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The Most Shelf Stable, Long Lasting, and Cost Effective Plant Milk For Your Pantry

Plenty of people turn to almond milk as a healthier alternative to standard cow’s milk, whether you’re looking to follow a dairy-free, vegan, low-sugar, or other diet. But plant milks have a much longer shelf life than their dairy counterparts. And while many plant milks (refrigerated or unrefrigerated) may boast about their long-lasting shelf life, there is one brand in particular that stands out from the crowd (spoiler alert: it's us!). 

JOI is shelf stable and space-saving
Tired of filling up that valuable fridge space with cartons or bottles of perishable almond milk? Sick of the back room being stuffed with cartons of the no-refrigeration-required variety (and all the fillers that keep them that way)? JOI has a longer shelf life than the other alternatives because JOI is Just One Ingredient: almonds or cashews. JOI applies minimal heat during processing so we keep the integrity of the nut intact, allowing for a naturally long shelf life, just like Mother Nature intended. One 8-pound pail of JOI makes up to 60 quarts of fresh plant milk on demand, without dominating your cold storage or pantry shelves. Marie Kondo approves.

JOI is cost-effective
Did you catch that last bit about one pail making 60 quarts of fresh almond milk? Yup, make a Costco run, or just check the price tag at your local grocery store...ounce for ounce, plant milk made with JOI is comparable to mass-produced plant milk brands. And unlike those brands, you get to drink a high quality, homemade plant milk made the way you want it. 

JOI provides the health benefits customers are looking for in a nut milk
JOI is made from Just One Ingredient: 100% almonds or cashews. You will benefit from the nutrition of the whole nut—not just its juices. Plus, no fillers, no preservatives, and only the sweeteners you choose to add. Ever.

JOI can be customized to work for you
JOI is made on-demand by YOU, so you can make it anyway you like. Need it creamier? No problem, just add an extra scoop. A little sweeter? Toss in some vanilla or maple syrup. Want to get really nutty? Blend with coconut water. The possibilities are endless.

JOI can be used in smoothies, baked goods, sauces, and more
Yes, plant milk made with JOI is easy, tasty, and frothy for coffee and tea drinks, but this nutbase isn’t a one trick pony. Add a scoop or two along with water and your favorite smoothie ingredients for a fresh protein punch; use JOI as a healthy fat and binding agent in delicious healthier baked goods; or get creative with vegan sauces like this creamy ranch

Long story short—JOI overdelivers on shelf stability, cost, and taste when compared to grocery store plant milk. Available in Almond and Cashew in 15oz containers or 8lbs pails. 

 

 

Everything You Need To Know About Coconut Water And Why We Love It

Everything You Need To Know About Coconut Water And Why We Love It

By Carolina Schneider, MS, RDE (@thegreenrd)

Originally from Brazil, Carolina moved to Florida in 2010 to complete her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Journalism, followed by a Master of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics. Carolina recently relocated to New York City and she is a Nutrition Consultant for JOI. Her favorite JOI recipe is the Golden Milk!

If you haven’t sipped it out of a green coconut on the beaches of Brazil, chances are you’ve seen it in your local grocery store. Coconut water has become a staple item in many pantries. Besides having a good nutritional profile, coconut water is uniquely refreshing and delicious from all of its natural sweetness! 

Coconut on the beachPhoto by Matthew Henry from Burst

Why We Love It
We love plain coconut water, but what we love even more is mixing it with JOI’s nutbase. The result? A more nutritious, delicious, and rich product with the natural sweetness of coconut water coupled with the natural creaminess of JOI (good for your body and good in your belly)! Wondering where to start on your new journey to coconut freedom...let's start with the basics:

Fun Facts About Coconuts

  1. Despite its name, coconut is actually a fruit. More specifically, coconut is a “drupe,” a subcategory of fruits that have a juicy flesh, a hard shell, and an inner seed. 
  2. What we call coconut “water” is actually the juice of the fruit. It’s most nutritious when the coconut is young. As it ripens, the fruit absorbs this juice to form coconut meat (delicious, by the way, if you haven’t tried). 
  3. Coconut trees naturally purify the water inside the fruit, making it safe to drink as is. And there is plenty to go around...coconut trees are able to produce 50 to 200 coconuts per year! 

Health Benefits
We love coconut water because it keeps us hydrated! In fact, coconut water is about 95% water with the remaining being tasty natural sugars. Not to confuse it with coconut milk, which is made by blending water and coconut meat, and has a very high fat content. 

