If you really love those juice blend drinks in your grocer’s fridge, then you’ll love the product of juicing. Ever since my sister and her boyfriend introduced us to juicing (by putting an entire watermelon through a juicer) I have wanted to try my own hand at it. I mean, what a better way to get veggies into your diet than by disguising them in juice!? Plus, I’ve had this weird relationship with beets and had this strange temptation to juice them. Probably because of their gorgeous reddish-purple color. My mother has had this nice Bella juicer sitting on her kitchen counter for probably close to a year and she’s only used it a few times, so I decided to finally indulge myself, buy some beets and get to juicing!
First step, of course, is to gather whatever produce you think will make an appetizing drink. There are a few things you shouldn’t juice, but for the most part any veggie or fruit is fair game. I chose to do an apple carrot juice and a strawberry beet combination. I’m a big fan of green juice recipes too, but didn’t think to grab any leafy greens while I was at the store (my mind was set on beets).
Prep your veggies and fruit by removing anything you don’t want to juice and cutting them into pieces that your juicer can manage. I removed the carrot greens and cored the apples to remove the seeds and stems. I chose not to juice the beet greens or the strawberry leaves, but you certainly can leave them in if you want. The wonderful thing about using an electric juicer is that the pulp is automatically removed and separated into a side container, so if you want you can be lazy and just throw them all in you really want. Just be sure to remove anything from your fruit and veggies that you don’t want in your pulp, especially if you plan to reuse it.
I started by juicing 3 gala apples that I cut into quarters and 8 medium-ish carrots. I ended up with about 14 oz of juice that was slightly sweet thanks to the apples, but had a definite carrot taste and thick texture.
For the beet-strawberry juice I used two large beets that I cut into 16 pieces and about 20 strawberries that I just popped into the juicer. I was not disappointed by the stunning purple beet juice and the strawberry juice complimented it perfectly. The juice mixture ended up frothy and a bit tart, which I didn’t mind (especially for cooking), but you may need to add some stevia or agave (or your favorite sweetener) to make this more pleasing for kids. The beet-strawberry juice made more than I expected and I ended up with about 22 oz. Of the two juices I made though, the carrot-apple juice was the favorite and was gone the next day!
After each mixture, make sure you clean out your pulp container and juicer or you’ll get remnants from your previous juicing in your new mixture. I store my pulp in freezer bags so I can freeze it and use it later, but today I was inspired by the strawberry seeds in my pulp to make a jelly, which you’ll be able to read about in my next post.
If you are turned off by the idea of juicing a veggie, let me be the one of many who will tell you that if done correctly you won’t even realize you’re drinking a beet or carrot! Plus, there are so many health benefits to drinking beet or carrot juice that your doctor or nutritionist, best friend or midwife, will be happy to hear you decided to try something new. Not to mention that once you start juicing it really is quite addicting. I don’t know about you, but I love making weird flavor combinations that actually taste amazing (the same thing goes for baking) so you’ll probably see a lot more juicing recipes here in the future.