Blood From a Turnip

When we were in Bali last summer, every morning we were served such delicious fresh juice that my children kept hinting that I should get a juicer for my upcoming birthday. After a month of nagging hinting, I finally gave in and ordered a nice juicer (using reward points, of course, because I’m too cheap to pay full price for anything). I really like the fresh orange and apple juice that I’ve made, but I kept feeling like I should expand my repertoire a bit, mix it up, maybe even try juicing some vegetables.

I hesitated to branch out at first because I’m not into the whole juicing for health movement. I’d heard plenty of arguments in favor of it, but I just couldn’t buy into it.

1) “It’s good for you.” – If it doesn’t taste good, I’m not going to gag it down.
2) “It’s a good way to trick yourself (or kids) into eating vegetables.” – I like vegetables, especially when prepared well, and I want my kids to learn to like vegetables too.
3) “It can cure anything.” – I don’t buy it. I mean, I’m sure I could always use more vitamins, and that eating healthy vs. unhealthy foods will probably improve my well-being and overall health, but all the recipes which promise cures for everything from acne to high blood pressure to diabetes sound like wishful thinking to me.
4) “But the toxins!” – For some reason, I put as much stock in toxins as I do humors, phrenology and blood letting.

I wasn’t into juicing to lose weight either, not that I couldn’t stand to drop a few (dozen) pounds. For some reason, a juice cleanse sounds anything but clean. It conjures up images of making several quick trips to the restroom. No thank you.

My reasons for wanting to try different recipes with my juicer were pretty simple. I wanted to make use of this machine taking up space on my kitchen counter and I always like to find new things that taste good. Things that taste good make me happy. Things that don’t taste good bring me down. It’s that simple. Also, I went a little crazy buying produce at Trader Joe’s and was worried some of it would go bad if we didn’t get around to using it. So this week, I was even willing to try stuff that sounded gross, just in case I might actually like it.  I was surprised by many combinations I thought I would hate, and I was able to discover many new combinations I never would have tried on my own.

No Surprise Here

These combinations were all delightful, but I kind of suspected they would be. I loved them and my kids loved them.

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2 apples + 1 pear

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1 each pear, apple, banana, orange, bunch of grapes

Pleasant Surprises

I suspected these juices might taste good, but since some of the ingredients can be bitter on their own, I was worried. Turns out they were our favorites.

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2 apples, 2 pomegranates (with seeds)

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2 apples, 1 orange, 1 grapefruit

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2 oranges, 1 lime, 1 clementine, 2 stalks celery, 1 bunch kale, 1 inch ginger root

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2 oranges + 3 small sweet potatoes (or 1 medium)

Who Knew?

I was pretty sure I would be gagging these down, but they weren’t too bad. I might even try them again some time.

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2 apples, 1 carrot, 3 stalks celery

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2 apples, 1 bunch grapes, 1 bunch kale, 1/2 cucumber

No Thank You

I was able to drink these without gagging, but why would anyone want to?

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1 pear, 1 cucumber, 1 head Romaine lettuce

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2 carrots, 2 radishes, 15 grape tomatoes

Truly Offensive

I kept seeing juice recipes that included beets, so I felt it was my duty to at least try one of them. I regret that decision. The beet (dirt) taste never left my mouth and I kept feeling beet film on my teeth. So, so bad.

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3 carrots, 1 apple, 2 beets. Do not try this at home.

Although I didn’t enjoy all the hand-washing of the juicer I had to do this week, I am glad I took the time to explore all the options and experiment with new combinations. I’m pretty excited about this birthday gift, even if it did take me four months to getting around to using it properly.

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