Coconut water has naturally occurring electrolytes that are not only essential for recovery after that sweaty outdoor run, but also for everyday bodily functions. Examples of electrolytes include sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. When we sweat, we lose them, hence why you may feel fatigued and dizzy after an intense workout. 

Electrolytes are substances that carry an electric charge (#throwback chemistry class) and are able to conduct an electric current. Inside our bodies, they regulate fluid and acid-base balance (pH levels), help with muscle contraction (remember, your heart is a muscle) and ensure proper function of the nervous system (transmission of signals from your brain to the rest of your body). 

In addition to being a good source of electrolytes, coconut water also has vitamins and minerals that keep you healthy, along with fiber and some protein. So you can ditch the sports drinks (all of those ending in “-ade”) once and for all. Coconut water is the perfect hydration drink minus the food dyes, artificial flavors, and added sugars found in those colorful drinks (some which bring a whopping 3 tablespoons of sugar per bottle...Yikes!)

Palm trees

Photo by Brodie Vissers from Burst

Potassium
When you hear “potassium,” do you think of bananas? Well, one cup of coconut water has more potassium than a medium banana (550mg versus 450mg, respectively). That’s about 16% of the daily adequate intake for potassium. Potassium has the “simple” function of regulating heartbeat, lowering blood pressure and preventing muscle cramps.

Sodium
Sodium is essential to maintain fluid levels in the body as it is able to bind and retain water. This means it plays a major role in maintaining blood pressure. Although too much sodium is one of the culprits for elevated blood pressure (not a good thing for your health), we need to consume adequate amounts to maintain normal levels. Since sodium is the main electrolyte we lose when we sweat, it’s important to replenish it. Coconut water has about 10% of sodium needed in a day, so it’s a good post-workout alternative without compromising your health. 

Calcium & Magnesium
Calcium and magnesium work together in muscle contraction and relaxation. Calcium is especially important for bone health, as it helps build and strengthen them, slowing bone density loss. Magnesium is involved in hundreds of reactions in your body and is essential for nerve and muscle function, as well as energy production. Coconut water brings about 15% of magnesium and 6% of calcium daily requirements. 

Natural Sugars
We use sugars (carbohydrates) for quick energy, but we also lose them after exercise. Coconut water is a great source of natural sugars (from the fruit) to replenish your energy stores without significantly raising blood sugar levels. 

With its super-hydrating ability to replenish minerals and sugars, one may even say coconut water is the perfect “natural hangover cure,” but not saying we’ve tried it before… 

What To Look For When Buying Coconut Water
Ok, now that you know how amazing coconut water is for you, all you have to do is grab one from the shelves, right? Unfortunately, most store-bought coconut waters are far from what you’ve sipped out of a coconut in your tropical vacation. 


Some brands apply heat during the pasteurization process, which destroys most of the nutrients, while other brands add artificial flavors and sweeteners. But not to worry, here are some tips on how to choose a
close-to-natural coconut water:

  1. Read the ingredients: It should say “coconut water” nothing more, nothing less.
  2. Check that the coconut water is not made from concentrate, as this means that high heat was applied (bye bye nutrients) to turn it into a syrup.
  3. Opt for those kept in the refrigerated sections rather than those on the shelves. That’s because a truly raw coconut water is perishable and needs to be kept cold, while those at room temperature have gone through heat treatment, and have added preservatives to extend shelf-life-- so that it can sit there for years...literally.

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

The Wrap
There you have it. Coconut water provides a ton of health and wellness benefits, and when paired with JOI, delivers a creamy and nutritious elixir. We really love Harmless Harvest natural and organic coconut water, but experiment with whatever brand you like as long as you remember to buy refrigerated and with "coconut water" as the only ingredient - you pretty much can't go wrong.  Try our classic nut milk recipe using coconut water instead of filtered water, you’ll thank us after! 


 

Eat Well To Live Well: A Nutritionist's Guide To Healthy Living

Written by Carolina Schneider, MS, RDE (@thegreenrd)

Our parents always said, “eat your vegetables!” As much as some of us may have hated it, they were right… Plant foods, which include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, have tremendous nutritional benefits. So much so that a whole food, plant-based diet (one in which plant foods make up the majority, if not the entirety, of the diet) has consistently shown to help prevent and treat certain diseases, increase longevity and support overall physical and mental health. “You are what you eat” has never been more accurate.

