Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Getting in the Greens

When I had my midwife appointment yesterday I mentioned how much I have enjoyed juicing.  She was happy to hear that and asked what I have been juicing.  I replied, "Everything!"

The great thing about juicing during pregnancy for me is that I know I am getting my greens in.  For my four previous pregnancies, I have had an aversion to vegetables.  Literally the only "green" I desired to eat was canned green beans; everything else made me gag.  I would dutifully take my prenatal vitamin but otherwise I felt guilty about how few veggies I ate.

I love the scene in Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead when Joe Cross shows a huge platter full of a colorful variety of vegetables and fruits; way too much for a person to consume in the whole form.  But with juicing, a person has the possibility of gaining the nutrients from a large amount of vegetables.

Leap Day Reap:
5 stalks of celery
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1 1/2 c. spinach
2 radishes
2 apples
2 pears
1 plum

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tasty Sludge

It really doesn't look appealing. It is after all, a combination that you would never eat in the whole form.  Seriously, broccoli juice?  But I tell you, this is the ugly duckling of juices. 

Cocoon, then flap flap flap. Butterfly:
1 1/2 c spinach
1 large carrot
3/4 c. broccoli
1 cucumber
1/3 pineapple
1 apple
Swan dive into Swan Lake.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Craving Craze

The first thing I did when I finished bringing in grocery bags from the car today was cut open and eat a ripe mango I had just purchased.  Ah!  Energy to put groceries away! 

After that job was finished I chopped peppers, spinach, cucumbers and broccoli and made a raw veggie pizza on a croissant crust for dinner.

Since I had the cutting board out, I prepped a pineapple and some veggies for juicing.

What is my pregnant body telling me with these cravings?  Some think that cravings don't necessarily mean that a body is depleted of a particular nutrient.  But in the case of my cravings today, there may be a beta carotene need?  Or maybe Vitamin C?  What would you say?

What I know for certain is that after all these yummy foods I feel quite satisfied.

Pregnant Juice:
1/3 pineapple
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1/2 cucumber
2 stalks celery

I spread 8 oz. cream cheese over the croissant crust before I put 2 cups of chopped veggies on top.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tricking the Children

Imitating a college professor who served coffee during final exams, I used to serve coffee to my 8th grade students for a big test when I was a History Teacher.  What the 8th graders didn't know was that it was decaffinated coffee.  Who was I to tell them the truth that they weren't actually experiencing a caffeine buzz?  It was too much fun to watch them pretend to be jittery.

Tonight I made "Pulp Muffins" with this afternoon's juice pulp.  The muffins turned out to be quite green so I called them "St. Patrick's Day Muffins".  I thought it would be more appealing than Spinach-Lettuce-Celery Muffins.  They were none the wiser.

Vegetable Juice:
1 cucumber
1 c. spinach
1/2 head romaine lettuce
2 stalks of celery
8 strawberries
1 orange
This juice smelled like strawberry heaven, but tasted like vegetables.

The juice made about 3/4 cup of damp pulp.

Tricky Muffins

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Foxy Lady

I used a yellow bell pepper in my juice today.  I've been so nervous about using peppers because my hubby is not a fan, and I know that pepper flavor might really shine in a juice.  In this recipe it is detectable in scent only.  The flavor is very peachy and caused me to exclaim, "Wow, this is living!"  So, it's no surprise that I named this smooth, pleasing orange drink Foxy Lady.

Carotene, Anyone?
2 large carrots
1 yellow bell pepper
1/2 head of romaine lettuce
2 peaches
2 oranges
I'm comin' to get you!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Phat Tuesday

Mardi Gras Party in My Mouth:
3 c. spinach
2 celery stalks
2 tomatoes
2 carrots
2 apples
1 orange

Monday, February 20, 2012

Simple Formula

When I hop on Reboot Your Life website sometimes I find people posting questions about good recipes.  Since I make up my own recipes to suit my personal tastes I am hesitant to suggest them.  But I think a simple formula could be created for unsure juicers to follow.

A good rule of thumb for healthful juice seems to be 80/20 (ratio of veggies to fruit); that would break down to roughly 1 fruit and 4 veggies.  Although all raw veggies have unique and valuable nutrition, the "leafy green" variety are the ones we hear a lot about.  So, 2 of those veggies should be green.  And because some flavors tend to dominate, (like cabbage or radishes) it's a good idea to have just one of the super flavorful veggies, and the others should be mild, juicy fillers (like tomato, cucumber or celery).

Simply put:
1 fruit for every 4 vegetables
Of those 4 vegetables, 2 greens and 1 "dominating" flavor.

What do you think of this formula?

Try This:
3 radishes
3 c. spinach
2 tomatoes
2 apples

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Chores Juice

Time stops for no man.  So when I feel myself dragging and there are still chores to be done, my wonderful juice comes to the rescue!

Some days I feel experimental about ingredients...and some days I just want it to taste good.  Today I needed refreshment and wanted to drink it down quickly.  I didn't even want to spare the time of sipping an "interesting" flavor slowly.

