Home Healthy Living Healthy Eating Carrot & Kale juice bar downtown provides healthy eating in Oshkosh

Carrot & Kale juice bar downtown provides healthy eating in Oshkosh

Carrot & Kale juice bar downtown provides healthy eating in Oshkosh

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OSHKOSH – When Megan Bartelt, owner of Bartelt Acupuncture, moved her business into a new building at 110 Algoma Blvd. in May, she said the new space called for a juice/smoothie bar, an idea she had been dreaming of to fit in with her practice.

“There aren’t a lot of options in Oshkosh for what I consider to be a really high-quality smoothie made with whole-food ingredients. That was always in the back of my mind,” Bartelt said.

Bartelt’s juice and smoothie bar, Carrot & Kale, opened July 16 in the Algoma Building, the same building as her acupuncture practice.

Stepping into the store, there is a feeling of serenity with simplistic brick walls, small plants on tables and open windows leading to Algoma Boulevard. Mixed with the serenity, however, is the hum of fruit juicers and blenders.

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“I feel like it’s alive because you come in, you smell the juice, you smell the freshness. It’s uplifting,” said Sarah Monique Reilley, a frequent customer of the business.

Carrot & Kale serves freshly made juices, smoothies, shakes, acacia bowls and a variety of grab-and-go options.

All the menu options are organic. Bartelt also promotes season eating in her menu items. With the approaching fall and winter months, she said the store will use more sweet potatoes and root vegetables that are available during those seasons.

“We do want to reinforce that because from a Chinese medicine perspective, that’s how we should be eating with the seasons,” Bartelt said.

Bartelt has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and a master’s degree in Chinese medicine.

Reilley, who lives in Fond du Lac and describes herself as a vegetarian that leans toward vegan, said she frequently drives to Oshkosh to buy smoothies or juice drinks.

“As soon as I heard it was open, I was here,” Reilley said.

Reilley said it’s hard to find vegetarian and organic options in the area. While several restaurants have meatless options, Reilley said Carrot & Kale has raised the bar for healthy eating in Oshkosh.

“It’s organic. If it’s organic, it’s non-GMO (genetically modified organism), so there’s not pesticides,” Reilley said.  “I believe they’re sourcing as locally as possible.That’s so important because you’re supporting your local farmers, and you’re boosting the organic community.”

Bartelt confirmed that she buys whatever she can from local farmers though some products such as bananas and oranges have to be purchased from other regions of the country.

Carrot & Kale is also kid-friendly. Reilley brings her 6-year-old son into the store, and she said he loves the beet juice. She recommended taking children to the store to improve their palates to new foods and to experience what real juices, without added sugars, taste like. Bartelt uses dates as sweeteners in her drinks.

Bartelt often hears many people say they do not like products like beet, but she said the vegetable is rich in iron contain nitrates, which can lower a person’s blood pressure.To allow her customers the health benefits without the necessary taste, she combines beets into juices with other ingredients such as apples. This method is particularly helpful with children.

“It’s really important to reach the younger generation and get them eating healthy, whole food that maybe they are not so keen on, but in a fun way like a juice or a smoothie,” Bartelt said.

Bartelt also offers child sizes on drinks to avoid what she described as the backseat mess that can come with handing a child a 20-ounce smoothie.

Between her acupuncture practice and her new juice and smoothie business, Bartelt hopes to be a center of wellness in Oshkosh. Her mission is to promote long-term health and longevity, she said.

The store also has a grab-and-go section, which Bartelt said will be more organized this fall. Carrot & Kale currently sells a variety of organic, high protein snacks, made with ingredients used in the smoothies and juices.

Bartelt said the store uses the pulp from the almond and cashew milks it produces to make the nutritious snacks.

“They’re all organic, really high-quality nuts, so we felt bad about throwing that away and not using it,” she said.

Currently Carrot & Kale is selling a sweet potato bar made with pureed sweet potatoes and dates on an almond pulp crust. Bartelt also said the green smoothie, made with kale, spinach and pineapple is a popular drink on the menu.

Reilley’s excitement for Carrot & Kale is an extension of her passion for healthy living in the area.

“Health is just so important to us as individuals,” she said. “To extend that into the community, the more conscious we are off what we’re putting into our bodies. It’s a good starting point for a healthier community.”

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