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

But first, what exactly is a whole-food, plant-based diet? Although there are some variations to plant-based diets, here are the main points:

Excludes all animal products (meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy).
Includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts (hint: JOI) and seeds in their whole, natural form (or minimally processed).
Excludes highly processed and refined foods, even if derived from plants.
Excludes added sugars and artificial colors, flavors and additives.

Now you may be wondering, how do we know that this is the way to go? Well, for that, we can thank science. Several studies have found the benefits of eating a plant-predominant diet, one which emphasizes whole, minimally processed foods.

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

Here are the top 3 reasons why we are all for a plant-based diet:

1. Plant-based diets prevent and may treat diseases.
More and more we are seeing how our dietary choices influence our health and disease risk. As a matter of fact, nearly half of adults in the U.S. have one or more preventable chronic diseases (think diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity and certain cancers) many of which are caused by poor dietary habits and lifestyle choices (1). A plant-based diet may be just what the doctor ordered. Fruits and vegetables are exceptionally high in vitamins and minerals, allowing them to act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect our cells from damage and stress caused by free radicals (unstable molecules that cause illness and aging). Whole grains such as rice, oats, quinoa, etc. are rich in fiber, which support digestion, reduce cholesterol, and help maintain a healthy gut. Legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans) are protein-powerhouses, which help us build and maintain muscle while staying lean thanks to being loaded with fiber. Nuts and seeds are abundant in what we call the “good fats” and are the best sources of omega-3 in plants. Omega-3 is essential to maintain healthy brain cells, reduce inflammation and prevent heart disease. All these qualities of plant foods make them powerful in fighting disease!

Studies have shown that a plant-based diet lowers the risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular (disease of the heart), diabetes, obesity, as well as most cancers (although genetics play a large role in cancer, several studies have shown that lifestyle choices can turn cancer genes on and off). In fact, there are several success stories of cancer patients with advanced disease stages who reversed their illness following a whole food, plant-based diet!

Photo by Ryan Bruce from Burst

Heart Disease and Blood Pressure

Cardiovascular diseases are caused by buildup of plaque in arteries that prevents proper blood flow. This can be a result of a poor diet (high in saturated fats and added sugars), physical inactivity and smoking. The inadequate blood flow can cause heart failure, stroke, and death. Plant foods, which are high in fiber and lower in saturated fat, help cleanse our arteries and promote good blood flow. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is when the force of the blood against the walls of arteries is too high. If untreated, it can lead to heart complications (heart attack) and diabetes. Studies have shown that a plant-predominant diet significantly decreases high blood pressure - but what is most impressive is that the blood pressure reduction was independent of the person’s weight and exercise levels… that’s how powerful your diet can be! (2,3)

Diabetes
Diabetes type II occurs when our bodies can no longer process glucose (sugar from carbohydrates), causing blood sugar levels to be dangerously high. This is called insulin resistance and is mostly caused by poor dietary choices or excess fat surrounding cells. Glucose is our main source of energy and is essential for cells to function, but very high levels in the blood can cause nerve damage, loss of sight, and kidney failure. Plant-based diets have been found to be almost twice as effective than conventional treatments due to their ability to improve insulin sensitivity, blood sugar control and reducing body weight. (4,5,6)

High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is an essential molecule that our body needs to create cell membranes (the wall of our cells). When taking your blood cholesterol levels, you will notice different values: total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol), HDL-cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) and triglycerides (how our bodies store fat). Our body produces its own cholesterol to build and maintain healthy cells. However, high cholesterol levels, especially total cholesterol and LDL levels, are known to cause buildup in our arteries, which is a culprit for heart disease and stroke. High cholesterol levels are caused by consumption of saturated fats in our diet, which are mostly found in animal proteins and dairy products. Studies have shown that plant-based diets are able to lower total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, reducing risk for cholesterol-related diseases. (7)

How JOI keeps you healthy: At JOI, we are nuts about nuts. That’s because they are tiny nutritional powerhouses. As you may have noticed, our products contain one and only ingredient: either almonds or cashews, both of which contain tons of powerful nutrients.

Disease-Fighting Ingredients:
Almonds are one of the best sources of vitamin E. As a matter of fact, a handful of almonds provides almost half of the daily recommended amount of vitamin E!

