was no safety net, no backup plan.  No market research.  No investors.  No loans.  No proof positive that people would care or even want to buy juice.  What we did have was a deep faith that what we were about to bring to Nashville was life changing. 


Our story started after I became very sick.  When I was in the hospital during my illness, no one knew what was happening to my body.  While in the hospital, I thought to myself. "I wish I could have done things differently. Why didn't I take more risks? Why didn't I fight to live an adventurous life? Why did I allow fear to prevent me from truly living?"


After buying a juicer, I started feeling better.  Every glass I made for myself, felt like a gift from God. My strength and energy was improving and my pain started to subside.  Once out of the hospital and back at work, I made a commitment to not take the safe path any longer.  I was grateful for my corporate job, but knew It was time to make the change. That day, I shared the idea of "juice. Nashville" with Wes.  Excitedly, I explained the idea. We would open Tennessee's first cold-pressed juicery. It would be called "juice." because that's what we would be known for - making the best, handcrafted cold-pressed juice.  He looked at me and said "Ok. I support you.  Give your two weeks notice. We will figure this out."  And, I did. That very day.

That was in June 2011. In July 2011, we got to work.  In a few weeks, we created a website, setup social media channels, found our logo, secured a label design, sourced bottles, found a commercial kitchen location, begged the "Department of Agriculture" to allow us to sell unpasteurized juice (they said "no way" at first), secured spots at the Farmers Markets, created recipes, named blends, hired a bookkeeper, found a place that would sell us produce, created content, had business cards made... oh, and drank a lot of juice!

In August 2011, Wes and I got ready for our first Farmers Market.  We prepped, blended and hand bottled 40 bottles of juice on our red Norwalk.  No one knew who we were the day we setup our table at the Nashville Farmers Market.  No one had ever heard of cold pressed juice.  Apprehensively, we had someone walk up to our table and sample "snap.", carrot, apple and ginger.  It felt like forever as she took a sip.  Her eyes lit up from within, she smiled and she said "that was the best juice I have ever had!" And she bought the very first bottle of cold pressed juice sold in Tennessee.  That customer will never know the impact she made on our lives.


My family and I worked our behinds off.  Pressing juice is hard work!  Together, we lifted hundreds of pounds of produce, scrubbed every fruit and vegetable clean, chopped the produce to fit inside the 1 inch feed tube, cleaned pulp off of the floor, the ceiling, the walls.  We blended and bottled in the middle of the night on most days.  We carried coolers packed with ice and juice to the Farmers markets, stood outside in the bitter cold and the heavy summer heat.  Wes worked after his "9 to 5" job and Kiana would come to the kitchen after school.  It was hard work.  But, it was exhilarating to see our vision come to life.  Slowly, we started building a team, expanding our juice family and word of mouth spread around town.

Fast forward four years later, it amazes me to see how the community has supported our family's business.  We now have a remarkably hard working and passionate Operations and Retail team.  Each dollar that has been spent at "juice." has allowed our team and their families to grow.  (One day I will write a book about the last four years, about the things people don't know about the entrepreneur life - the highs and lows!)  It has been an amazing and many times painful and difficult journey.  But, one thing I can say...it has been an adventure!  And I am so proud of what we have been able to build within the community we live in. 


We still have not taken investors.  We constantly reinvest back into our business to grow our business. Your support is the reason why we are here.  We are a true "mom & pop" shop and are proud to be an independent business in Nashville!

Today, we want to say "thank you" for your love and support you have shown our juice family.  Because you chose to "Shop Local"  you have and will continue to shape the lives of many people.  I encourage you to shop and and support the small businesses in the community you live in.  It truly makes all the difference. 

Shop Small! Happy Holidays! 

With love,

Stephanie 

Wes and Stephanie Waring, Owners of juice. Nashville

Get to know: Nashville Farmers Markets

08 August, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

 

It’s summertime in Nashville and you know what that means… or do you? Nashville is booming with amazing fresh and local produce and food at farmer’s market locations all around the city. Today, I wanted to share with you the why, what, and where guide to farmers markets.

We’re truly lucky here in Nashville to be surrounded by such amazing farmers, CSA’s, and access to affordable and healthy food at farmers markets around town. Going to any of these farmers markets is a great way to not only get to know your community, but also discover new local businesses, support our farmers, and take home delicious fruits, vegetables, and more. The more we can support each other and local farming/food, the healthier our community becomes.

