Tourist tip #71 / Juice stands
Like Starbucks in other cities, it's hard to walk more than a few blocks in Israel without stumbling upon these colorful kiosks, where you can get your fruits and veggies served up with a straw.
Israelis, who nosh on salad at breakfast, enjoy chickpea-based falafel and hummus and douse nearly everything in heart-friendly olive oil, are a healthy bunch. So it should come as little surprise that Israel's streets and pedestrian thoroughfares are dotted with juice stands, squeezing up nutrition-rich sips in every fruit and vegetable blend under the blazing sun. These colorful kiosks are as ubiquitous here as Starbucks in other cities, and proffer as many colorful combinations as a Rubik's cube. Thirsty? Why wait? Grab a juice of a fruit shake.
Israeli juice stands tend to offer their drinks in the standard small, medium and large sizes, and prices range, on average, from NIS 7-10 for a small cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice to around NIS 25 for a large cup of a more elaborate combo.
Nearly every stand will have the staples of orange, apple, pineapple and carrots on hand for the squeezing, and the fancier ones will also offer up vegetable blends including tomato, beet, spinach and celery. Fresh grated ginger, mint leaves (called nana) and herbs such as cilantro and parsley are also common, and can punch up the flavor without any additional calories.
In the fall and winter months, be on the lookout for fresh pomegranate, as well, which in addition to being an anti-oxidant-packed cancer fighter, offers a tart, lip-puckering taste and is delicious when blended with fresh orange juice.
In addition to straight juice, Israel's juice stands also serve up fruit shakes (called shaykim), which you can order with a base of either water or milk (some places also offer soymilk) and are thicker and more filling. If you're on the run and only have time for a liquid lunch, consider ordering a milk-based shake and asking the juicer to blend in nuts (pecans and walnuts are popular choice) for a protein-filled smoothie that will keep you full for several hours.