Posts tagged with Juice

Cooking away the CSA, week 14: The juice on dealing with abundance

Green juice: My produce secret weapon.

Green juice: My produce secret weapon. by Sarah Henning

We’re officially halfway through the CSA season, and therefore we’ve turned a corner where tomatoes are the norm, local sweet corn makes its brief appearance and basil goes with every meal.

Abundance is coming.

And it is both amazing and amazingly rough.

Having plenty is a fabulous feeling, but the worry of having it all go bad before you can use it all? As horrible as plenty is wonderful.

Some people deal with abundance by canning. The lovely Megan Stuke is fabulous at this. Me? I’m fairly certain I’ll give myself botulism if I so much as try canning. I’ve been trying to talk myself into trying it for years. Yet the fear wins out.

Here’s what I do instead with my abundance: Freeze it, dehydrate it or juice it.

Obviously, freezing it is the most accessible option. You just freeze something (like, say, cut-up local peaches) on a cookie tray lined with parchment, and when they’re nice and solid, transfer them to a plastic bag, remove the air and you’re done. This works with almost anything.

I’m lucky enough to have a dehydrator, and I often use it to dry out slices from local apples or pears, make zucchini or kale chips or dry out herbs like rosemary and basil.

But here’s the last abundance-eater, juicing: You get to enjoy you abundance IN THE NOW.

If you do it right.

Because here’s the thing. Last week, I juiced both my chard and my yellow squash received from our Rolling Prairie CSA pickup. Those probably sound like the worst things in the world to juice. Probably.

But: If you can train yourself to make vegetable juice, you can not only knock out your abundances, you can basically have a homemade vitamin shot in a pint glass.

Because all of this:

An example of green juice veggies (pre-juicing, of course).

An example of green juice veggies (pre-juicing, of course). by Sarah Henning

Can become this:

The spoils of the previous vegetables.

The spoils of the previous vegetables. by Sarah Henning

And, if you leave out the fruit, or at least keep it very minimal, like a tart apple or two, you won’t be sugaring up your system. I used to always put an apple or pear in my juices, but I’ve trained myself to just spice it up with lemon or lime juice to cut some of the “green” flavor. I also add ginger or garlic to make it taste different. And before you turn your nose up at garlic: If you juice some basil with it and add lemon, your juice might actually taste like pesto, which isn’t as bad as it sounds.

Now, a word about fiber: Yes, fiber is great for you. Eat it. But, no, your veggie juice will not have fiber. Make sure you get it, but, yes, you’ll be losing some of it here. I’m not a doctor, but personally, I think that’s fine as long as your juice isn’t some pear-apple-pineapple fruit bomb, that, while delicious, is pure sugar and vitamins. I’m no doctor, so that’s all I’m going to say about that (and what I’ve said is my opinion).

So, if you’re brave enough to try vegetable juice and own a juicer or have access to it, here’s a juice I made this week that I recommend as you try. You may find it disgusting, or you may end up craving it. But the more you drink, the cleaner your fridge will be, and the more food you will have eaten that didn’t go bad or get saved for later.

Summer Strong Green Juice

1 bunch kale, Swiss chard or romaine

1 head celery

2 cucumbers, zucchini or yellow squash (or a mix)

1 handful basil

1-2 carrots (if you want it sweeter)

1 clove garlic or 1 thumb ginger (if you’re brave!)

1 or 2 hefty squeezes of lemon (or run 1 to 2 lemons sans peel and pith through juicer)

Run ingredients through juicer. Guzzle.

Note: I also like to mix in my liquid probiotic. Because it’s sour, it goes well and helps the lemon to “cut” the green flavor.

So, what’d we get this week from Rolling Prairie? Kale, potatoes, green beans, onions, squash, broccoli, corn on the cob.


A drink of this per day can help keep the flu away

It's mean, it's green, it's the flu's smelly, savory nightmare.

It's mean, it's green, it's the flu's smelly, savory nightmare. by Sarah Henning

I’m probably jinxing myself by writing this column, but: So far, I’ve avoided the flu that has claimed so many of my friends and family this year.

Of course, the second after this appears in front of other eyeballs, I’ll probably come down with the dreaded illness, but until that happens, I’ll share my secret. Of course, I’m careful to wash my hands and not touch my face, and I’ve probably just gotten lucky, too, but I really do think I have a kitchen remedy that’s helped me stay in the clear.

Any night I’ve come home not feeling 100 percent, or just whenever I’ve had the time, I’ve made this green juice and chugged it down. It contains several illness-fighting ingredients: kale for vitamin A and overall leafy green awesomeness, cucumber and celery for extra special hydration, garlic (aka the inflammation killer also known as Italian penicillin), lemon for a bit of vitamin C, and the added benefit of a probiotic to keep the gut flora healthy.

Now, it’s not the tastiest juice ever (you might have guessed that already), but it’s actually kind of addictive. The garlic, lemon and sour probiotic help cut the “green” flavor and leave you with a savory drink that hits the right notes. You may want to add extra lemon or probiotic at first, or juice in some carrots or an apple or two to help with the flavor, but if you can go with the original, do. I actually like to savor it over 10 minutes or so, but there’s nothing wrong with splitting this serving in two, giving the other half to your significant other and seeing who can down it the fastest.

Don’t have a juicer? You can try chopping up and adding the same ingredients (though maybe not the full amount) to your blender with enough water to get it going and make an unsweetened green smoothie. You’ll get the added benefit of fiber, even if you can’t get in a full head of kale or celery in a single serving.

If I do end up with the flu just for having the audacity to say this juice helped me through the season, I’ll take the punishment fate deals out, just so that you all my have another secret weapon in your arsenals. Clearly, I'll do anything for you people. Now, bottoms up!

Flu Shot Green Juice

1 head celery, base removed

1 head kale

1 cucumber

2 cloves garlic

1 lemon, rind removed

1 tablespoon (or more) liquid probiotic (I use coconut kefir)

Run all ingredients except the probiotic through a juicer. Stir in the probiotic. Chug it down (serves 1 to 2)

Alternatives: use 1-inch piece of fresh, peeled ginger instead of garlic. Add an apple or a couple of carrots for sweetness.


A healthy start to the new year

Have you resolved to be healthier in the new year? Maybe to start working out or sneak in a few more fruits and vegetables into your diet?

Well, I've got a two-part inspiration kick-starter this morning for those of you trying to go for health in the New Year.

The first is a really inspiring video from my second favorite Spanish athlete, Kilian Jornet. (My very favorite is Rafael Nadal — I've been following him since he was 16, so don't give my guff about just liking him for the biceps.) Kilian is an ultrarunner/super athlete who is as likely to run 100 miles as he is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or ski down some of the world's steepest slopes. He made this joyful video to welcome in 2012, and it's a pretty inspiring 3 minutes.

The second bit of inspiration is something for those of you looking to eat more fruits and veggies in 2012. As you can tell from this blog, I'm a huge fan of fruits and veggies, and I'm about as likely to eat them in a salad as I am in a liquid form.

So, for any of you who might have a juicer stored away somewhere, get it out, dust it off and check out this juicy recipe we made on New Year's Day (pictured above). It's not the prettiest juice out there (Is it green? Is it red?), but it's tasty, healthy and packed full of some really beneficial fruits and veggies.

Green Juice Glass of Red

1 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 large pomegranate)

4 stems kale (I used dinosaur kale)

1 head celery

2 small apples, cored

Run all through the juicer. Serves 1. Enjoy!