September 13, 2022
In celebration of Organic September celebration, we caught up with Kara Rosen, founder of organic, plant-based drink brand Plenish, to learn more about her story and the power of organic, plant-based nutrition.
Favourite London landmark and why?
The Shard! They started construction the year I moved here from NYC and it now feels like it’s been here forever. Kind of like me!
What’s your almost-too-good-to-share tip for the perfect London adventure?
For a totally luxurious afternoon – stroll around the treasures of the Wallace Collection, have a margarita or martini at the Connaught bar and dine at Madera at Treehouse London for some delicious Californian-Mexican food (and likely another margarita).
What would your desert island dish be and why?
Tree-ripened avocados I picked from the island that morning on fresh sourdough (not from the island! My favourite is from Lynwood & co in the cotswolds ) with lots of sea salt and a fuel green juice!
Why did you decide to start Plenish?
After becoming ill in my past life at Conde Nast Magazines in New York, I burned out after suffering from recurring infections. I went to see a nutritional therapist who helped me shed light on why I kept getting ill (antibiotics killed my immune system and I wasn’t consuming enough veg & fruit) and how I could live life more proactively (juicing to cram in kilos of veg before I left the house in the morning). I committed to never letting my ‘tank’ go empty again and would Plenish – filling up on the good stuff to have the energy and drive to achieve all that I wanted to do! I was so inspired by my own health transformation that I wanted to share it with others.
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness is feeling good – mentally, physically, spiritually. Like many simple ideas, it’s been made increasingly convoluted over time but the concept itself has always been straight-forward. How you eat, move, think, and sleep all impact how you feel. Simply being more mindful of how you do some or all of those things can significantly improve how you feel and your overall health and wellbeing.
What is your favourite Plenish product?
I can’t really choose one child! Fuel green juice is my first love, It’s 96% organic green vegetables with just a squeeze of lime, but all our juices have a place in my heart as they were born in my kitchen. Almond milk is my second love and transformed my life and our business! The newest range is our shots and I can’t live without our ginger shot. After tasting so many meagre ones – the Plenish shot is properly fiery and has 100% of your daily Vitamin C. It will knock your socks (and any impending lurgys) off. Consider yourself warned!
Why do you think more and more people are choosing plant-based products and why is it important to use organic produce?
It’s impossible to ignore the challenges that every single citizen of planet earth shares. Research shows that the single biggest thing we can all do to improve the health of our planet (and ourselves!) is to switch to a plant-based diet. With great replacement products like our milks, we try and make it easy and delicious to make the switch with no compromise on taste.
I committed to only using organic produce in Plenish products early on. For our cleanse programmes and cold pressed juices, we cram over 3kg of produce into one bottle – so making sure the products were organic, meaning they were free from pesticides found on conventional produce was a big priority. The soil association also published research that organic produce has higher levels of antioxidants – so it was more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff. It came at a higher cost but we are all proud to create products that are the best they can be for you.
Top tips for finding the best organic produce in London?
We are spoiled for choice in London! From your local farmers market to Planet Organic & Wholefoods to the big grocers and Ocado, it’s become very easy to find organic greens & fruits. We have specialists like Abel & Cole and Riverford that deliver nationally. Basics like cucumbers, broccoli, apples and carrots are available pretty much all year round at the grocers– but you may need the specialists like Planet Organic and Riverford for leafy greens and soft fruits.
What are your go-to seasonal dishes at the moment?
It’s almost autumn so I’m excited about the squash season and all the autumn root vegetables. I love roasting butternut squash, cauliflower, carrots and whatever else I find that looks good. I usually make different dressings either with tahini, lemon juice, lots of salt or miso – and toss it over grains or salad.
Top tips on how to be sustainable in the kitchen?
Where possible I try to shop locally for my fruit and vegetables and try to minimise waste & plastic usage. The whole family has their own hydroflask, we use snackers reusable storage bags, glass Tupperware containers and try to use the whole part of a vegetable or fruit in different ways. Making a weekly ‘kitchen sink’ soup is a great, healthy way to use up leftover veg, eat well and when that all fails - our dog Maggie is very happy to finish up leftovers.
What is your top tip for staying well?
I believe it is all about leading a balanced life. Treat your body with respect when feeding and moving it! Find activities that you can be consistent with, that push you when you want to be pushed and nourish you when you need to be a bit more gentle with yourself. In summary, just keep moving and eat foods that make you feel good!
What’s next for Plenish?
We have just launched Rise, a tropical green juice which is packed with 100% organic fruit and vegetables. Rise combines the natural deliciousness of juicy pineapple and pear with spinach, cucumber and a zing of lime for a perfectly sweet and uplifting taste - an easy introduction to first time green juice drinkers.
We are also continuing our partnership with Ravneet Gill, Le Cordon Bleu chef, author, and presenter. Ravneet will continue bringing her culinary expertise to showcase how to champion only the finest of ingredients in everyday vegan baking with two new delicious recipes.
In the longer term, expect the same level of integrity of products we’ve been putting out and don’t be surprised if you see us in new spaces!
Did you have a Treehouse growing up, or what’s your favourite childhood memory?
I didn’t have a treehouse (not many going in Manhattan, where I grew up!) but my favourite childhood book was the Swiss Family Robinson, a family of immigrants who get shipwrecked on an island and build a treehouse of epic proportions.
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