Farmers market shopping is thirsty work, so as usual we were looking around for a quencher while sifting through the Hollywood market crowd. To the right was the Raw Cane Super Juice stand, a spot we'd passed up many-a-time, ignorantly thinking it some sort of calorific saccharinefest. Were we wrong.
Rey Koo, one of the owners of the company, gave us the lowdown. Sugar cane is actually a grass, much like bamboo. It's rich in minerals, particularly manganese and magnesium, neither of which are found in most vegetables. It contains only 11% sucrose compared to the 92% found in refined sugar, has a high amount of chlorophyll and is, get this, diabetic friendly. To put it plainly, Koo told us, "To compare cane juice to sugar is like comparing coca leaves to crack."
The main benefit of pure cane juice, which the Super Juice folks extract, bottle and sell, is that it's cleansing. This is partly because it's fibrous, but mostly because, as Koo explained, we most readily release toxins when minerals are plentiful in the body.
She elaborated that the modern American diet, consisting mostly of meat, dairy, carbs and refined sugars, is both mineral deficient and highly acidic. Once the pH is balanced and the blood is cleansed, which cane juice helps accomplish, it can function at the most optimal rate.
No surprise, then, that these juicers market their own version of the Master Cleanse in a blend dubbed the "Detox Elixir." While their recipe includes the traditional lemon and cayenne pepper, maple syrup is swapped for cane juice infused with ginger, which reduces the joint inflammation that can accompany cleansing.
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For those not ready to hop on the fasting train, Raw Cane Juice also offers several other varieties including a lemon and lime-infused alkalizing tonic and a coconut blend. Koo tells us the former is a fortified immunity booster, as disease is only harbored in an acidic environment, and cane juice neutralizes that acidity. As for the latter, coconut is high in electrolytes and good for the kidneys. As such, it's the company's sports drink, and is currently being tested for effectiveness against an unnamed "big guy."
At the market, the juicers generously lay out sample after sample of the bottled juice for consumers to try, each perfectly sweet, crisp and fresh tasting. They also blend surprising specialty drinks, including a bittersweet cilantro smoothie that protects the body against metal toxins.
For anyone looking to work cane juice into their diet, Koo recommends drinking 5 ounces in the morning, which will help the body metabolize sugar and bad (meat) fats throughout the day.