We’re diving into honey and why we’ve added Bee Local’s raw honey as a natural sweetener to two of our raw, cold-pressed juices.
Honey is a thick, golden liquid produced by honeybees. The process begins when a bees visit a flower and collects a sugary juice from the blossom called nectar. The nectar is sucked out of the blossom using the honeybee’s tongue before it is then stored inside their honey stomach. Bees have a stomach for food and stomach specifically designed to store honey until it can return to the beehive. When the bee has a full load of nectar in its stomach, it will then fly back to the beehive where it passes the nectar on to another worker bee through its mouths. The next worker bee will chew on the nectar for about 30 minutes before passing it to the next honeybee.
Through this process of mouth-to-mouth transfer honey is created. A glandular secretion from the honeybee’s mouth is mixed in with the nectar, transforming it from nectar into honey. The secretion is rich in enzymes and provides the honey with royal jelly proteins and enriches it with monosaccharides, fatty acids and vitamins B, C and E. It takes at least eight bees all their life to make one spoonful of honey.
There are several types of honey and they each serve different purposes. Data report that honey contains several molecules, such as hydrogen peroxide, known for their antibacterial, wound healing, and anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, honey is a common remedy for illnesses in which swallowing is difficult.
Clover honey is one of the most popular and widely available types of honey. It comes from white blossoms, most often from either Canada or New Zealand. It is light in color and ranges from white to amber and has a mild, slightly floral flavor. Clover honey is often added into pies, cakes, cookies and other pastries.
Manuka honey comes from a sacred tree in New Zealand called the Manuka tree. It contains significant levels of antibacterial properties and is potent enough to be therapeutic. One antibacterial component in manuka honey is methylglyoxal (MG). MG is a compound that is commonly used as a medicine to heal wounds, combat infections, heal sore throats, aide digestive illnesses and cure Staph infections and gingivitis. The taste of manuka honey is mildly sweet with a bitter aftertaste.
Sourwood honey is native to Brazil and grows in the Appalachian Mountains. It was once believed that sourwood honey could cure cancer, however, that claim has since been debunked. Sourwood honey is has a buttery and caramel-like flavor and smells of anise spices.
Buckwheat honey is a dark honey produced in New York, Ohio, Minnesota and Pennsylvania from buckwheat flowers. It has a strong molasses and malt flavor and is contains abundant minerals such as iron, manganese and zinc, which are involved in a number of vital functions in the human body. Studies indicate that buckwheat honey and manuka honey share similar antibacterial activity, however, buckwheat honey contains more antioxidants compared to manuka honey. It is said, the darker the honey, the more antioxidants the honey contains.
Rosemary honey is light yellow and has a strong, sweet flavor, packing a powerful punch just as the herb rosemary does. It is known to assist with cardiovascular issues, liver function, digestion, high blood pressure and gout.
Dandelion honey is a vivid yellow honey that comes from the pollen of bright yellow dandelion greens. Dandelion greens are becoming increasingly popular due to the plethora of health benefits they provide. Reports show that dandelion greens are loaded with vitamins and nutrients that help purify blood, support healthy digestion and contribute to healthy skin and vision. A serving of dandelion greens exceed the recommended daily value of vitamin K and A. Additional vitamins and nutrients found in dandelion greens include vitamins C and B6, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper.
Acacia honey comes from the Black Locust tree found in Europe and North America. It is light in color and mild in sweetness. Acacia honey is a popular sweetener for tea drinkers and when paired with herbal teas, it can contribute to relaxation. Studies have demonstrated the hypoglycemic effect of honey. Acacia honey, in particular, has a high concentration of fructose and a low sucrose level making it a novel anti-diabetic agent. Due to its antimicrobial properties, it is also known to help fight inflammation, improve liver function and aide intestinal tract function.
Eucalyptus honey comes from Australia and California. It is popularly consumed to relieve headaches and colds due to its cough-suppressing properties. Its flavor is more herbal than other types of honey with undertones of menthol.
Portland Juice Co.’s Sama and Tantra
juices each have a dollop of raw honey added to them. We source our honey locally from Bee Local,
which whole-heartedly believes in practicing sustainable beekeeping through the Pacific Northwest. Their award-winning honey is sustainably harvested, never heated, treated, blended or ultra-filtered.
REYKA VODKA VISITS
Reyka Vodka paid us a visit last fall; and together we made a refreshing Reyka Shauca cocktail.
Last summer, Reyka Vodka, reached out, informing us of a visit they’d be making to Portland in the fall. If you’re not familiar with Reyka Vodka, allow us to introduce you. Reyka Vodka is Iceland’s first vodka. They pride themselves on small-batch, hand-crafted vodka utilizing environmental elements unique to Iceland — Arctic spring water, lava rock filtration and geothermal energy. Their spirit is intentional and delicious.
Their visit to Portland would involve several stops to local artisanal businesses like Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Bithouse Saloon. Reyka Vodka’s hope was to create fresh cocktails pairing fresh, local beverages with their Icelandic vodka.
See below for the video of us making a Reyka Shauca.
