Saturday, June 6, 2015

My Green Juice!!

I have told you all before how much I love green juice. I did a short juice fast early last year which really showed me just how great homemade juice can taste. I was able to complete a 30 day juice fast in April of this year and still continue to keep green juices as a regular part of my diet. Or, I should say I try to. After those 30 days I needed a break. It is a lot of work making enough juice to keep going every day. Now I tend to make a batch about once a week.

I used to have the centrifugal type juice with the spinning blade like this. After a few years when it started to run poorly, I decided to try the "masticating" style juicer. I have heard the quality of the juice is better with this style and you get more juice out of the veggies too. I found the Omega Juicer at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and with a 20% coupon, I got it for around $200.
I really LOVE this juicer. It takes slightly more time to make the juice, but the quality is far better and it lasts longer. I can have juice for 3 to 4 days and it still bright green and tastes great. I just made this batch this morning and from start (unpacking all the veggies and starting to wash them) to finish (washing the juicer parts and setting them aside to dry) was just under an hour total.

I make a big batch which lasts me 3 days (day #1 is the day I made it) and yields about 16 cups

Shopping Tips:
Lacinato Kale is the best kind of kale for juicing
I usually get a couple extra apples and one or two extra cucumbers just in case any of the greens are a little bitter. Once the juice is made I give it a taste to see if I need a little extra sweetness of apple. More cucumber helps to dilute the strong green flavors. 

So here is my recipe:
Ingredients:

2 bunches lacinato kale
2 bunches spinach
5 cucumbers, medium
6 to 8 apples, mainly green, sometimes a mix of green and fuji
1/2 bunch celery
1 head romaine lettuce

First take all the produce out and start washing. I start with the greens. I have a two basin sink so I start rinsing on one side and then place the clean produce on the other side as I work. 
Working through the kale, romaine, spinach and celery. I then just leave it all in the sink. 
This is the change from my older juicer, having to cut up all the apples and cucumber so the pieces fit down the feed shoot.  This is the part that takes a little more time with this kind of juicer, I used to be able to fit an entire apple down the Breville feed shoot.  Do all this prep before you start, so you can easily grab the next vegetable you need and keep moving.
Once everything is prepped, start juicing. This juicer has two containers, one for the juice to drip down into and one for all the pulp. We compost here so I also make sure I have an empty compost bin ready. 
When making a batch this big you will need to stop the juicer a few times to empty both containers. I have a small glass ready to slide underneath to catch the drips when I pull the juice container out. 
I pour the juice into my blender because it is the biggest container I have (8cups). Each time you empty the juice bin, it may taste different depending on which vegetables and fruits you just did. So sometimes it will be sweeter or grassier. It is helpful to blend them all together before you start pouring into smaller containers.  And I pour the juice through a mesh strainer to get rid of any pulp that came out of the juicer. This is entirely optional.
Using the blender as a first step, also makes pouring into smaller containers easier because of the spout.  

A handy tip for what order to juice your vegetables in.....
I always start with the cucumbers. They have a lot of water in them and the pulp can tend to get backed up into your feed tube like this....
When that happens, just take a piece of leafy kale and put it down the feed tube. The leaves will pull that cucumber pulp right down. So I go back and forth between the cucumbers/apples and all the leafy greens. 

This batch gave me 16 cups of juice.
This might be too much for you to drink in 3 days. And 3 days is about all you want this to sit in your fridge. If so, cut the recipe in half. I always end up sharing some with my husband and friends, so this quantity works great for me.

Always store the juice in glass containers with air tight lids. Plastic will work ok too, especially if that is all you have, but don't let it sit too long. I have this one plastic container on the right that will end up being what I drink today, or I will move it into a glass jar. 

Enjoy!

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