Homemade Spicy V8 Juice

January 9, 2014

Breville Juicer

I’M IN LOVE! :-)

I never would have invested in a juicer, but BigSis bought us this bad boy for our Anniversary back in August and when she came back to So Cal this past November for her birthday, she gave me a little tutorial. I admit that I was more than I little intimidated.

I wish that I liked raw cucumber and celery; but I don’t. I actually can’t stand it. If BigSis hadn’t practically forced it down my throat, I never would have tried it. But; I’m glad that I did.  I LOVE it!  I’ve always loved V-8, but even the low sodium version has too much sodium for me; that’s why it’s so nice to be able to make it myself, to my own taste.

BigSis published her Homemade Spicy V8 Juice Recipe back in April but mine is a little different, so here goes. I don’t care for beet or red pepper so you won’t find that in my recipe.

For my version of Spicy V-8, these are my veggies of choice.

veggies3

Gorgeous fresh veggies.

Homemade Spicy V8 Juice

4 or 5 Romaine leaves
Handful spinach leaves
2-3 curly Kale leaves
2 cucumbers
4-5 celery stalks
5 or 6 Roma tomatoes
2 lemons
2 carrots
3 small purple carrots
2 cloves garlic
1/4 – 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 – 1/2 t. salt; to taste

Wash all the produce thoroughly. Cut ends from carrots and cut into chunks; cut cucumbers, tomatoes, and celery in half; peel the lemons and cut into quarters. Juice everything together, and season to taste.

A great tip from BigSis  is to remove this lovely pulp from the pulp bin and run it back through the juicer.

Pretty, huh?

Pretty, huh?

 Look at how much extra juice you get from juicing the pulp!

pitcher-juice

 So far, this is the best batch of V-8 that I’ve made.

In my opinion; PERFECT!!!

juice-glass

As BigSis and I call it;  “Green Gold”!

~LilSis

The Benefits of Juicing: Why Should You Juice?

April 27, 2013

Benefits of Green Juicing

I’ve been pretty juicy lately. You have my recipe for spicy healing green juice, and homemade spicy V8 juice. Maybe now you’re wondering why you would go to all this trouble and expense to make something that might not even sound good to you? I think that’s a good question!

I won’t lie; juicing isn’t cheap and it isn’t quick. I calculate that my spicy healing green juice costs me close to $5 per 16 ounce glass if I’m able to buy all organic produce. You can buy a soda for a fraction of that price, and it won’t take you an hour to shop for it either. Shoot, you could buy a whole fast food meal for that price and in less time. To juice you have to shop for organic ingredients, prep the produce, make the juice, and clean up your mess. That’s a process you’ll go through at least every couple of days.

So, why juice? These are my thoughts on the benefits of juicing, especially green juicing, and why I choose to do it. I should also add that I’m enjoying 1 or 2 glasses of fresh vegetable juice a day; I’m not suggesting that juicing replace a healthy balanced diet including some cooked and lots of raw veggies.