Guzzle this Goodness:
4 branches of kale
4 stalks of celery
2 carrots
2 oranges, peeled
1 c. red grapes
Fuel for the Fight.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mood Lifter

I once found a box of "Mood Lifter" herbal tea at a store when I used to live in Washington DC.  I enjoyed every relaxing cup of it and even experienced a slight bit of light-headed euphoria when I drank it.  I never saw it stocked in that store again or in any other since then.

Today I spent ninety minutes at the local mall with my children shopping for new school shoes for my nine year old.  No matter what I attempted at keeping a good attitude, I came to a point when I heard myself uttering these words, "This is me, trying to get you new shoes.  We will go to one more store.  If you don't like anything there, we will go home empty handed."

By the time I got home, I needed a mood lifter!  Today's juice can definitely be qualified as one.  Plus, I made it myself and know for sure there are no mysterious or questionable herbal ingredients.

Happy Days:
1 cucumber, peeled
2 celery stalks
3 branches of kale
8 strawberries
1 peach
Slightly easier clean up when you line the pulp catcher with a plastic bag.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Peachy Keen Juice

My nine-year-old helped me come up with this winning combination today.  These flavors work well's not too sweet and there's no strong veggie aftertaste.  I can't tell you how good it feels to drink something so fresh and good.

For a Good Time, Juice:
3 peaches
3/4 c. red grapes
1 cucumber, peeled
3 celery stalks
2 carrots
Shakin' the Peach Tree

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Is Like A Red, Red Juice

Want a sweet recipe for the valentine in your life?  This juice will satisfy a sweet tooth and make your beloved's heart "beet" for you.  Puns aside, the heart really does benefit from beet juice.  From blood cells to blood pressure, one can't go wrong with this beverage!

Love Potion Number 9:
1 beet, stalk and all
1 zucchini unpeeled
3 stalks of celery
1/3 cantaloupe, rind on
1 apple
"I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink..."

Monday, February 13, 2012

Juice, Inc.

Recently Joe Cross, star of his documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead announced a line of bottled juices called "Reboot Your Life".  They are being sold exclusively at Woolworths stores throughout Australia.  Woolworths has supported Joe's independent film endeavors to some extent.

As a dabbler in juicing, I have noticed some skepticism generated by Cross's corporate pursuit.  The basic crux expressed online by his followers can be summed up in the following way:
  • The juice is beneficial because it is so raw and fresh, so that the packaging necessitates some preserving and processing, possibly negating some benefits.
  • The plastic bottles they are sold in may release toxins into the juice.
Part of the charm and conviction of the documentary is the sincerity of Joe Cross as he suffers through 60 days of a juice fast and travels from coast to coast spreading the "good news" of raw juice.  He talks to all sorts of people and treats them with dignity and is living proof of the benefits.  There is no ulterior motive, no product he is trying to sell, no gimmicks.

Juice enthusiasts may be disillusioned as now Cross seems to be trying to profit...people may wonder what his motivations have been all along?  The Breville Juicer prominently featured in documentary did double it's sales since the release of the film.

However, the fact remains that juicers are a big investment; perhaps buying juice by the bottle is a good first step to a hesitant consumer?  Also, the juicing machine is a hassle to clean.  Many people would prefer to guzzle store bought juice rather than dirtying their kitchen.  Finally, the argument is made that isn't a bottle or two of the shelved juice better than a burger and fries at the drive thru?
Cross Crux
I for one am interested to see how sales will do down under, and whether or not it'll be offered in the U.S. in the future.  Personally I'd like to compare the taste to my own fresh juice.

Catch of the Day:
1 peeled cucumber
5 branches of kale
5 stalks of celery
1 apple
8 strawberries

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Nesting and Juicing

My kitchen has been out of commission the last couple days because I have been busily painting the ceiling and walls.  But we are back in business, now!

Juicing is a nice break on my jaw, too.  I'm not sure if my jaw is sore from arching my neck while I painted, or if my TMJ is acting up...but it's nice to not have to chew.

And, since the snow is coming down outside and the fireplace is lit inside, let the nesting continue!  Thirty four weeks and counting.

Today's Recipe:
2 branches of kale
2 stalks of celery
1 cucumber peeled
2 oranges peeled

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Re-Juicing Pulp

I watched a youtube tutorial recently demonstrating how to get more juice from your pulp.  I have seen several sources refer to re-juicing pulp, particularly if you find your pulp is wet, or even just damp.  I find that when I juice carrots or beets the pulp is dry like sawdust.  But when it comes to other veggies (like squash or cucumbers, for example) or any fruits at all, the pulp is much more wet.

Today I followed the exact method from the video, with interesting results.  After juicing the first go around, I made 20 oz of juice and there was a significant amount of pulp.

This pulp had pieces of apple and beet stem in it.
With the machine off, I packed together little balls of pulp and put them in the chute.  Covering the top of hopper with the food pusher, I turned the juicer on the lowest setting.  The juice was dark brown and only amounted to 1 oz.
I went ahead and did the same thing again with the already once re-juiced pulp and it produced one more ounce.  The pulp (after being re-juiced twice) had reduced to 1/3 of it's original amount, and was now much more dry.

