We had a juicing party at Kel's house a few weeks ago. Straight up. It was unintended. She and I planned to get together to try out a couple different vegetable combinations in her juicer to see if we couldn't come up with some winners. Becca called right as we were getting started and happened to be out and about. The thought of juicing was all too tempting (seriously) so she came by. Next, Kel's cousin, Rachel, joined us and before you know it, we had ourselves a juicing party. And I'm not kidding, it was the most fun I'd had in a while.
We had a cornucopia of vegetables to choose from is it just me or can you not read the word "cornucopia" without thinking of The Hunger Games? That and "arena"...I digress. which gave the ability to make multiple juices. Behold:
I was so full of energy and giddy after drinking these juices, I might have shoved the camera into Kel's hand and demanded she take a picture of me, citing that I had to make an appearance of my blog once in a while. I mean, sheesh.
We drank and laughed and juiced for more than an hour. We laughed mostly from a story Becca told us about a girls trip to Austin, TX where she clogged the toilet in a Vietnamese nail salon and had to fess up to the owners, who all exploded in angry chatter in their native language about the incident, while plunging. Later that night while at an improv show, they asked the audience if anyone had a funny story to share so they could act it out. Becca's friend told the improv people the story, and they proceeded to act out the funniest skit revolving around the now infamous poop. And now - I just used the word "poop" in a food blog. I've failed you, haven't I? Let's move on. The story was much funnier in person. I'll save you the part where, when instructing Kel on how to wash the beet greens, I actually said "Kel, wash them more, you seriously have to douche them". She immediately crumbled in laughter over the sink shouting "did you really just use the word 'douche'?!?" I laughed so hard, and might have kept it up if I didn't have to leave the room to pee from all the juice I had ingested. See how I didn't actually spare you that story? And now we can take the potty talk count for the food post up to two. Epic fail.
These, my friends, were the winner combinations from our juicing party
Cucumber Lemon and Kale
Taste: Refreshing and yummy despite it's dark green color. How else can you consume a whole head of kale and really love it. I'd drink this one all day long. It was my favorite.
1 whole head of kale, stems and all, washed throughly
2 cucumbers, un-peeled
1/2-1 lemon, skin and all (Becca and I like a whole lemon, but Kel preferred half)
Run all through a juicer and drink immediately
Beet Carrot Mint Juice
Taste: Sweet and fresh. Add more lime or mint to taste but we think we hit the flavor combination on the head with this one. This is adapted from this post and I think this version is even better.
5 medium carrots
1 medium beet, peeled (Or not peeled. Depends on your preference)
1/2 bunch container of mint, stems and all (about 6-7 sprigs)
1/2 a lime, skin and all
1 green apple, skin and all
Run all through a juicer starting with the mint (so the other vegetables push every last drop of the juice out) and drink immediately.
Citrus Beet Juice
Taste: mild and sweet with a beautiful color, not unlike and Arizona sunset. I liked this one better with ice.
1 green apple
2-3 large carrots
1/2 lime, skin and all
1 orange, skin and all
1 medium sized golden beet
Run all through a juicer and drink immediately.
Taste: fresh. This is a lot thinner and more clear than the other juices and all thought we would ideally like to sit by the pool while sipping it. It reminds me of Summer. Becca recommends adding a pinch of sea salt to the finished product. It was good as long as you like cucumber.
1 stalk celery
1/2 lemon, skin and all
4 sprigs of mint, stems and all
Run all through a juicer starting with the mint (so the other vegetables can help coax all the juice into your glass)
Beet Greens and Lemon Juice
Taste: Considering we juiced two bunches of beet greens with beets, I'm surprised it tasted this good. The color is dirty and it doesn't have much "glass appeal" but I promise it tasted better than it looks. It was pretty lemony. Becca and I liked this one and were pleased to use the whole beet, since we bought beets with their greens still attached. Kel was on the fence about the taste. Again, adding a pinch of sea salt to your glass would be a good addition here. The kids actually really liked this one. Go figure!
2 bunches beet greens from the tops of beets (we used red and golden)
1/2 a lemon, skin and all
1/2 a celery stalk
Pinch of sea salt, if you are so inclined
Run all (except salt) through the juicer and drink immediately
See? I wasn't lying! The kids loved it.
You want to drink vegetable juices as soon as they are juiced or within a half hour or so for maximum benefits. It's not recommended to keep juices in the fridge to drink the next day. Make them each fresh. Also, I have talked about the importance of getting the whole fruit or vegetable into your body before, by preferring smoothies over juices so that you get all the roughage and fiber that help our bodies break down and store everything better. However, I like vegetable juicing because you can still get many of the antioxidant benefits from juice. I don't like juicing fruits (unless it's a small flavor enhancer) because you essentially strip all the fiber away and what you have left is sugar. I am comfortable with a little fruit to make the vegetables taste better if that's how you can get them down, which is why you'll see some in the recipes above. It's worth noting that green apples contain a lot less sugar that other varieties, which is why I favor them here.