Walking into Green Carrot off of the bustling streets of Osborne village is almost like taking a deep breath in. The calming green walls and reclaimed wood make the place warm and inviting, and the staff greet you immediately to ask if this is your first time. No matter how busy it gets, they take the time to explain the juicing process, and make recommendations to almost every customer. But hey – the writing is on the giant chalkboard wall.
“Our philosophy is right on our wall. We believe in fresh, local, handcrafted, real juice, and putting your best foot forward. There’s another way of healthy living; it encompasses everything,” co-owner Johnny Kien says.
The first time my partner and I wanted to try the cold-pressed juice. I picked Summer Squeeze ($8.50) for me, and he got Hardcore Greens ($11). With strawberry, watermelon, pineapple, and mint, Summer Squeeze is a burst of flavor, and every item in it comes through in the flavor of the juice. For the Hardcore Greens, I wouldn’t recommend this one if you aren’t a fan of mint (which my partner isn’t). The colour is a little intimidating – a dark rich green - but once you get past that, this is the perfect juice for the health food junkie.
On another hot summer day, I visited them solo late in the afternoon and they had run out of the cold-pressed juice, so I opted for a Monkey Business smoothie ($6.50) and a quinoa cacao brownie ($5.00), for a snack. While I was waiting co-owner/ex-Blue Bomber Obby Khan was darting around offering people samples of their smoothies. I tried the best green smoothie ever ($6.50), and it lived up to the name, while being green in colour, all you can really taste is the mango and the pineapple.
The monkey business smoothie has a light coconut taste to it, and is much more watery than the other smoothie I got to sample; but it still had a great refreshing quality about it. The brownie – made in house – blew me out of the water. It was moist, decadent, and topped with toasted coconut for crunch; it is vegan, gluten free, nut free, and more or less guilt free.
The only thing that is a bit of a bummer is the prices – for two large bottles of juice you’ll be out a 20 – but you’re really paying for the best quality product possible. An important tip: be sure to go early if you want the cold-pressed juice because they tend to sell out fast. The juice is preservative free, and is filled with “more vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, than other traditional juice”, according to GC’s website. Whether you are a health food fanatic, or just want to feel like one for a day, Green Carrot is a must.