Maximising leafy greens with a coldpressing cafe in the suburbs

Green Beards salad and juice company specialises in cold-pressing

Green Beards in Ranelagh: The benefits of cold-pressed are written in chalk on the walls of this café meets juicery

In the appropriately leafy Dublin suburb of Ranelagh lies a juicery committed to maximising the nutrients of leafy greens. Green Beards are a juice and salad company specialising in cold-pressed juicing, founded by Ray O’Hara and Kevin Johnston. Three years ago, they opened up their juicery on Dunville Avenue. “It started off really well,” Ray tells me. “We couldn’t make enough juice to keep up with the demand and had to close early sometimes when we were out of juice.” But what’s so cool about a cold-press?

There's a video on the Green Beards website that explains the differences, but I also get a lesson in juicing nutrients when I visit the Green Beards store on Dunville Avenue, just a short walk from Beechwood Luas stop. The benefits of cold-pressed are written in chalk on the walls of this café meets juicery, including the promise that these juices hold five times the nutrients and enzymes than traditional juicers.

This idea of additional nutrients is based on the differences between the three common types of juicing machines: the centrifugal, the masticating juicer and the cold-pressed juicer. The hydraulic cold-pressed system claims to have a slower speed and minimum oxidation, leading to a juice with a much higher nutrient density and a longer shelf-life. There are claims that the centrifugal and masticating juicers create heat that can kill off enzymes in the juice, though some argue that this is a myth supported by the sales teams of cold-pressed juice manufacturers .

The juicer debate

Green Beards use a Norwalk cold-pressed juicer for juicing their turmeric and mint, and Ray sends me a link to the company's website where the results of laboratory tests shows their juicer creates more nutrient dense juice than those of two other common juicer types. Most of Green Beards' juice is made on the larger Good Nature juicer, who have also conducted their own research and tests to identify the nutrient shelf-life, which you can read online at "The claim of five times is an average as it depends on what is being juiced," says Ray, when I ask him to clarify. "Certain fruits and vegetables oxidise faster depending on the extraction method and also the level of pulp left in the juice."

Green Beards: Also in the fridge are salads, breakfast and protein pots supplied by Blacksheep Foods

The Green Beards Ranelagh headquarters is a working juicery with a couple of seats, and you can see their cold-pressed juicer in action. There’s a small, dry goods pantry store complete with jars Katie Sanderson’s peanut rayu and Pukka tea bags, and large tubs of almond butter for sale. In the fridge, there are glass bottles of freshly pressed juices, such as Beets by Ray (€4.50 small / €6.50 large), a sunset-coloured juice made from carrots, beetroot, ginger and lemon, sweetened with pineapple, orange and apple. It tastes great, and it’s easy to drink.

Protein pots

Also in the fridge are salads, breakfast and protein pots supplied to Green Beards by Blacksheep Foods whose tagline is “deliciously different”. A tub of Vietnamese Courgetti Salad (€6.50) features spiralised courgettes and carrots, cashews and spring onions, all brought together with a really good dressing of rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. A good dressing is what makes a salad, especially a vegan salad, and I could have done with even a little more of that delicious dressing. Coffee is supplied by Two Fifty Square, in Rathmines, and it’s made really well here at Green Beards.

It’s been a good couple of years for Green Beards and they opened a second shop in Donnybrook six months ago. They supply cafés around Dublin such as Avoca, Bibi’s and Fallon & Byrne. Alongside their vegan nut-based smoothies, they’re developing their range of probiotic drinks, such as their lacto-fermented ginger bug. They’re experimenting with drinks with a longer shelf-life that will allow them to move beyond the Pale. Nutrients aside, Green Beards make juicing very palatable and the thought of a juicing company moving towards fermented drinks really piques my interest.

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