A Lesson in Juicing

A Lesson in Juicing Recipe

So, I quite like my juicer(!), and I love the possibilities it lends to expanding my overall ingredient/culinary palette. Fresh juice is invigorating - straight up, blended, or as part of whatever I'm making. The most important thing is to use vibrant, healthy produce. Use the best quality produce you can get. It's important to seek out organic or sustainably grown fruits and vegetables, but if that's not happening, wash it gently, but thoroughly.

A few observations: A blender and a juicer are entirely different beasts. I know this seems obvious, but the blender does chop-chop, and the juicer separates all the fibers and solids from the juices. The juicer produces essences that are incredibly intense, alive, and bright. The flavor is main-lined. Beyond fruits and vegetables, I experiment with grains and nuts (see below).

Everyone seems to think using a juicer is a royal pain. Primarily the clean-up part. And that is partially true. It seems most convenient to juice in batches, set aside what you might use in the immediate future as well as the forthcoming day or two, and then freeze any juice beyond that immediately. Not as perfect as freshly juiced, but still ok.

Lessons in Juicing Lessons in Juicing

One thing I'll add here, read you juicer's instructions before diving in. What works in mine might not work in your model. There are a range of different types of juicers, and a range of ways they extract juice.

Almond Milk: Soak 1 cup / 5 oz almonds overnight, covered, in filtered water. Drain. Add three cups water, and ladle into juicer. This produces a full-bodied almond milk. If you like it a bit thinner, go with 4 cups water. The flavor really sings when you season it with a touch of salt and sugar. Just go with your taste buds, until it tastes good to you. Makes about 3 1/2 cups. Also, be sure to keep the meaty by-product of making the almond milk, just scrape it out of the juicer. Salt it a bit, and it's a great homemade almond butter.

Oat Milk: Soak 1 cup / 3 oz rolled oats (not instant) overnight, covered, in filtered water. Drain, add 3 cups water, and ladle into juicer. Makes about 4 cups. Note to self to try a version with toasted oats. I could imagine experimenting with it as and ingredient in custards, puddings, french toast, and the like.

Pistachio Milk: Soak 1 cup pistachios / 5 oz overnight, covered, in filtered water. Drain, combine with 3 cups water, and ladle into juicer. This was my favorite non-fruit juice by a stretch. Really nice. I kept trying to combine it with little accents like orange blossom water, or citrus zest, but in the end I liked it best straight. Makes about 3 1/2 - 4 cups. And like the almond milk be sure to keep the meaty by-product of making the pistachio milk, just scrape it out of the juicer. Salt it a bit, and it's a great pistachio butter.

Sesame Milk: Had high hopes for this one but it really didn't work. The unhulled seeds never broke down in the juicer.

Lessons in Juicing Lessons in Juicing

Fennel Juice: Trim the root end, but use all the rest of it. 1 large bulb = ~1 cup juice.

Celery: Lob off the root end and use the rest. And I didn't bother restringing. 1 medium bunch = 1 1/2 - 2 cups juice. I'm enjoying using the celery juice as a component in all things brothy. The fennel juice as well, but to a lesser extent.

Cucumber: Juice it all. And leave the skin on, it lends a nice color. 1 large (8 oz) cucumber yields about 1 cup of juice. Not really the season for cucumber juice at the moment, but I juiced it anyway. Super cooling.

Cilantro:1 big bunch, leaves and stems = 1/3 cup juice. I threw a couple serranos (deveined and deseeded) into the juicer here as well for a spicy version. You just know it's going to be good swirled into yogurt or creme fraiche and spooned into a bowl of roasted tomato soup!

Dill: 1 large bunch (stems and fronds) yields about 3 tablespoons juice. Equal parts dill juice + olive oil and a pinch of salt has been great over greens, savory pancakes, and eggs this week. I imagine like the other intense herb juices, it would be welcome as a vinaigrette component, drizzled over gratins, and tarts as well.

Lessons in Juicing Lessons in Juicing

Ginger: 8 ounces unreeled yields about 3/4 cup ginger juice. Freezes quite well. I've been using in teas, broths, citrus juice (grapefruit-ginger is my favorite), dipping sauces, etc.