A U.S. Reyka Vodka Ambassador, Trevor Schneider (@cocktailninja on Instagram), arrived to the press with a cameraman in tow ready to get to work. We gave them a quick tour of our space and shared with them the process of making our juice before getting our hands dirty.
One thing we can agree on is that the best cocktails start with the freshest ingredients. We decided our seasonal Shauca juice would make for the perfect mixer with the vodka. Fresh grapefruit offers a ton of health benefits; and life is all about balance, right?
Together, we created the most refreshing, minty, gingery, grapefruity cocktail—The Reyka Shauca. It was truly the freshest, most delicious greyhound we’ve ever tasted.
Trevor started by combining Reyka Vodka with Shauca into a cocktail shaker. He gave it a good shake before straining and pouring over ice. He garnished the finished product with mint sprig and a paper straw.
Together we toasted to fresh local ingredients and a beautiful artisanal cocktail. In the words of the Icelandic, skál!
1.5 part @reyka
3 part Shauca juice
Garnish: Mint Sprig
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake, strain, garnish, sip and enjoy!
Everything you need to know about grapefruits and why our seasonal citrus juice is loaded with it.
Grapefruits are a cross between a pomelo and an orange. They grow in clusters, similar to grapes, which is where they got their name. They have a peel, just like an orange, that protects its fleshy, citrusy, often bitter-tasting fruit. Grapefruits can range in color from white or yellow to pink and red. Grapefruit season starts in September and lasts through April, which is why out of our seasonal juices, the Shauca stays the longest on our menu.
Their juices, peels and pulp provide a variety of nutritional and health benefits. First, grapefruits are low in calories. According to Harvard Medical School, grapefruits have low glycemic index of 25, suggesting that consumption will not significantly affect blood sugar and insulin levels.
Grapefruits are made up almost entirely of water. A total of 92% water to be exact. Due to its high-water content, grapefruits are hydrating. A study was conducted and found that the consuming grapefruit lowers elevated hematocrits in humans. Hematocrit is the ratio of red blood cells to the total volume of blood. The main cause of an elevated hematocrit is dehydration from either heat exhaustion or no available sources of fluids. Grapefruit congestion was found to normalize hematocrit levels.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, grapefruits are classified as a powerhouse fruit and vegetable. Powerhouse foods are defined as “nutrient-dense foods most strongly associated with reducing chronic disease risk.” Grapefruits possess a desirable set of bio-available nutrients and can contribute to fulfilling recommended daily energy intake through food.
Other health benefits to consuming grapefruit include antibacterial and immunity support. Grapefruits are loaded with nutrients like vitamin A and C.
The white flesh between the peel and the flesh of a grapefruit is called pith. According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the pith is rich in antioxidants and soluble fiber. Regular consumption can help lower blood sugar, LDL cholesterol and even reduce your risk of colon cancer.
There are reported links of grapefruits interacting with the body’s absorption of medication. Grapefruit juice contains minerals like calcium which may dampen the effect of antibiotics.
The details about dates
Sugars from natural sources are better than artificial sweeteners.
Dates, or date palms, are a flowering plant species part of the palm family. They are cultivated for their sweet, edible fruit and have a succulent, exotic flavor. While date palms can be cultivated on all five continents, the main production regions are the Middle East and North Africa.
They are dark brown in color and have a fleshy mouthy feel. The major component of dates are carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, glucose and fructose. Its sugars can be easily digested and quickly absorbed into the bloodstream offering a quick burst of energy.
Dates are commonly used as a substitution in food preparation to reduce added sugar intake in your diet.
According to World Health Organization, limiting added sugar intake to less than 5-10% of total energy per day will reduce the risk of obesity and tooth decay and lower total body weight. The WHO reports there is no evidence of “adverse effects related to consuming the occurring sugars in whole fruits and vegetables.” Utilizing dates in recipes that call for a sweet taste is therefore a great strategy to reduce the added sugar intake. For example, three of our vegan nut mylks: Bala, Om and Jiva contain dates for their sweet flavor.
Dates are typically consumed with little to no processing, unlike artificial sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup.
Due to their nutritional qualities and convenience, dates have been added to a number of products as replacement to artificial sweeteners, Date jam, date butter, date bars, date syrup, date juice, date candy, date chutney and date relish are just a few examples of products that dates have been added to. They are consumed with little or no required processing. They have a considerable commercial value in the nutraceutical product segment. Nutraceutical is a food containing health-giving additives and having medicinal benefit.
Dates are considered to be an ideal, high energy-food. They contain a wide range of essential nutrients and offer consumers a plethora of health benefits.
Because dates are rich in potassium and low in sodium they are desirable for people suffering from hypertension. Dates contain compounds that can reduce free radicals in the body, support the immune system and prevent inflammation from occurring.
Dates are a good source of fiber and contain important vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, fluorine, selenium, copper, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and boron. Boron is useful in the treatment of brain cancers. The amount of protein found in dates is too small to be considered nutritionally significant, however, dates do contain many essential amino acids favorable to human needs.
In ancient folklore, dates are believed to have many medicinal properties such as to provide strength, fitness and relief against a number of ailments and pains including fever, stomach disorders, memory disturbances and anxiety. They are also said to be an aphrodisiac.