  • Greens combat inflammation, which is believed to be the source of many ailments we face, including cancer, arthritis, heart conditions, joint pain, and Alzheimers. Inflammation can be created by processed food, food cooked at a high temperature, alcohol, smoking, stress, pollution, chemicals, pesticides, trans fats, meat, sugar, dairy, wheat, artificial sweeteners, poor sleep, and pretty much just living in this world. Green juicing gives us a weapon to fight back against those powerful forces. We need it!
  • Greens also help create an alkaline environment, which is the opposite of acid in our systems. Disease loves an acidic environment, so maintaining a balanced pH in our body is crucial. Excessive acidity weakens the body overall, and contributes to accelerated aging, kidney problems, immune problems, cardiovascular issues, and low energy. Acidity can be caused by many of the same lifestyle and diet factors that cause inflammation.
  • Greens are healing. In my spicy green juice recipe, the greens provide vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, folate, iron, chlorophyll, potassium, and magnesium to name just a few. You get antioxidants, cancer fighters, and detoxifying benefits for your liver and kidneys. There are also benefits for your cardiovascular system, circulation, digestion and relief from water retention. Green juicing is low-glycemic too, so you won’t have a blood sugar spike.
  • Nutrients are more efficiently absorbed from juice, as opposed to piles of produce. It makes sense that it’s easier on your system to soak up vitamins, minerals and enzymes from juicing, instead of going to all the trouble of digesting the veggies before the nutrients are accessible. Also, many beneficial enzymes in fruits and vegetables are destroyed by cooking. Keep in mind that if you include too much fruit in your juice, all that sugar is going into your bloodstream at turbo speed too.
  • There is a place for both smoothies and juices in our day. With a smoothie, you get the fiber you need, but you get filled up because of it. With a juice, you get the benefit of ALL that produce that you could never eat in one meal or in one entire day. Can you eat 6 to 8 servings of produce a day? I’m vegan, so veggies and fruits are my bread and butter (so to speak), but I know I don’t always succeed at that quantity. By juicing, you get the healing benefit of the micro-nutrients without having to spend your entire day chewing, chewing, chewing.
  • I’m consuming a wider variety of produce than I ever would have without juicing. I don’t even like cucumber or celery, but I can enjoy their juice if it’s masked with other flavors. The wider variety of veggies we have in our day, the better chance we have of getting all of the nutrients we need.
  • Juicing is not cheap and it does take time, but it’s not an expenditure that we’ll never recoup. It is absolutely a commitment, like anything else you do that’s important and valuable. It’s also an investment; not  just an outflow of money and time, but an investment into your health. I’m gambling that spending $5 on a glass of green juice right now will ultimately pay huge dividends in my quality of health. That could mean fewer doctor bills, fewer prescription drugs, fewer hospitalizations, and less missed work time. I’m pretty sure this gamble is a sure thing.
  • Most of all, the bottom line for me is that after 3 weeks of having 1 or 2 glasses of fresh juice daily, I just feel better right now than I have in probably 3 years. Menopause has been doing it’s darndest to suck the life outta me, cause that’s what it does. It’s made me exhausted, grumpy, moody, blue and just generally out of whack. I’ve found some great ways to manage the annoying side effects of it (I should share those with you another time), but I can honestly say that nothing has made a real difference in my energy and my mood until I started juicing. Because of that I can enjoy my life more today. Who can say they don’t want that?

Those are the reasons I’m juicing. In a nutshell, I just like it. No, actually, I love it. The process is really fun, and I love that I’m doing something that I know is great for my body and my future. That’s as good as it gets! :-)

 

~BigSis

Homemade Spicy V8 Juice Recipe

April 20, 2013

Homemade Spicy V8 Juice Recipe

I’ve always wanted to find a good homemade spicy V8 juice recipe, since the store-bought juice is just too darn salty. I absolutely love it, but the sodium level gives me salt bags of epic proportions. Not a good look, and definitely not good for you.

I’m a total juice fiend lately – ever since I started having green juice every day – so I decided to try my hand at a homemade spicy V8 juice recipe. I have to tell you that I’m thrilled with the results!

Store-bought V8 juice is made of reconstituted juices of carrot, tomato, watercress, lettuce, parsley, beet, celery and spinach. I didn’t have any watercress, my spicy healing green juice used all my lettuce up, and I don’t like the flavor of parsley, so I used spinach for all the greens this first go-round.

I think using a variety of greens would give the juice even more depth of flavor, so that will be the first change I make in the next batch o’ BigSis V8. Technically, what I have here is V7. :)  Next time, I’m going to use romaine and a few kale leaves for part of the spinach, so I guess I’ll have V9 juice then.

I love the balance of tomato to carrot to beet, and the celery and bell pepper are adding in the right touches of flavor too. The spinach and lemon bring it all together.

This first version leans a little spicy, but it’s not quite as zippy as my green juice. Feel free to leave out the garlic, horseradish and cayenne to make a more pure V8.

