Sunday, March 3

Smoothie in the Salt Lake City


gorgeous fruit and veggie combinations delivered in a charming mason jar!
  
Nate Guggia delivers healthy, delicious smoothies to office-bound people in Salt Lake for a very reasonable price. I am poor, often stuck in the office and totally love smoothies - it was perfect that we ran into each other on Twitter.

Smoothe SLC (get it? like smoothie?) will bring you the smoothie of your dreams, be it fruit-filled or funky green. For $7.00 you can start your day with a yummy, Good For You treat!

A few weeks ago we had a Smoothie Day at the SLUG office* and enjoyed a sampling of different smoothies. My favorite was chocolate and coffee heaven! It's like me in a mason jar: 12-16oz cold pressed coffee, cinnamon, tiny bit of vanilla extract, 1tbs flax seed, raw cocoa powder, 2 bananas and ice. Just perfect.

Nate! Gavin! Mike!
Nate was gracious enough to answer some questions for me. So please read on and learn more about a truly different and delicious vegan business in Salt Lake City!

1. How did you decide to go vegan? Was it health or ethics that led you to this decision? 
When I first started dating my wife, we took a trip to Central America.  We were on a flight and I was reading a book called The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari.  It's about a unhealthy, stressed out lawyer who gives it all up to live in the mountains with a group of monks.  In the book he described living off of vegetables, rice and fruit basically.  Since I had already given up dairy, and was eating very little meat at the time, I decided to just go for it.  Right there in the middle of our trip.  My wife was already vegetarian so it was easy.  Shortly after I read The China Study which, to this day, is still the most influential health related book I've ever read.  Half way through it, I set the book down, looked at my wife, and told her I was going vegan for good.
So, initially my choice was for health.  Then I became educated in the ethical side of it.  Then the environmental impact vegansim plays.  so now, it is a complete lifestyle and philosophy for me.  It has a deep purpose and passion for me.  Much more than just a way of eating for me which makes it very special.

2. You have such an interesting business model! How did you decide to deliver smoothies? 
I've been making smoothies for several years now.  I think over 3,500 to date.  I make them for friends, family and co-workers and they all love them.  Some have mentioned here and there that I should start a business around it.  Then I read an article in VegTimes about a guy in L.A who has a similar story around his homemade almond milk.  He now has a thriving business doing what he loves, serving his community and even some celebrity clients.  I've based my model off of what he does.
Check him out:  http://mylkman.com/
My entire mission is to use my passion for health and plant based living to serve the on-the-go people of my local community with a fast, convenient and healthy product.

3. Where will your produce be coming from? Are you working with any local farms?

I will get my ingredients both locally and commercially.  I will have a big local focus once the weather in SLC improves.  This season I will also be growing a lot of my own produce.  Commercially, I have relationships with a few, ethically conscious grocers where I buy cases of fruit at discounted prices.  When you buy as much produce as I do, you get some cool perks :)

4. What is your favorite smoothie for winter?
My favorite smoothie overall right now is what I call my Power Smoothie.  I've made this for many people and they all love it!
1 C Unsweetened Almond Milk
-Bananas (I use 6 myself.  I recommend at least 3)
*use one frozen banana if you have it
-1/2 Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper
-1/2 Large Cucumber
-2 Stalks Celery
-1 Nugget or Fresh Ginger
-Cinnamon
-1 tbs Coconut Oil

-1 tbs Ground Flax Seed
-Stevia to Sweeten (Agave or Maple Syrup if you prefer)
4 Ice Cubes
*a cool option is to add 1/3-1/2 avocado instead of coconut oil.  Avocado provides a creamy texture to your smoothies that is just awesome.

This will make 36-40oz.  For me, this is breakfast.  But for some, this can be divided in to two smoothies and drank over two days as breakfast or anytime throughout the day.

Tip:  Drink your smoothies out of a mason jar.  They are the perfect size, inexpensive and made out of glass which is very clean.  I prefer the 16oz wide mouth jars.  And I also recommend ordering a pack of plastic lids.  You can find them on Amazon here:  http://amzn.to/11jJ366

5. Any tips for people making smoothies at home that don't have a fancy blender?

Now a days, most regular, commercial blenders are made very well.  They are much more powerful than in the past, mainly because smoothies have become so popular.  You can go with an option like this: http://ow.ly/hit19.  This blender will easily make fruit based smoothies, but you may run in to some issues blending greens and veggies.  I personally use a Blentec.  And many others use a Vitmix.  They are equivalent in quality and run about $350.00.  I look at this is an investment in the thing we value most in life; our health.  Yes, the upfront cost is a lot, but they will last forever, have great warranties and produce the quality that most people want.  If you are going to make general smoothies, then a less expensive blender will serve you just fine.

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Did you notice this month's SLUG? Because I'm totally in it. I had the opportunity to write about one of my favorite new restaurants, Frish !  Pick up an issue right now!


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