There are not many things that are better than biting into a fresh piece of scrumptious fruit, except for maybe drinking equally fresh and delicious fruit juice. This is the goal for Santa Cruz Organic brand of juices, sauces, spreads, and other organic beverages and products.
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The company aims to not only provide delicious and wholesome products for consumers, but also to leave the environment better off than how they found it.
All their products are certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (UDSA) and they work to promote the transition from traditional farming to organic farming in independently-run domestic farms. Howard Albano heads Cuyama Orchards, his family-run farm east of Santa Barbara, CA, where Santa Cruz Organic buys their apples. While “it costs more to farm organically,… you get more out of it. You have a better relationship with your customers because the fruit you produce has been organically grown,” Albano says.
Santa Cruz Organic not only produces organic products for us to enjoy, but they also have a full-out commitment to preserving the environment. One of the company’s reasons for going organic is to provide healthier, pesticide-free food, but in addition to that, they seek to discourage the long-term use of chemicals and pesticides used by growers. By doing so, growers can prevent chemicals from working their way into the soil and local water supply, which can have a harmful effect on the environment and surrounding populations.
They also use environmentally friendly packaging, promote recycling, conserve energy, and purchase renewable energy. Their renewable energy is entirely Green-e Certified by the Center for Resource Solutions. This is important to helping the environment because not only does it use natural resources for energy, such as wind, solar, or hydroelectric, but it also inputs this renewable energy into the widespread energy grid, replacing conventional fuels, such as coal or gas.
As a partner of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Santa Cruz Organic shows a real commitment to the environment and what it really means to live organically. An organic lifestyle is all about taking the most natural things from the environment and giving yourself the most wholesome nourishment without harming the world in the process. It is not enough to merely produce a product that can claim being organic, it must be able to hold that certification proudly, and actually commit to improving the environment and providing people with something that they would be willing to put into their own bodies.
They have a huge variety of products that are sold all over the United States. Their pure citrus juices are ideal for cooking, though I prefer to pour myself a refreshing glass of their fruit juices and flavored lemonades (the Strawberry Lemonade takes just like biting into a fresh strawberry). They even make juice boxes perfect for kids.
Their other fruit products include sauces and spreads, which are great over a slice of multigrain toast. For something a little less fruity, you can try their peanut butter, made from certified organic Spanish peanuts, offered in both light and dark roasted varieties. For a more decadent touch, they offer dessert toppings; I recommend their organic raspberry chocolate sauce over some homemade vanilla bean ice cream.
You can find their products in most up-scale or organic food stores, such as Whole Foods. Other specialty stores that carry vegetarian or raw food are also likely to carry some of these products.
Santa Cruz Organic provides us with this delicious way to use their Santa Cruz Organic 100 percent Lemon Juice in this recipe for traditional Greek Tzatziki:
Tzatziki is a common Greek yogurt sauce that can serve a variety of functions. It's good on kebabs, vegetable dip, or as a condiment on sandwiches, pitas, and veggie burgers. It's a good idea to make a big batch of it to keep around. It'll stay good for a week or two, with refrigeration.
Ingredients (for 6-8 servings):
2 cups non-fat or low-fat plain organic yogurt
1 English cucumber, rinsed and unpeeled, ends trimmed
3 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tbsp Santa Cruz Organic 100 percent Lemon Juice
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh mint or dill, minced
½ tsp Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place yogurt in medium-size mixing bowl. Grate cucumber with skin-on directly into bowl; add all grated cucumber, up to two cups, from the grater into the yogurt and mix well until blended. Add olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, mint or dill and blend together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with mint or dill sprig and a drizzle of olive oil; refrigerate until ready to serve.
Also try Santa Cruz Organic Juice Boxes