One last note about this recipe is that it’s raw. I’ve seen some homemade V8 recipes online that were cooked, which baffles me a little. Cooking the veggies defeats the purpose of juicing for me, so we’re going raw here. I betcha you could lightly run some tomatoes through the blender and mix them into the fresh juice if you really want a thicker texture to your juice.

Homemade Spicy V8 Juice Recipe

6 carrots
1 very small beet
8 Roma tomatoes (you want a firm tomato for juicing)
1 red bell pepper
3 huge handfuls of spinach
3 stalks celery
1 clove garlic
4 small or 2 large lemons
1-2 tablespoons prepared horseradish (not creamed)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Wash all the produce thoroughly. Remove seeds and stem from pepper, and cut into large chunks. Cut ends from carrots and beet, and cut into chunks. Peel the lemons and cut into quarters. Half the tomatoes, and cut celery into big pieces. Juice everything together, and season to taste.

This recipe makes round 32 ounces. Drink within 2 days for maximum nutrition.

I don’t drink vodka, but I also think this juice would make a heck of a Bloody Mary! :)

~BigSis

Spicy Healing Green Juice Recipe

April 14, 2013

Spicy Healing Green Juice Recipe Produce

I’m obsessed with this spicy healing green juice recipe. I’m one of those people who is either all in or all out. I know nothing of moderation, so it’s no surprise that when I juice, I really juice!

I bought my Breville Juicer a couple of years ago, and started juicing every day. I even dove into green juice. I was new to it though, and made some mistakes. To start with, I couldn’t really figure out how to integrate juicing into my day, so it didn’t become part of my routine.

I like to have a blueberry smoothie every morning. I’m a morning person and I have to have breakfast, so the smoothie gives me something in my tummy first thing, and provides the energy I need to do the things I want to do. I can also take my morning supplements with a smoothie, but they’d be too harsh with just juice, especially green juice.

Then when I get to work, I automatically gravitate toward the Keurig and have 2 or 3 cups of coffee during the morning. So where did juice fit in? Nowhere really. I felt like I was trying to cram it into the day when I didn’t even want it.

Besides scheduling, the other challenge I had with my first attempt at juicing was the fruit/veggie balance. I made a rookie mistake and used too much fruit. You know what that means…too much sugar! It’s natural sugar but it’s still sugar, and that leads to blood sugar peaks and crashes, and cravings for more sugar. Not good. Not what I was going for with juicing.

The bottom line was juicing wasn’t working for me. I felt kind of guilty that I had this nice new juicer, but I wasn’t seeing the health benefits I was hoping for. I just generally didn’t feel great about the whole experience.

So I quit. I told you; I’m all in or all out. My pretty Breville Juicer sat and collected dust for almost 2 years. It stayed on my counter though, and I knew that eventually I’d come back around to it.

Fast forward 2 years. I’d been reading about this new juicing company in town called Vim + Vigor. When they ran a special coupon recently, I grabbed the chance to buy some of their juices and do a 3-day juice cleanse. My favorite of all the blends I got to try was the detoxifying No. 01, which is kale, spinach, romaine, celery, cucumber, apple and lemon. I was shocked at how much I loved that juice.

When the 3 days passed and I was out of Vim + Vigor juice, my body was screaming at me. Get me some green juice now! I was kind of shocked at how good I felt on this juice, whereas my previous juicing experience left me feeling crummy.

The difference? Green juice was a necessary part of my day now. First, a smoothie and supplements. Second, not more than one cup of coffee. Third, green juice mid-morning when my energy starts to wane. Then a healthy big lunch and a light dinner; often raw like a salad or my favorite raw spinach and avocado soup.

The other major difference? I’m using lots of veggies, and just enough fruit to make the juice taste delicious. The general rule – I know now – is 3 veggie parts to every 1 part fruit. That limits the impact on your blood sugar.

Off to the interwebs I went in search of green juice recipes with the ingredients I fell for in No. 01. Finally I came up with the perfect combination for me, and that’s what I’m sharing with you today. My green juice recipe is super spicy, healing, delicious and addictive. I’m using ginger, cayenne, lots of lemon, and a touch of salt…all working together to create something I want to drink and actually enjoy the taste of, rather than just choking down a glass of grassy flavors.

