Shortly after the New Year there was another scrum at the big box stores as folks hit the doors (no tramplings so far) to buy a juicer. “Fat, Sick, and Almost Dead” swept the nation creating a rush to quit being fat, sick , and almost dead and causing a massive uptick in Breville stocks making Joe Cross inordinately happy. Here the smokin' pit has gone quiet – no smoke from the grill and the fridge is packed with veggies. That doesn't mean there'll be no more articles about barbecue or cooking in general, there will be, but sins of the past are catching up and it is time to make amends.
In fact a juicer sits in the kitchen at this moment. It is a GE juicer, using the term “juicer” loosely, because Breville and others were too expensive. Why jump feet first into juicing until one is sure it is for them? Besides, sooner or later someone is going to see that Breville sitting on the counter taking up space and donate it to Goodwill and then it will be mine. Meanwhile the GE launches berries into the pulp extractor, dribbles juice out a poorly designed spout and all over the counter, and there are huge chunks in the pulp bin. Juicers were not all created equally, either in quality or functionality. Functionally speaking, there are two main types of juicers, masticating (sounds gross, eh?) and centrifugal. Masticating juicers excel at leafy greens, the masticating not so much. On the other hand the centrifugal, such as the GE work great with the firm veggies. No one juicer seems to do well at both.
A simple work around is using the blender – that would be the white thing with the biggish jar on top that came as a wedding present 20 years ago and still has cardboard over the blades. Cut the greens into smaller pieces so the blender can handle them, add a little water to the blending vessel,add the green leafies, berries, or whatever, and hit liquify. Pour the results through a strainer over a bowl, working the pulp with a large spoon to press out the moisture and then one can combine the extraction with the juice from the juicer. In fact, if not sure about the whole juicing thing, it would be wise to start with the blender already in the kitchen, just make sure to cut apples, and other firm vegetables into small pieces so the blender can do its thing.
Now the juice is all in order. The recipes are up to the “juice-arista” and what's on hand – one will soon discover, however, that the juicer is a hungry animal and must be fed copious quantities of veggies for just a bit of juice. There will be more on that later as there may be some help keeping the fridge (and juicer) full on a budget. Economizing is what it is all about. The scraps of veggies and pulp can be used as a base for an excellent broth or soup and in on experiment coming up may star as a burger if all goes well.
Word to the wise, and Joe Cross (the man who gave us “Fat, Sick, and Almost dead”) will back me up on this – TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE GOING ON THIS ADVENTURE. Especially if taking prescription medicines. It is certain that whole plant foods are the way to go, whether raw, cooked, or juiced, but bear in mind one doesn't get all the vitamins one needs from plants alone – another good reason to talk to the doctor or a nutritionist.