The Secret Life of Protein

Ashley and Walker Covington transform juice into a meal.
Photo by Rachel Pressley

Once January arrives, carrying its wind of cold regret, it’s time to seriously reassess one’s wellness goals. Gym memberships skyrocket this time of year, but usually trickle down by early spring. Embracing the high-test smoothie world carries more promise, especially since juice culture has now arrived light years beyond ready-made mixes and bitter elixirs.

In its Hendersonville location, Mountain Juicery, run by Ashley and Walker Covington, is ideally situated next to Planet Fitness. Here, the Covingtons mix up of-the-moment cold-pressed juices like the “Local Farmacy” (spinach, carrot, romaine lettuce, parsley, cucumber, celery, and beet) and such comprehensive smoothies as the popular “Chocolate Cherry Protein One” (mango, banana, dried cherries, raw cacao nibs, almond butter, chocolate protein powder, and almond milk). The delicious “Matcha Mint Shake,” which contains the title ingredient (matcha is made of powdered green-tea leaves) and cashews, among many other ingredients, started out as a special at the Juicery’s original Asheville location — founded by Gary Steuber — and became a regular at the Hendersonville locale. “It’s been a hit,” says Ashley, who gives Bold Life further insight into the juicing life.

Golden Milk is everywhere now. Tell us why it’s trendy and its intended benefits.

Ours contains almond milk, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, maple syrup, and pink sea salt. Golden Milk is a hot trend right now because of all the health benefits of its main ingredients, including turmeric and ginger, which have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities. The drink can be served hot or cold, but we mainly serve it cold and bottle it, similar to our other nut milks.

How have you benefitted from having a location right next to a gym? Was that on purpose?

For sure it was on purpose! The gym has over 8,500 members, so it’s been a huge factor in us being able to establish a customer base almost instantaneously. Our protein smoothies are a big hit with gym-goers.

Getting enough protein seems increasingly important … 

Three out of our four smoothie bowls contain protein powder, and we also offer two varieties of protein bites — chocolate chip and brownie-batter bites — as another option to pack in the protein. We also use nut butters, [protein-rich] chia seeds, and almond milk in some of our smoothies.

How did smoothie bowls come about?

Smoothie bowls are another trend right now, so we were excited to have them on our menu when our doors opened. … They’re a great way to take four of the top-selling smoothies and transform them into a meal you eat with a spoon, rather than a straw. They start with a blend of frozen fruits, veggies, and other mix-ins, and then get topped with our in-house made granola, fresh fruits, and other healthy toppings.

Peanut Butter Crunch Bowl
Photo by Rachel Pressley

What makes your drinks a step above, say, getting a so-called “smoothie” at a mall kiosk?

We create gourmet products. We don’t add sugars or dyes. We make everything ourselves, including our almond milk, which is in a majority of our smoothies and bowls.

Is there a juice revolution taking place?

Yes … we have many customers who have been able to stop using medications to treat their ailments, and turn to juice and an overall healthy diet to cure their medical problems.

A variety of the juices provided by Mountain Juicery.
Photo by Rachel Pressley

Mountain Juicery, 637 Spartanburg Hwy., Suite 60, Hendersonville, open Monday through Thursday, 8am-6pm, Friday 8am-4pm, and Saturday 9am-4pm. Closed Sundays. For more information, call 828-513-1898 or see mountainjuicery.com.

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