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.

Apologies, comments are closed.

Comments

  • My also expensive juicer from parent has made a good toe stubbing device in a dark pantry closet. Then I lent it to a prospective girlfriend. I want it back now and it shall occupy a place of honor and esteem in my household when I do get it.

    Douglas
  • There are so many beautiful things in this post, but I especially LOVE the writing on the labels! :•)

    M.K.
  • I've never owned a juicer but I've worked a couple of places that had them. One of my bosses would use the carrot pulp to thicken hot sauces and I would use the pulp to thicken soups.

    Kathy
  • I started juicing a few years ago for health and it was the best decision I ever made. Yes, it is time consuming but well worth it. I only juice organic since the juice goes directly to your cells etc. Don't want any harmful chemicals in my body. I go to Whole Foods, walk down the produce isle and pick something new each time. I always keep my standard ingredients and ALWAYS add a lemon becuase most of the time I don't like the green juices and the lemon helps anything go down. When I stop juicing and then start again, I hear my body say "thanks, I needed that". So healthy. Thanks for your post. By the way, I have the Champion 2000 and it takes up a lot of counter space.

    Sandi
  • I don't have a juicer, but I do know that my Vitamix has changed my life! We use it every. single. morning. It has doubled (tripled?) our produce intake, and I can't believe how much energy we have after a big glass of fruity/citrusy/gingery/kale-y goodness. Kale coconut smoothies are our favorite (kale/apple/ginger is a close second)... would work great as a juice as well!

    Mary Anne
  • Love your post! I just got a juicer recently too! Here are a few juices that I've made: - carrot, apple, ginger (have also added celery and orange) - carrot, apple, ginger, beet, 1/2 lemon here's Dr Oz's green drink -- which I havent made because I never buy parsley because I never known what to do with it. Dr Oz Green Drink 2 cups spinach; 2 cups cucumber; 1 head of celery; 1/2 inch or teaspoon ginger root; 1 bunch parsley; 2 apples Juice of 1 lime; Juice of 1/2 lemon Thanks for your post, I'll have to try your juicing ideas along with almond milk and pistachio milk too!

    Radhika
  • Pineapple, kale, and mint is really refreshing!

    Svetlana
  • I LOVE THIS POST! That's an awesome juicer. I've gone through three of that style in my life so far. Thank you so much for this informative, inspiring post -- long live the juicer. We'd all be healthier if we would juice more!

    diana baur
  • I juice every day, My fave is a combo of celery, beets, cucumber, red pepper, carrots, apple, lemon,and ginger! Clean up is easy if you do it right away.

    Leah
  • I LOVE JUICING! My winter fav is beets, ginger, carrot, celery, parsley. Zest and juice (hand squeezed) of lime/lemon. Thanks for the awesome tips!!!

    Queen Elisheba
  • I got a Breville Juicer for Christmas and I LOVE it! I drink a big mostly-veggie juice for breakfast pretty much every morning now, and my energy and mood have never been better. My current favorite is cucumber-pineapple-mint (or cilantro if I'm out of mint) with a few kale leaves/stems tossed in. Kale-apple-mint is another combo I like. Really, anything with kale! I also like beet-orange-carrot-ginger, though that one's a bit sweet for me.

    Chris C.
  • I'll add to the mix of things to try: meyer lemons (with skins) mangel beets watercress -- peppery goodness. Great with carrot. But start slow and I don't recommend drinking it straight. It's potent.

    JWL
  • I recently was given a VitaMix as a birthday gift and I juice with it everyday. Dates, Bananas, Apple and Beet Greens w. fresh ginger and a teaspoon each cinnamon and all spice... yum! the thing I like better about the VitaMix is that it keeps all the nutritious fiber rich pulp in there but still has the consistency of juice (I add water). However, my sister has an actual juicer and saves all her "pulp" to make to most amazing veggie burger patties! they are sooo good and nothing goes to waste. I guess if you have chickens or a great compost those are perfect uses for the pulp too.

    kari
  • I love my juicer and use it every day. My most recent favorite is "green lemonade," which I had at Oranya Natural Foods Market while visiting family near Traverse City, MI. Juice one bunch of kale, a granny smith apple, one Eureka (or two Meyer) lemons, four celery stalks, and a knob of fresh ginger. So delicious!

    Adriane
  • We bought a juicer a few months ago and I love it. I've read that juicing gets more of the nutrients into your body due to removing the fiber. Not sure how true that is, but juicing is an easy way to get some extra veggie servings into the kids. A couple times a week I will juice two carrots, one cucumber, one apple, one stalk of celery, and 3 or 4 big handfuls of spinach and kale. I also like juice with beets, it is as energizing as a cup of coffee!

    Denise
  • Hello Heidi, Love your blog. A favorite I make is 1 beet 2 carrots 1/2 tart apple 1/2 lemon piece of fresh ginger, as much as you like

    Bev
  • Heidi, Thanks for writing about juice extraction. I had to talk my editors (at Cook's Illustrated) into letting me review juicers, but then they crowded around me whenever I was working on them. We became addicted to kale with fresh pineapple. I think it kept us healthy last spring.

    Amy
  • I JUST GOT A JUICER TOO!!! I got the breville compact juicer - it was pretty cheap (like $99) and had fabulous reviews... I was wondering if i could do nut milks in it! Also I was practically dying laughing over here with your 239482423 jars of random juices, my kitchen looked the EXACT SAME this weekend as I juiced practically every fruit and veggie we had in the house... i did notice that fresh IS SUPER IMPORTANT. the green juice i made with fresh celery the boyfriend loved, but the one i made using the same celery that I chopped up 5 days ago he could taste a total difference in (of course I didn't say "oh its because i used old celery) ... i just said "HM THAT'S SO WEIRD!" I want to try cashew milk in mine now... LOVE THE POST!!! I'm sitting here sipping some kale/green apple/pineapple/cucumber juice right now actually!

    natalie
  • 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
  • Carrot Juice on it's own is my long standing favorite, you just cant beat the fresh juiced taste. Store bought seems too blaah now. But my next favorite is Carrot (1 lb) with Apples (2 small ones) , Lemon (1) and Ginger (1" knob). Refreshing!

    Charlotte
  • Comments are closed.

    Apologies, comments are closed.

    More Recipes

    Popular Ingredients