Our guest writer Jessie (aka mscooksalot) has loved cooking and exploring recipes for as long as she can remember. Passionate about real food, she wants to know what's in it and where it comes from. She believes that food is one of the greatest pleasures in life and can transform your experiences from the forgettable to the sublime. We asked her to help us kick start a healthy and happy New Year!
After the excesses of Christmas and New Year’s, my body was in desperate need of some super healthy food. I could practically hear my stomach and liver screaming “No more wine! Please feed us something nutritious!”
Normally I like a balanced diet and I make a lot of effort to eat organic food at home and to avoid processed foods as much as possible. But at the same time I’m a complete foodie so I cook and eat more than my fair share of indulgent food too.
And with January upon us I decided to drop into BT2 on Grafton Street and check out Alchemy Juice Co., the new healthy food venture from Domini Kemp of Itsa Bagel fame. They specialise in cold pressed raw juices, smoothies, super food salads and soups, speciality coffees and teas. They also sell other healthy cupboard essentials such as raw coconut oil, kale chips and bee pollen.
As I said, my poor liver needed some TLC, so I chose the Beat It juice, which is full of beetroot, spinach, apple, lemon and ginger to name but a few, and which promised to be excellent for supporting the liver. I also chose one of their porridges, the apple and cinnamon, which was jam-packed with healthy ingredients like chia seeds, almond milk, blueberries, walnuts and maple syrup. Finally I ordered a cappuccino, which may not be the healthiest option, but was made with organic milk, which I always appreciate!
The bar and seating area are situated upstairs at the front of BT2 where Starbucks used to be and the area has been designed to be bright, clean and really inviting, with bleached wood, white tables and bright green branding. You can sit and look down at Grafton Street on your lunch break or pop in mid shopping spree for a juice or a coffee boost.
As I sat and sipped on my raw juice, I noticed how clean it was on the palate, especially compared to some of the lesser quality juices on the market elsewhere. The juices also come in glass bottles, which you might appreciate if you’re worried about plastics in food packaging.
These juices are extracted using a hydraulic press, which means that more of the natural enzymes from the plant remain in the finished product. They are not pasteurised either, so you’re getting more antioxidants and vitamins in the finished product, compared with other commercially sold juices.
Juicing is fast becoming a new health fad, and many people swear by it for supporting their digestion, skin and other body functions. Look for these cold pressed juices, as you can really taste the difference.
I’m a big porridge fan and at this time of year there is nothing better for breakfast than a good bowl of porridge to warm you up. My porridge came out garnished with walnuts and blueberries, and made with gluten free oats and chia seeds. Chia seeds are little round seeds packed full of Omega 3, which we know is essential for good skin. They are also full of fibre, protein and lots of essential minerals. They must be soaked overnight and apparently will keep you fuller for longer, with very few calories. I had never tried them before and to be honest I think they’re an acquired taste, sort of like flaxseed.
The porridge also had grated apple, cinnamon and maple syrup, which all helped make it more palatable, but you definitely could tell it was health food, not comfort food! But if you’re a porridge fan then I recommend you try it out. I noticed that it kept me fuller for longer than my homemade porridge normally would, so maybe those little chia seeds really do make a difference!
Lastly my cappuccino was great, made with care as was everything else. It came with a little square of coconut brownie on the side. The brownie had been made without flour and with the ever useful coconut, another ingredient that is full of nutritional benefits. It was an excellent brownie, rich in cocoa flavour and dense and fudgy in texture.
I was highly impressed with my breakfast at Alchemy, and could feel it was doing my body good as I sat eating it. At €12.55 for the 3 items, it certainly wasn’t cheap. But it was made with care and with high quality ingredients, so you’re going to pay extra for this kind of food, especially in that location.
I’m looking forward to going back soon for lunch to try out their sweet potato soup and one of their yummy looking colourful salads. Their menu is extensive and there is probably something for every palate. If you want to start the New Year off with a healthy dose of delicious, nutritious food, I'd highly recommend it.
Have you tried the Alchemy Juice Bar and if so, what was your experience? And where is your favourite eatery for healthy snacks or are you a prepare-at-home kind of girl?
If you'd like to read more from Jessie, you can check out her blog here!