Stand down kale juice; we have a contender for the new strangest thing in a cup.
The world’s first ready-to-drink potato juice has just showcased at the Natural and Organics Product Europe show in the UK, and it’s not the only potato-based beverage making news – so are you ready for the potato drink explosion?
Strange as potato juice might sound to us, if you live in Switzerland or Germany the idea of drinking the humble spud won’t be new. Potato juice is a traditional remedy in both countries for stomach problems and joint complaints.
‘The alkalising constituents in potato juice make it a wonderful anti-inflammatory agent are why it’s thought to work well with arthritis and other forms of inflammatory aches and pains,” says Rebekah Towle from the juice’s UK distributors BioForce.
‘These same properties also help it support the stomach.’ In fact, there’s scientific evidence for potato juice in aiding stomach health– researchers at the UK’s University of Manchester found evidence that it can kill the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers and heartburn.
Not surprisingly, the taste is described as being, erm, potatoey.
“We’ve done some testing here with staff and the feedback is that’s quite subtle – almost sweet – although a lot of people said it was an acquired taste. Some people said they’d like to add a little apple juice with it,” adds Rebekah.
The main picture in this story is of a blend of sweet potato and orange juice, another popular combination with converts.
As yet, the ready-made juice isn’t available in Australia (although Biotta Breuse Juice is here which contains potato as part of the blend) so if you do want to try the trend you’ll be juicing potatoes yourself – and there’s one thing you have to know: “Never use a potato that has green bits,” says juice expert Rick Hay. “Green potatoes contain a natural toxin called solanine that can make you sick.”
Juice is not the only potato-based beverage hitting the market though… there are three more to watch.
Potato milk: Called Veggemo this was launched to huge fanfare at LA’s Expo West – which showcases the health food of the future. It’s a dairy alternative made from peas, cassava and potato. Those who’ve tried it say it’s got a nice creamy consistency but a bit of a bitter taste.
Sweet potato water: Literally the water sweet potatoes are boiled in. Japanese scientists have found that mice drinking this lost weight and lowered appetite. Of course people aren’t mice, but we predict a diet craze based around this any day now.
Sweet potato lattes: This drink from Korea has started appearing in cafes here and it’s a brilliant winter drink. It’s a blend of cooked sweet potato, hot milk and sugar. “Sweet potatoes are packed with beta carotene and are great for anti-ageing and immunity,” says Rick Hay. “These I’d definitely recommend.”