What goes in? Rinse it out
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.