The trend in customers reaching for juices and smoothies of all types is popular all across the country. From vegetable-based healthy concoctions to sweet fruit versions, the juice/smoothie pool is varied and flavorful. Locally, beverage fans will find diverse flavors and styles at juice bars, health food stores and other shops.
"There are a lot of people who are really into juicing," says Amy Rakoczy, owner of Roots Organic Juice Cafe in Valparaiso. Roots, a family-run shop which debuted four years ago, serves all organic products. The cafe's menu features a diverse collection of juices and smoothies in various flavors. Customers may also order special add-ins for their beverages.
Rakoczy says her entire family has been into the trend of juicing. At the cafe, juices and smoothies are consumed by customers not only for their great flavors, but for health benefits as well. "All our juices are palatable," she says, adding just because they're healthy doesn't mean flavors shouldn't be pleasant.
At Sunrise Health Food Store in Lansing, assistant manager Michael Kujawa says the juice trend is pretty popular. In the store's Sunny's Kitchen, customers will find a range of juices. Many green concoctions are some of the most popular at the juice bar there, the assistant manager says.
Rebecca Raspberry, owner of Vibrations Health, Wellness and Juice Bar in Gary's Miller area, says she's definitely noticed a great deal of customers reaching for the healthy beverages. "When I opened the [business] my idea was that I would have a health food store as well," she says. "And the juice bar really took off," Raspberry adds.
"People that (regularly) juice come in and people who don't (regularly) juice come in," she says. Raspberry, who grew up in her father's health food store in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, says she's always been into the healthy way of eating. All the juices at Vibrations are made with fresh, natural ingredients. No dairy or ice is used in the juices.
Juice experts say they expect the trend for healthy juicing to continue as more people look to juicing for everything from wanting to gain more nutrition to detoxing, weight control and simply desiring to consume great flavored beverages that are also good for you.
The following stores and juice bars are just a sample of places to get juices and smoothies in the area.
Baums Natural Foods
Locations in Merrillville, Munster and St. John
Baums Natural Foods features a juice bar in its three locations in Merrillville, Munster and St. John.
Among natural blended juices on the menu at the health food store are Ginger Zinger, Green Surprise, Immune Booster, and more. The Purifier blend features carrot, apple, celery, beet and garlic while Satin Skin stars carrot, apple, ginger and lemon.
On Baums' smoothie menu are blends such as Hawaiian Delight, Cha-Cha Cherry, Blue Suede Shoes, Monkey Butter and others.
Various pick-up locations
Frozen Garden in Chesterton features ready-to-blend green smoothies that have been blast frozen. Customers may pick up the packages and take them home to blend at their leisure.
Allyson Straka, owner of Frozen Garden, says they use fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers and flash-freeze them. Once the fruits and vegetables are flash-frozen, they're packaged. "Customers can take them home, open them and put them in a blender and they're ready to go," Straka says. Juices and smoothies are "a great way to get leafy greens into one's diet," she says.
Some of the items offered through Frozen Garden are the Jungle Breeze, Rollin' Oats, a Detox version and others.
Straka says a retail shop will open soon in Valparaiso, and is expected to debut in mid-August. Through the shop, Frozen Garden will be able to blend and make juices on site as well as offer the flash-frozen packages for home blending. Call for more information.
Roots Organic Juice Cafe
108 E Lincolnway
Roots Organic Juice Cafe features a variety of juices and smoothies.
The juice menu items starring at Roots include Going Green, Citrus Zing—which is seasonal—Red Revival, Popeye's Punch, Lemonade Twist, Orange U Healthy and Pineapple Punk, another seasonal option.
Smoothies include Green Sea, with avocado, apple, parsley, kale, lemon, and sea salt; and Berry Bliss, with strawberry, Maqui berry, coconut milk, honey and avocado.
Sunrise Health Foods
17650 Torrence Ave
Among juices at Sunny's Kitchen in Sunrise Health Foods in Lansing are Green Monster, Green Goodness, In Between, Mega Green and Sweet Green.
There are also Sunrise locations in Valparaiso and Flossmoor, but Lansing is the only location with a juice bar.
Third Coast Spice Cafe
761 Indiana Boundary Rd, #6
The Chesterton restaurant features everything from breakfast specialties and lunch selections to assorted smoothies.
Third Coast Spice Cafe debuted seven years ago and stars whole, healthy foods, made without artificial ingredients. The smoothie menu features Pineapple Paradise, Carrot, Orange, Veg Medley, Acai Plus and others.
Vibrations Health, Wellness and Juice Bar
615 S Lake St
The health food store and juice bar offers an assorted collection of nutritional goodies.
On the juice/smoothie menu are items such as Blues Be Gone, Pineapple Express, Sunshine Cocktail, Kale Kleanse, Beet It, Vibrations Special, Apple Zing and more.