Matcha, matcha, matcha
Matcha has become somewhat of a food craze in the health and fitness world in recent years, but what is it exactly and what can it do for your body?
Matcha is defined as “powdered green tea leaves” which are rich in phytochemicals. Its origins trace back thousands of years in ancient Chinese and Japanese cultures. In recent years, matcha-infused snacks and beverages have gained popularity throughout the world. Popular matcha-infused items include matcha muffins, matcha lattes and matcha chia pudding are just a few popular matcha-infused treats.
One of Portland Juice Co.’s vegan nut mylks,Tura, contains matcha. The Tura is a pistachio nut mylk sweetened with vanilla bean and raw coconut nectar and contains one teaspoon of matcha powder per bottle
Matcha is a type of green tea, and green tea contains caffeine. Because matcha powder is derived from crushing whole tea leaves, the caffeine content is more significant than that of a simple bagged tea.
Matcha offers a number of health benefits to those who consume it.
Matcha is frequently referred to as a mood-and-brain food. One study suggests that matcha can improve attention, working memory, information processing and episodic memory. The organic chemical EGCG (epigallocatechin-3 gallate) found in matcha can boost the production of stem cells in the brain and can have a positive effect against age-related degenerative diseases like Alzheimers, cancer and osteoporosis.
EGCG is also known to reactivate dying skin cells. Energizing dying skin cells can improve skin conditions like aphthous ulcers, psoriasis, rosascea, wrinkles and wounds. In addition, EGCG increases production of “regulatory T cells” which are vital for immunity.
Matcha is rich in antioxidants that help fight disease and keep your mouth free of cavities. It is also known to enhance fat oxidation which could potentially reduce the symptoms of metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Why we’ve added activated charcoal to our classic, cold-pressed Sama.
You may have noticed in the last few weeks that our Sama is back on the menu, but with a twist. What’s different? We’ve added activated charcoal to the mix of lavender, ginger, Bee Local honey and lemon juice and it’s practically a whole new juice!
Although the color is much different, a rich black color, the taste is still light, refreshing and sweet, similar in flavor to your favorite summertime lemonade.
So what is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is a special form of carbon. It is made by reheating carbon-rich materials to a specific temperature. The charcoal is then “activated” through a process which involves poking holes into the surface area of the charcoal. This hole-poking process increases the surface area of the charcoal and the availability of binding sites. The finished product is activated charcoal.
Activated charcoal is commonly used in emergency trauma centers around the world to treat patients who have been poisoned or overdosed on drugs. Doctors in the emergency room encourage its use in these scenarios because it is fast-acting. Activated charcoal safely traps toxins and rids the body of nasty, unwanted chemicals through adsorption. This means chemicals and toxins bind to the surface of the charcoal before it is safely excreted through your waste. Please consult your doctor before consuming activated charcoal at home.
Due to its incredibly detoxifying properties, drinking a lot of water is key to keeping your body happy and hydrated while the activated charcoal runs its course. According to a study published in the Journal of Food Quality, activated charcoal has the potential to bind to vitamins, nutrients and other beneficial substances. Because of this, consuming activated charcoal after your body has digested a meal would help maximize its effects.
Incorporating activated charcoal into your day-to-day health regimen has been known to whiten teeth, contribute to healthy glowing skin, reduce the side effects of hangovers, alleviate gas and bloating and extract metals from your blood.
The blue-green algea that everyone has been talking about and why you should care.
Spirulina, or blue-green algae, pictured bottom center. Photo by Carly Diaz
Blue-green algae is thought to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Spirulina is one of the most popular varieties of blue-green algae. Although it has been used for more than 400 years, beginning with the Aztecs, spirulina has taken flight (quite literally) the last 10 years. Spirulina re-emerged in the health and food scene after it was successfully used by NASA as a dietary supplement for astronauts on space missions. Because of spirulina’s high concentrations of proteins, vitamins and nutrients it was a compact source of full-nutrition for the astronauts.
So, what exactly is spirulina?
One of spirulina’s most striking qualities, is its vibrant blue-green color. When added to a beverage or used as a natural dye, it can turn a substance a rich shade of blue green. Spirulina is a free-floating filamentous microalgae that grows in alkaline bodies of water. It is commonly added to capsules or beverages to reap the associated health benefits.
Spirulina naturally produces antioxidants. The World Health Organization endorsed spirulina as a vitamin- and protein-rich food supplement. A group of California researchers has recently suggested the organism may help protect against infectious diseases, and even cancer. According to M. Eric Gershwin, MD, spirulina offers immune support due to the fact it stimulates cytokines which are what we use to fight colds.
Most blue-green algae products contain Aphanizomenon flos-aquae harvested from Upper Klamath Lake in southern Oregon. We source all of our spirulina from Klamath Valley Botanical in Klamath Falls, OR!
We’ve added a dash of spirulina to our new Vitality smoothie, making it a nutrient dense smoothie loaded with antioxidants and blue-green goodness. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out our other new smoothie: Energy.
Photo by Carly Diaz
Photo by Carly Diaz