I used to be the first person to run screaming from the sound of a carrot being juiced. Growing up, my dad was a very enthusiastic juicer and the sight of a 10 lb bags of carrots entering the house would just make my five-year old heart sink. I knew that we were going to be drinking a lot of straight carrot juice when all I ever really wanted was Oreo cookies.
Now… in 10 lbs of carrots I see 4 cream cheese frosted carrot cakes, and 6 giant jars of juice. There is comfort in the cake and in the juice.
You see a majority of what comes out of my kitchen here on Joy the Baker. What you don’t see, and what I often end up eating from a giant bowl on the couch, is usually of the leafy green or quinoa variety. Sure, I eat popcorn for dinner and sometimes eat cookies for breakfast, but I also take great efforts to balance that with things that aren’t pumped with brown butter (oooh I love brown butter).
We talk about all sorts of things here: nail polish, apple picking, ex-boyfriends. Today it’s juice… because I’m starting to love these brightly colored concoctions as much as I love doughnuts (almost…) (aaallllmost as much…).
Juice is suuuuch a thing right now in Los Angeles. We don’t meet for soy lattes anymore, we meet for spin class and expensive bottled juices. It’s feels equal parts obnoxious and healthful. This post isn’t about juice cleansing. I’ve done that enough times (1) to know that I enjoy lunch, dinner, and late-night handfuls of chocolate chips straight from the bag.
I wanted my juice experience to be less about the fancy glass bottle and more about the juice. Less about the label design, fonts, and wordswordswords. Cold-pressed. Raw. Organic. Unpasturized. Gluten-free. Vegan. Be radiant! Glow! Sparkle! Shine! Drink this green business! Give us $12 for 12 ounces of apple juice. On and on and on… I mostly just wanted my juice bottles to stop bossing me around. Now I have my own juicer and it feels like an adventure.
Having a juicer feels like an absolute luxury. This I understand. I spent about 10 months waxing and waning over the decision to splurge on one.
There are a wide variety of juicers you can buy. Some are totally affordable, some feel like a splurge. I’m not here to tell you what juicer to buy. That would be bossy… and while I am totally bossy, I’m on break for the next fifteen minutes, so you’re in luck.
I have the Hurom Slow Juicer. It’s a masticating juicer.
A masticating juicer is a machine that crushes and presses to coax juice out of produce. This differs from the centrifugal juicer that uses blades and speed to produce juice. If you’re super into juicetown, you should totally research the difference between the two types of machines. Different reviews make different claims about nutrient levels and juice extraction that I am definitely not an expert in.
I do know that love my Slow Juicer because it extracts loads of juice and nutrients, it’s not a noise monster, I can use the dry vegetable pulp for soups and stocks…. and without any sharp parts, it’s relatively easy to clean. Flipping on the switch and dropping fruit into the mellow machine represents the sort of experience I want to have when I make myself a juice… sometimes it’s a simple as defining my experience. I’m soooo into this juicer (and no one has paid me to say so) (!!!!!).
Pictured above are dried soy beans soaking in preparation for juicing. We can juice beans and nuts into milk! That feels like a treat… it does!
I’m weirdly attracted to the color of food that I put in my body. If I can put delicious and healthful MAGENTA food in my body… well I’m just the happiest person in the world.
This is Grapefruit Orange Carrot Ginger and Beet!
(one peeled grapefruit. one peeled orange. four carrots. one inch of ginger. one small beet)
Should you need more chocolate with your magenta food (I understand you), you might make friends with this Chocolate Beet Cake.
(Yes… we can talk about juicing and cake at the same time.)
Let’s talk specifics…
Green Juices Monsters
Apple // I like to use apples to sweeten up juices that have loads of leafy greens. It’s an ode to my sweet tooth.
Cucumber // Full of water, fiber, and chlorophyll! Cucumber adds a clean and fresh flavor to green juices. It tastes like a really healthy spa experience.
Spinach, kale, romaine and chard // These are our heavy hitters. Full of a ridiculous amount of vitamins and minerals (including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, and lutein). You can tell from the intense color that these greens mean business.
Celery and fennel // Soluble sodium and alkalizing (meaning that it helps regulate the body’s Ph balance).
Mint and parsley // I love the bright flavors that both mint and parsley impart on green juices. The mint is bold and fresh… it also has some pretty stellar anti-inflammatory properties. The parsley is packed with iron and b12 and also tastes pretty hardcore in green juice.
Lemon and lime // Every green juice could benefit from a good shot of tart citrus. Lemon and lime add a wonderful kick to the sweetness of apples and heft of the leafy greens.
Grapes, pear, kiwis, and pineapple // These are wonderful sweet fruits that I love to add to juices that have an aggressive amount of greens in them.
Carrot Orange and loads of Ginger. It’s a spicy beast.
(six carrots. two peeled oranges. one inch of ginger.)
Bold and bright! I love thinking about what goodness this sort of color imparts on my body.
Orange Juice Essentials
Carrot // Packed with beta-carotene and vitamin E. It’s sweet and vibrant orange.
Orange and grapefruit // Citrus is exploding this winter! Truckloads of grapefruit from my grandparents’ tree are helping me stave off a nasty cold that’s been knocking at my door. Thank you vitamin C!
Sweet potato // Is it possible that sweet potatoes have more beta-carotene than carrots!? Yes… it’s totally possible. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of folate. The orange-colored juice of sweet potatoes is sweet and has just a hint of starch… it is a potato after all.
Ginger // Ooh spicy ginger root… you speak to my heart. Ginger warms the body, reduces inflammation, and adds an undeniable kick in the pants to fresh juices. I also love fresh grated ginger with hot water and honey.
Turmeric Root // Not just for curry! Turmeric root is a powerhouse of healing for the liver and beyond.
Beets// I’m so drawn that the flare of magenta juice! Good for the bones, hair, skin, blood… and it’s pink. Go.
Nut and Bean Essentials
Soy // Dried soy beans can be soaked overnight then run through a masticating juicer. The result is a beautifully creamy, thick, and very beany tasting fresh soy milk. It’s best with raw honey a few sprinkles of ground cinnamon, and a dash of pure vanilla extract.
Almond // Dreams! Raw almonds are soaked in water for several hours then pressed through a juicer. Who knew almonds could be so creamy!? This milk is so much more flavorful that store-bought and much more clean and fresh. I added a touch of molasses and cinnamon to my almond milk.
Cashew // Once you dip your toe into the cashew milk pool, it’s over. Raw cashews are unstoppable after being soaked and pressed into juice. With honey, cinnamon, and vanilla this milk tastes better than a milkshake. True fact.
Note: Nut and bean milks can also be made in a blender after the nut and/or bean has been soaked overnight. After blending simply strain the pulp away and enjoy the milk. These milks generally last up to three or four days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of things you can juice, it’s just what I’m playing around with in my kitchen.
I’m curious. What’s going on in your kitchen? Are you throwing juice in the mix?