I recommend buying organic produce whenever you can, especially with these juice ingredients since all of them (except for lemons) are very susceptible to contamination from pesticides.

Spicy Healing Green Juice Recipe

Spicy Healing Green Juice
(makes about 32 ounces or 2 large servings)

8 large leaves kale
2 giant handfuls spinach
8 large leaves romaine
8 stalks celery
1 large seedless cucumber
2 small Granny Smith apples
2 large lemons
1 small piece ginger
Salt and cayenne to taste, about 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp each

Wash all the produce. Remove tough ribs from the kale. Chop the celery and cucumber into big chunks. Core the apples and cut into chunks. Peel the lemons and cut into quarters.

 Spicy Healing Green Juice Prep Recipe

Start juicing! I think I get better yield from everything by juicing slowly, and also by mixing up ingredients with a similar texture. I start with the leafy greens, mixing kale with romaine and spinach. This is what the juice looks like after all the leafies are juiced. Pretty concentrated stuff, right? That’s a micro-nutrient powerhouse just chomping at the bit to attack any bad stuff in my system!

Spicy Healing Green Juice Recipe Greens

Once the leafy greens are done, I move onto lemon, cucumber, celery and finally apple.

Spicy Healing Green Juice Recipe ToDo

This recipe makes around 32 ounces, depending on how big your items are. I drink half of the recipe one day and have the rest the next day. Ideally, you’d consume your juice fresh as soon as it’s made, but that’s just not practical for all of us. If you store your leftover juice in a glass jar, refrigerate it immediately, and use some citrus in the recipe, you’ll cut down on the oxidation a little bit.

It’s definitely a lot of work to juice, so every other day works best for me. It takes me around 30 minutes to prep the produce and juice it, and then another 15 minutes to take the juicer apart and clean all the components and dishes…

Spicy Healing Green Juice Recipe Mess

and you have this leftover stuff to deal with too:

Spicy Healing Green Juice Recipe Waste

There’s actually not that much of it, which makes me really happy! Some people are creative enough to use the pulp in recipes, but I usually donate it to a friend who composts.

I’m really excited about this green juice, and think I’m going to stick with it this time since I’m doing it the right way. If you try my spicy juice or have a favorite recipe of your own, please share! To your health!

~BigSis

My First Green Juice!

May 22, 2011

What do you get when you mix this:

Green Juice Fruit Veg

Kale, cucumber, spinach, parsley, pears, and lime

 

with this:

Breville Ikon

Breville Ikon Juicer

 

You get this!

Green Juice

Green Juice!

 

My very first green juice!  I finally gave in to my desire for a juicer, and bought the Breville BJE510XL Ikon 900-Watt Variable-Speed Juice Extractor.

I’m reading Kris Carr’s book Crazy Sexy Diet right now, which I highly recommend by the way!  This is one of the juicers she suggests, and I think her opinion on the subject is pretty credible, so I went for it.

I started out slowly; juicing carrots with apples and carrots with oranges.  I knew I wanted to go green, but I also knew I couldn’t jump into the green pond right away.  You have to work up to these things!

After a couple of weeks I dove in…green juice.  Greens are full of all kinds of nutrients including vitamin A and iron, plus they have an alkalizing effect on your body.  You’ve probably heard the buzz about how diseases love an acidic environment, so maintaining a balanced pH is one thing you can do to help minimize your risk.

I bet you’re wondering how this lovely greenness tasted!  It actually wasn’t bad.  I expected a thick sludgy drink with all the personality of pureed spinach, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I did toss in a small lime and a slice of ginger to cut through some of the blandness, and I think it helped.

I’m not gonna lie and say that this was scrumptiously delicious, but I was able to get the whole drink down without making a face.  I think my palate will grow to appreciate a nice glass of green juice, and until then, I’ll just think about the good things I’m doing for my body as I’m drinking it!

~BigSis