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Inside Steven Alan

In the Kitchen with Heartbeet Juicery

  • Freshly pressed juices from Bushwick-based Heartbeet Juicery are now available at our new home store. Founders Danniel and Maria recently spoke with us about their history and how they came up with their unique flavors.


    The two of you met while visiting Storm King Sculpture Park. How did you decide to start a juicery together?
    Danniel: We connected instantly when we met and became best friends. Once I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, Maria guided and supported me by bringing juice to nourish me and my growing baby. At this time, Maria had been juicing for her friends and private clients from home and her business was growing organically. Simultaneously, I was quickly realizing that I did not want to go back to Art Directing but instead wanted to do something else creative that allowed flexibility to be close to my new baby and family. One day, a girlfriend conversation with a juice in hand became the idea to create something together and take this lifestyle and recipes beyond Maria’s kitchen to share with everyone.


    How are Heartbeet juices different from other juices on the market?
    Maria: The difference is in the taste! Our juices are unique in many ways. To start, they are 100% organic and freshly pressed. Freshly pressed raw juice is getting harder to find. A lot of companies are using trendy words like organic, raw, or unpasteurized, yet they have a shelf life. This is because they are using another process called HPP, or high pressure pascalization. You can really taste the difference. We also use a unique blend of spices, superfoods, nuts, and herbs creating some very beautiful and dynamic blends. Our juices go beyond nutritional values; they are also about the flavors and keeping your taste buds curious.


    Could you tell us a bit about your cold-press process?
    Danniel: We use cold press Norwalk machines. They are the most efficient juicers. It is a slow process, but the results are worth it! First, the produce is ground into a bag. The bag is then pressed by the hydraulic press. The juice is never heated like in the usual fast centrifugal juicer. This means that the extraction of the juice is maximized and it is the most effective way to liberate the nutritional enzymes from the fibers of the produce. The juice also stays fresher longer, since air is not forced into the juice while it’s pressed.


    We love your unique flavors. What inspires them, and do you have a personal favorite?
    Maria: The flavors are inspired by my background and travels. I’m from Colombia, where I grew up and traveled extensively around the world studying yoga and some Ayurveda. The combination of spices, fruits, nuts, and veggies come from my collection of experiences, places, and people, ross pollinating different cultures, knowledge, and tastes. Life is always an exploration. As for our personal favorites, they are always changing just as we are. Depending on the season, weather, and how we’re feeling. We listen to our bodies and what it’s craving. For example, we were really into the Citrus Spirulina this winter. Craving the vitamin C, and ginger to kill viruses, and boost our immune system with spirulina. This was our way of keeping healthy throughout the cold days.

    You’re big proponents of certain spices for their health benefits, and use them in some of your recipes. What are some of the spices we can find in your juices?
    In most people’s kitchen they already have a great deal of spices that carry amazing benefits, such as the spices in our Almond Masala. Cinnamon and cardamom are warming spices — they help your body increase blood flow. Cloves are filled with magnesium, vital for health of the blood and tissues.


    Your backgrounds are in dance, nutrition, Ayurvedic medicine, and yoga (Maria) and art direction (Danniel). How do you feel your experiences have helped in building your business?
    Danniel: We see our individual selves as a collective, so pulling it all together, mixed backgrounds and all, make for a good team with several perspectives. Maria’s experience and passion in mind body health gave have given birth to our business and continue to feed it daily. Her awareness led to our decision to be 100% organic, use glass bottles and no plastic bags.
    Maria: Danniel puts it all together. He art and design background and sensitivity feed into everything we do. She’s able to take the ideas and make them into something tangible.

    Living in a fast-paced, urban environment, New Yorkers often find it difficult to slow down or take a beat to take care of themselves, so committing to a cleanse can be a bit daunting. Do you find this to be a challenge, and if so, how do you address it?
    True, it’s difficult to keep a healthy and balanced lifestyle in New York — this is the main reason we created our company. People just don’t have time to do what we do. It takes a lot of care and certainly a lot of time so they are looking for a solution. We believe that there is a point of balance for everyone, whether you can or want to commit to a cleanse, or you just want to incorporate juice in your life. Everyone is different and there is no right or wrong way. It really depends on your personal needs and goals.

    What’s next? I there anything you’re working on at the moment that you’re really excited about?
    Right now we are getting ready to embrace Spring and the change of weather. This is very exciting because we try to adapt to our environment as much as we can and with the season changing so are our flavors. We will be bringing out some lighter flavors such as pineapple cilantro juice or our avocado smoothie. We’re also working on some new green juice flavors and some exciting hot lemonades!

    Many thanks to Danniel and Maria! You can find Heartbeet juices at our Home Shop at 158 Franklin Street.

    This entry was posted on Saturday, March 16th, 2013 at 8:33 am and is filed under Home, In Stock, New Arrivals. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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