Adventures in Juicing: Day 1

I am going to venture to say that I would probably be okay drinking juice for the rest of my life. Chewing is totally overrated.

Since we moved to California and met a handful of colleagues who have juicers, we’ve been doing some research. If you are considering the whole juicing thing, there’s a lot to consider. I’ll let the juicing-specific websites like Discount Juicers help you decide which one to get. Amazon.com also has a ton of reviews on damn near every kind of juicer out there. And believe me, there is a lot of information about which kind to get. Do your research.

We watched countless YouTube videos demonstrating the differences in yield (how much juice it makes), pulp (the dryer the better bc then you know you’re getting more juice), and what kind of juicers are better for different kinds of juicing. We decided to get the Omega VRT350 HD. It’s self-feeding, and a slow juicer, which allows us to juice the leafy green vegetables as well as hard produce like carrots and apples. We were torn between this one and the J8006, and went with the VRT350HD because it takes up less counter space.

Can you hear the angels singing? I can. 

So what is the motivation for all this juicing shenanigans? 

I’m not sure where my sudden obsession started. I think part of it was listening to a couple of instructors talk about juicing, or maybe it was this video. Then I started researching. THEN I was looking for a good documentary to put me to sleep and found Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It sounded like something along the lines of Super Size Me, but in a healthy way. Turns out, it’s all about juicing. I had no idea!

So we watch the documentary and the boy is all “you didn’t need to watch that to make me want to get this juicer, I like juice, let’s do this.”

And so, the research was stepped up a bit. I checked out the Reboot program that spawned off of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. We decided we want to do a 10-day juice fast, and then continue to juice daily as a supplement to our regular meals. But, realistically, this week in particular, we have an Ugly Sweater party on Friday and the work holiday party next Monday. So once we get through that, we’ll start the fast. This gives us time to sort out some recipes, figure out how much produce we can buy at one time without it going bad, and get an idea of how much all this produce will cost.

This is just the beginning. We’ll likely start the juice fast next Thursday. Between now and then, I’ll post recipes and pics and all that fun stuff. And if you have questions along the way, feel free to ask! Sweet!

After work yesterday, we went to Plowboys Market, a local produce shop in Murrieta, California. For those of you from Chicago, it is very much like Stanley’s Fruits and Vegetables on Elston Avenue.

For $32 and change, we got the following:

  • 2 heads of celery (two big bunches of stalks, not sure if they’re actually called “heads” or not)
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 3 bunches of kale
  • 1 bunch of green chard
  • 2 bags of grapes
  • 4 cucumbers
  • 1 bag of cranberries
  • 5 kiwis
  • 7 granny smith apples
  • 4 lemons
  • 5 lbs of carrots
  • 9 oranges
  • 16 roma tomatoes
  • 4 boxes of blackberries

For our first juice, we decided to do a fruit blend.

Fruit Juice #1

Fruit Juice #1 – Yet to be named

We set aside the fruit above. Since we didn’t know how much juice we’d get out of everything, we ended up pulling out more than we actually used.

What you’ll need, to fill up the 32 ounce juice pitcher:

  • 2 boxes of blackberries
  • 1/2 bag of cranberries
  • 1/2 bag of grapes
  • 2 apples
  • 1 kiwi

Be sure to alternate soft fruit and hard fruit. Do a handful of grapes, then a piece of apple. Makes two 16-ounce servings. Surprisingly, I could really taste the kiwi out of all of it. So good. And the cranberries weren’t bitter at all.

Really dry pulp = really juicy juice. :)

Our particular juicer has two different screens you can use, one with small holes and one with larger holes. We opted to try the one with the larger holes first, so we could see the consistency of the juice, and determine if it was too pulpy or too fine for us. It was kind of a mix between juice and a smoothie-like thickness. A little bit more pulp than “really pulpy” OJ, but not quite as thick as a smoothie. But it was refreshing and delicious.Of course we’re on a roll so we kept going. For the next juice we did a little fruit and vegetable combo.

Fruit and Veggie #1

Green. And delicious. Carrots didn’t make it in the picture.
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1.5 cups of baby carrots (we wanted to use these up before we got into the 5 lb bag of whole carrots)
  • 1-inch slice of ginger

The boy wasn’t too crazy about this one. I thought it was absolutely delightful, but for the vegetable juices like this one, I think I’ll use the finer screen to keep some of the pulp out.

And then, the boy loving V8 as much as he does, we opted to try an all-vegetable juice.

Vegetable Juice #1 (aka “Swamp Water”)

Our first attempt at something like V8
  • 7 Roma tomatoes (we added one more at the end)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 jalapeno, cut in half, seeds removed (left the ribs)
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 4 kale leaves

The boy was weary of the leafy greens, but he really enjoyed this one. “The jalapeno saved it,” he says. This would make for a great Bloody Mary Mix. Once we were done juicing the vegetables, the juice was quite thick. I thinned mine out with a bit of water. The boy let his sit and he took his time with it, and by the time he was about halfway through, sipping casually, it had thinned itself out. I’m not sure how that happened, but it’s not like it separated and all the pulp was at the top or something, but it just… calmed down, or something.

 

Lessons Learned

  • The Roma tomatoes didn’t juice very well. A friend said to try green tomatoes.
  • We had to disassemble the juicer in the middle of the Swamp Water juicing. To be fair, we didn’t clean the basket at all during the first juicing session. We did three full pitchers of juice without cleaning the screen.
  • The screen with the bigger holes makes very thick, pulpy juice. Which, for fruit juice and vegetable juice, at least for my taste, is great. For the fruit and veggie combos, I’ll probably use the screen with the smaller holes.
  • Jalpeno + all things vegetable juice = amazing.
  • Swamp Water is one of the juices I’ll crave. It’s so savory and it’s quite filling.
  • Fruit juice is going to be dangerous, I think, only because it’s so freaking delicious. I need to make sure I do a nice balance of fruit juices and vegetable juices. Granted, it’s not like I’m juicing poptarts and adding sugar cubes to the mix, but I know I need to watch the all-fruit juice combos.
  • In the instance of the Swamp Water, I can drink that one a bit more casually, as time tends to calm that juice down so it’s not so thick. Is there a term for this?

Looking forward to trying out some different combinations, combing Google for recipes, and easing our way into this new world.

 

Do any of you juice? Any favorite recipes?

  • http://twitter.com/skydivepro Skydive Professional

    “In the instance of the Swamp Water, I can drink that one a bit more casually, as time
    tends to calm that one down so it’s not so think. Is there a term for this?”

    You gotta let that viscosity mellow.

    vis·cos·i·ty/ˌviˈskäsitē/
    Noun:The state of being thick, sticky, and semifluid in consistency, due to internal friction.A quantity expressing the magnitude of such friction, as measured by the force per unit area resisting a flow in which parallel layers…

  • Pingback: Our Local Market | Sydney: Unfiltered.()