What goes in? Rinse it out

Austin American-Statesman - - FOOD & LIFE - — Ad­die Broyles

My grand­mother only made carrot and cel­ery juice with the juicer she re­cently passed on to me, but I’m more of a what­ever’s-on-sale kind of juicer. Juic­ing re­quires a lot of in­put for not very much out­put, so it makes sense, eco­nom­i­cally, to use what’s in sea­son and priced ac­cord­ingly.

Can­taloupes, wa­ter­melon, peaches, cher­ries, pineap­ples, pears and plums are in their prime right now, but don’t for­get about cu­cum­bers and toma­toes, which are well-suited for both sweet and sa­vory juices. (For home­made V-8 juice, juice any com­bi­na­tion of car­rots, cel­ery, toma­toes, gar­lic, basil, ci­lantro, pars­ley, hot pep­per, onion and le­mon.)

In the colder months, juice made with cit­rus fruits and beets, spinach, car­rots, broccoli or kale is a tasty im­mune booster, and I like ap­ple gin­ger juice just about any time of year.

A col­league of mine makes home­made gin­ger ale by mak­ing a small amount of con­cen­trated juice out of a Granny Smith ap­ple and a quar­ter-inch piece of gin­ger and mix­ing it with Topo Chico. Home­made juice is an easy way to sneak in foods such as raw gar­lic, pars­ley and cayenne that are said to have heal­ing prop­er­ties.

But here’s the best piece of juic­ing ad­vice I ever re­ceived: Clean the ma­chine right away. Juicers sit un­used in cupboards be­cause they have the rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing hard to clean, but this isn’t the case if you spray down or rinse out the parts as soon as the last drop of juice falls in the glass.

Be­cause you’re break­ing down raw pro­duce be­fore con­sum­ing it, freshly made juices make it eas­ier for the body to ab­sorb nu­tri­ents, but don’t throw out the fi­brous pulp that’s left over. It stores well in the fridge for up to a week, or you can freeze it in ice cube trays.

You can of­ten add a few ta­ble­spoons to ba­nana bread or other moist cakes or muffins with­out ad­just­ing the recipe, but Michael Joyner, Fino pas­try chef and co-owner of Retro Biz­zaro Pas­tries, shared a recipe for muffins that he de­vel­oped specif­i­cally to use up leftover pulp. An­other good way to use up the so-called chum is to add it to pan­cake bat­ter, soups, stews or pasta sauce as a thick­ener and nutri­ent-booster.

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