After spending years working as a line cook at Los Angeles hot spot Lucques and writing about food for the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Amanda Chantal Bacon decided to hang up her apron and opt for a healthier lifestyle that didn’t include working into the wee hours of the morning. So she decided to open Moon Juice—which also happened to be right around the same time her son was born. “I got to a point in my life where I felt called to really integrate everything that I am and everything that I aspired to be more of into my daily work,” says Bacon. “I wanted a life where I could have a baby strapped to me at work, a job that sent me home with buckets of organic green juice, and business hours that didn’t go into the witching hour.” Here, she talks about her favorite juicing recipes for pregnancy and kids. —Melissa Schweiger
Elizabeth Street: How is Moon Juice different from other juice shops in L.A.?
Amanda Chantal Bacon: We are one of the few places that offers 100 percent organic cold pressed juice. I cannot stress enough the importance of making sure you are only drinking juice that is made from 100 percent organic ingredients. I’m so passionate about providing a product that is seasonally driven, never compromised, and truly medicinal strength. We never skimp on the good stuff. Everything is super duper potent and made as if I was juicing for myself and loved ones at home. We actually press every morning and throughout the day, and do not use forms of high-pressure pasteurization (HPP) that is becoming a popular way to have a cold pressed juice stay shelf stable for a month.
ES: Did having a baby change the way you eat?
ACB: Yes! I barely use utensils, it’s often a dining-in-motion experience. And I have a lot of fun recalling the line cook mentality of thinking a couple days ahead on what I can prep today to cook tomorrow and possibly cook for a crowd with no notice.
ES: What juices do moms and kids love at Moon Juice?
ACB: I am forever pushing the green shake on the kids, and the goodness greens juice on babies. We have kids that drag their moms in for the beet aid and the carrot lime coconut. My baby loves the gingered lemon, a juice that is sometimes too spicy for an adult!
ES: What juices do you recommend for pregnancy? Can you give us some juicing tips?
ACB: I was an avid juice drinker during pregnancy and swear it was the reason I didn’t have cravings for empty foods, gain unnecessary weight, or have any complications. I drank juices from each color of the rainbow, making sure to drink buckets of green juice, so I would cover all my bases in the vitamin, mineral, and enzyme world. During pregnancy, you can rely on green juice (including large doses of spinach, kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard) to get tons of bio available calcium, iron, folic acid, vitamin A, and protein as well as calming your nerves. Green juice and beet juice are really great at keeping you regular when your digestion slows down. I also drank a lot of grapefruit juice to load up on vitamin C, as well as a strong blend of ginger, green apple, and lemon, the tart and spicy gingery nectar is a nausea-taming tonic!
ES: What juices or juicing recipes are good for new moms?
ACB: The fennel, frond, and herb juice is a very powerful lactation aid. We have a crew of new, working, moms that come into the shop desperate for the fennel juice and swear by it, coming back whenever they start to feel their milk supply go down. Pregnancy and juice go hand in hand, they are both all about deliciousness, ease, and live nutrients!
ES: Most kids love fruit juices, but how do you get them started on the green stuff?
ACB: The younger the child, the more apt they are to not only accept an unsweetened green juice but actually love it, so you can start them on the green stuff early, like four months old! Kids seem to really like a green juice blended with a little bit of apple, lemon and ginger, or made into a smoothie with a frozen banana and almonds. Kids also love roots. We have a beet aid and a carrot lime coconut that is a big winner with the green skeptics.
Amanda’s Healthy Juice Recipe for Moms and Kids
Here’s and awesome green juice to calm, beautify, fuel, and nourish any woman, mom, mom to be, baby, or kid out there. You can blend in a frozen banana and handful of almonds as well!
4 stalks of celery
Big handful of spinach
4 collard leaves
4 Swiss chard leaves
6 kale stalks