Top reasons why you should be shopping at your local farmers market:

  1. Eating locally is delicious! When food is at it’s peak ripeness and in season, they have amazing flavor profiles.  
  2. Help reduce the carbon footprint and protect our environment
  3. Nourish your body with whole foods in season
  4. Add variety and new foods to your diet
  5. Learn how to cook with new foods/produce you’ve not used before
  6. Fresh, fresh, fresh food
  7. Kinder treatment of animals, especially obtaining animal proteins
  8. Safer foods. You know exactly where they’re coming from
  9. Connect with the community!
  10. It’s fun. It’s a fun experience to see directly where your food is coming from and to meet the farmer who put a lot of time, love, and dedication to growing those crops to share.

Where:

 

Resources: resource for local CSA’s and a resource for seasonal produce in a chart.

 

I hope to see you all around the farmers market this year!

Eat well, live well, be well,

McKel

McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN 

 

Check this out! Tennessee leads the country in Farmers market growth!

Juicy Tea!

23 June, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

 McKel shares about the benefits of tea & cold pressed juice Nashville blends

Did you know that June is national tea month? To be honest, I actually didn’t know this until researching and I’m glad I did! I was inspired to share with you all today three variations of tea that are easy, delicious, and nutritious “recipes” to try out for this hot summer ahead of us. The fun thing about these teas is they all incorporate a raw pressed juice from juice.Nashville!

 

What you’ll do: Simply brew 4 tea bags of your favorite brands (if you’re using loose leaf tea, 4-5 tablespoons) in about 4-6 cups of boiling water, allow to steep for each teas recommended time, and set aside to chill. Once the tea is cold, pour in an entire bottle or a splash to taste of the juices below. You can find these at the shop or pick up at any of the farmers markets. Serve over ice before enjoying. (serving size 4-6 cups depending on how much water you brew with the tea).

 

Green tea steep time: 2-3 minutes about 140-180 degrees

Oolong tea steep time: 3 minutes about 180-190 degrees

Red tea steep time: 5-7 minutes, hot/boiling

 

Green + "refresh." : This is a lovely combination of the slightly sweet green tea and flavors in "refresh." , which are lemon, green apple, and cucumber. I love adding fresh mint or additional lemon on the side. It also is a beautiful color when you present it- perfect for summer time!

 

Oolong + "c ya." : Oolong is an incredibly antioxidant rich tea and couple that with an already immune-boosting juice like "c ya." , and you have an amazing duo here! "c ya." contains vitamin C rich oranges, apple, grapefruit, and ginger. This tea is sure to keep your immune system healthy, strong, all while tasting amazing!  

 

Red + "whoa." : "whoa." is one of my favorites; it has beets in it that are wonderful for supporting our natural occurring detoxification via our liver. It also has delicious apple, kale, and warming ginger all of which are loaded with antioxidants to keep our body and our skin healthy. We’re out and about in the sunshine a lot more in the summertime, and drinking our antioxidants is just one added layer of skin protection from harmful aging UV rays.  

 

I hope you all have some fun with these and mix and match the teas with your favorite juices, have a beautiful day and enjoy the month of tea!

 

 

Eat well, be well, live well!

McKel

 

McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN

 

[ p.s. for amazing tea blends… check out friends at Firepot Chai! ]  

Celebrate National Fruits and Vegetables Month!

03 June, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

The month of June is all about celebrating and honoring the fruits and vegetables of this earth. There’s no better way than to celebrate than by giving you all simple ideas on how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. Both fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and are incredibly hydrating. Most of us eating the Standard American Diet lack in both fruits and vegetables- my goal is to have at least a couple fruits/day and least 6 servings of vegetables/day (2-3 being dark greens!), the more the merrier.

Ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.

