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

  • yeah! Like some of your new ideas. I've been juicing for 20+ years. I juice almost 400 pint jars in late Aug/Sep when the garden is loaded & freeze in glass mason/bell jars in a freezer full of nothing but "green drinks" - Then drink one everyday all year - share now & again. I believe the quality of the vegetables in A/S is so much higher than in Jan/Feb that ANY value lost to the freeze is gained back. If and when you get one, you'll LOVE the modern juicers - much easier to use and clean!

    melinda
  • Juice 1 cup beet bell pepper zucchini or any other brightly colored veg reduce by half and mix with olive oil makes a great drizzle for soup or base for salad dressing (:

    B
  • Please do share more of what you learn and try along the way! For many reasons, it is great to hear more about juicing from a culinary standpoint - rather than just from a "health guru" standpoint. Thanks! :)

    Heather
  • Except when writing about the nuts, you do not mention what you've done, or will do with all the pulp left behind .. curious, that's all

    jocelyne marchand
  • My children gave me my juicer for mothers day. I must have been complaining about something food related. Anyway we went on a family juicing spree-so much fun. Lots of pineapple and jalapenos. But my favorite which produces the most lovely soft apple green color is celery, ginger, lemon and green apple. Its tart and sweet and what a pick me up. Thank you for sharing such an inspired plunge into a new relationship, an such beautiful photo's as always.

    Elise
  • Welcome to the world of juicing! I landed here myself after staying with a friend who owned one. I adore fresh juice, but I started to feel bad about all the wasted pulp. What to do with it?! So I now make whole juice in the Vitamix (apples, pear, cucumber, various leafy greens, always a ton of lemon and ginger) then toss in fresh juices for an extra punch of flavor and vitamins. Sound like a lot of work? It is not for every day, that's for sure. My favorite musings on juicing are here: http://www.weeklygreens.com/2012/do-you-juice/ Happy juicing, Heidi (oh and happy new year, too)!

    Alicia Sokol
  • Juicers are awesome for making soft serve sorbets. The one I know works is banana. Just freeze the bananas and send them through. I would guess it work with many fruits and veggies. I could imagine mixing flavors in a blender then freezing and sending through.

    HS: Absolutely trying this.

    Launna
  • I had started a juice fast using my juicer a while back, but I don't have a gall bladder and it just didn't work for me. I spent two days in the bathroom, unable to leave the house. I was miserable. I got a Blendtec blender for Christmas and have blended my produce into juice with it and it really does make it into a juice. It was much easier on my digestion having the fiber still intact, so if anyone else has that issue, there are options. Watching "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" was what spurred me on. One more thing- If you are wanting to wean off of coffee, juice a grapefruit, or even half of one, drink that first, then your coffee. I guarantee that's all the coffee you'll need!

    Lorrie
  • When we load up on farmers' market veggies we always save some for the juicer to test different combos. Carrots, ginger and beets are staples though. My favorite was during the summer. We'd juice tomatoes, assorted garden veggies, a clove of garlic, hot pepper, and mix in a homemade spice blend for raw bloody marys - straight from the garden. Such a treat!

    Anne Marie
  • I love adding cayenne to juices! My husband and I grow cucumbers in the summer too, which are wonderful for juicing by themselves (or with beets, celery, pineapple, etc.). I usually add sage leaves or basil when we serve cucumber juice (slap the leaves a few times between your hands to release their oils - float 'em on top...yum!). Super refreshing!

    Linda
  • Trust you to juice EVERYTHING in sight, love it! I don't have one at home but I've been meaning to get one for ages, maybe 2013 is the year! Gemma x P.s. - cucumber juice is great with Gin :)

    Gemma @ well seasoned
  • I love my new Hurom juicer! It is a slow juicing type of juicer so I am not sure it will be able to handle the pistachios, but I can do that in the blender and strain. It sounds so delicious!! My favorite morning juice is ginger, apple, lemon, kale juice...sweet, green and spicy!

    spiralgal
  • Pomegranate juice is best drunk straight out of the fruit. Gently squeeze and massage the whole pom until it feels softened. Avoid breaking the skin. Cut a 1" hole in the blossom end and just suck out the juice. I grew up in Florida also doing this with oranges.

    Jane Steinberg
  • Here is one of my most favorite POWER BOOSTER recipes. I have a very powerful juicer that doesn't leave ANY juice behind. RECIPE: *3-4 cups of wheat grass (which will amount to very little, it takes a lot of the magical wheat grass to make a few ounces). Wheat grass is said to be one of the most enzyme rich cancer fighting things on the planet. Research this. *1 golden beet (the flavor of golden beets is unmatchable, and so different from the reds) *1-2 carrots *1 apple (for sweetness and generous amount of live enzyme activity as well) *1-2 cups of fresh kale, any kind. Every time I drink this mix of veggies I am flying around like super woman. You will mentally feel the benefits within 20-30 minutes. It is very important to drink the juice within 20 minutes of juicing. There has been a lot of research on this. It's ok to refrigerate and save your juices, but a lot of beneficial enzymes will die within the first 20-30 minutes. Seems to be a heavily agreed upon concept by hardcore juicers out there who follow the rules like the bible. Hope some great folks out there try out my recipe. YOU WILL LOVE IT!!

    Angie Hendrickson
  • It was be something in the air... I was just shopping for a juicer, and a friend told me about the Hurom slow juicer. I can't really justify another appliance in my small kitchen, but your post makes it awfully tantalizing...

    leduesorelle
  • Wow! What timing, I just got a juicer! My friend bought a big powerful one and gave me his to see if juicing is something I want to do. And after reading your post, I definitely want to start juicing! Thanks!

    Tammy Jo
  • Beautiful photos as always, Heidi. And thanks for the thoughts on juicing. I also inherited a juicer from someone who never used it. I LOVE it for ginger juice which I use to make ginger beer using a recipe you posted on a favorites list back in 2011. Some people have mentioned using beets and beet greens...while I love the flavor and color of the juice they produce, I recommend using it in small amounts. It makes my throat sore which is apparently a common side effect. I don't juice regularly because it makes my heart heavy when I see all the wasted fiber and food that goes into the compost. I am curious if anyone has a creative use for it. I have considered using it to make veggie stock but am wondering if a lot of the nutrients and flavor have been juiced out. Any thoughts?

    Caroline K.
  • I am a photographer and I also love to cook as well. I really do love your blog and it's recipies. Thanks again for sharing.

    Jen Thomson
  • I'm new to your blog (and to juicing) and greatly enjoying both. I'm curious about how you juice and then freeze. Is the frozen juice soft enough that you can scoop out small portions to add to recipes or do you freeze in small portions?

    Kristi
  • I thoroughly enjoyed this post of yours today. I am a rather BIG fan of juicing and I love reading blogs or posts about it. I use my juicer daily and make a batch to fill three mason jars full. I prefer the green juices over any other. I usually juice: a handful of kale, a handful of spinach (I do those first, so that the other veggies and fruits push the remaining kale and spinach through), two cucumbers, 4-6 celery stalks, one green apple and MAGIC!!! It's delicious! Again, I appreciate this post very much. Thank you for sharing.

    Kristin
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