TELLURIDE – The recent cold snap has forced many Telluride skiers off the slopes and into their homes, seeking refuge from the teeth-chattering bluster. Now that warmer temperatures – above-freezing temperatures – have returned to the San Juans, what better way to replenish calories than by drinking quick, simple and inexpensive juices?
Enter la Cocina de Luz; longtime owner Lucas Price now offers purpose-made juice options at his main street restaurant; most include the superfood-ingredient wheatgrass. The restaurant serves small, medium and large-sized juices, priced at $4, $5 and $6 respectively.
“I’m providing something for people to drink besides soda and alcoholic beverages,” said Price. Each hand-squeezed juice is fresh. Juice can’t be left standing for more than 30 minutes, said Price, or it becomes undrinkable.
Every ingredient featured in every juice is organic, and it’s Price’s goal to buy all his produce from grocers as close to Telluride as possible.
“The cucumbers are from Mancos, the kale is from Rain Crow farm in Rico and we use wheatgrass from David Westerman,” he said.
Wheatgrass juice contains up to 70 percent chlorophyll, which helps purify the liver, neutralizes toxins in the body and is known to help blood sugar, Price said. With straightforward names like Calcium, Immunity, Alkalinity and Detoxify, each juice serves a special purpose.
Calcium, first on the menu, boasts one ounce of wheatgrass, five kale leaves, four carrots, two apples and a bit of celery.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is that the celery leaves are so good for the body,” said Price, offering a tasting of his Calcium juice. The drink tastes strongly of carrot and kale, and seems like a medicine – and it may well be, in the proper sense of that word.
“Osteoporosis is a huge problem we’re facing today,” said Price. “And if you’re out there skiing on the mountain, you’re going to want those strong bones.”
So-called Immunity Juice features half a lemon, five kale leaves, two oranges, one-quarter of a pineapple and half a cucumber. “This one is good for those of us up in the mountains in the dry climate that pulls so much energy of us,” said Price.
“I feel so good when I drink these. If I come in after skiing and I’m completely worked, I feel rejuvenated after one of these. There’s something about this drink that has a lot of energy.”
The Immunity has a citrus bite to it, thanks to its two oranges and pineapple.
“We use the pineapple core in this juice because it offers bromelain, which is known to act as an anti-inflammatory,” said Price.
One ounce of wheatgrass, half a lemon, one cucumber, five carrots, one apple and three stalks of celery comprise Alkalinity, a drink that Price says serves an important body function.
“We typically eat really acidic foods, which include meats, sugars and caffeine,” said Price. “Consuming a diet of alkaline foods is linked with fighting cancer,” he added.
Last but not least, Detoxify features an ounce of wheatgrass, as well as ginger, beets, five kale leaves, two apples and four carrots.
In addition to being full of vitamins A, C and K, kale provides the body with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Kale has also been studied for its relationship in preventing cancer, as it features anti-cancer nutrients in the form of glucosinolates.
The ginger in Detoxify, Price said, adds cancer-fighting and immune-boosting elements to the juice.
Drink to your health.