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

  • My favorite is Melonaide - juice watermelon and lemons. Usually 1/4 watermelon with a few lemons is good. To me it tastes just like lemonade without all the white sugar. Ginger ends up in almost any juice I make. Mint is another great juice addition.

    Jen M
  • My favorite every morning is: 1 large apple 4 carrots 1 orange (peeled) 3/4 inch ginger 1/4 lemon Medium size beet So delicious and a great way to start my day!

    Emily
  • Perfectly timed in order to rekindle my excitement for juicing! I received a Breville juicer for Christmas & just last week I completed my first juice cleanse which was amazing but definitely left me a bit tired of juice. But, using it in order to acquire essences to use as ingredients, oh boy...I'm definitely bringing it back out much sooner than my love of chewing expected! To share recipe ideas with you, one of my favorite juices that I was making on my cleanse was a green, almost gazpacho juice that I would have for dinner: Half a bunch of spinach, half a head cilantro, 1 cucumber, 2 stalks of celery, half a jalapeno (seeds/most seeds removed), 1 clove garlic, half a small onion, half a lemon, small piece of ginger. I plan to revisit this one in the summer during tomato season & see what type of gazpacho (or bloody mary mix!) I can make with it. Also, to ease back into solid food I was making a cashew milk using pre-soaked raw cashews but making it in the blender. It made a deliciously rich milk with tiny chewy bits, which I know sounds a bit odd, but was really good. I added a little sea salt, cinnamon, & fresh vanilla bean before I blended for optimal deliciousness. I'm definitely going to try the juicer method...never even thought of it, thank you!

    spoon&sailor letterpress
  • Perfectly timed in order to rekindle my excitement for juicing! I received a Breville juicer for Christmas & just last week I completed my first juice cleanse which was amazing but definitely left me a bit tired of juice. But, using it in order to acquire essences to use as ingredients, oh boy...I'm definitely bringing it back out much sooner than my love of chewing expected! To share recipe ideas with you, one of my favorite juices that I was making on my cleanse was a green, almost gazpacho juice that I would have for dinner: Half a bunch of spinach, half a head cilantro, 1 cucumber, 2 stalks of celery, half a jalapeno (seeds/most seeds removed), 1 clove garlic, half a small onion, half a lemon, small piece of ginger. I plan to revisit this one in the summer during tomato season & see what type of gazpacho (or bloody mary mix!) I can make with it. Also, to ease back into solid food I was making a cashew milk using pre-soaked raw cashews but making it in the blender. It made a deliciously rich milk with tiny chewy bits, which I know sounds a bit odd, but was really good. I added a little sea salt, cinnamon, & fresh vanilla bean before I blended for optimal deliciousness. I'm definitely going to try the juicer method...never even thought of it, thank you!

    spoon&sailor letterpress
  • I LOVE my juicer. My favorite is Beet, Orange and Carrot juice. Add the beet greens in too (but on a lighter setting than the beet bulbs). For extra zinger put in a quarter of a orange pepper and a half lemon. Its delish!

    Jessica
  • that is a beautiful pic of the juices - the subdued colors & your handwriting especially makes it all look soothing.

    yunah
  • Ohh my, these are quite some lovely colours. I know that my parents still have their old juicer (which they never used) somewhere in the attic. Lucky me, they will come visit next week and I will have to force them to bring it. I'm quite anxious to try almond-juice.

    Ole
  • My favorite juice combo is kale and pineapple! Lots of calcium, and delicious!

