Super Juice!

Super Juice

Introducing, Super Juice!

I’ve finally concocted a repeatable, yummy juice for my Breville Juice Fountain Plus. It’s meant to be a “healthy” juice, no doubt, but it manages to be pretty darn tasty, too.

Things to note:

  • I prefer to peel all non-organic fruits and veggies (as applicable).
  • I peel beets no matter what. They taste much less earthy when peeled first!
  • Since lemons are kind of a pain to peel, often I’ll leave them out of the juicer and just use my handheld lemon juicer for the lemon.
  • Zucchini can be substituted for cucumber. I’ve also added broccoli stems, with good results.
Super Juice!

Super Juice!

Super Juice
Recipe Type: Juice
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Serves: 1-2
A healthy way to drink some fruits and veggies!
Ingredients
  • 3 apples (Golden Delicious or other sweet variety recommended)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large stalk celery
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 beet
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 inch chunk ginger
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to juicer chute and process on high or per manufacturer’s instructions.
Notes

Spinach juices best when stuffed between two larger items in the chute (such as, between two apples).

1 Apple, 3 Carrots, 1 Beet, and Kale

My Foray into Juicing

It has just been a foray-into kind of weekend over here!

For my birthday, I used a gift card to buy myself a Breville Juice Fountain Plus juicer (thanks, Mom!). Earlier in the week, I watched the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, and decided that juicing would be a good way to get myself to consume the fruits and veggies that are less palatable to me, or that I don’t like to prepare based on the hassle (like beets!). I’m not going to try any sort of juice fast or anything like that right now – not while I’m training for this half marathon – but maybe someday. And I already eat 6-9 servings of fruits and veggies a day on most days, and don’t intend to replace that with juice. I figure, juicing will be a good way to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet. And more is good!

I loaded up on produce at Whole Foods (huge selection of organics) and got to juicing! First up: an ABC juice.

1 Apple, 3 Carrots, 1 Beet, and Kale

1 Apple, 3 Carrots, 1 Beet, and Kale

Mer, of course, had to help.

Merlin helping with juicing

Merlin helping with juicing

I washed the apple, carrots, beet, and kale (didn’t peel them – though if they were not organic, I would have). Stuck ’em in the juicer one by one, and ended up with about 10 oz of juice. I decided to double the recipe so that I could stick some juice in the fridge for later. (Might as well get a few servings out of the mess!)

The Breville at work.

The Breville at work.

The juicer has 2 speeds – low, for softer fruits/veggies and greens, and high, for harder fruits and veggies. I used high for all but the kale. I’m not positive that I juiced the greens quite right, as they didn’t seem to yield much juice – though I guess that’s typical. I’ll do a bit more reading. As far as kale goes, I think I might prefer eating it as kale chips – so spinach might instead become my go-to in juices.

I love the huge food chute on the juicer. I was able to drop an entire apple in there. It speeds up things to not have to cut and prep all of the produce first. Tossing food down the chute was FUN! And the resulting juice looked like a party!

Juice!

Juice!

The juicer was fairly quiet on the low setting, and – well, not as loud as my blender, but still a bit loud on the high setting. It was much easier to clean up than I anticipated. I had lined the pulp collection container with a plastic bag, so that part of clean-up was a snap. For the remaining parts, I just rinsed them in the sink immediately when I finished, and they all came clean. I figure, it will be a bit like using my food processor – I’ll be able to get away with rinsing/hand-washing for a week or so, then I’ll throw the pieces in the dishwasher. (They’re top-shelf safe).

The moment of truth….

ABC Juice - apples, beet, carrots, kale

ABC Juice - apples, beet, carrots, kale

I sniffed it. (Wine tasting flashback?)

Whoa. It smelled like…. earth.

*Gulp*

“Well,” I thought to myself. “Here goes nothing!”

I took a sip.

Hmm. It definitely tasted better than it smelled. It was a very mild juice – a little earthy (dang beets), but mildly sweet.

Oddly, the more I drank, the more I realized I didn’t mind the earthy taste. I suspect the appreciation would be lost on somebody that didn’t already eat a boatload of veggies every day – but my taste buds were OK with it. By the end of the glass, I was actually enjoying it.

I’m pretty excited about this new juicer! The one minor frustration is that I haven’t been able to find any good books on juicing, even on Amazon. There are a few with good reviews, but they tend to be extremely dated. I’m looking for something current, and something that doesn’t spend half the book preaching about all the diseases that juice will cure. Skip the preaching – I just want facts on the nutrients in the different juice-able fruits and veggies, and recipes for tasty combinations.