All in all, I am glad that I tried this experiment, but I think my juicer is just very efficient.  The woman from the tutorial was able to extract almost 8 additional ounces from her pulp.  Since it is so much work, (and messy work, at that!) I won't be re-juicing my pulp again.

Sweet Beet Juice:
1 beet (stalk and all)
2 celery stalks
1 peeled cucumber
1 apple
2 pears

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Green With Energy

It's been ten days or so since I've juiced with kale.  One really cannot underestimate the power of kale.  There are oh-so many delicious kale recipes that taste great going down and you can really feel your whole body "wake up" as it is absorbed...probably because it's so densely packed with nutrients!

Go, Go, Go:
3 stems of kale
2 celery stalks
1 cucumber
1/3 pineapple
1 orange

Monday, February 6, 2012

Orange You Glad It's Monday?

The citrus I usually have on hand is mandarin cuties because I have little kids.  The size is perfect for a snack and they peel so easily my kids can do it themselves.  But I have to say that juicing is not the best way to use these cuties.  As far as cost effectiveness goes, a bag of navel oranges is a much smarter citrus option for juicing.

I have read that when removing the peel from citrus fruit before juicing, to try to keep on as much of the white membrane that you can, as it is a great source of bioflavonoids which helps the body assimilate and use vitamin C.

An Orange Juice of Sorts:
2 peeled oranges
3 medium carrots
1/3 head of raw cabbage
1/4 peeled lemon
2 radishes
3 stalks of celery

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Separation Anxiety

Every time I make juice, stir it, pour it into a glass, the juice immediately begins to separate.  The lighter-colored juice sinks to the bottom and there is always a top layer.  Much of this is foam, I know, but even when I use less-foamy veggies, there is usually some separation.

My theory is because I usually put at least one apple in my concoctions, that juice must be heavier because it is sweeter, and that is what sinks to the bottom.  I couldn't find any evidence to support this theory, but I did find this time lapse video clip of apple juice separating.

1/2 head romiane lettuce
2 celery stalks
2 radishes
2 apples
1 pear
Separate the men from the boys.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Drinking Squash

For some reason I never considered juicing squash.  But recently someone recommended growing zucchini and summer squash this spring for my future juicing garden.  Hmmm, I thought I had better try it first to see if I really want to grow it!

I showed my husband all our new ingredients when I got home from the store, "I'm going to try juicing summer squash, isn't that weird?"  He replied, "Nothing is weird anymore."

Summer squash juice is a pretty light yellow, very juicy and works well with other fruits and vegetables because it's flavor is subtle.

Mellow Yellow:
2 carrots
1 apple
1/3 pineapple
1 summer squash
1 peeled cucumber
6 very ripe strawberries
I'm just mad about Saffron, she's just mad about me.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Two-Juice Day

A juice-a-day has gone from thrilling to comfortable for me.  I know it's still months away for me too try a juice fast, what with pregnancy and nursing in the foreseeable future.  But I get a lot of pleasure from reading the inspiring posts on the Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead Community Page on Facebook.

There are literally thousands of participants posting about their trials and tribulations, joys and jubilations in their juice fasts.  Recipe sharing, tips, venting, and support make up the bulk of posts and the enthusiasm is infectious.  That is one reason I've been intending on upping my juice intake to twice a day for a couple weeks.

Today my husband and I began the day with a fruity juice.  Our little daughters helped us.  It was lemony, even though I only put 1/2 lemon in.  I'll try a quarter lemon next time.

And in the afternoon I tried juicing zucchini for the first time with great success.  I left the peel on after reading several sources recommending that, and I thought it gave a slightly minty zing to the juice.


Rise and Shine!
Lemony Breakfast:
1/2 lemon
1/3 pineapple
1 apple
8 strawberries
1 cucumber
2 celery stalks

Zucchini Zing:
1 zucchini, peel on
2 celery stalks
8 strawberries
1 apple
1 pear
1/2 head romain lettuce

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Radish Cocktail

Rashishes have a nice bite to them!  Their flavor was showcased when combined with other mild fruits and veggies.  Even the cabbage was trumped by these reds.  My hubby and I enjoyed a glass of this juice cocktail this afternoon...

Sweet and Hot:
3 radishes
1/2 head romaine lettuce
2 carrots
1/3 head of cabbage
4 clementines
1 apple

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Powering Through

Some days I feel great from sun up to sun down with my juice being a highlight of my day.  Other days I just have to power through.  One thing I know on those blah days is that juicing can only help.  Putting all those fresh vegetables and fruit into the machine, and then into my mouth is only positive.

The Sun'll Come Up Tomorrow:
1 grapefruit
1/2 head romaine lettuce
3 celery stalks
2 apples
Just thinkin' about tomorrow clears away the cobwebs
and the sorrow 'til there's none!