As a child of the war, my maternal grandmother Inna remains an avowed scrimper. She cuts coupons, saves hummus containers, and reuses milk bags for storage. Her cupboards are full of old things that have been re-invented and repurposed. Coincidentally, if there’s one thing she is adamantly against, it’s buying single-use appliances. Growing up in her house until I was six, and then continuing to enjoy her care well into my 20s (my grandmother still comes over and helps clean my mother’s house every Friday), I learned to disdain any new-fangled invention that only purports to do one thing, no matter how well. So a juicer always seemed out of the question for me (though I do have my eyes set on [amazon text=this one&asin=B003R28HWQ], if I ever change my mind). So one day, I bought a 20-lb bag of carrots and decided that, if I’m really going to scrimp, I am going to have to learn how to juice without a juicer.
The good news, juicing without a juicer is definitely possible. Though it takes a blender, a bit of time and just a tad of elbow grease, the results are a glass of tall, cold, nutrient-filled juice with none of the pulp and all of the benefits. The bad news is, despite my disdain for single-use items, I will urge you to buy one more product you probably don’t already own: a [amazon text=nut bag&asin=B00L0JAK3C]. At just about $10, it’s not a big cost and not exactly single-use, because you can use it in making your own almond milk and labneh, reducing yogurt, sprouting microgreens, and possibly more. But to me, its best use is to separate juice from pulp in making you own low-cost, delicious juice without a juicer.
I won’t bore you with the details (they’re in the recipe), but the gist of this “technique” is that you cut your fruit or vegetables into manageable chunks, put them in the blender with the juicier ones (apples, cucumbers, berries, etc) in the bottom, and start blending from low to high. Then you will pour your “smoothie” through a nut bag, and try to squeeze out as much of the juice as you can into a glass or a large pitcher. You will drink whatever you want right then and there, when the nutrients are fresh, and if you have any extra juice leftover, you will freeze it in ice cube trays. You can then use the remaining pulp for compost, to thicken soups or boost up baked goods. And voila – you can now juice without a juicer.
And now, with a glass of tall juice at hand, you can take the time to enjoy the Friday links. Have a good one!
- Warning: this link is so cute and touching, it may cause toothache. And I can vouch for how adorable Maine Coon cats are – I used to have one!
- I’ve shared this on social media this week, but it was so good it deserves to be recorded for posterity. (READ the Julia Child piece. Like, now. Thank me later).
- An animation of your mind on Gummi bears (or any other sweets, really).
- This moved me nearly to tears.
- Beautiful images, beautiful video, and an incredible-looking recipe. I can’t think of a better way to spend a cold winter day.
- I am now on a mission to gather ingredients for this gorgeous vegan Persian stew.
- Douglas Coupland on writing, food, and his early days as a restaurant critic. You can just feel his mind going in 10,000 different directions.
- Reading [amazon text=this&asin=0553381687] (I know, I know, years after the rest of the world. Deal with it, because I’m loving every moment).
P.S. – A little bit of housekeeping: this blog is getting a new design! This weekend, The Immigrant’s Table will be inaccessible for a few hours while I fiddle with code and back-panel controls, undoubtedly drenching myself in cold sweat and even colder bourbon in the process. The result, hopefully, will be a beautiful, smooth, and simple site that will be as much of a pleasure for you to read as for me to create. So wish me luck, and check in early on Monday for the big reveal! If you sign up for my newsletter, I may even send you a sneak preview during the weekend (including my brand new logo, designed by the ever-talented Sarah Carson!).
- 1 beet
- 1 whole apple
- ½ large carrot, or one medium-sized one
- 1-inch (or 2cm) nub of ginger
- ¼ cup of water
- a few mint leaves
- blender (you can use a cheap blender to do this; It will just take more time and a bit more water than a high-speed one, but it will still work!)
- nut bag (I like this one from Amazon - http://www.amazon.ca/Elaina-Loves-Pure-Joy-Planet/dp/B001UEPGFY)
- a large pitcher or bowl
- ice cube trays (optional, if making more than one glass)
- Wash and trim al of your vegetables well (no need to peel - that's where a lot of the nutrients are!). Cut all of your vegetables into manageable, 1-inch sized pieces. Add to blender with the juicier ones (apples) in the bottom, and start blending from low to high. Do not skip speeds, and do not jump straight ahead to the fastest! Take time (about a minute at the low speeds, probably less on the higher ones), and break any resulting air pockets with a knife as you go along (of course, stop the motor running first). Stir contents occasionally. Depending on the quality of your blender, you will add some water as you go - start with ⅛ of a cup, and add more if needed. You do not need to get this to the consistency of a perfect smoothie - just to the point that everything is blended well, the vegetables have been reduced to tiny pieces, and there is no visible separation between liquids and chunks (but don't worry if you overblend it - it's fine too).
- Arrange your nut bag over your bowl or pitcher (preferably, you have chosen one that the nut bag can fit over; otherwise, you'll just have to hold it as you're pouring the liquids in). Pour your "smoothie" into the nut bag, and, twisting as you do so, try to squeeze out as much of the juice as you can into your receptacle. This will be very easy at first, but then get harder the less juice you have left in your veggies. Try to squeeze every bit out - make my grandma proud!
- Drink whatever you want right then and there, when the nutrients are fresh, and if you have any extra juice leftover, pour it into ice cube trays.
- You can then use the remaining pulp for compost, to thicken soups or boost up baked goods.
- And voila - you can now juice without a juicer.