Hold on to your panties, my dears, it’s about to get juicy in here.
Yes, I am fully aware that I am lame. :)
Anyway. Juice! The fresh kind, not the bottled, cartoned, or concentrated kind. Those are obviously out for a Whole30, because of preservatives and sugar and honestly, there is no proper nutritional value in storebought juice. Have you ever seen how orange juice is actually made? IT’S NOT EVEN ORANGE, they dye it that way. It’s nasty.
Now, the Whole30 plan generally advises against juices and smoothies, stating that if it’s down to eating or drinking your fruits and veggies, it’s better to eat them. I agree wholeheartedly, but I find that eating them AND drinking them is awesome. I don’t know about you, but I can only drink so much plain water before I get super bored of it. I need flavour in my life!
I drank a LOT of coconut milk on my Whole30 of course, but sometimes you want something juicy. I also like having something cold to sip at throughout the day, and water just doesn’t cut it. So I set out to make my water bottle a little more interesting.
I used to have a pretty kickass juicer, but it died at the tail end of 2014, and I hummed and hawed about getting a new one. I am really into the Ninja blender, and the full kitchen system is about the same price as a brand new juicer. So when I started the Whole30, I sans juicer. And really, it’s not neccessary for what we want to do here. I wasn’t looking for a blast of nutrients and sugar, I was looking for some subtle flavouring to add to my beverages. Also these methods preserve the whole fruit or vegetable, so there’s no waste.
The first happy accident of discovery happened when hubby and I went to the inlaws for a weekend. I was about a week in to my Whole30 and I decided I was just going to cook the whole weekend so that I didn’t offend anyone with my eating choices. My mom-in-law was super interested and totally into helping me make all kinds of wacky delicious shit all weekend, so we had a blast. She did make a pretty amazing chocolate cake for everyone and it was hard not to eat it, but I made it!
Anyway, the first night I made a dessert right out of It Starts With Food, which was poached pears with a blueberry sauce. It was fucking delicious, for the record. It involved boiling fresh pear halves with some lemon rinds and then letting them sit in the hot water for a half hour before removing and smothering in sauce.
It was mom that got the great idea to taste the water afterwards, and it was the most delicious hint-of-citrus-and-pear heaven we’d ever tasted. So we let it cool, tossed it in a juice jug with some fresh sliced ginger, and let it sit in the fridge overnight. It was even better the next day.
We decided then and there: no waste. Delicious drinking, and we had soft pears for munching on for days! Not to mention that amazeballs blueberry sauce, oh my god. If you get It Starts With Food for one recipe, make it that one, mmmmm.
So this led me to experiment, and I did the pears a few times at home whenever I ran out of pears to eat. I also swapped out lemons for limes, just to see what would happen. This juice is delightful no matter what, and it’s pretty foolproof. Here’s a basic recipe:
-Four pears, peeled, cored and halved (I’m not usually a fruit peeler, but the peel leaves a really bitter taste in the juice if you leave it. You can always blend it up into a paste and keep it to add to a meat dish or chutney or something later if you don’t want to discard it.)
-Rind of one lemon or lime
-1 inch of fresh ginger root, sliced thinly
Put pears, rind and ginger into a large pot. Fill with water until you have the desired amount of juice. Keep it mind that the more water you add, the weaker the juice will be, and the less the stronger. Bring the water to a boil, and then after five minutes of boiling remove the pot from heat. Let it sit for a half hour at the very least, and then taste. At this point you can continue to let it sit, or remove the pears and let the liquid cool enough to pour into another container to refridgerate. Feel free to add more ginger to the juice container if you feel like it’s not spicy enough.
I’ve been using my cheap little one cup blender to concoct some pretty kickass juices as well. Cranberries are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat, and I hate them by themselves. They’re so sour with a nasty aftertaste. But I know they’re good for me, so I try to find ways to consume them without hating it. Try this, cranberry haters:
In a one cup blender:
Fill the rest of the way with water, and blend. Pour over ice into a 32oz water bottle. Add some sliced cucumber and a lemon or lime wedge, top up with cold water and give it a shake. The cucumber is so refreshing and dampens the cranberry bitterness just enough for a delightful beverage that will keep you going all day.
For a sweeter juice, try adding peaches by doing 1/3 cucumber, 1/3 peaches, 1/3 cranberries. It’s to die for. Experimenting with fruit and veggies in this way ensures that you stay hydrated and get even MORE extra nutrients in your diet, on or off a Whole30. Try it!