Juicing 101 or Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Juicing I Learned From the Check Out Guy at Whole Foods.
You know the old saying that amounts to never giving a woman an appliance as a gift? Thankfully it didn’t cross the Atlantic because for Mother’s Day last year my British husband conspired with a friend of mine to get me the best present ever: A Breville Juicer.
It went down like this: A month before Mother’s Day, Nick enlisted my friend Martine’s help in picking out a juicer for me. Martine undertook the research like she was deciphering The Rosetta Stone. It turns out there are a LOT of juicers out there but after a few days she recognized that it basically comes down to whether you want a masticating juicer or a centrifugal juicer. There are advocates for both but after a ton of time on-line, questions for Nick about what kind of juice I like, and visiting Williams-Sonoma an unhealthy amount of times (what number would that be exactly?) Martine decided a centrifugal juicer was the way to go. She emailed Nick her recommendation and justification and he went online to buy it only to find out that the Williams-Sonoma website was out of them. Uh oh. Ever vigilant, Martine went BACK to her neighborhood Williams-Sonoma and had them ship the one from the store directly to New Orleans so that I would wake up to a brand new juicer, and a bag of carrots, on Mother’s Day.
And that my friends, is why your friends and your loved ones should always have one another’s email addresses.
The question that arose, shortly after receiving the juicer, was what exactly I was going to juice. Checking out at the grocery store, or going to the farmer’s market, amounted to me being worse than a new parent.
“Oh, this enormous bag of carrots? Why I have a juicer. Do you juice?”
“Oh, did I forget to tag my golden beets? Don’t worry, I am just going to be juicing them.”
I was SUCH a bore. Until one day someone bit! A guy at whole foods was a bigger juicing bore than I was and he proceeded to give me all of his tips and recipes. Beets? Throw the whole things in there. Stalk and all. No, don’t peel them. Ginger, don’t peel it. You haven’t heard of juicing a jalapeno? What, have you been juicing under a rock? Kale? doesn’t really work without a masticating juicer (SO true). Broccoli – eat the florets and juice the stalks (still haven’t taken his word on that one). Cucumber. Throw some lime in. Apples sweeten things up. He couldn’t stop himself, and I was trying desperately to hang on to every word.
He inspired me, and from that point on I spent weeks experimenting with combos. After a ton of trial (and a fair amount of error) I’ve started generally going back to the staples: Carrots, beets, apples, lemons, limes, oranges, cucumber and ginger.
Other fruits like grapes, pineapple and melon may indeed make great juice, but I love to eat them whole so much that I can’t stand to blend them. Sorry.
And recently I’ve adopted the strategy of making large juices in the morning, sealing leftovers in a Ball jar and then having them as an afternoon snack. Feels very Melanie Griffith in Working Girl (before Sigourney Weaver broke her leg) or maybe Anne Hathaway in Devil Wears Prada (before she discovered Spanx and the color black) but either way you get it, right? I kid you not, a juice in the afternoon is a better pick me up than coffee. HOWEVER, hear this about juicing in advance: The important thing is to drink it within 24 hours or it turns into a vitamin-less, bacteria filled pumpkin. At least that’s what it says on the internet.
Now, my first and best tip to you, before we get into combos, is this: Wash, peel and quarter everything you are going to juice and put it in a metal bowl, then go to the juicer with everything ready to go. It sounds simple but the process of stopping and peeling and washing while also juicing just makes a really big mess, and will make you think juicing is way messier than it really is.
Lastly, instead of just giving you a bunch of recipes I decided I’d give you some of my favorite combos and the yields of some common items as well. I meticulously weighed, juiced, measured, combined and tasted. Use the information below to figure how much of what you can put into your own custom juice. What I find works best is to counter the
healthy earthy flavors of carrots, beets and kale with citrus – like orange, lemon or lime. Also throw in some ginger to make you forget you are drinking a beet.
My favorite combinations (based on making extra):
2 beets – 2 carrots – 2 apples – 1 lemon
3 carrot – approx 1 cup pineapple – 1 blood orange – approx 50g ginger
1 cucumber – 3 apples – half bunch mint – 1 lemon
3 carrots – 2 stalks celery – 2 oranges – 1 apple – approx 50g ginger
3 carrots – 2 apples – 2 oranges – approx 50g ginger (probably my most frequent combo)