Welcome to my happy place, aka, in a vat of Salad Days “Egyptian Orange” cold pressed, raw and unpasteurised juice. We stumbled upon this company — Salad Days — while looking for healthy lunch options in Gurgaon. Within a week, we were on a subscription plan with them, which is the best decision we have ever made. But, while their healthy salads are a great option, what we’d like to focus on here, is, in our option, the real gem of the company — the juices.
Each glass bottle — great packaging, with tabs that say “treat yourself — is 330 millilitres. There’s carrot, Egyptian orange, pineapple, ginger, called Red: R01. Red: R02 has watermelon, chia seeds, mint and Thai basil which is crunchy, chunky and feels ridiculously healthy. Yellow: Y01 is a simple, yet delicious blend of pineapple and kafir lime. Crimson: C01 is a blend of Washington apple, carrot, beetroot and ginger, which personally, was difficult to get down but that’s also because of the beetroot — which isn’t a particular favourite of mine in its raw form. And then, there’s our favourite Orange: O01 — Egyptian Orange — which we’ve tried to drink slowly, to make it last more. 330 ml is just not enough with this one. It’s really that good. Each of these juices has a host of health benefits that range from better teeth, hair, skin, a boosted immune system etc. I personally tested them a month ago. You know that feeling when you’re just about the get a cold? I took one tablet of Vitamin C and ordered two bottles of the orange. It’s basically a strong hit of Vitamin C since the juice is raw and cold pressed. I can vouch for the fact that my system felt a hundred times better and I did keep the cold at bay (for a day or two, but that’s my fault. I should’ve kept up the Vitamin C.)
They also grow most of their vegetables which controls the quality you can really taste (you’ll find all the sweet basil, celery, parsley, rocket leaves, baby spinach, red radish, cilantro, mint, shallots and leeks all coming from their gardens.) The “they” we’re talking about are the two co-founders: Varun Madan and Kunal Gangwani. Fun fact: they were from two adjacent batches from XLRI Jamshedpur and became good friends while playing for the XLRI music band, Bodhi Tree.
Says Varun, “… It was felt learning from food endeavours in Europe and US that freshly sourced raw ingredients have a great taste of their own and qualify as awesome meal options. But here in India, we couldn’t identify that one name which comes to everyone’s mind when one thinks of eating healthy food. Lack of both demand and supply have been the most basic reasons for this void. While we embraced these challenges as opportunities, Salad Days was born to address the big white space of serving healthy, filling and tasty food in a quick format and at reasonable prices.”
We have a short interview with Varun right below talking about the juices, and their combinations. The next time you’re in Gurgaon, give them a shout and see what all the fuss is about!
My Envy Box: Juice cleanses are all the range, so was there a conscious reason to bring raw, unpasteurised juices into peoples lives for regular health purposes as opposed to one monthly cleanse?
Varun Madan: Juice cleanses are the rage across the globe — Agreed. But we don’t want to make healthy eating a complex decision. As a fact, our juice blends are similar and better in quality than the ones featuring in various popular cleanse programs. But, clearly, we don’t want to position our juices as cleanse packages. We believe that instead of going for a week/month long, one-off juice cleanse, it’s better to include a juice or two in your daily diet. It’s a more sustainable lifestyle change and hence, in line with our mission at Salad Days. No promises of detoxification or weight loss, no selling of hope in a bottle … just pure goodness.
My Envy Box: What are the processes behind the fruit and vegetable pairings. For instance, the pineapple and kaffir lime or the Egyptian orange with carrot, pineapple and ginger.
Varun Madan: Our core offering is food and that’s where our primary focus resides. Everything else is secondary. At Salad Days, our mission is to contribute in making Indian mainstream diet healthier, which essentially means that we must provide with food that speaks for its goodness. Only then will it make its place in regular diet! Thus, for all our products, the underlying philosophy is to bring out the best in terms of health, quality, taste and filling factor. The philosophy is no different for our recent addition of fresh, raw and unpasteurized cold pressed juices with no sugar, no preservatives and no colours, etc. Basically, the juices are pure to the core. From the pairing perspective, the best juices are the ones which have a balanced concoction of both fruits and veggies, because only then do they ensure rewards with regards to nutrition, taste and energy needs. The so called juice cleanses are more inclined towards greens and vegetables to limit the sugar intake, but ideally, one needs good carbohydrates too. The fruits not only provide you with energy needs, but also make the juices more palatable and enjoyable. We believe that health, taste and fullness all can exist in tandem and we try to replicate this belief through everything in our menu.
My Envy Box: Talk us through the juices and give us some insights on their benefits?
Varun Madan: Cold pressed Juices are, in general, far more healthier than other fresh juices made using the omnipresent centrifugal food processors and blenders. In the latter process, fast spinning blades generate heat and oxidise the juice, thus degrading the vitamins and phytochemicals (which are the “healthy things” intended to be consumed in the juice) resulting in nutrient loss, and a less palatable end product. On the other hand, the pressed juice process, as the name suggests, “presses” the fruits and vegetables. This minimises oxidation of nutrients and live enzymes, resulting in the highest concentration of nutrients possible. We have introduced five cold pressed juices with an extremely simple and meaningful nomenclature. We believe that when there is a mix bag of ingredients, the easiest recall is by the colour of the juice. Also, scientifically, different colours are a direct cue of different nutrients. Backed with this reasoning, we have named our juices based on their colours. So we have G 01 (Green), R 01 (Red), Y 01 (Yellow), C 01 (Crimson) and O 01 (Orange). Collectively, these juices behold the benefits of detoxification, digestive aid, anti oxidation, immune support, weight loss, skin cell growth, circulation improvement, kidney cleansing, metabolism boosting, anti acne, strengthening of teeth and gums, anti inflammation, reduction of fat absorption and hydration. In the near future, we plan to introduce our 02 series for all the colours.
Visit Salad Days at http://www.saladdays.co or give them a call at +91 9643 800 901/02/03 to try out the juices (and salads!)