Monday, April 16, 2012

My first adventures in juicing

My name is Helen, and I'm a juicer.

Last week, motivated by the CSA-box-worth of greens we're getting on a weekly basis (and not finishing), and a few friends' experiences with juicing, I decided to get a juicer on a whim.

I got a Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor, which from my research seemed like the best-performing juicer under $100. But if you really want to fall deep into the world of juicing, juicers and educational materials about said topics, my sister recommends (too late for my purchase, unfortunately) the juice man. Specifically she said that he's "omg the happiest man on the planet," which is high praise coming from her.

Not knowing where to start, I asked friends for recipes, and I made my first drink out of everything left from the prior week's CSA box: beet greens, carrots, chard, kale, red cabbage, romaine.

It looked like sludge and tasted like a 20 oz wheatgrass shot, but I powered through it like a champ.

And you know what? Placebo or no, I swear I felt a euphoric lightness after drinking that stuff. Maybe it was just the relief of being done with the glass, but I wanted to feel that way again. I realize that's the way most people would describe their first taste of a drug -- but if the drug is vegetables, is that so wrong?

Out of curiosity, I started to research various juice cleanses, reasoning that I could make that stuff at home for half the price, if that. I ended up zeroing in on the Blueprint Cleanse, gathering copycat recipes around the web and organizing them here. I find the version of the green juice here too tame, so I'll be fine-tuning it over time.

Some things I've learned so far:

  • Strain that juice. The juicer I bought leaves a lot of pulp and froths up the juice as well, so I strain that all off. Personal preference.
  • Choose sweet apples over tart ones. I've tried Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples so far, and much prefer the sweet to the tart. Tartness masks all other flavors in the drink, and if I'm doing the work to juice all those vegetables, I want to taste it!
  • The colors of fresh juice are wild. Just look at the picture at the top of the post!
  • Fresh carrot juice tastes creamy. So crazy, and so delicious!

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