  1. Juices! Obviously juicing your fruits and vegetables is an incredibly easy way to increase the nutrient density and amount of fruits and vegetables into your diet. Juicing doesn’t have to be complicated and it can easily be incorporated daily for all of us.  
  2. Smoothies. Smoothies contain all the fiber from fruits and vegetables, unlike juicing. Smoothies are a great way to “sneak” in greens for picky eaters as a way to increase the fiber and nutrient content in the smoothies. Try spinach for first time green smoothie drinkers, its subtle, slightly sweet, and blends very smooth! Stop by my blog where I share loads of smoothie recipes on Nutrition Stripped.
  3. Salads. Salads are not just for side dishes anymore; they’re for entrees and meals! By simply adding a good quality protein, healthy fat, and carbohydrate to your salad, you’ve made an entire meal with the base being vegetables and dark leafy greens. Add fruit as a topping such as dried raisins, goji berries, or fresh sliced pear or apple. The possibilities of adding vegetables and fruits are endless as you can have them prepared raw, roasted, steamed, dried, or fresh. I routinely enjoy Nourish Bowls, which is a meal in a bowl with the perfect balance of nutrition.
  4. Stir-fry. Stir-fry what I call quick skillet meals, are easily one of the best ways to quickly heat through leftover vegetables from roasting the night before or leftovers in general. You can also use organic frozen vegetables is you’re in a time crunch- both of these strategies help to increase the volume to your meal and add “bulk” making it seem like you’re actually eating a lot more than you really are- in terms of calories as well. This tip is especially great for those losing weight or being mindful of maintaining their weight.
  5. Desserts. Yep, I said it. Vegetables in dessert. Don’t be fooled into thinking I was only talking about enjoying fruit for dessert- that’s a given! Vegetables can actually be incorporated into desserts or sweet treats. For example, I have a recipe using sweet potatoes and chocolate in truffles, or by using beets in brownies, avocados in chocolate mousse or popsicles! All of which open your taste buds to a whole new world of flavors, but also a sneaky way to increase vegetables and fruits. We’re also in grilling season and fruits are delicious when grilled, topped with a simple dusting of cinnamon and served warm.

I challenge you for every week this month, to incorporate at least one of these tips per day! 

Eat well, be well, live well!

McKel

 

McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN

 

In season: Strawberries!

21 May, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits from the berry family, and one of the most popular berries eaten in the United States. Strawberries are bright red with an incredibly sweet flavor, especially when eaten perfectly ripe. Unlike most fruits, strawberries contain seeds on the outside of the flesh, which are edible.

Did you know May is strawberry month? You can find strawberries in the spring and summer months, especially around here in Nashville we have some great local eateries that utilize this season to it’s fullest. Juice. Nashville has a special seasonal juice embracing strawberries as well.

What’s the 411 with strawberries and nutrition? The nutrient make up of strawberries, especially with their high antioxidant levels, have been studied regarding cardiovascular benefits, providing blood sugar stabilization due to their fiber content, anti-cancer benefits again due to their high antioxidant load (especially ellagic acid and ellagitannins). As with most fruits and vegetables, strawberries contain great amounts of fiber which help our digestive system moving, keeps us fuller for a longer period of time, and releases a steady flow of energy into our bodies. Strawberries have a great balance of natural sugars, fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese, and loads of antixodants!

Purchase strawberries that are dark in red color, fragrant, and ripe before eating. Most health food stores, grocery stores, or farmers markets will carry them in abundance when in season. You may also purchase your strawberries year round in the frozen section, just be sure to check the ingredients - it should only say strawberries!

How do you like eating strawberries? Check out the seasonal blend at juice. Nashville to get some of your strawberry fix too.

Eat well, live well, be well,

McKel

McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN [nutritionstripped.com]

 

Eating seasonally and locally this Spring!

17 April, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

juice Nashville Blog Post about Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables

 

Spring has officially sprung here in Nashville and so has all of the lovely produce in season this time of year! Eating locally and seasonally is a great way for all of us to support local farmers here in Nashville, our communities, and also support our earth. It’s also a great way to step outside of our “normal” grocery lists we shop from and invent dishes using the most ripe and fresh produce. For example, using strawberries in the late spring and rhubarb to create a delicious and healthy dessert; or simply using a lesser-known dark green vegetable such as watercress in your salad.

What’s seasonal to good ole’ Nashville this time of year? A lot! We’re truly lucky here in Nashville to have a wide variety of fresh dark leafy greens, root vegetables, herbs, fruits, mushrooms, and more to produce for us this spring and summer. Many of which can easily be grown in our own backyards due to our climate. Last year was the first year I started growing produce in my mini-garden and had great success with spring produce like chives, beans, and surprisingly strawberries.

Here is a list of common produce you’ll find in season this spring, some of which are more Nashville based and others in general. Produce in season produce for spring: Watercress, arugula, asparagus, strawberries (late spring), artichokes, fava beans, sugar snap peas, rhubarb, leeks, ramps, radishes, fennel, mushrooms (morels), chives, mulberries, carrots, potatoes, spinach, peas, avocados, pineapple, onions, dandelion greens and much more.

Where to find local and seasonal product? None better than local farmers markets and CSA's. Below is a list of local farmers markets and resources to use when trying to shop for product this time of year.