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it only gets absorbed with foods that contain fat (hint: JOI). The main function of vitamin E is to work as an antioxidant, which protects the body from damage, stress and disease. In fact, vitamin E has been found to have a protective effect against heart disease, cancer, and eye damage! Similarly, cashews also have strong antioxidant power because they contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants found in our eyes. Like almonds, cashews also protect our eyes from age-related damage and macular degeneration as we get older. (8)

Almonds and cashews are also great sources of magnesium, a mineral involved in more than 300 reactions in the body, including muscle function (such as keeping our heartbeat - no big deal), and creating energy from the foods you eat. Magnesium also helps support a healthy immune system and keep strong bones! One handful of either almonds or cashews has about 20 percent of the recommended daily intake.



2. Plant-based diets help with weight loss and weight management.
When it comes to weight loss, it’s important to note that this can be achieved through a healthful and balanced diet - one that is reasonable and sustainable (diet here meaning your dietary choices rather than fad diets.) The foods we choose to consume are far more significant to our health than the amount of calories they contain (for example, a chocolate chip cookie has 150 calories, but half an apple with a spoonful of peanut butter also has 150 calories...you get where we are going with this right?) Therefore, rather than counting your calories, focus on consuming highly nutritious food to support a healthy weight, boost energy levels, improve digestion, prevent disease and live a happy life!

Now, we’ve all heard fiber helps us lose weight. But have you heard that plant foods are the only ones that have fiber? No, we are not kidding; fiber is only found in plants!

Fiber should be your BFF because it keeps you regular (healthy poop, healthy you!) but is also the big player in lowering cholesterol levels, keeping a healthy gut flora, and helping with weight management. Fiber contributes to bulk in the diet without adding digestible calories, thus leading to satiety and weight loss. Because they are high in fiber, plant foods are lower in calories (not that we are counting, because we aren’t…) while delivering tons of nutrients. Another plus of fiber is that it slows the absorption of glucose, meaning that you won’t have spikes in your blood sugar (aka sugar high and sugar crash). This makes you less likely to devour a tub of ice cream in the afternoon (hey, no judgement...we’ve all been there).

Research shows that plant-based diets are highly effective as a weight loss approach when compared to other diets, and significantly lower BMI and waist circumference numbers. Plus, plant-based diets offer a large variety of foods without requiring calorie counting or calorie restrictions, so they are easier to sustain overtime. (9,10)


How JOI helps with weight management:

Our nutbase, made with whole almonds and cashews, is a nutrient-dense alternative to other nut milks because we give you the whole nut, full of fiber, healthy fats, and protein for a perfect balance of nutrients. This means that you will feel more satisfied and nourished, without feeling the need to reach for unhealthy snacks. Our healthy fats help with lowering cholesterol and managing weight.

3. Plant-based diets are better for the planet.
Besides being great for our health, plant-based diets are great for the planet. This is because they have a lower carbon footprint (amount of greenhouse gases produced and released into the atmosphere) due to requiring fewer natural resources such as water and fuel. On the other hand, animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water and air pollution, and the second largest contributor to human-made greenhouse gas emissions (ouch!). In fact, reducing livestock production has been proposed as a major way to reverse climate change. So, if the health benefits of a plant-based diet haven’t convinced you, maybe you should know that plant-based diets cause 50% less greenhouse emissions than conventional diets. (11,12,13)

How JOI supports the environment:
We’re not just plant-based, we’re planet-safe. One small tub of JOI makes up to 7 cartons of plant milk (those you see in grocery stores) meaning that you won’t be throwing away cartons to pile up in landfills. Plus, our tubs are made with 100% recyclable plastic, which is great, but we are diligently working on finding more eco-friendly packaging to reduce our carbon footprint even further. And we’re not done… our almonds are Certified Organic, meaning less pesticides and fertilizers harming the soil, and our products have a long shelf-life (up to 18 months), meaning that you won’t be throwing away expired product and contributing to unnecessary food waste.

The Run-Down: 
Plant-based diets have received more buzz in recent years due to a growing industry of health food products (us included!). However, it has been around for decades; in fact, people from regions called “Blue Zones” are known to live longer and healthier lives due to eating a predominantly plant-based diet. Plus, behind all the pretty packaging and Instagram photos, there is sufficient scientific evidence proving the benefits of plants in fighting disease, improving well-being and prolonging life. So, we’ll take a vegan latte made with almond or cashew milk (hint: the brand name rhymes with “boy”), please and thank you. 

