Saturday, February 1, 2014

Juicing! Three Recipes for Tasty Juices

Do you have a juicer? What do you put in it?

I use my juicer a lot for tomatoes. but now that the tomato season is over, there are other things to be juiced. I'll admit that one of my favorites is pineapple juice, but that doesn't mean I can't play around a little bit, right?

Pink Pineapple Thing
Makes about 3 cups

Pineapples are cheap right now, with piles of them at the grocery store. It's tempting to bring home a few extras. And then ... juice!

The pink color is from fresh cranberries, enjoying their short season (you could also use frozen berries, if you bought extra and froze them). The cranberries add their tartness, which is nicely balanced by the pineapple and the apple.

While the color is primarily from the cranberries, the flavor is mostly from the pineapple, but at the same time the color fools you momentarily, evoking watermelon before the pineapple says hello to your taste buds.

The nice thing about juicing a pineapple is that you don't need to completely peel it, and you don't have to core it at all. I remove most of tough skin, but I don't worry about getting all the eyes removed, as I would if I was serving slices. And I leave the core in.

Got leftovers? While this is intended as a morning juice or afternoon pick-me-up, it would be completely at home in a cocktail glass.

1 pineapple
12 ounces fresh cranberries
1 apple

Prep the fruit according to your juicer manufacturer's directions, and juice all of the fruits. Serve chilled.

Very Orange Thing
Makes about 1 pint

I usually juice oranges with a squeezer or a reamer, but I decided that since I was tormenting fruits and vegetables, anyway, it made sense to use the electric juicer, and I was very pleased with the results.

I peeled two of the oranges to get eliminate the bitter pith, but I left one unpeeled. This allowed the orange oil from the peel to make its way into the juice.

Meanwhile, carrots added sweetness and body to the drink, and making it heartier than a citrus-only beverage.

Ginger is a very strong flavor, so don't get carried away with it. If you don't get enough ginger flavor, you can add more, but once it's there, you can't take it out. I wanted the ginger to be a back note in this, so I was conservative.

Interestingly, I liked this better after it rested for a while in the refrigerator and the flavors mingled a little, but it was also very good when I first made it.

6 carrots, scrubbed or peeled
3 oranges, 1 unpeeled
1 piece of ginger, about 1/8 inch thick, 1/2 to 3/4 inch diameter

Prep the fruit according to your juicer manufacturer's directions, and juice all of the fruits. Serve chilled.

Green Thing
Makes about 3 cups

I'm not really into the super-green juices that taste like fresh lawn, but that doesn't mean I don't like green. This drink is a definitely green, and very refreshing. You can peel the cucumber, or not, depending on your preference and the type of cucumber you buy. If you don't peel the cucumber, the drink will be much more green than if you don't peel.

The lemon makes an appearance here to add some brightness, and this is the only one of the juices where I thought salt was needed. Without it, the cucumber flavor got lost and the juice tasted flat. A small pinch of salt made a huge difference.

I expected the fennel flavor to be stronger than it was. The predominant flavor here is the cucumber, with a little brightness from the lemon and a mingle of the rest of the other vegetables. If you're into garnishes, a dollop of Greek-style yogurt would be very appropriate here, with a fennel-frond stalk or a celery stalk as a stir-stick. Which makes a lot of sense, since my inspiration for this juice was tziatziki sauce.

2 large cucumbers
1 bulb fennel
1/4 lemon, peeled
1 stalk celery
1/4 green bell pepper
Pinch of salt.

Prep the vegetables according to your juicer manufacturer's directions, and juice all of the vegetables. Serve chilled.