Don’t you find yourself craving for fresh ripe fruit or crisp vibrant vegetables at this time of year? Today at Hula Juice Bar I was in heaven.
Owner Susan Doherty and I sat down to sample some juices she’d created. A few weeks before 3p Fruits, a Spanish family agricultural business dedicated to the production of fruits and vegetables got in touch. Would we like to try their produce grown in Lleida in Catalonia? Yes please.Unusually, they sell all their products directly via the Internet and phone sales, connecting the producer with the end consumer and are starting to supply to the UK.
Having looked at their website and dare I say it drooled over the boxes of oranges and lemons, I thought let’s do something different with the samples they’d kindly offered to send us. I tore myself away from the citrus boxes and ordered a mixed box of fruit and vegetables. Susan agreed to take the challenge on. The box took 3 days to arrive.
Incredibly, Hula Juice Bar is now 8 years old. It recently came 6th in the Yelp list of Top 100 restaurants and it’s easy to see why. The interior is so welcoming, like walking into a summer day. The list of juices enticing. The food inviting.
Inspired by the range of vegetables and fruit, Susan created 4 different juices for me to try. We sampled them with some of my multiseed bread and olive oil that is included in every fruit and vegetable box.
Juice 1: Susan had not tried making juices from artichokes before and they proved not the easiest vegetable to juice. But the effort was well worth it, an intriguing mix of artichoke, celery, lemon and lime was created. As I supped it, the flavour of artichoke become more pronounced – delicious. A lovely light mixture.
Juice 2: The huge beautiful tomatoes were transformed into a juice with celery and satsuma, with cayenne for a definite kick. The celery was beautiful to look at with plenty of green leaves still on the stalks rather than trimmed down to the white stems. Forget any preconceptions you have about tomato juice. This is how it should really taste.
Juice 3: Green juices are very popular at the moment. The “Popeye” mixture was beautifully fresh – a mixture of spinach, apple, lemon and nutmeg. Susan commented that the apples sent from Spain were particularly juicy – ideal for this mixture. I loved the touch of nutmeg.
Juice 4: The last and no means least was a beautiful smoothie mix of bananas, honey, cinnamon and milk. It was so gorgeously thick and creamy I felt I could go on drinking it for ever.
I went home with four bottles of juice a spring in my step and a selection of vegetables form the box. Supper was grilled tomatoes with artichoke steamed in the pressure cooker topped with goat’s cheese. What could be better?
Find out more
Fruit and vegetable boxes of course have been around for a while. I love the idea of getting fresh fruit from Spain at this time of year whilst our choice is so limited. The quality is exceptional from 3p Fruits and delivery is quick. The prices of the produce is keen. However the shipping costs are high, perhaps a box could be shared with a friend to keep costs down?
3p Fruit’s website is in English. You can choose from a wide range of items including citrus fruits and vegetables and some rather special calcotes that come from Catalonia.
Hula Juice Bar is open 7 days a week from 8 am to 6 pm. Do pop in to try their wonderful juices.