Why juice? Isn’t juicing messy? What do you do with the pulp? These questions and more are answered.
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Last week upon the release of my newest cookbook, Best 100 Juices for Kids, I started a series on making homemade juices. I say it’s “for the children”, but really, my husband and I enjoy the juices, too. So, this juice-making scene is really for kids of all ages.
Making juices is a great way to
- enjoy better tasting drinks than what you buy in a can, bottle, or box
- supplement your diet with added nutrition
- use up produce that might otherwise go to waste
- help your kids acquire new tastes
- add a little pizzazz to your kitchen repertoire
Your Juice Questions Answered
Today I thought I’d address a handful of questions and comments that I’ve received about making juices for kids. These are my “off-the-cuff” answers to some pretty common questions.
I would like to know how to maximize the number of veggies in the juice without overloading it with super sweet fruit.
Carrots are one of my best friends when it comes to juicing. I’ve found that they are cheap, add bulk to the juice without too weird of a flavor, and they still add a little sweetness to the mixture. They are familiar to everyone.
In Best 100 Juices for Kids, there are three juice chapters: all-fruit, fruit-and-veg blends, and mostly-veg. It’s been my experience that adding a token veg into a fruit juice is a good way to warm kids to the middle of the range. Likewise, adding a token fruit to a very veggie juice helps it not be too “out there”. A little sweetness is nice.
Wish I could get my kids to drink the stuff!!!
I have some very selective (aka picky) eaters. I wasn’t sure how it would go down, both literally and figuratively. I took it from the approach that we were experimenting, that it was okay that they didn’t love it, but that they had to try it.
What I did at the beginning was serve juice in 2-ounce tasting cups. I bought these glasses at World Market. My littles loved the small size and the novelty of using a glass-glass. The 2-ounce size was very doable for a taste, making it easy to get used to new flavors. It also made it easy for me to say yes to seconds; kids love it when you say yes.
I also made sure that I started with familiar juices and didn’t just hand a kid a cup of green slime. It was all new to me, too, so I was okay with slow and steady. My husband raised an eyebrow on more than one occasion when I handed him his portion. Now many months into the process of juicing, the kids come running when they hear the machine, are disappointed when there isn’t any more, and otherwise love homemade juices.
Keep in mind that it takes many exposures for someone to acquire a taste for something they don’t naturally love. We learned this when we first fed our kids solid food. The same holds true as they grow. I think repeated exposure and a positive attitude take us far in this endeavor. Letting the kids have a voice in the process is huge. (I write about that extensively in the book.)
What can I use the pulp for…seems likes waste of good fresh fruit and produce?
Depending on what I’ve juiced, I use the vegetable scraps and pulp to make homemade stocks and broths. The fruitier pulp goes really well in baked goods, but I’ve baked kale scraps into a chocolate cake and no one was the wiser. I include several baking recipes in the book so you can make good use of the pulp.
The mess stops me from juicing.
I had heard this concern before I bought our first juicer, so I looked for ways to streamline the process as I went along. I line the pulp basket with a freezer bag or recycled grocery or produce bag. This makes clean-up a breeze. If I use the pulp in baking right away, I can rinse out the bag and/or freeze extras right in the bag until I’m ready to use it.
I also learned early on that you must wash the parts right away. If you do so, clean up is really a breeze. If you wait, the food sticks on like glue. Don’t wait. Wash it up right away. Sometimes most of the parts just need a quick rinse in very hot water while I scrub at the mesh basket with some soap and the scrub brush that came with the juicer.
Why would I want to juice rather than just eating the fruits and veggies?
We don’t choose either/or. We do both. I make juices because we like the tasty drinks and they are nutritious. To me, that’s a double win. But juice is not a replacement for a well-balanced diet full of fresh, whole foods. I look at juice as a supplement to our diet, a way to use up produce that might otherwise go to waste, and another technique to help my kids acquire new tastes.
What are some easy recipes?
Below are some of the starter recipes I’ve shared online. You can also grab the PDF sampler of the book here.
- Carrot-Apple Juice with Ginger
- Autumn Pick-Me-Up
- Carrot Juice Plus
- Lemon-Lime Sports Ade
- Chocolate and Banana Nut Butter Blast ( & a review of my book on Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures)
If you’re curious, or epicurious as the case may be, check out their review of my juices cookbook. It was written by a four-year old!