Siri... can you make me a green juice?
|"A healthy outside starts from the inside." —Robert Urich|
Around this time of year I begin juicing and then inevitably stop when autumn starts to slip into winter. I just can't maintain the enthusiasm to juice through the cold months, but when the sun starts to rise early, and the birds begin chirping before dawn, my yearning for green juice returns once more.
"Mmmmmm, fresh mowed grass," my husband says as a repetitive quip when I hand him a glass of freshly juiced greens. Jay's sarcasm is not entirely unwarranted. Green juice does indeed taste like summer in a glass. For Jay, drinking green juice is a bit like taking a dose of medicine. Being a former Marine, Jay doesn't need to enjoy the green juice to consume it. He just drinks it like a man. #truegrit
I don't mind the flavor of this slightly spicy tasting green juice. Some over-the-counter green juices are actually high in sugar. To avoid spiking insulin levels I opt to eliminate sweet fruit from the ingredients mix. No apples for moi. If you must add a sweet fruit or vegetable, keep the addition to one serving. Full disclosure, I usually add a small to medium sized carrot.
|These are all the veggies that go into a 16-ounce serving.|
A heavy duty Champion masticating juicer has a permanent home on my kitchen counter, whether I juice regularly or not. The appliance weighs 23 pounds so lugging it around to store it between uses doesn't make sense for me. The beast of an appliance stands as a steadfast reminder of what I should be doing when I'm not. Similarly the weight bench in the garage is a constant visual prompt that I should be exercising when I'm not. I always get back around to using both but staying with a routine is clearly a challenge for me.
The masticating juicer produces more nutritious juice because it does a better job of breaking down the fiber of the vegetables. The Champion both cuts and grinds. The juice produced by a masticating juicer has a longer shelf life of up to 48 hours because the Champion does not build up heat while it does its job. With that being said, I tend not to store the juice. My goal is to consume it within 30 minutes of making it. And, I don't simply drink my juice, I chew it, and swoosh it around in my mouth because many of the enzymes present in the juice are activated by saliva. To learn more, check out this Tedx Talk, Chew Your Juice.
|All set-up and ready to juice.|
|I'm just dropping this image here 'cause the butterfly is pretty and it matches the color theme.|
My sister, Linda, bless her soul, endeavored to write this post before she crossed over into the great unknown. Based upon her notes Linda wanted to remind our dear readers that oxalic acid can be problematic with large doses in the body, so be sure to rotate your juicing greens on a weekly basis. Young vegetables tend to have less oxalic acid than more mature specimens, so baby spinach is a good choice for juicing. Parsley is high is oxalic acid too, so rotate with cilantro if cilantro doesn't taste like soap to you. You can also sub sprouts. Sprouts are easy to grow or check out your local farmers market. There's usually a sprout purveyor with a number of varietals to choose between.
Linda also wanted to discuss antiangiogenic foods, which are thought to lower the risk of cancer. Some antiangiogenic vegetables and rhizomes for juicing include broccoli, carrots, ginger and turmeric, which are included in our recipe. I can hear her saying, "Why would anyone listen to my health advice about preventing cancer, when I died from it?" Still, we must endeavor to do our best with our eating choices and Linda was a huge advocate of consuming raw foods.
There's no two ways about it, making green juice is an investment from buying an expensive juicer, to buying all the produce, and the time it takes to make it. If you plan to juice to solve for your first world problems then choose organic vegetables to avoid ingesting pesticides. In particular spinach, kale and celery hold 2nd, 3rd and 11th place on the Dirty Dozen, a shopper's guide that ranks the most pesticides in produce. Strawberries are #1 on the list, just so ya know.
Are you ready? Let's get to juicing...
|Stir in sea salt and freshly squeezed lemon juice.|
Masticating Juicer, such as Champion fitted with small screen
Ingredients for one 16-ounce Serving:
1/2 of a large cucumber, hothouse cucumber preferred—count on them not to be bitter
2 to 3 stalks celery (1 cup)
1/3 (50g) large daikon radish
2 large leaves kale, red kale preferred—rotate with collards, arugula, bok choy, cabbage, broccoli
1/3 bunch parsley, Italian parsley preferred—alternate with cilantro leaves, if you like
several handfuls of baby spinach—rotate with chard, romaine, red leaf lettuce
1 small nob ginger, no need to peel
1/2 to 1 inch piece tumeric (optional), no need to peel
handful broccoli sprouts (optional)
1 small carrot or small beet (optional), if needed to add a little sweetness
Alternate the firm vegetables with the leafy greens as you press them through the juicer.
the juice of one medium lemon
1/8 to 1/4 tsp good quality sea salt, such as Himalayan
Stir in the freshly squeezed juice and the salt. Drink immediately.
Clean the juicer immediately. Disassemble and rinse before the vegetable particles dry on to the blade. You will save yourself a lot of hassle by taking five minutes to clean up the fibrous veggie mess before getting on with your day. Trust me on this recommendation. I know what I speak of on this matter.
If you use a masticating juicer and you plan to store the juice up to 48 hours before consuming, transfer it to a an air-tight container just big enough to hold the portion. It's important that the juice is exposed to as little air as possible and is kept refrigerated until ready to enjoy.
|These lilies bloom this time of year and can be enjoyed at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.|