Vail-based Main Squeeze Juicery blends nutrition, taste
What to juice ...
When it comes to juicing, many people look for combinations of fruits and veggies that taste good. However, the right ingredients can boast specific benefits. Here are a few for common ailments.
Ginger — For an upset stomach or nausea.
Beets — For people arriving at altitude, as they are full of antioxidants to help your body take on the oxygen you need.
Dandelion greens — Good for detoxing and flushing out the liver.
Peppermint — For upset stomachs.
Cucumber and watermelon — If you’re feeling internally hot.
Garlic — An immune booster, especially if you feel like you are getting sick.
Horseradish — Breaks up mucus during a sickness.
Cayenne — Boosts metabolism.
Find out more about Main Squeeze Juicery on its Facebook or Instagram pages, or at the Vail Farmers’ Market on Sundays through Oct. 4.
Ever try to eat a pound-plus of fruit in a single sitting? It’s not so easy — unless you’re drinking it from a bottle, of course.
One of the main concepts behind juicing is to pack several servings of fruits and vegetables into a concentrated and easier-to-absorb form. Pure juice, such as that offered by Main Squeeze Juicery’s Danielle Fernandez, contains the liquid and raw nutrients of the fruits and vegetables, minus the fiber.
“Fiber takes energy to digest, so the nutrients in a juice are more easily absorbed,” she said, adding that there’s a difference between blends and juices. “The difference between blending and juicing is that blending has heat, which takes away nutrients. Also, there’s the quantity of vegetables in juice. You might throw one piece of kale in a blend, but you can have four leaves of kale in a single bottle of juice.”
When it comes to juicing, there’s a little appeal for everyone, whether they’re drawn to the health benefits or simply the fresh, good taste.
Edwards resident Kara Goodrick has become a regular customer of Main Squeeze’s juice (sold at the Vail Farmers’ Market) as a way to get a healthy dose of vitamins and nutrients for her family.
“I have two kids, and I can’t even get them to eat that many vegetables in one day — I’d be chopping all day,” she said. “I prefer spending the money on a quality juice than going out and spending the same money to eat something that is not as healthy.”
She came across Main Squeeze and said she’s been buying the juices for the family each week.
“I do juice myself, but it’s kind of a messy process, and I have kids, so the convenience of having it pre-made is great,” she said.
Behind the juice
When Fernandez moved to Vail full time at the beginning of last winter, juicing was something she did for her own enjoyment. With the help of Big Bear Bistro, where she makes all her juices, she was able to start selling her carefully made concoctions. Now, Main Squeeze is a full-blown business. Things were going so well, in fact, that Fernandez had to cancel a trip to Europe this summer to keep up with the demands of the juice company. Besides the Vail Farmers’ Market, her juices have been featured at various special events around the valley, and this winter, they can be purchased at select stores around town.
Main Squeeze was inspired by her mother, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007. In 2010, her mother had a serious wake-up call when she accidentally overdosed on the many medications her doctors had her taking and decided to take her health into her own hands.
“She decided she didn’t want to live like that anymore and completely changed her diet, which had never been much of a focus for her,” Fernandez said. “Lots of it included juicing, and she started exercising regularly, and within a few months, she was off her medicines. She went to the doctor’s a year ago, and he said, ‘You don’t have any signs of MS or lesions, yet you’re not taking your medicine. What’s going on?’”
Fernandez realized that a fresh-made juice business might not only fill a niche in a health-conscious valley but also inspire other people to live healthy lifestyles.
“Just seeing that firsthand change in my mom’s life in such a positive way really inspired me,” Fernandez said. “Juice is just a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet.”
The juicing life
Fernandez believes in juicing done right — for her, that means her juices are cold pressed, made of organic, mostly Colorado-grown produce and they’re unpasteurized, giving each bottle a three-day lifespan. They’re mostly vegetables, with just enough fruit for taste but not enough to make the sugar content skyrocket. She seems to have mixed something right.
She recommends a bottle of dandelion wine (dandelion greens, kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, ginger and apple) to kick-start the morning or a juice as an energy booster in the afternoon instead of coffee.
Whenever people choose to drink her juices, Fernandez believes the impetus for many of her sales is health.
“I get a lot of customers who are juicers on vacation and they’re looking for some juice while they’re in town. I think people are simply looking to be healthy, and how good it tastes is just an added bonus,” she said. “The most common question I get is, ‘What’s the most healthy one?’”
Assistant Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @mwongvail.
Vail Resorts Chief Executive Officer Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, have announced significant contributions totaling more than $2.8 million to further strengthen emotional wellness programs in more than 10 mountain communities where Vail Resorts operates.