Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My newest gizmo ... a juicer

I bought a juicer!

Why did I get a juicer?

Well to be perfectly honest I have an affinity for kitchen gadgets. I like to have them and I like to buy them. I have a food processor,  several blenders (all for different specific things), a popcorn popper and a rice cooker and now a juicer.

Also it seems to me that some very fit and healthy people "juice" and so I thought I should find out more about it.

Step one ... buy a juicer. I got mine a Williams-Sonoma while my husband took my son to Johnny Rockets for a milk shake and fries. You could say we have a very diverse house when it comes to dietary nutrition ideas :-)

Step two realize that you have no idea what to do with said juicer. Luckily it came with a recipe book.

Step three make a juice loosely inspired by the recipe book because you don't actually have the right ingredients.

Here is juice #1 green apple, ginger, carrot, 1/2 lime
That's the juicer on the right Huron slow juicer. And yes that is more ginger than any one person should ever have in their home but I'm working through it actually.

With this juicer you have to cut up the fruits and veggies into smallish pieces.

it spits out the pulp you can see it there in front and the juice goes out the other side.

hmmm orange and frothy???

served cold over crushed ice. Result yummy, sweet and spicy from the ginger.

So my first attempt at a juice was pretty good. A friend had suggested the crushed ice and also to put ginger and mint into everything oh, and drink it as quickly as possible.

Then I found a website with 30 days of juicing. I didn't realize that it was in order leading from fruits to veggie juices and I jumped ahead to a very green juice.

Juice #2 = Green apple, ginger, 1/2 cucumber, 2 stalks of celery. 2 kale leaves and 1/2 lime.  It was very green and not good tasting at all. Salty and I actually didn't drink more than maybe 4 sips.  It was after this error that I realized that on the 30 day juicing list within the 30 days it leads you from fruit based juices into fruit and veggie and then veggie only juices. Well, I went back to the beginning because I clearly wasn't ready for veggie heavy juices.
look at all that kale ...
this is so green ... it took a total leap of faith to drink it and then ... well it was gross. Lesson learned a little kale and celery goes a long way.
A lot of juice recipes were from one spot, Reboot your Life.  So I went to check that site out directly. I actually did sit down and watch this movie although it didn't really resonate with me because I'm not trying to reboot or lose weight. It is a nice story though with some very unhealthy people finding a healthier lifestyle which is good. It also helped me to understand why I would continue juicing which I was quite honestly questioning. I mean if I eat fruit why would I juice. Especially since I don't actually ever drink juice normally since I saw it as empty calories. Some critics of juice point out that you don't get the healthy benefit of the fiber in the fruits and veggies which I agree is true.

They address this in the movie by saying basically you can put a lot more veggies into a juice than you would actually eat so you can increase your overall nutrient intake.

Back to the drawing board. Juice #3 I made with my kids. 2 grapefruits, 1 carrot, 1 green apple. The grapefruit overpowered everything and it just tasted like grapefruit juice.
it is fun to put stuff into the juicer especially in your pajamas. They loved seeing the pulp squeeze out of the juicer and squeeled "eeew, grosss, yuck"

since the kids helped me make it they were eager to try it even with the carrot in there. We put a lot of different things in for fun including kiwi. It was fun.
Juice #4 apple, peach, ginger, mint, spinach, 1 celery, strawberries, lime. Result green juice but sweet the mint and ginger is good.

These juices are filling. People on a juice fast use them to replace food but I am not considering fasting. I think that they do take the place of a snack especially since I tend to eat some of the chopped fruits and veggies as I prep the ingredients. Probably this is a better snack option than say the whoopie pie I ate a few minutes ago.
This may be the wrong picture because the ingredients don't seem to match my list but I remember that the strawberries came through with some pulp which gave the juice a different texture. They are better suited I think to smoothies.

It does take a leap of faith to drink something this color.
So this juice was bigger than the others because I was treating it like a snack - or a small meal than a drink. You can see that I had the full glass and then more in the pitcher. I shared it with my husband who humored me and drank it. He's a good sport. With all the fruits in them they are sweet and what's interesting is you can sort of feel yourself drinking them. I think it's the mint and ginger that does it but similar to how on a very hot day you can feel ice water go all the way into your stomach that's how it was to drink this juice. I can kind of feel it. Weird right?

Juice #5 Green apple, ginger, lemon, mint 1/2 beet, blueberries, carrot.  So beets are a hot item right now in endurance blogging type places. Some crazy folks are out there drinking straight beet juice and just raving about the benefits. Beets are definitely healthy but could I do it? Did I mention I hate beets?
I hate beets. Really I do. since I was a baby and I spit them out at my mom. This was going to be a challenge.

The 1/2 beet make it really really red. I could have used the whole beet but I was chicken.

I could smell the beet but interestingly I couldn't taste it. The flavor was masked by the apple, ginger, lemon and mint.

I managed to drink the whole thing.
So I made this beet juice on Saturday and I did ride 79 miles on the bike the next day and didn't run out of energy. Was it the juice or the indian food I had for dinner... or the milky way candy bar I ate at mile 40? We may never know.

In Closing
So there are some thoughts in closing. It takes some time to do this because you have to prep the veggies and then clean the juicer. This time might be reduced if I had gotten the Breville juicer which takes bigger pieces but the Huron people say more nutrients come through in their slow juicer and while I can't verify that it happens to be what I bought and luckily I don't mind chopping veggies.

Mondays juice. Much less kale and celery. Pineapple and apple to mask the taste.
The reason I personally will continue juice occasionally is to get some of the vitamins into me from these veggies that I normally don't eat  or eat much of like beets, kale, and sweet potatoes. Additionally, the ginger is supposed to be an anti-inflammatory helper and anything I can do to reduce inflammation is good.
This thing was like neon green and had sooo much froth which must be the pineapple. I couldn't taste the kale at all. Green apples work better than red apples for that in my opinion.

Depending on the ingredients the homemade juices can pack a calorie punch because they include all these fruits and veggies but I'm not on a diet so that's okay with me. In fact, I might look to do this after lunch when I normally get hungry and sleepy to help me avoid much worse snacks like all of my kids left over lunches or a milk shake. I also might consider this instead of a Gatorade when hydrating the day before a race.

And that's all my adventures so far in juicing.


  1. I kept thinking to myself, did she make all those juices in one day?

    It's a little inspiring, we have a juicer already that usually only makes an appearance when we have a fruit overload.

  2. I am going to come over for juice. You know I can't stand celery, but love beets! I also love carrot and oranges! Can we spice it up and add a little vodka!!!