Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Secret of Spinach Juice

Most of the cooking I do for this blog is fueled by fruit and vegetable juices made before the cooking begins. My routine on days devoted to blogging is pretty much wake up, work on computer elements of blog, do dishes, make juice, wash juicer, drink juice while researching cooking idea, then finally cook + shoot. However, I had not been planning on sharing my juice recipes with y'all because there are just so many juice recipes out there. But that was before I learned the secret of spinach juice. 

I was always wary of leafy greens in my juices. I love cucumber, or beet, or carrot juice, but leafy green juice just did not sound like something I would like. After all, it's only been in recent years that I even began to eat leafy greens. And then one day I was making a apple-beet-carrot juice and I noticed a half eaten container of spinach in the fridge, so I decided to be brave and add just a little bit. Nervously, I added a small handful. A trickle of deep green flowed out of my juicer. I mixed it in. I tasted. 
The spinach didn't change the taste of the juice!

I tasted again, just in case. Nope. No spinach flavor at all. I turned my juicer back on and added another, largee handful. A bigger flow of deep green issued from my juice spout. I mixed again, tasted again. Still no spinach taste. 

I ended up adding the whole half container of spinach to my juice. And I couldn't taste it at all.
I was officially in spinach juice heaven.

This is about how much spinach I usually add. Two heaping, loosely packed, cups worth. And aside from turning lighter colored juices green, I can't tell a difference in flavor at all. I add this much spinach to all different kinds of juice now. 

Spinach juice is great, it's loaded with Vitamins A and K, B1, and B2, among other great health benefits. A big glass of this juice makes me feel way better than a cup of coffee does.

Also, it makes an awesome rainbow in your juicer prior to mixing. I recently read about using blenders to make juices, then straining them through a fine mesh sieve, and if you have a strong blender I think that could work for this juice, however in all the tutorials I have seen the person blending their juice has a blender worth more than my juicer, so I don't know how an average blender will hold up to raw beet.

Gingery Fruit and Veg Delight
One of my favorite juices to enjoy around mid morning. Makes two large servings. Sometimes I have the second one in the midafternoon as a pick-me-up, sometimes I give it to S, who isn't as convinced of the beauty of juicing as I am, but enjoys it if I make it for him.

1 Small or 1/2 Large Beet
2 Medium Carrots
1/2 Pineapple
3 Pears
2 Lemons
2-3 Inches Ginger Root
2 Heaping Cups Spinach

Jubilee your lemons by cutting off either end, then standing them up on a flat side and cutting away the rind. It is ok to leave behind some white flesh. 

Cut your pineapple into spears. I do this by cutting off the top and bottom of my pineapple, standing it up, and cutting away the spiny outside, much like jubileeing the lemon. 

Cut all other fruit to size for your juicer or blender. I cut my hard things like the beets and ginger fairly small, as I have a Dash Slow Juicer with a spinning compression rib, and I worry about its strength. 

Begin juicing, I like to alternate between hard and juicy fruits, to keep the liquid flowing through the juicer at a good rate. I add my spinach in the middle, and periodically taste my juice to make sure it's coming together well. For instance, originally I was only going to call for one lemon, but after tasting it, I added a second lemon. When adding spinach, I bunch mine together into a fairly compressed handful, I find this helps my juicer force optimal amounts of juice out of it, but you may not need to do this with all juicer types. 
Once everything is juiced give it a little mix, then if you want to be like me, pop the whole container of juice in the fridge or freezer while you wash the juicer components. 

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