Get Juicy, Aggies!

By Monika Ax, Nutrition Peer Counselor, UC Davis Fitness and Wellness

Whether you spent the weekend eating junk food, had a little too many drinks the night before, or simply need to get in a vegetable fix, pressed juice is a healthy, and refreshing way to satisfy your cravings. Finding the right place can be difficult, especially as a college student who can’t afford to throw down $10 or more for a light snack- and lets be honest, juices do not fill you up like a meal. I chose three popular spots in Davis to sample: The Nugget, Jamba Juice, and Sun and Soil. Specifically, I chose only green juices, so that I could select the most similar juices at each place. Through careful tasting and evaluating, I was able to find a favorite supplier that fit my college budget and taste preferences.

So here goes my honest opinion…

Nugget Market

  • Time to make: 3 ½ minutes
  • Price: $5.00
  • Verdict: The “Purifier” was recommended. It contains kale, ginger, lemon, pineapple, and cucumber. Surprisingly, I was the only customer at the time, and the juice only took a few minutes to come out. Granted, every other time I have come to Nugget to get a juice or acai bowl, it’s been busy and taken at least 10 minutes to get what I ordered. I received a 12oz plastic cup, with another 4oz cup full of the leftovers. So I got about 16oz total for only $5. The taste was overall refreshing and cleansing. It was pretty tart from the lemon, but I enjoy tart flavors and it did not bother me. There was a subtle sweetness from the pineapple, and you couldn’t taste the kale at all. After finishing the whole drink, I had that “Ah I feel so refreshed” feeling. Another plus is that all of their produce is locally sourced.  It was definitely a good juice given the price and amount.

nugget juice

Jamba Juice

  • Time to make: 4 minutes
  • Price: $5.99
  • Verdict: The juice I ordered was called “Tropical Greens” and it had apple, pineapple, super greens, and chia. It also came in a 12 oz plastic cup, but this time with no extras. I’m not sure what the “super greens” were, but they definitely gave the juice a more chalky consistency. It was blended with ice, which made it thicker than a normal juice. The apple and pineapple were more overpowering in this juice and made it a lot sweeter. It definitely did not feel very refreshing, and the sweetness and thickness made it heavier than what I was expecting from a green juice. At this point, I was wishing I had my nugget juice back.

jamba juice

Sun and Soil

  • Time to make: none, because they are already prepared
  • Price: $11.50 (but you get $2 back if you return the bottle, so technically $9.50)
  • Verdict: Now, I know that the price is almost double that of Nugget’s and Jamba Juice’s, but the juice is organic and comes in a recyclable glass bottle. I ordered the “Sweet Greens” which has apple, cucumber, spinach, filtered water, lime and ginger. The juice was very flavorful and the perfect consistency: not too watery and not too thick. It was also not as tart as the juice from the Nugget. I give this place creds for their eco-friendly reusable bottles and use of organic fruits and veggies.

So which juice would I recommend to my fellow broke college student craving a healthy fix?

I would rule Jamba Juice out of the equation. Although it was relatively cheap, I couldn’t get over the chalkiness and thickness. It was more like a melted smoothie than a juice.

Sun and soil definitely had high quality ingredients and great tasting juice, but it cost me $9.50 for 16oz, whereas at the Nugget it was only $5.  Now, if $9.50 per bottle is in your budget, I would definitely recommend Sun and Soil. But personally, the Nugget is within my price range, and perfectly satisfied my green tooth.

What is your favorite juice place?



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