One juice bar is taking sustainability to the next level — by recycling their food, not just their containers. Juice bars can generate a whole lot of food waste. Instead of turning their remnants of peeled fruits and apple skins into compost, the coffee and juice bar chain Joe & the Juice decided to press them into doughy, dark breakfast treats — and then sell them for the reasonable price of $2.99.
“Initially we contacted zoos to use it as food for animals,” Kasper Garnell, the head of branding and communications at the company, told the New York Post. “But a lot of animals can’t digest ginger, so we kind of had to scratch that idea.”
Their pulp muffins — literally made from leftover juice pulp — have environmental activists raving over the ingenuity. Instead of loading trash cans with the fibrous plant remains of kale stems or other halves of bananas, these perfectly ripe pieces of produce are baked right into these breakfast muffins. Each one is unique, formed of a conglomerate of whatever leftover pulp was gathered from that morning’s juices.
You can find the muffins at any New York location of the chain. And here’s some more good news: They’re gluten-free.
To concoct the sustainable desserts, the chain simply mixes gluten-free oats, eggs, honey, and almond flour in with the juice pulp. We’re sure it was no easy task to turn the pulp from scrap to scrumptious — the result, though not glamorous by any means, is impressive.
“It’s no secret that they don’t look super-interesting, or like normal muffins,” Garnell confesses. “We were trying to keep [them] as natural as possible.”
The formula has yet to be perfected, so if you try and don’t love your earth-friendly treat, don’t nix them for life. Not only is each muffin different, but the chain is continuing to fine-tune the process of turning scraps into a satisfying morning treat.