And in honor of spring and the bounty she brings, and in keeping with this month’s MMM, I’ve been writing a lot about juicing lately. But in all my musings (1 2 3), I have yet to provide any recipes. And, well, that’s because I don’t use them! I juice what I’ve got and I juice what sounds good. It’s never the same.
Still, I’ve had a lot of requests for some of my favorite combinations, and I’m more than happy to share them. But first, a few expert tips for throwing together your own unique juice combos:
1) Juice in order of driest to juiciest. Always start with your least watery ingredient (like greens or ginger) and work your way towards the most watery. That way, the final item into the machine will provide plenty of liquid to “wash through” and pull out the flavors of its less-lubricated predecessors.
2) More is not better – start simple. I rarely make a juice with greater than 3 ingredients. I never go over 4. Often it’s just 2! Simple blends allow the ingredients to shine through; overcomplicated combinations just muck up all the flavors.
3) Stick to a single “starring” flavor. In juicing, there are stand-outs, and there are neutrals. You’ll get to know these with a little practice, but for example some neutrals would be cucumber, celery, salad greens, dark greens, and zucchinis. On the other hand, some “stars” would be oranges, herby greens (cilantro, parsley, basil), apples, or carrots. See what I’m getting at? A good rule of thumb is to aim for a background blend of neutrals, with one shining star. If you don’t have a star (like a cucumber-celery-spinach juice), add a squeeze of lemon or lime.
And now, some of my favorites . . .
I almost always stick to my green base: 1/2 to 1 cucumber with 2-4 stalks of celery. From there I’ll often add herby greens like parsley or cilantro, and a squeeze of lemon or lime. That’s my most common juice, period. Sometimes I skip the celery or the cucumber. I rarely skip greens.
The juice recipe noted above is practical and it gets the job done, but it’s not necessarily going to knock your socks off. You want my best recipes? Okay, here goes. Remember, all organic when juicing!
1/2 a head of green cabbage + 2 tart tangerines. Done and done. DIVINE.
3 broccoli stalks and a handful of spinach. It’s radish season, so throw a few of those in there for an awesome little kick.
a knob of ginger, a cucumber, and as much kale as you can handle. squeeze of lemon.
1/4 head of purple cabbage + 1/2 cucumber + 2 navel oranges
1 large beet with its greens + 2 navel oranges
3 stalks of celery + 1 red bell pepper + 1 romaine heart
3 bushy carrot tops (plus a bit of carrot where they attach) + 1/2 a cucumber
For a treat, try 1 large slice of watermelon, cubed and juiced, plus it’s rind (yes, juice the rind!)