I have friends who swear by juicing, including one who claims he felt almost euphoric for more than a week due to drinking juice breakfasts. I love being able to buy a nice, freshly wrangled juice, especially at our new community co-op where there’s a juice and smoothie bar.
But to make my own juice? That did seem a little high maintenance for me to do consistently.
However, armed with a new juicer—the Tribest Slowstar Vertical Slow Juicer and Mincer—I was ready to give it a try. (Slow-speed juicers are meant to keep down the temperature of the machine while juicing so nutrients aren’t lost to heat.)
Here at Taste for Life, we see lots of juice books and recipes and formulas, and I followed a couple of those to start. I also researched which foods provide juices with the greatest benefit, and which work together (for example, kale juice alone might not cut it for flavor, but a nice fresh apple can add the perfect sweetness to this intensely healthy drink).
Those recipes have been worked out by the experts, and they really can be fantastic. But one of the chores that contributes to all the work of juicing is shopping for the right amount of just the right ingredients, some of which might be a little obscure and others utterly out of season. Since in-season produce is more likely to be green, clean, and fresh, my preference leans in that direction.
So I decided to start experimenting with the items I was getting through my CSA (which runs through the winter with storage crops and tunnel-grown greens and herbs), what was in season at the co-op (apples start in the fall and stay in winter storage, citrus hits its peak during the holidays and thereafter) and, honestly, I was just as happy with what I produced. Try my recipe. The freshest foods available to me included beets, carrots, apples, oranges and lemons, and lots of kale. I like powerful flavors, so lots of ginger and even some garlic might go in there—but only if I feel like it! For added antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3s, I might whisk in some chia seeds . . . unless I want a smoother drink.
I can’t wait to use fresh cucumbers and tomatoes this summer, along with berries and melons and . . . well, still, kale! Does kale ever go out of season?
You still have to prep the foods and clean the machine, but it turns out not to be such a chore after all.
Donna Moxley is the managing editor of Taste for Life.