    Carla
  • i never thought i would be a juice person, until i got food poisoning and couldn't eat solids for a few days. i got hooked at the local juice spot, and like you & most your readers, took matters into my own hands and bought a juicer. i have a $99 compact breville juicer that i use EVERYDAY and it is a dream. small, a CINCH to clean, and has never let me down. the best part is, i make about 20 oz which i share with my beloved. just a small glass to get the day going -- but not the enormous bottles you commit to at juice places. we buy a bunch of "juice stuff" every week and throw everything in daily. anything goes! even zucchini and sweet potatoes at are "on the edge". my favorite: plenty of kale, celery, carrot, lemon, cucumber, lemon, ginger, pear it is enlivening to drink -- better than coffee (which comes right after)! for those of you looking for a juicer, i HIGHLY recommend the compact breville juicer. it's so easy, user-friendly, and effective. love.

    nadia
  • Our family loves our juicer. I've been trying to juice every day since the new Year began. My three children love carrot, apple, and orange juice. My personal favorite is grapefruit, lime, fennel stalks, parsley, beet, kale, and apple. I also give the pulp to my chickens, which inspires them to get outside in the snowy VT winter. We all love the benefits of juicing.

    Kem
  • We LOVE our juicer. It gets almost daily use. Our go to morning juice is spinach, carrots, a beet and some apples. This morning we juiced spinach, apples, cucumber and a lemon - green lemonade! YUMMY! We try to juice more veggies than fruit simply because of the sugars in fruits. Have fun! Sounds like you know this because you freeze the juice, but make sure you consume freshly juiced items immediately....they break down and go rancid REALLY quickly. (found out my MIL was juicing a large batch and saving for the week in her fridge - YUCK)

    Jen
  • I've had a Breville for about 7 years now and use it all the time. I juice kale stems and broccoli stalks to add to green smoothies, carrots and celery to make soup base, apples+lemon+ginger to heat gently for when one of my kids is under the weather. I make the same apple one for myself, but add a kolhrabi to get the extra cruciferous immune boost. Clean up is quick if you do it immediately. If you let it sit on the counter, it dries and becomes a chore.

    Heather
  • I will never (ever) turn down freshly pressed orange juice - brings me back to my childhood big time :) I never thought of juicing nuts and grains - genius! I've only blended them before. However, I do love my juice but try not to have too much of it -- as you said it removes the fiber - and gives my body blood sugar spikes that I am sensitive to. I prefer to eat my fruit and veggies whole.

    Nirvana
  • I haven't used my juicer in awhile (same PITA cleanup issues) but when I did use it I loved juiced strawberries and adding cocoa powder and a ripe banana. Almost like a chocolate shake without the fat.

    Debbie B
  • Hi Heidi, for wonderful juicing ideas you should check out chaud's juice therapy on youtube. I have been following her on instagram ( same name on there if you have it ) and she comes up with amazing blends of juices. Yours look delicious as well!!

    Meagan
  • We have a juicer (and old school Champion brand that I bought used from a neighbor), and I tend to use it when we're getting sick. I love a combination of beets, beet greens, kale or chard, ginger and lemon, though if I'm really sick, I throw in a few cloves of garlic as well.

    Catie
  • I bought a juicer a few years back. I juice in phases. Mostly to get my greens in. Not a salad girl. Love the idea of juicing in batches. I hate cleaning the darn thing.

    Amy Miller
  • When I lived in Africa and had both a juicer AND a gardener, my favourite combinations were: carrot, apple, ginger beet, carrot kale, chard, pear (or apple), cucumber, parsley, lime (AWESOME)

    Kilby
  • I recently got a juicer for Christmas and LOVE it! Grapefruit is my favorite as well (I like it with fresh mint - so refreshing). I try to use a variety of fruits/vegetables together - Beet, carrot, apple, celery, ginger, and lemon go really nice together. I haven't made any milks yet, but can't wait to try the almond and pistachio versions soon. Thanks for sharing!

    Megan
  • oh my gosh, BEETS! if you like beets they are amazing juiced, you can throw in the entire beet, including the greens. awesome with ginger+orange, even can toss in some kale. the brilliant color though of the beets just blows me away. i don't have a juicer but would love to get one to be able to do my own almond milks; the pistachio milk sounds delicious. i've also had nettles in a juice, definitely a zingy taste, but maybe something you'd like to try. great for you, high in iron. thanks for the post!

    Samantha Gawrych
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