Grapefruit: 1 large = 1 cup juice. I could live on this during the winter.

Pomegranate: I'm not sure I'd recommend using a juicer here. Mine definitely wasn't happy. That said, the resulting juice is electric - straight-up incredible. Juice the seeds only, but review your juicer's guidelines before an attempt. 1 large pomegranate = ~ 1 cup of seeds = 1/3 cup fresh juice.

Carrots: 1 lb = 1 cup juice. You know, it's just occurring to me as I'm typing this to try a carrot soup with pure juiced carrot. Use it to make the silkiest carrot soup ever.

If you're a juicer, here's my plea to let me know what you use yours most for. Or is it the sort of thing that just collects dust in everyone's pantry for most of the year?

Juice Combinations

A few combinations I tried:

Pistachio Milk: 1/2 cup pistachio milk, 3/4 teaspoon honey or sugar, 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, tiny pinch of ground clove. But like I said up above, this is really good straight.

Spicy Carrot: 1/4 cup carrot juice + 1/4 cup almond milk + 1/16 teaspoon cayenne + 1/2 teaspoon ginger juice + 1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt + 2 tablespoons celery juice.

Pomegranate Almond: 1/4 cup pomegranate juice + 1/4 cup almond juice + 2 drop rose water + pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon lemon juice + sweeten to taste.

Cucumber Celery: 1/4 cup cucumber + 1/4 cup celery + 1/16 cayenne + pinch of salt.

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Comments

  • Well this cracks me up. I just received Juicing for Dummies in the mail on Friday, flipped through it and had an 'aaaahhh, I get it moment' (which makes me a bit uncomfortable, given the title). So all weekend I've been revved up about trying a juicer. Stopped by your site for something totally unrelated and find this post here. You rock. Thank you! I'll circle back after experimenting ... curious to read everyone's comments for tips too!

    Lia Huber
  • I got a juicer for a wedding present 13 years ago and have used it consistently/ish since. I just recently got a Breville and laid my old juicer to rest. And boy I'm lovin it. I juice for my family of 4 most morning I try yo make enough for 8oz each every morning for a couple days worth .I call it it our multi vitamin. I've learned a bit about combinations, its important to juice melons by themselves due to how our body processes them. Drink the fresh juice on an empty stomach so all those vitamins and minerals can bypass the digestive system and go straight into your blood stream. Also juice mainly veggies (organic local preferred) and eat fruit whole with the fiber. My go to morning 8 oz vitamin shot juice is carrot, celery, beet, kale, swiss chard, lemon, apple and ginger. supper delicious. I 30 min or so later have a green smoothy for breakfast I believe in having a juicer for instant energy (don't drink them to late at night or it will keep you up) and a fantastic blender for everything else.

    Kim Moffet
  • I am addicted to juicing. I've even worn a juicer out. My favorite juice is... Two large handfuls of spinach, handful of parsley, kale stalks, cucumber, 1-2 apples (love a Fuji) and 1-2 limes (best peeled). You can increase greens, apple, lime to taste. Yum!

    Bevkay
  • I have a Breville juicer that I love. It juices whole apples, cucumber etc., so no peeling beforehand. It's easy to use and easy to clean. I think many people don't juice bc they think it's messy and time-consuming. My go-to recipe is 1 apple. 1/2 cucumber, slice of ginger, touch of lemon juice. Sometimes I'll add kale or celery to it to change it up a bit. Thx for the recipes! Juice on!

    Genevieve
  • We are newly juicers and I never even thought of juicing nuts and grains! My easy as pie go-to juice is gala apples and ginger. Once made, add cinnamon to your glass and then pour in the juice. Very warm and yummy.

    Sarah
  • My very favorite juice recipe is carrot-bell pepper-orange-ginger - such a tonic during the winter! I also inherited a juicer, and I have to say, it never occurred to me to juice things separately and mix later - I always juiced the recipe together (example recipes here: http://morganatic.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/juice/). I'm a bit surprised you didn't experiment with beet and apple juices; those are my favorites for mixing.