  • A resource for local CSA’s
  • A resource for seasonal produce in a chart
  • Some local farmers markets include: Downtown, Franklin, West Nashville, East Nashville, Donelson, Green Hills, 12th South, Vanderbilt, and more!

Try enjoying spring produce simple. In soups, salads, raw vegetable crudité’s, lightly steamed, roasted, or incorporated into any simple stir-fry (one of my favorite ways to sneak in vegetables). A couple recipes to get you started Ultimate Spring Salad, Mulberry Soaked Oat Porridge, or Artichoke Salad.  

What are your favorite ways to enjoy spring produce?

Eat well, live well, be well,

McKel

     

     

    Raw foods, are they right for you?

    04 April, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

     

    The warmer months are approaching and have begun (hooray!) and also people may start to gravitate towards specific diets and lifestyles in attempt to look and feel their best on the beach, in swim suits, or in tanks and shorts. Plant-based lifestyles and raw food diets are two of the most common lifestyles I see gain in popularity during the warmer months- not only because of the health benefits of some aspects of these diets, but also because the produce is in season making it much easier to access (check back at our spring produce post for more).

    Let’s focus on one of the lessor known lifestyles, raw food and the raw food movement. First things first, what’s raw food? Raw food, if you want to get technical about it, is considered raw if it’s never been processed nor heated above 115-118 degrees F, the theory behind this is that all natural enzymes will be destroyed if heated to higher degrees.  Some vitamins such as vitamin C are very heat sensitive, meaning they stay intact the best when eaten raw- on the other hand vitamin A rich foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes actually increase in nutrition when cooked. There are great things about this diet that can easily be incorporated into anyone’s lifestyle.

    Raw foods that are eaten in a typical raw food lifestyle include the majority of the diet coming from plants (i.e. vegetables and fruits), nuts, seeds, sprouted legumes, sprouted grains, raw and dehydrated snacks, coconut oil, avocados, and superfoods. Technically in an “all raw” diet, nothing is cooked; therefore this is a vegan diet. I will say however there is an “all raw” movement which incorporates animal proteins… eaten raw. Again, I can’t say nor recommend that this is something that promotes optimal health, and it can actually be dangerous by putting yourself at risk for some unpleasant food borne illness, parasites, digestive distress, etc.

    As with all diets and lifestyles, you can always use this raw food movement as a template to branch off of! For example, using percentages such as 50-80% raw with cooked foods here and there at your desire, including animal proteins if that fits your lifestyle. Or maybe eating raw for you is incorporating one large dark leafy green raw salad per day- that’s a fantastic way to start! Set yourself small step goals to increase the amounts of raw produce in your diet, especially unprocessed and whole food fats like avocados, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds.

    Take home points: eating more raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats is always a great way to increase the nutrient density in your diet, not to mention the fiber which promotes optimal and healthy digestion! There’s no right or wrong percentage of raw foods that needs to be incorporated into your diet to promote optimal health- although I would suggest staying above 0% raw foods is a good start ;)

      

    Who lives or has tried a raw foods lifestyle? What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate raw foods into your diet?

    Eat well, live well, be well!

    McKel

     

    McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN

    Nutrition Stripped [nutritionstripped.com]

     

    Getting back to normal, post-cleanse tips & tricks

    18 March, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

    You’ve been drinking juice for an entire day or maybe 3, you’ve dealt with cravings, waves of hunger, and maybe felt a little low in energy. Also, you’ve already been thinking about what you’re going to eat and looking forward to that big meal. Think again! Just as there are important steps to take before you embark on the “cleanse” there are also steps to take to ease yourself back into normal foods.

    Think of the juicing time period as allowing your digestion to be in “rest”, it’s not digesting solid foods nor breaking down fiber, etc. The food you incorporate back into your diet should be easy on your digestion, nutrient dense to make up for those calories not taken in, but also satisfying.

     

    Here are my top tips to incorporate into your diet and lifestyle ideally the day after and can be continued on after the “cleanse”:

