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

  • Heidi, I'd be happy to let you have a spin with my Champion juicer for a couple days. Right now I am recovering from surgery, so I'm all about the anti-inflammatories, and a lot of San Francisco stores are carrying fresh turmeric root these days. My sweet anti-inflammatory juice is half a pineapple, several carrots, and an inch or so each of ginger and turmeric. The savory varies more, but generally aims at half a large or one small cucumber, a tomato, a leaf or two of kale, some parsley, a celery stalk or two, an inch or so each of ginger and turmeric, and the juice of a hand-squeezed lemon or lime. One friend who was tending to me during healing misunderstood and whipped up the savory one in my vitamix, which was surprisingly enjoyable as well!

    kristie dahlia home
  • Great to see you covering juices. As a cancer health educationist and nutritionist with a major cancer charity I do juicing workshops with patients as a way of showing how to get extra nutrients in when appetite, digestion and nutrient metabolism are disrupted. And for those who have to completely avoid fibre due to their cancer or obstructed bowel disease, juicing is fabulous, with juicing of herbs really great to add flavour to all the pasta, rice etc that that diet entails. Just a word though, no matter how much juice you have it only can count as one serving a day because of the lack of fibre, and in the case of fruits and starchy veg, the mainlined sugar. But those nutrients sure are welcome for many. Lovely variety of produce and grains you have been experimenting with. Inspiring to many as I see from the comments. PS i use carrot juice to cook oatmeal sometimes, adding pureed date to sweeten further and a dod of almond butter for extra creamy goodness.

    kellie@foodtoglow
  • Never thouhgt to make almond milk with juice maker. My favorite comination is melon with red globe grapes in the summer times

    Devletsah
  • I make a green juice everyday for my husband and myself: All organic: 1/3 cucumber 1-2 green apples Handful of spinach Handful of kale handful of cilantro 5 carrots 3 stalks of celery small chuck of beet Piece of ginger 1/2 of a small lemon I then put it all in a blender with a large banana. Perfect! I've been doing this for about 2 years since going vegan. If I miss a day (when traveling), my body knows it. We have an Omega Vert masticating juicer. I just bought a Breville for my goddaughter for Christmas.

    Joan Dixon
  • Do you know if your juicer is macerating or centrifugal? Makes a huge difference as to how much of the actual nutrients you get from your fruit/veg. If it is macerating, you can also make things like date paste by passing whole pitted dates through the juicer or frozen banana "yogurt"by passing frozen bananas through. My macerating juicer even makes pasta! Coconut butter can be made by passing coconut pieces through! I have a whole post on juicing on Butter&Yolk if you are interested. Great post!

    HS: Hi Jenna - Mine is centrifugal. Thanks for the tips, maybe I can borrow someones macerating version...

    Jenna
  • I just got a juicer as well. It is great fun to come up with different combinations! This weekend, I experimented with using the pulp from the juicer to cook and bake. I used carrot and beet pulp to make a chocolate pecan muffin, black bean patties, and soup. They all came out great except the I need to work on the consistency of the soup. The pulpy-ness is not very appetizing to me. It's a whole new world of experimenting! Will try the almond milk next. Thanks!

    YK
  • Juicing is the best. I start every morning with some sort of apple + veggie combination (I don't have much of a taste for just plain veggie juice, so I always throw in an apple). I've been drinking at least one juice every morning for a few months, and the thing I noticed the most is how much better my skin looks. I never had severe skin problems or anything, but now I never even get so much as a single breakout! It's awesome. A great way to start the day. Can't wait to try the nut milk! I always make mine in a blender.

    Sarah
  • I have a question for you regarding the oat and almond milks: When you say drain, then add water, do you mean drain the soaking water out and just add the almonds to the juicer with fresh water? I can't wait to try it out and am a little embarrassed that I don't "get" it, but want to be clear before I start. Thanks!!

    HS: Exactly Kimberly...Drain the soaking water, replace with fresh.