    Morgan
  • I bought a juicer about 6 months ago. I thought I had juiced everything but never thought of nut milks. I like fresh juice but don't have the time to juice every day. The past couple of weeks I have experimented with freezing juice in ice cube trays. I have a pretty good assortment of fruit and veg cubes. In the morning I fill my insulated cup with a combination of cubes, a splash of lite coconut milk and some crushed ice. The combinations are endless. I'm going to give the nut milk a try as an alternative to the coconut milk.

    Terri
  • What are you labeling your jars with? I found some wonderful dissolving labels one time at Target, but they haven't carried them since the fall, and I'm looking for a replacement (other than post-its). :)

    HS: I've been using Japanese washi tape Jenn - easy on, easy off.

    Jenn
  • I love the luxury of juices, but it does amuse me that the people who swear by juices are also the ones who bang on about fibre!

    Tricia Rose
  • Long-time reader here. Yes, yes YES I adore my juicer. I have a Hurom and the cleanup is really quite simple. This morning I did a cucumber/asian pear/celery/ginger and it was just lovely-cooling, green, uplifting. I have Nigel Slater's book "Thirst" and it's proven to be wonderful inspiration, without too much power-juicer-hardcore-health-overzealousness.

    HS: Brilliant suggestion - I have Nigel's book from when I visited the UK.

    Sarah
  • personally, I LOVE fruit juice. Here are some of my favorites: 3 mandarins, 1/2 a lime (unpeeled), 2 peeled carrots, 1/4 of a beet, 1 fuji apple 1/2 a pineapple (peeled, not cored), 1/2 a mango (peeled), 1 pink lady apple, 1/2 a lime (unpeeled), 1" piece of ginger 1 pint blackberries, 1 granny apple, 1 fuiji/gala/braeburn apple, 1/2 meyer lemon 1/4 of a honeydew melon, 1 granny smith apple, 1/4 of a bunch of mint (VERY cooling!)

    Rebeca
  • This is such a helpful post!! I've done a bit of juicing before, but I stuck to traditional combinations (carrot-ginger), etc. LOVE the idea of making almond and oat milk in the juicer - cannot wait to make that at home!

    Anjali @ The Picky Eater
  • Thank you so much for this post! I too just inherited a juicer through my parent's cleaning binge. Excited to have it but where to start? Now I have a whole list of tips... happy juicing {oh and new year}

    Andrea @ LetLooseLittell
  • Whoa. Never thought to make nut milks with the juicer. Amazing!! I hope my is up to it! Absolutely beautiful photos. I just love the jars all lined up + labeled.

    Ashley
  • I wonder if you couldn't whizz the sesame seeds in the food processor, soak them, and then juice them?

    Jen
  • You've given me some wonderful new things to try with my juicer. Personally, I love to make a liver detox juice, particularly after the hefty overindulgence of the holidays - beet, carrot, celery, ginger and parsley. Great first thing in the morning. Sometimes I add an orange or an apple as well for another layer. Zingy and deliciously refreshing and the beet adds a lovely earthy-sweet undertone.

    Sarahy
  • We got our juicer about a year ago. Like you, we juiced damn near everything in our kitchen as soon as we got it. We were serious about it for a good month or more ... and then it sat on the counter, staring me down. But now we use it a couple mornings a week and our stand by is an orange, apple, carrot and kale blend - mostly because we usually have these things on hand. We often take out a glassful of it for the kiddo before the kale, although I love it most when it's heavy on the kale and bright, bright green.

    Lynn
  • This looks like the beginning of the next cookbook of yours on my shelf. I'm not an appliance person, but this encourages me to rethink a juicer.

    Rebecca
  • Heidi, this is awesome! I had a juicing phase, but after juicing up some really gnarly concoctions, I couldn't stomach it. You've definitely rekindled my interest. Love the idea of pistachio milk.

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence
  • What an awesome post and thanks for the report on what you tried and what worked and didnt. I just recently sold one juicer (still have 2 others!) because of said P.I.T.A. cleanup issues. Just takes me forever compared to Vita or even my food processor. But seeing your juice makes me want to start juicing again! Mainlining the essences. YES! that's a perfect way of saying it!

    Averie @ Averie Cooks
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