Summer vacation doesn’t have to derail a healthy diet. You’ll find a multitude of healthful food options in the Belmar region of the Jersey Shore — whether you’re shopping for organic produce at the supermarket, choosing low-carb or gluten-free dishes at a local restaurant, or enjoying a bottle of raw cold-pressed juice from Nourished by Nature, a popular juice and smoothie bar in downtown Belmar.
Nourished by Nature is owned by Cassandra Quarantello, who opened her business in 2014 after an unfulfilling stint in the corporate world. She had been laid off from her position and was seeking a new path forward without the restrictions and monotony of corporate life.
As fate would have it, Cassandra had a life-changing “aha” moment over at juice drink at Whole Foods with her mother. An entrepreneur herself, Cassandra’s mother encouraged her daughter to open a small business built around her long-time passion for juicing and the healing qualities of juice.
Cassandra started out with made-to-order juices, working in a rented commercial kitchen to fulfill customer orders. Six months into her new endeavor, she had built an established clientele and decided the time was right to launch her first retail operation in downtown Belmar.
Fast forward almost 10 years later, and Cassandra has made her mark in the Belmar business community. In 2021, she relocated to a larger space with a vegan café on Main Street (next to Beach Haus Brewery). She also has expanded the Nourished by Nature menu with the addition of organic nut milkshakes, juice cleanses, detox lemonades, juice power shots, and vegetarian/vegan smoothies.
Nourished by Nature also sells breakfast toasts, sandwiches and wraps, hot and cold coffee drinks, protein-packed energy balls, overnight oats, organic oat bars, and other healthy snacks. Locally sourced Belmar Honey is also available for sale. The honey is bottled by resident Ed Lippincott, who has a small apiary on his Belmar property.
Cassandra also has teamed up with local candlemaker Matt Dates, owner of Midnight Candle Company, to produce Nourished by Nature hand-poured jar candles in heavenly scents such as Coconut Kick, Peace Punch, and Lavender Lemonade. Succulent planters from nearby Lanza's Nursery in Wall Township, New Jersey, are also available for purchase.
RELATED: Belmar Honey – How Sweet It Is
Cold-Press Juice Process
In a recent “Busy People Podcast,” Cassandra explained how the process of extracting cold-pressed juice differs from that of other fresh juice drinks and the commercially produced, pasteurized juice that you find in a grocery store.
“When you go to a juice bar, the machine you see is a tabletop machine or a traditional masticating juicer like you would use at home,” she said. “The juice comes out one side and pulp comes out the other. The fast blade makes the juice break down because it’s introducing heat and air. The layer of foam you see at the top is the air that’s in the juice that’s causing it to break down, or to oxidize. If you don’t drink it within 15 to 20 minutes, the juice starts to turn brown, and at that point, you are just drinking calories, you’re not getting the nutritional value.”
In contrast, the cold-press process, according to Cassandra, uses a huge commercial juicer to grind the fruits and vegetables with a blade, rather than whipping or blending them as with other juicing methods.
“All of that pulp is dropped into a big bag, which is then pressed with two plates that apply thousands of pounds of pressure, and the juice comes out of the bottom. That pulp, when we are done pressing it, is extremely dry, rendering all of the nutrients intact and keeping the juice alive for at least four or five days after bottling, as opposed to traditional juices, in which the nutrients die within 15 to 20 minutes,” Cassandra said in the podcast. Because Cassandra’s juice is refrigerated right after bottling, the health benefits are preserved for several days. Vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals in the juice “provide a great nutritional boost to help detox the body and support the immune system,” she said in the podcast.
Some of Nourished by Nature’s most popular juices are the green varieties, due to their low fruit and fructose (sugar) content. The green juices are prepared from fresh ingredients such as organic kale, celery, cucumber, and spinach, making them high in Vitamin K.
One of the most popular fruit juices at Nourished by Nature is the Ginger Snap Apple, made from organic apple, lemon, turmeric and ginger. The juice contains anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants to hydrate and cleanse the body inside and out.
One detox lemonade that “flies off the shelf,” according to Cassandra, is the Black Ginger-Aid. It has activated charcoal, which “acts as a broom to sweep the internal system,” she said. During flu season, Cassandra’s elderberry organic power shots are popular, as is the Shoo Phlew shot, which is a concentrated 2-ounce drink with cayenne pepper, lemon, ginger, and pineapple.
In addition shopping at Cassandra’s retail store in Belmar, you can place delivery orders of selected smoothies and breakfast toasts via DoorDash. Juice orders for delivery can be placed via the Nourished by Nature website. The delivery fee is $10.00 and service is available to most of New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia and local suburbs, including Bucks County) and New York. Gift cards for use in the retail store are also available for purchase.
Nourished By Nature
801 Main Street, Unit 1A Belmar, New Jersey 07719 908-907-5893 www.iamnourishedbynature.com
Live Like A Local: Rent A Belmar Beach House
Day trips down the shore are fun, but it's even better to rent a beach house for the week to experience everything wonderful about the Belmar area. For couples, solo adults and small families, the two-bedroom Blue Hydrangea Cottage rental in Belmar, New Jersey, is the perfect getaway place. The home sleeps up to four people and is consistently rated five stars for cleanliness, amenities and location. Learn more at www.vacationinbelmar.com.
Story and photos © copyright by Christine Cardellino, owner of www.VacationInBelmar.com and publisher of the award-winning Belmar Beachcomber Blog, a travel and tourism guide for the Belmar region of the Jersey Shore. Do not copy any content (including images) without our permission. All rights reserved.