I love smoothies. I really do. I tend to have one every day for breakfast. They are an easy way to get in tons of fruits and veggies first thing in the morning and when I add in all my extras like protein powder, almond milk, chia seeds and more, they are very filling and keep me going til lunch.
However, sometimes I’m looking for something that will give me a big punch of nutrition without filling me up. This usually happens in the afternoon – my energy levels are low and I need a little boost. This is where juice enters! And I’m not talking the kind of juice you buy in the supermarket that is basically just sugar water. I’m talking about home made juice. (No – I’m not exaggerating over store bought juice – the kind in bottles and the refridgerated brands like Tropicana too. When they are made, they are heated so high during the pasteurization process that basically all flavour and nutritional value are lost. Manufacturers then add in “natural flavour” and vitamin C. Click here for more info. I absolutely refuse to buy store bought juice. My kids do have it on occasion when we are at someone’s house, but NEVER at home. We just don’t buy it!)
OK – so back to juice making – I really want a juicer and it is on the wish list of things I want for my kitchen. Until then, my trusty Vitamix is my juicer!
When making juice, it is best to use a whole bunch of veggies and just enough fruit to make it palatable. When you make juice, you remove the fibre from the fruits and veggies. This is no big deal – I know I get tons of fibre throughout my day. However, when you eat fruit, the fibre in them helps to balance out the sugar, which prevents spikes in your blood sugar level. That’s why I just put a bit of fruit in my juices, and mainly concentrate on the veggies. You can never get enough veggies in your diet!
Here’s a picture of the veggies and fruit I used in today’s juice – a big chunk of cabbage, 5 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, 1 apple, 1 small cucumber, half a lemon and a chunk of ginger.
I began the process by putting a bit of water in the blender to get things going – perhaps a scant 1/4 cup. Then I added the celery and cucumber and blended til smooth. Then I added each item and blended. It’s easier to add things slowly then trying to cram everything in there at once.
Once everything was blended and smooth, I strained the mixture. We have a very fine sieve that I use for this process. You could also use a nut milk bag, cheesecloth, or even an old t-shirt! I held the sieve over a bowl and poured the mixture in. Then I pressed it down using a spoon to fully get all the juice out. Here’s what that looks like:
Isn’t it such a beautiful purple color? The cabbage really makes it so pretty! Once I was done straining, I poured the delicious juice into a glass. Here is the final product:
The whole process probably took me 15 minutes. The most time consuming part is pressing down the mixture with a spoon to get all the juice out. I managed to do this with my toddler grabbing on to my leg and my 4 year old talking my head off about Lego. A bonus with using the Vitamix for juicing is that the clean up is super quick. (I’ve heard the conventional juicers are a pain to clean).
I thought the final product was delicious. I might have added a bit more ginger, but otherwise the combination of veggies with the apple was perfect. I should add that my 4 year old wouldn’t drink it, but my 1 year old loved it. Perhaps my four year old would have liked it with less ginger and another apple!
Have you ever used your blender to make juice? Also, do you have any favorite juice combinations?