I first tasted this non-juice from a juicery four years ago. I was in San Francisco and I passed this little shop. It was starkly white, eye-catching, with all the bottles neatly lined up, in a rainbow of colors: Pressed Juicery. I enjoyed the many vegetable and fruit concoctions but one of my favorites was the Vanilla Coffee.
I had it again just a few weeks ago when I discovered a Pressed Juicery had opened in Bellevue, Washington. They intend for their products to be used for multiple-day fasts/cleanses, which are so popular now, and which I’m not a huge fan of. (In fact, I tried and reviewed a 3-day juice fast program from a similar company if you want to read more about my “glass is half empty” dietitian attitude towards fasting/cleansing.) But I think enjoying their products on their own as healthy beverages is a fine and tasty idea. They use healthful ingredients and have come up with creative combinations of vegetables, fruits, nuts, tea, and coffee.
I’ve done my best to recreate the taste of my favorite flavor, though I didn’t succeed in copying their extra smooth texture. Speaking of which, the recipe instructions might seem a little specific, i.e. using a pint and half mason jar. Let me explain. During recipe testing I started with my blender of course, thinking it would be the best tool for the job. But I ended up with lots of large chunks of date and almond. The blender is a big container with a big blade, and not all the ingredients were coming into contact with said big blade for proper pulverizing. So I downsized my container and my tool. The hand blender fits perfectly in the mason jar and the dates and almonds have nowhere to hide in that small, confined space. The result? I mixed it right in the jar they soaked in overnight and got a much smoother product.
However, it’s still not as smooth as the original. I’ll admit it…mine has a little debris; tasty, sweet, nutritious debris, but still debris. You could try straining it out, but I didn’t have much luck with that. And in the end I decided to leave it as is. Straining out the sediment (Silt? Solids? Is there a word that sounds like we’re talking about food and not yard waste?) strains out some of the nutrients. Leaving in the almond meal and the tiny pieces of date means the protein and calcium stay around too. Think of it kind of like making smoothies vs. juicing. Blending the whole ingredient vs. just pulling out the liquid and discarding the solids doesn’t maximize nutrient retention. So with this recipe you get the whole kit and caboodle.
I think the nutrition facts are pretty fabulous: under 300 calories, 6 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and a decent contribution to your day’s calcium (6% Daily Value) and iron (8% Daily Value) from those pesky, chunky almonds and dates.
If you compare their nutrition facts to mine, it’s not really apples to apples. Or vanilla coffee to vanilla coffee. Theirs is 16 ounces, though the label just shows numbers for 1 cup or half a bottle. You’d have to double that if you drink the whole bottle, which is inevitable. My copycat version ended up being just 12 ounces, so my numbers are for the whole thing. The whole recipe. The whole enchilada. Serves one.
There you have it. A copy of a non-juice drink from a juicery that just might replace your morning latte or afternoon iced coffee. I guess I could make a big batch, bottle it up myself, arrange it in neat rows reminiscent of Pressed Juicery itself, relive my San Francisco experience, and be all set for a week’s worth of daily, orderly caffeine. But, I’d have to clean the fridge first and I don’t see that happening. Guess I’ll stick with my slightly disorganized, one day at a time, Bellingham experience instead. My taste buds won’t know the difference.
Do you have any favorite bottled beverages you like to enjoy in the a.m.? Any you can recommend that I should sample?