I've caught the juicing craze. I like the healthy, tasty jolt it gives my mornings. I used to think green juice looked weird and refused to try it. Then Kris Carr of Crazy Sexy Kitchen convinced me to try it. I met her at a fundraiser at the home of Julie and Eric Handler, founders of Positively Positive. Kris did a juicing demonstration and explained her wellness philosophy. Julie and Eric made juicing look so easy in their kitchen. Now I'm hooked on juicing. Ya see, the company you keep really does rub off on you. That's what my parents tried to tell me when I was a teenager. I guess they were ri...ri..right. There, I said it.
Juicing is an easy way for me to eat more vegetables every day. I'm not one to eat tons of vegetables, so juicing really helps me get more vitamins and minerals at the start of my day. Juice has a thin consistency which goes down easier than thick vegetable smoothies. Juicing keeps all the vitamins and minerals of the vegetables, but doesn't include the fiber. I don't worry about that because I get fiber from other food.
I'm not a fan of bitter juice, so I add fruit to my juice to help counterbalance the bitterness of the vegetables. I especially like using banana which adds sweetness and a tiny bit of bulk. If my juice remains a touch bitter, I add a squeeze of citrus, which can work magic and remove any lingering bitterness from leafy greens.
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My favorite time to make juice is at the end of the week. I take all the fruits and vegetables that are starting to get too soft and turn them into juice. Juicing puts any languishing produce to good use.
Juicer clean up tips:
I make my juice in a Breville Juicer. I put a plastic bag in the pulp container of the juicer for easier clean up. A produce bag from the market is the perfect size and is a great way to reuse those little bags. (Thanks for the tip, Julie.)
Remember to use the pusher to close off the juicer so that the juice can't splatter out of the machine.
Wash the juicer right away. It's much harder to clean later.
Juicing time-saver tip:
I often prep enough produce at once for 4 servings in order to cut down on prep work. I process 2 servings at a time in the juicer. I drink one glass right away, then cover and save the second glass in the refrigerator for the next day. The fresh juice is not pasteurized and must be consumed within 24-36 hours. It's possible to get excessive bacteria growth after 24-36 hours. Then I take the remaining washed produce for the other 2 servings and keep it waiting in the refrigerator until I'm ready to juice it 2 days later. So prep once, use the juicer twice, and get 4 days of juice for the effort.
Also, I just started experimenting with freezing juice in single-serving mason jars. I freeze immediately after it's made, and when defrosted, the juice flavor is still great. This is a fantastic option for hectic mornings.
Here's my "go-to" recipe:
Green Juice Is the New Coffee
- 1 small banana peeled
- 1 nectarine or pear remove pit/core
- 1 green apple remove core
- 2 large celery ribs including leaves if they are still attached
- 4 inch piece of cucumber Japanese or Persian
- 4 large romaine lettuce leaves
- 4 medium kale leaves or spinach or chard
- 1 sprig fresh mint
- Wash and dry all produce. Cut the produce so that it will fit into the shoot of the juicer.
- Turn the juicer on low, and process all soft fruit first. Then turn the juicer to high, and process all vegetables and hard fruit. Let juicer run several extra seconds to wait for all the juice to come out. Check the taste and amount of juice made. Add another piece of produce if necessary.
- Either serve immediately over ice or refrigerate covered. Consume within 24-36 hours.
Have you tried juicing yet? Do you have any favorite flavor combinations? Please let me know in the comments.
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