The Juice Truck Cookbook Review and Recipes

I've been adding smoothies and juice to my diet for many years, so when Penguin Random House offered me a copy of The Juice Truck cookbook (which is published by their division, Appetite), I felt very fortunate and was really thrilled to read what was in this book! The Juice Truck: A Guide To Juicing, Smoothies, Cleanses And Living A Plant Based Lifestyle is written by Zach Berman and Ryan Slater, longtime childhood friends, and the two co-owners of The Juice Truck in Vancouver. The inspiration behind their cold-pressed juice bar--Canada's first ever--was from their one year-long backpacking trip to Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka, where they discovered some local healthy secrets and remedies made with real plant-based foods. After months and months of experiments and research, The Juice Truck was finally launched in the summer of 2011. 

Being juice wizards, Zach and Ryan share not just their favourite juice recipes in this book, but also lifestyle advice from health coach, Colin Medhurst, as well as case studies by experts on various subjects, like meditation, sleep, yoga, food allergies, etc. The Intro starts with their story-telling and a loose history of juicing, which was quite interesting to me. It is followed by The Basics, which tells you how to organize your fridge and pantry in the most efficient way, and suggests a list of basic items that you should have for both your juices and smoothies. One of the most helpful things to me from this chapter was that they dedicated a whole section to "The Tools". Based on their experiences, they explain the differences between the centrifugal, masticating, triturating and Norwalk juicers in terms of their function, price, and how they each affect the process of juicing. It was quite fascinating to learn all the pros and cons of each type of juicer. If you're in search of the best blender/juicer, this chapter will definitely help you to make the smartest decision based on your budget and lifestyle. 

I also loved The Lifestyle chapter, which starts with "Ditch The Trends". I totally agree with what Zach and Ryan say on how difficult it is to keep up with all these different new health trends and restrictions that come out every week. We should make choices that are easy to live by and fun for us to look forward to. This chapter is not about if we should eat carbs or which ingredient we should pick; it's about how one should live. Instead of promoting a specific choice of diet, the book suggests several simple and healthy lifestyle choices, and offers the four pillars of a healthy diet (1. Plant-based, 2. Whole foods, 3. Nutrient dense, 4. Include healthy fats). It encourages you to be creative and experiment with wide varieties of plant-based ingredients, instead of living by strict restrictions. 

And just when you think you've gotten all the information you need about juicing, we come to one of the most important chapters, The Cleanse! It covers all the benefits from doing cleansing and how it works on your body. Zach and Ryan also carefully provide guidance and tips on a safe cleanse. They prove that all of this doesn't need to be a struggle. There's even a cleanse meal plan that you can follow. Without many restrictions, you'd be surprised at how many delicious ingredients you can include during the cleanse and how enjoyable it can be! 

Before the recipes begin, there's a section titled "Superior and Medicinal Foods", which I found very useful. Each ingredient is listed with its health benefits and how it can be used. In this chapter, you get to learn some exotic and unusual ingredients, like chaga, cordyceps, acerola, mesquite, ashwagandha and more! This makes it easier to incorporate superfoods as a part of your everyday lifestyle. Once you're familiar with what they are, you can play with these power ingredients by adding them to your daily drinks or food to make them even more nutrient dense and bioactive. 

The most fun part is of course, seeing and making The Recipes! The Juice Truck provides over 110 delicious, easy-to-make and healing recipes, including a variety of nut milks, smoothies, smoothie bowls, juices, wellness shots, and even some mouth-watering and simple plant-based recipes. The nice thing is that all these recipes tell you what the health benefits are. The one thing I wish the book had were a way for readers to look up recipes based on their health benefits in the index, so you could quickly choose according to what your body needed at the moment. 

Even though not all the recipes come with photos, the fun and catchy names are just enough to make you want to try them! Here are some recipes that I can't wait to try:

The Coconut of Coconuts

The Creamsicle

The Figs and Yummy

The Hedgehog Bowl

The Thai Grrrrrr

The Autumn Spiced Milk

The Tequila of Wellness

The Yummy Yum

The Garden of Eden

The Almost Mac and Cheese. 

The truth is this list can go on and on…

Overall, this book is really fun, informative, and well laid out with a lot of vibrant photography and cute little illustrated icons. If you're a newbie and would like to learn about juicing and healthier ways of living, this is the right book for you, but it's not just for beginners. It's also a great book for people like me, who already love juicing and healthy food, but would like to take one step further and learn more about detoxing, exotic ingredients, and health benefit of different foods. The Juice Truck has got everything you need to know about juicing, and what's more, it'll guide you how to do it in the healthiest, easiest, and most beneficial way possible. It'll transform you from juice dummy to juice expert in no time!

To give you a sneak peek of the recipes from the book, Penguin Random House is allowing me to share three recipes of my choice here with you. To ensure my review is accurate, I've made not just the three recipes below, but several others as well, including The Zucchini Chocolate Chip Smoothie (see the photo above), The Juice Truck's Famous Granola, Nutrient-Packed Guacamole, and The Energy Protein Ball (ummm…, it's more like I wanted to taste those recipes, rather than "test" those recipes!( /)u(\ ),. All of which I love, and only wish I could share them all with you. So if you're curious about this book, check out these three easy and quick recipes below, which I know you'll enjoy as much as I did!


Excerpted from The Juice Truck. Copyright © 2017 Zach Berman and Ryan Slater. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

© photos by My Chouchoux


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