Thursday, July 25, 2013

Making Green Juice In The Vitamix

After weeks of touring and eating only in restaurants, it’s really good to be home for a few days.  I’ve been cooking very simply, and my refrigerator is full of all things green and leafy.  And I have been enjoying a daily large dose of fresh vegetable juices, thanks to my trusty Vitamix blender.  This Kale-Cucumber-Ginger-Mint Juice is the perfect way to energize your body, whether or not you need to detox after a month of late night eating and drinking on a tour bus!   

I really missed my Vitamix this last month.  This kick-ass blender immediately became the MVP in my kitchen upon its arrival this spring.  It is a wizard at pureeing soups, transforming them into a puree so silky smooth, you’d swear someone added a cup of cream while you weren’t looking.  But I bought this machine primarily for making vegetable juices, as a way to incorporate more fresh produce into my daily diet. 

For ages I’ve wanted a juicer but couldn’t justify the counter space for another appliance.  However, after doing some research online, I found that you could get similar results by blending fruits and vegetables with a little water and ice in the ultra-powerful Vitamix.  The motor in this machine is a force to be reckoned with, capable of pulverizing anything to a liquid, and that was enough to convince me to splurge. 

Look at that color!  How could it not be great for you?  I swear I can feel my cells perking up and becoming energized by all the phytonutrients whenever I drink this vibrant green concoction.

Kale is a nutritional powerhouse while the cucumber is very refreshing. I usually add celery and ginger to this juice, though neither ingredient made it to today’s photo shoot, but I love the spicy kick that the fresh ginger adds.  Tart lime juice adds brightness while the sweetness of the apple rounds everything out.

I usually drink this straight from the blender.  If you prefer your juice pulp-free, you can strain the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve or cheesecloth.  I even found one blog post that suggested straining your juice through a clean pair of tights to get the consistency as smooth as possible!  (I’m not sure about that.)

A daily large dose of this kale-cucumber juice is helping me transition from nutritionally questionable tour-eating to healthy home-eating. It will soon be time to hit the road again, but for now I am thoroughly happy to drink my greens while I can.

One Year Ago: Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee
Two Years Ago: Olive Oil Granola
Three Years Ago: Quick Zucchini Saute
Four Years Ago: Smoky Guacamole

Straining the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve produces a very pure juice, or you can drink all the pulp and get the benefits of the additional fiber if you don’t feel like taking that extra step of sieving.  I’ve also tried this in a regular blender with fairly good results, though I usually need to add extra water to get the right smooth texture.

2 cups filtered water
3 cups kale leaves, washed and stems removed
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
A 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large handful of fresh mint leaves
The juice of half a lime
Ice cubes

Add all the ingredients to your blender, starting with the water and softest ingredients first.  Add 1 cup of ice cubes, cover tightly and puree until thoroughly liquified. 

This makes approximately 40 ounces unfiltered juice, or about 24 ounces if you take the time to strain it.  Drink it all.  Your body will thank you.

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