And maybe some how-to on prepping produce for juicing. I had a heck of a time figuring out what to do with the beets. I found information that said both the greens and the root are juice-able, but do they mean the leaves? The stems? The greens are supposedly the bitter part. I ended up only using the root. And, about juicing kale – is there a method to getting more juice extracted from it? Some secret trick to handling it as it goes down the chute?

Lots of newbie questions. While I may have to find my own way, it will be a delicious path!

Stealth Ninja Vegetable Experiment: Beets

Here we go – Phase Two of the Stealth Ninja Vegetable Experiment. Before you dive into Phase Two, check out the first phase, where I chopped, steamed, roasted, and pureed all of the vegetables that will be used in this experiment.

Now that I’ve got a fridge and freezer full of pureed vegetables, it’s time to try cooking something with them!

The first recipe I will try takes advantage of pureed beets. Beets are new to me – I’ve never eaten them before, so they’re officially New Food #10 that I’ve tried in 2010. I certainly didn’t expect to hit this New Year’s Resolution within the first month of the new year! That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying new foods, though.

I chose to use the beets first because there aren’t many recipes in the Deceptively Delicious cookbook that I wanted to try that use beets. This recipe could optionally use pureed spinach, sweet potatoes, or broccoli.

Cut up chicken breastFirst up in this cooking adventure: cut up a chicken breast into chunks. This, too, is new to me (and almost earns an Adventures in Chopping designation!) I’ve never cut up a raw chicken breast before. I’m not much of a fan of handling raw meat. It makes me think of where it comes from, and being an animal lover, I’ve always had a bit of a hard time reconciling my love of animals with my enjoyment in eating meat. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose (though I do feel better about my meat choices since switching to eating organic meats. At least this chicken wasn’t a genetically modified FrankenChicken).

I got out my One Big Knife and sliced up the chicken breast. (The recipe calls for a pound of chicken breasts, but I only had 1 thawed, so I went with that).

Next, I mixed up the bread crumb mixture. Wow, it smelled delicious!

Bread crumb mixture

Then came the pureed beets mixed with egg. This would be the dip that would hold the bread crumbs on the chicken nuggets. Stealth Ninja Beets

Chicken Nuggets, beforeOne by one, I dipped the chicken pieces into the stealth ninja beet mixture, then coated each one with bread crumbs and it aside. When they were ready to go, I heated up the skillet.

I cooked the nuggets 3 minutes on one side and 4 minutes on the other. I may have needed to go a little longer over slightly lower heat, as my breading was starting to burn. They smelled great, though! Chicken nuggets, cooking

At long last, all of the chicken nuggets were cooked, and it was time to give these puppies a day in court.

Chicken nuggets, afterThe obvious thing here is, well, they’re red. I can just imagine a picky eater shunning these nuggets because they look weird. I’m guessing that the best bet, color-wise, would be to make these with pureed sweet potatoes instead, to get the closest match possible to the color of the chicken and breading. (Green nuggets from broccoli or spinach would look equally weird, I suspect).

However, this isn’t about looks so much as it is about taste – at least for me, as I’m getting pretty used to eating funny colored things that happen to taste good.

So, I sat down with my funny looking chicken nuggets and a cup of ranch dressing, and…

Chicken nuggets, ready for dipping

Nom nom nom!

They were mighty, mighty good! No sign of beets in the flavor. I could eat these chicken nuggets all day long! So, despite having eaten beets tonight, I still could not tell you what they taste like – and that’s A-OK with me!

In conclusion, the first Stealth Ninja Vegetable Experiment, Beets Edition, was a success.

What stealth ninja vegetable will I try next? *dun-dun-duuuuuuuun!* You’ll have to wait and see!

[recipe-show recipe=chicken-nuggets-with-stealth-ninja-beets]

Stealth Ninja Vegetable Experiment: Prep

*queue Mission Impossible music*

Actually, I think this mission is quite possible! I am embarking upon what I call the Stealth Ninja Vegetable Experiment. You are about to bear witness to Phase 1: Prep.

It all started when my sister in law Amanda suggested that I check out this book: Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food by Jessica Seinfeld (yes, Jerry’s wife). Since I was already sold on the possibility of hiding veggies in my smoothies, I thought this book might hold some promise (though I’d be attempting to deceive myself, not kids). I picked it up at my local library (Homer Township Library ftw!) and decided to give it a test-drive.Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld

The basic premise of the book is that you puree a variety of vegetables and store them in 1/2 cup portions in little ziplock baggies, then sneak them into recipes as needed. Sounds good to me!