Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Once a Week Juicing

Oh so delicious, so so good for me and not as expensive or as much of a hassle as I used to think.  I have had a juicer for about a year - it was a big purchase for me since I know most people buy one and then don't use it and for a while I only enjoyed it sporadically.  Sometimes I made fresh juice but not consistently.  Once I used it to juice massive amounts of already cut pineapple I found on sale and then canned the juice - that was awesome.  Lately I have gotten into a nice routine with my juicer that is working out real well for me.

About once a week I've been pulling out all the miscellaneous vegetables from the refrigerator, counters, baskets.  I get the chopped up cilantro from the burritos we had three days ago, the salad that is wilting, the cucumber that was still left over when I bought a new batch, the last of the celery, a lone pepper I thought I would use in an omelet but didn't.  I also use some vegetables and fruits bought specifically for the purpose of juicing like organic carrots which are pretty cheep at Costco and some organic apples I scored for a good price.  I try to use what is in season (not apples right now but the price was right!) for it is more likely to come organic, be in better shape and best of all it is better priced.  In the middle of winter my juice almost always has carrots and celery for they are cheep, delicious and always in season, right?  This will be a ton of fun when my garden in in full swing this summer!

I make enough juice to last me about a week. For me this makes juicing practical.  I know myself well enough to know that I am not up for cleaning the juicer every single day.  I really enjoy a glass of fresh juice in the morning and it also provides something for me to reach for in the afternoon when I am wanting to eat but not really needing a meal. 

One of the ways I have come to take care of myself just for the sake of taking care of myself is to provide nourishing food for me just because I want it - not because the kids do.  While I would love it if my children drank a couple ounces of fresh pressed juice in the morning, they are just not into it.  My daughter will drink a glass instead of eating a veggie if I'm serving one that is not her favorite but my son was born to eat vegetables raw and plain, unprocessed in any way.  If I only ever fed him raw veggies from now on he would be happy.  He actually hates the vegetable juice and doesn't care much for them cooked either but he will never turn down a fresh vegetable or fruit so I'm not complaining.  My point is, I do this for me!

I like having the extra serving or two of veggies - so easily digestible in this form, so cleansing, so nourishing.  I am incorporating the weekly produce I already have on hand, making enough to last the whole week and increasing my vegetable intake and about that I feel good. 

Tips for juicing veggie and fruits:
~ Be careful with garlic, onion, and cabbage - no matter how good they are, they can be overpowering if too much is used in a juice mixture.
~ I think it is worthwhile to get a good juicer, maybe not over the top but middle of the line at least.  You will get more for your money in the form of MORE JUICE.

I put the carrot and celery pulp in a carton in the
 freezer for a later use. 
~ If you're so inclined, juice the foods that you would use in a vegetable or meat broth first.  Before moving on to the next type of produce, set aside the pulp from those veggies and freeze it.  When you make broth in the future don't even worry about adding carrots and celery etc., just pull out all that pulp from the freezer and use it instead!  I've even successfully used juiced carrot pulp in carrot cake before.

~ Go on, add a pinch of salt, it won't hurt anything.

~ Don't peel your carrots, just rinse those babies. Also, use the leafs of the celery!

~ If you don't like to eat a particular food, you won't like to drink it.  Though I try try try to like beets, I just don't. I juiced some thinking it would be a good way to get beets into my system.  Guess what?  I didn't much care for the juice.  It took me longer than a week to plow through it. 

Although any blend of produce works, here are some recipes that came with my Breville Juicer Instruction manual to give you some ideas:

Parsnip, Celery and Pear Juice
Makes approximately 3 cups
2 parsnips, trimmed
4 celery, trimmed
4 medium pears, stalks removed

Carrot, Beetroot and orange Juice 
Makes approximately 2 cups
2 medium carrots, trimmed
3 medium beetroot, trimmed
4 oranges, peeled

Gazpacho (cold served soup) 
Serves 4
Juice -
4 medium tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh parsley
1 large clove garlic, peeled
1 small onion, peeled and trimmed
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 red bell pepper, base removed and seeded 
1 English cucumber
Stir in -
2 tablespoons (30 ml) red wine vinegar
fresh ground black pepper
Add it to -
2 cup (150g) crushed ice divided in 4 bowls
Garnish with - 
3 tablespoons (45ml) chopped fresh basil


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