    • Drink plenty of water, daily! Try warm liquids like hot tea or lemon water to help sooth digestion.
    • Nix the caffeine and coffee.
      • You may have given up your daily cup of coffee or caffeine leading up to and during the “cleanse”, if coffee is something you want to incorporate back in your diet, do so gradually. Start at ¼ cup increments black coffee only depending on your sensitivity to caffeine.
    • Eat your veggies!
      • Aim to eat at minimum 5 servings of raw or lightly steamed vegetables/day. This will help your body get enough fiber needed to keep your digestion moving along and also will provide your body with loads of nutrients.
      • Preferably, you can lightly steam or roast vegetables to make them easier on digestion. Pureeing into soups also is great and very soothing.
    • Eat your fruits!
      • Aim to eat at least 2 servings of fruit/day. Fruit is rich in nutrients, water, and fiber- all great things to incorporate to make your digestion as efficient as possible. 
    • Healthy fats and proteins.
      • Consume quality protein sources if you’re eating animal proteins.
      • Also incorporate healthy fats such as plant-based sources from avocados, olive oils, nut or seed butters.
    • Eat whole foods only.
      • This can be a tricky one for most of us, but it’s a must have post-“cleanse” as well as pre-“cleanse”.
      • Eating whole foods is a life-long lifestyle versus a temporary diet
    • Limit cocktail hour.
      • Skip cocktails for up to a week after the “cleanse”, this will help your liver and body continue to “detoxify” what it’s been working on the past week or so during your “cleanse”
      • Our livers are one of the most powerful detoxifying organs in our body, therefore keeping it strong, healthy, and efficient will not only allow your body to get the maximum benefits from the “cleanse” but will also give your liver a much needed break from working in overdrive trying to clear out alcohol or other toxic substances.
    • Skip the sugar.
      • Consume only natural sugars such as those found in fruits or the occasional maple syrup, honey, or stevia of course. This will not only help give your body and liver a break from processing refined sugars, but will also teach you how to beat the cravings before going into the “cleanse”.
    • Move!
      • Gently move such as yoga, walking, stretching or swimming. You may not have as much energy as you did pre-“cleanse” to engage in heavy exercise. I would recommend taking it slow and making sure you’re eating enough food and calories before going and expending them all in a workout session. Be gentle with your body!
    • Sweat
      • Visit a sauna, steam room, or hot bath to help our bodies sweat. Our skin is an extremely large detoxification organ in/on our bodies, utilize sweating as a way for the body to clear other toxins from the body/skin.
    • Sleep
    • Manage stress, take time daily to de-stress however you choose. Positive mind and spirit will keep you focused and motivated to stick through these lifestyle changes.

    Menu example day after the “cleanse”:

    1. Start your morning with warm water with lemon or herbal tea of your choice
    2. Breakfast can be a green or fruit smoothie (think of majority of greens and fruits, less of the dairy products such as yogurt, etc.)
    3. Lunch can be a warming bowl of soup (try some of my recipes here)
    4. Dinner can be lightly steamed vegetables with soup, salad, quinoa/millet/oats/wild rice/etc. with avocado

    Day 2 you may start incorporating more protein and healthy fat rich foods, gradually increasing foods in volume and fiber.

     

    Hope you all have a beautiful week!

    McKel

    McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN

     

     

    Pre-“cleanse” Tips & Tricks

    09 March, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

     

    So you’ve decided to try the “cleanse kit”, but how to you prepare? juice. Nashville offers a Cleanse Kit to help your body “reboot” and refresh with anywhere from 1-3 day “cleanse” from 6 nutrient dense juices (oh yeah, c-ya, whoa, I heart carrots, snap, and almond). Not only is this kit delicious and packed full of nutrients in an easy-to-digest form, but it can also give your body a nice reboot especially with digestion.

    Your diet, nutrition, and lifestyle habits before you start a “cleanse” is just as important as the “cleanse” itself. For example, if you’re going out drinking cocktails and consuming highly processed foods and sugars, then turn to juicing for 1 day to “be healthy”, you’re doing your body a disservice by not allowing the process to work as best as possible. To optimize your juicing experience, whether just 1 day or 3, there are some things you may need to know before starting.

    Here are my top tips to incorporate into your diet and lifestyle ideally 2 or more weeks leading up to the “cleanse”:

