Cooking Techniques

(Not) Juicing

Kitchen Notes

Juicing is all the rage. I say (not) juicing, because juicing implies a straining step and it seems silly to me to strain away any bit of it. I’ll leave the health benefits to the experts to debate, but in my experience there’s nothing quite as energizing as a green smoothie. It’s my go-to for breakfast these days. I like to approach juicing like preserving; it’s a wonderful way to enjoy seasonal produce and not let any surplus go to waste.

Basic Ingredients

Juicing is a great place to experiment with the five flavors in mind. For example, teaming leafy greens like baby kale, aruguala or spinach with a sweet ingredient tempers any bitterness. (A green apple, carrots, strawberries or beets are all good candidates.) Likewise, ginger or cayenne add heat and kick to sweeter smoothies. Mild tasting cucumber makes a great juice base. Try avocado and banana for a thicker juice. Citrus is another juicing hero. And don’t forget herbs – they add another dimension.

Easy Steps

I prefer to make my own juice for a bunch of reasons. For starters, many store-bought juices may look “green,” but the first five ingredients are often fruit, which packs a lot of sugar and unwanted calories. The truly green drinks give me sticker shock. Use a blender to make your juice, preferably a Vitamix. That way you can retain the pulp, which is a terrific source of fiber and can help fill you up. Pre-chop the vegetables and keep some of the skin too. Never make more juice than you can drink at one time. The flavors really change if you let the juice sit even for a little while.

Tasty Combinations

  • Cucumber, Celery, Kale, Lemon and Avocado
  • Strawberry, Spinach, Cucumber, Celery
  • Kale, Green Apple, Gooseberry and Ginger
  • Tomato, Lemon and Cucumber

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