    Kimberly
  • I was given an old Champion juicer from a friend who never used it. I like to use it but it's such a beast on the countertop that I can't leave it out taking up so much space. If I ever get a bigger kitchen I will hopefully have a place for it to stay out and I will use it more regularly. I like a pineapple cilantro combo.

    Sarah
  • Juicing in 12 minutes, includes clean up: plastic bag line the pulp container for quick clean up, rinse everything immediately, use a hand held scrubbing brush under water to rinse the blade and filter, turn upside down on a towel, let dry. Time it, you will be amazed! Yes to all these recipes, and yes to watching the sugar intake: beets, apples, pears, carrots. I drink 1 cup of my green juice immediately, and then turn the remainder into a smoothie: whole banana, protien powder, Udo oil, Aloe Vera, cinnamon, 1/4 cup of frozen fruit, balance of coconut milk. This becomes my breakfast and 10am meal. Vary your greens ;-)

    Michelle Peacock
  • Heidi, I've heard stories of people using their juice pulp in baking for extra flavor/fiber. Haven't done it myself, but thought you'd be interested. The pulp from my juicer (Omega J8004 ) is very dry, so I can see it'd be perfect. Also, the Omega masticating juicer is a breeze to clean. I can cut veggies, juice AND cleanup in 15 minutes.

    HS: Oh! Love that idea.

    Carrie B.
  • carrot, apple, ginger juice. babbam! my juicer looks a lot like yours. different brand but from the same era. it seems to work best when you alternate the items you are juicing, juice a couple carrots, then a big piece of apple, then some ginger, etc. i do find the cleaning up to be a big enough pain in the ass that I almost never juice anymore though. sad.

    anne
  • I'm feeling like I need to move to a new neighborhood, as I've never been offered someone's old juicer - or even have seen one at a yard sale. Since my parents died years ago, perhaps I'm supposed to buy one to offer to my son/DIL at some time in the future. Love the comments, recommendations and ideas here, though, as I truly have been thinking about getting a juicer. Such beautiful juice photos makes me thirsty...

    cat
  • Whoa! Did not even think about making nut milk in the juicer...what a great idea! It took me a while to find a good combo that I liked for green juice but once I did we now drink it everyday. I was able to find a juicer on craigslist that was practically never used for only $50! Great deal, and totally worth it! Thanks for sharing all this awesome info!

    Suzanne @ RollWithIt
  • I just started juicing too! So far my favorite is apple/carrot/beet/orange, sometimes I add cucumber too. I'm really happy to read about freezing the juice - I have to get up early for work and juicing is usually the last thing I want to do when I'm barely awake! I will definitely try freezing it, thanks for the idea!

    Carrie
  • Great post! I have been following your blog for years and am so excited to see you moving into juicingland. I always feel a little brighter after drinking a homemade concoction and this have given me great ideas! (And doesn't everything look that much better in Weck jars with artistic intentional writing.)

    Wendy Briggs
  • I love our juicer! We just got the Breville one over the holidays and we're obsessed. Ours is really quite easy to clean up as well. I don't mind it at all! I'm really liking juice better than smoothies... no seeds and no jammed blender anymore! We've juiced everything in site, including shots of kiwi and pear to try out recently, lol. So good (although pear needs to be consumed asap, as it goes brown quickly).

    Daniella
  • 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
  • I can't wait to try out the Almond milk! My mum makes this amazing mint juice which is worth a try in the summer - blitz mint leaves, juice of half a lemon, a little sugar and some water. After blitzing, you can run the juice through a strainer so that you don't get any un-blitzed leaves in your glass. I use the sediment on the strainer as a spread on whole wheat bread.

    Suki
  • Beautiful and informative post, Heidi! I think it's the year of juicing for me as well. Have owned one for several years and used it occasionally. Clean up is not fun. You have inspired to get juicing now. I like to use fewer ingredients in order to taste them rather than be lost among a crowd.

    Simple Sustenance
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