    • Drink plenty of water, daily!
    • Nix the caffeine and coffee.
      • Your body may become a bit sensitive to coffee while on the “cleanse” and it’s also better to gradually decrease your coffee/caffeine intake leading up to the “cleanse” instead of quitting cold-turkey and getting nasty headaches or caffeine withdrawals.
    • Eat your veggies!
      • Aim to eat at minimum 5 servings of raw or lightly steamed vegetables/day. This will help your body get enough fiber needed to start optimizing your digestion and also will provide your body with loads of nutrients!
    • Eat your fruits!
      • Aim to eat at least 2 servings of fruit/day. Fruit is rich in nutrients, water, and fiber- all great things to incorporate to make your digestion as efficient as possible. (note this is a very general recommendation, if your goals are fat loss or if you have blood sugar issues, I’d recommend contacting me for a one-on-one consultation).
    • Healthy fats and proteins.
      • Consume quality protein sources if you’re eating animal proteins. Also incorporate healthy fats such as plant-based sources from avocados, olive oils, nuts, seeds, etc.
    • Eat whole foods only.
      • This can be a tricky one for most of us, but it’s a must-have pre-“cleanse”. Consuming whole foods instead of processed foods ensures your body is not taking in any more unwanted substances (i.e. artificial colorings, artificial sweeteners, sodium, trans fat, etc.).
    • Skip cocktail hour.
      • Our livers are one of the most powerful detoxifying organs in our body, therefore keeping it strong, healthy, and efficient will not only allow your body to get the maximum benefits from the “cleanse” but will also give your liver a much needed break from working in overdrive trying to clear out alcohol or other toxic substances.
    • Skip the sugar.
      • Consume only natural sugars such as those found in fruits or the occasional maple syrup, honey, or stevia of course. This will not only help give your body and liver a break from processing refined sugars, but will also teach you how to beat the cravings before going into the “cleanse”.
    • Move!
      • Aim to get in exercise as much as possible, maybe weight lifting, cardio exercise or simply walking leisurely. The goal is to get your circulation moving, lymph moving, which not only helps us sweat but promotes peristalsis in our digestive system (i.e. more regularity!).
    • Sweat
      • Just as in exercise the goal is to get moving to promote blood flow, circulation, and healthy digestion- it’s also great for sweating! Our skin is an extremely large detoxification organ in/on our bodies, utilize sweating as a way for the body to clear other toxins from the body/skin. You may notice breakouts of acne while going through a “cleanse”, this is actually very common and will pass!
    • Sleep
    • Manage stress, take time daily to de-stress however you choose. Positive mind and spirit will keep you focused and motivated to stick through these lifestyle changes.

     

    Hope you all have a beautiful week,

    McKel

    McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN

     

    Cha-cha-cherries!

    13 February, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

    A couple weeks ago we talked about the health benefits of grapefruits and not only is February National Grapefruit Month, its also National Cherry Month! I couldn't think of a more fitting day other than today, Valentine’s Day, to share a breakdown of this ruby red fruit, the health benefits of cherries, and a special sweet treat recipe!

    Cherries are an incredibly nutrient dense fruit high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Many of us don’t associate cherries with high antioxidants, we may think of them as being a topping for an ice-cream sundae. Such as maraschino cherries, which are cherries stored in heavy sugar syrup and dyed with artificial coloring. I’m not referring to these kinds of cherries; I’m talking about all natural, ruby red, juicy, and slightly tart cherries.

    5 Facts about Cherries:

    1. May help delay muscle soreness and pain post-exercise! Drinking tart cherry juice (not sugar-sweetened cherry juice) showed less muscle soreness post-exercise and also increased strength gains while drinking tart cherry juice for consecutive weeks.
    2. Contains more variety of antioxidants than blueberries (which are noted as one of the top fruits in antioxidant content). Cherries contain a long list of antioxidants including: 6 kinds of anthocyanins, 6 types of flavanols, 9 types of polyphenols such as melatonin, chlorogenic acid, and gallic acid.
    3. Potent natural anti-inflammatory fruit, which may help reduce inflammation related to cardiovascular disease. A true heart healthy fruit! 
    4. Contains vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, potassium, manganese, and fiber. Just 1 cup of cherries contains roughly 40% DV of vitamin A and 26% DV of Vitamin C.
    5. Comes in a few delicious varieties including sweet and tart/sour! I prefer the tart cherries because of the slightly sweet but sour taste and enjoy using these in both sweet or savory dishes.

    Ways to use:

    • Use frozen cherries in smoothie, sorbets, or ice creams
    • Tart cherry juice as a juice or mixed with sparkling water for an all natural “soda”
    • Dried cherries as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, porridges, in cookies, breads, savory dishes such as pilaf
    • Fresh cherries as a snack or sliced into a fresh salad for a burst of flavor and sweetness
    • Cooked on the stovetop into a reduction sauce for proteins or other dishes
    • Made into a jam/jelly/spread for toast
    • Fresh cherries dipped into chocolate for a easy dessert

     

    What are your favorite ways to eat cherries? Share below! Hope everyone has a sweet Valentine’s Day and great weekend,

    With lots of love,

    McKel

     

    McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN

    Nutrition Stripped [nutritionstripped.com]

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