About Carolina Schneider: Originally from Brazil, Carolina moved to Florida in 2010 to complete her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Journalism, followed by a Master of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics. Carolina recently relocated to New York City to pursue her career as a dietitian in the health food industry. She is a Nutrition Consultant for JOI and one of our biggest fans! Carolina believes in the power of a whole-food, plant-based diet combined with physical activity for optimal health. Her favorite foods are dark chocolate and broccoli (preferably not together), and her favorite JOI recipe is the Golden Milk!

Article References:

  1. Raghupathi W, Raghupathi V. An Empirical Study of Chronic Diseases in the United States: A Visual Analytics Approach. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(3):431. Published 2018 Mar 1. doi:10.3390/ijerph15030431. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29494555)
  2. Whelton, P.K.; He, J.; Appel, L.J.; Cutler, J.A.; Havas, S.; Kotchen, T.A.; Roccella, E.J.; Stout, R.; Vallbona, C.; Winston, M.C.; et al. Primary prevention of hypertension: Clinical and public health advisory from The National High Blood Pressure Education Program. JAMA 2002, 288, 1882–1888. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12377087)
  3. Yokoyama, Y.; Nishimura, K.; Barnard, N.D.; Takegami, M.; Watanabe, M.; Sekikawa, A.; Okamura, T.; Miyamoto, Y. Vegetarian diets and blood pressure: A meta-analysis. JAMA Intern. Med. 2014. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24566947)
  4. Kahleova, H.; Matoulek, M.; Malinska, H.; Oliyarnik, O.; Kazdova, L.; Neskudla, T.; Skoch, A.; Hajek, M.; Hill, M.; Kahle, M.; et al. Vegetarian diet improves insulin resistance and oxidative stress markers more than conventional diet in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Diabet. Med. J. Br. Diabet. Assoc. 2011, 28, 549–559. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21480966)
  5. Barnard, N.D.; Cohen, J.; Jenkins, D.J.A.; Turner-McGrievy, G.; Gloede, L.; Jaster, B.; Seidl, K.; Green, A.A.; Talpers, S. A low-fat vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized clinical trial in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2006, 29, 1777–1783. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16873779)
  6. Nicholson, A.S.; Sklar, M.; Barnard, N.D.; Gore, S.; Sullivan, R.; Browning, S. Toward improved management of NIDDM: A randomized, controlled, pilot intervention using a low-fat, vegetarian diet. Prev. Med. 1999, 29, 87–91. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10446033)
  1. Yoko Yokoyama, Susan M Levin, Neal D Barnard, Association between plant-based diets and plasma lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 75, Issue 9, September 2017, Pages 683–698. (https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article/75/9/683/4062197)
  2. Linus Pauling Institute. Vitamin E. [online] Available at: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-E [Accessed 7 Jan. 2020]. (https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-E)
  3. Huang RY, Huang CC, Hu FB, Chavarro JE. Vegetarian diets and weight reduction: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Gen Intern Med. 2015;31(1):109-116. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26138004)
  4. Turner-McGrievy GM, Barnard ND, Scialli AR. A two-year randomized weight loss trial comparing a vegan diet to a more moderate low-fat diet. Obesity. 2007;15(9):2276-2281. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17890496)
  5. Gerber, P.J., Steinfeld, H., Henderson, B., Mottet, A., Opio, C., Dijkman, J., Falcucci, A. & Tempio, G. 2013. Tackling climate change through livestock – A global assessment of emissions and mitigation opportunities. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome. (http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3437e.pdf)
  6. Hallström, E, Carlsson-Kanyama, A & Börjesson, P 2015, 'Environmental impact of dietary change: a systematic review', Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 91, pp. 1-11. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652614012931?via%3Dihub)
  7. J Cleaner Prod. 2015;91:1-11.Raphaely T, Marinova D. Impact of Meat Consumption on Health and Environmental Sustainability. Hershey, PA: IGI Global; 2016. (https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Gkz-CgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Impact+of+Meat+Consumption+on+Health+and+Environmental+Sustainability.&ots=XBcJ3E6jn8&sig=hbHXxBPs5-f4nBCsYRUTDzxA2W8#v=onepage&q=Impact%20of%20Meat%20Consumption%20on%20Health%20and%20Environmental%20Sustainability.&f=false)