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 wife and I use the Hurom slow juicer and it is amazing. It has approximately 5 parts and is super easy to clean. From chopping to cleaning its altogether 15-20 mins. It has become part of our day and a great energy shot in the mornings. We do green juices with spinach, parsley, carrots, apple or even citrus blast with the current season in ca. Thanks for these new ideas, will give them a go soon!

    josh g
  • I have an inexpensive juicer and it is super easy to clean. I love it, and use it mostly in the fall and winter when I start missing the light and fresh. We use our juices as tonics and use a lot of ginger, and lemon (throw in a quarter with it's peel...so good!) Also, try making a carrot curry butter sauce with carrot juice. My favorite sauce in the world!

    Amanda
  • I, too, could live on pink grapefruit juice all winter. And in the summer: strained watermelon juice with lime and sugar. And rum after 5:00 ;) We juice quite a bit. The problem with juicing for me is that I can't stomach raw apples, which is commonly the sweetener. I use fresh pineapple instead. Favorite combos: fresh pineapple + kale ginger + lemon + kale + cayenne

    DessertForTwo
  • Never done juicing before, but after trying a purchased juice cleanse, my boyfriend and I decided to give it a try. I got a refurbished Breville Elite from Amazon for $199. Its somewhat of a pain for clean up, but I agree with some of the other posters, just make a ton once a week, freeze half, and then you only have clean up once. I cannot seem to get full off juice, so with the main one we make, we add back in some of the pulp, run it all through the blender, and am then able to retain some filling properties of fiber! A few of our recipes we like: -1/2 bunch kale, 1 cucumber, few stalks of celery, 2 granny smith apples, 1 peeled lemon. We keep all but the apple and lemon pulp to add back in and run all through the blender-otherwise its quite chunky with kale stalk! -1 apple, 1 orange, 1 peeled beet=absolutely amazing, so smooth and creamy and delicious! We double/triple these and just separate them out into individual servings (~15 oz) for fridge or freezer. Be careful with the kale and beets-they seem to fly out and get in random spots, and both are such deep colors they can stain any vulnerable surfaces nearby.

    Elisabeth
  • Wonderful! Thanks for this great resource. If I remember correctly, Deborah Madison does a carrot risotto made with fresh carrot juice that I've always wanted to try. Seems like your juicer would be a great opportunity to try some fresh juices in place/with stock for a risotto....

    Cat S.
  • Thank you so much for this post and for all the new idea from everyone's comments! Very timely as I jumped on the wagon to start off the new year with my juicer arriving tomorrow! Thank you again!

    Renee
  • got a freeby...and old one, works great. can't get enough beet juice! with a pile of greens, and lemon and ginger. so delicous. we juice, we do smoothies, and lots of whole foods. we do it all!

    laura
  • i found out today from Marc, owner of Bob's Juice Bar in Paris, that the best way to make pomegranate juice is to use an electronic citrus press. just slice it in half and treat it like an orange. i prefer to drink my juice the moment it's made as it really begins to break down rapidly with standard juicers unless you have a cold press. finally, my preferred machine for nut milks/creams is the wondrous Vitamix. Genius!

    alison
  • I love juicing (favorite combo is: 1 green apple or peeled grapefruit, 2 large handfuls of spinach, 1 big celery stalk, and a chunk of ginger). I have a centrifugal, so the juice oxidizes quickly -- meaning, I drink them immediately. I juice for the health benefits mostly. I also drink a smoothie almost every day for the fiber and additional veggie goodness.

    EC
  • Can you recommend a good small/compact juicer for travel.

    Johnny H
  • I've been eying juicers for a while, but I keep putting off buying one. However, this post has me finally convinced. Pistachio milk with honey, Spicy carrot juice, I think I'm obsessed. You've really put that juicer to work and have come up with some brilliant ideas. Pomegranate juice is a true gem. How would you recommend juicing it, if not with a juicer?

    Anonymous
  • Beet + Apple is my favorite quick and easy blend!

    nicole
  • I bought a juicer about 2 months ago and I've never looked back! I love it and juicing on a daily basis has changed my life for the better. It is now my breakfast every morning. It is a pain to clean up every time but taking time for my health is more important ya know? I'd recommend Kris Carr's book "Succulent Smoothies and Juices" it has a lot of juice ideas that are great! P.s. I've kind of fallen in love with your blog! :)

    Elle Ramirez
  • I agree with the awesomeness of juices, but I prefer the concept of the Vitamix! Try the recipes in that and gain the benefit of the whole food!

    RB
  • You all are such a great resource! So many great suggestions, and techniques/combinations that would have never occurred to me. Keep the inspiration coming! xoxo

    Heidi
  • One of my favorite uses for my juicer is juicing mire poix, then cooking lentils in that juice.

    Benjamin Parks
  • Heidi, As an integrative nutrition RD, I love your books and blog and have recommended them over and over to my clients (your cookbooks were a bday gift to my niece this year). Juicing is a great way to incorporate concentrated sources of nutrients specifically antioxidants. So important for those who struggle eating enough veggies. Juicing lowers cholesterol and blood pressure by providing natural nitrates, carotenoids , Vit c and so many other nutrients. So glad to see you include juicing in your repertoire! Try a little beet with some parsley ginger spinach and a bit of pineapple. Gorgeous color and delish!

    Linda Illingworth,RD
  • What a wonderful post! I got "Modernist Cuisine At Home" for Christmas this year, and they devote several pages to juicing. Particularly using juices as a base for soups and stocks... I had a flashback when you mentioned carrot juice as a base for carrot soup.

    Sarah S
  • This must be the year of juicing! I have wanted one for months, and over the holidays I got a breville. I'm obsessed! my favorite combinations are: - beet, apple, carrot, kale, and a touch of ginger - apple, pear, lemon, cucumber, parsley, celery, spinach I am really looking forward to trying out the nut combinations you suggest, because I'm trying to find a way to work some real protein into the mix. I've been having a fruit combo for breakfast and a veggie juice for an afternoon snack. I think the juicer has already paid for itself and it's only been 3 weeks!! :)

    leah
  • I have a Breville Compact Juicer that I LOVE - though at time wish I would've splurged for a larger one. That said, beet juices are my favorite as of late. My recipe is: 2 beets (greens too if I don't have another use for them) 2 carrots 1 green apple 1 orange decent sized chunk of ginger (depends on your taste for ginger).

    Jessica
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