My mother has always been at the forefront of sustainability, health and nutrition. Early on, we learned about the importance of saving the environment, living a healthy lifestyle and making sound nutritional choices. Being reminded to switch off a light bulb when leaving a room, using environmentally friendly cleaning products and taking advantage of public transportation might all be very “old-fashioned”, but they are hard habits to kick. What she also knew back then, is that juicing is good for you. I remember the times when I was pretty much forced to drink what I thought was the most ghastly thing ever: raw beet juice. It looked like blood and tasted like the earth, but my mother insisted that it would be good for me. Well, fast forward to now and we are inundated by juice bars, which are popping up left, right, and even in The Wall Street Journal – not exactly where you’d expect to see information about juicing, or is it? Here for your benefit is the Juicing A-Z according to the WSJ. Come and juice with us!
This article in The WSJ was packed with such great information, that it was too good not to share with you. It offers valuable information on 26 fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices used for juicing but also provides great inspiration by including lesser-known flavors in an effort to find optimal taste in refined combinations. We have included four of their favorite juice mix recommendations at the end. Hope you get out that juicer and join the revolution!
A is for Apple: Go with Granny Smith for tartness, Golden Delicious for concentrated sweetness and Pink Lady for a bit of both, suggests veteran juicer Melvin Major, Jr. from Melvin’s Juice Box in Soho in Manhattan, NY.
B is for Beet: Chef Michael Romano from Creative Juice in Manhattan, NY uses sweet, earthy beets in his Zest for Life blend (recipe below). ‘Think about it as if you’re making a salad,’ he said. Oranges and fennel are classic partners; acidic ingredients cut beets’ richness.
C is for Cilantro: A dish at New York’s Jean-Georges inspired Moon Juice’s Amanda Chantal Bacon to pair cilantro with lush melon. She uses the bracing herb for its detoxifying properties.
D is for Dandelion: Both leaves and roots can be juiced, but their bitter bite, which increases as the plants grow, is best tempered with sweet fruit or even honey.
E is for Epazote: This Mexican herb’s peppery, lemony flavor perks up squash and tomatoes, as in the Succotash Smash below. Find it in Latin American markets.
F is for Fennel: Fennel’s heady licorice perfume elevates any juice. The bulbs have a pleasant sweetness. The feathery greens are more intense in flavor; a little goes a long way.
G is for Ginger: Ginger brings a slow heat to juices that is both soothing and invigorating. If you’re using a centrifugal machine, be sure to peel before juicing.
L is for Lemon: Ms. Bacon from Moon Juice in Venice, California loves ‘the nectar and the floral perfume’ of this melon, and also its ‘strength.’ Though sweet and mellow, it can stand up to pungent flavors.
I is for Italian Sweet Pepper: All kinds of sweet peppers work well in juices. These have a winning combination of sweetness and bright acidity.
J is for Jalopeno: Chef Matthew Kenney of M.A.K.E. in Santa Monika, California likes jalapeño for its impact: ‘I think a juice should punch you!’ Remove seeds and veins before juicing to temper the heat.
K is for Kale: Nutrient-dense kale commands a cultish devotion among juicers. Choose firm, fresh leaves, and keep the proportion to about 20% kale juice per glass—its earthy, vegetal flavor is quite intense.
L is for Lemon: Lemon brightens any juice and makes the other flavors pop. It’s great with roots, squashes and other ingredients that could use a little oomph.
M is for Mint: Mint gives green juices and those made with sweet fruit an invigorating edge. It’s outrageously good with watermelon.
N is for Nasturtium: Use both the blossoms and the greens to give almost any flavor of juice a gentle, peppery punch and vivid color.
O is for Orange: ‘Citrus has an effervescence,’ said Mr. Kenney of M.A.K.E. He likes to balance it with a mix of greens, fruit and heat in drinks like the Spice-C (recipe below).
P is for Pineapple: A truly ripe pineapple has complexity as well as sweetness. Seek out fruits that are heavy and a bit soft when you squeeze them. You should be able to smell their sweetness.
Q is for Quetsch Plum (We call it the Zwetschke): This tiny, oblong variety, aka Italian prune plum, is just coming into season now. It has a tart flavor that sweetens like honey as the fruit ripens.
R is for Raspberry: Matt Shook of JuiceLand in Austin, Texas softens raspberries’ tartness with fragrant rosewater in his Rosie Cheek juice (recipe below).
S is for Summer Squash: Squashes in this family have a mild flavor, so they’re best matched, as in the Succotash Smash below, with bold, sweet, herbal or spicy produce. Patty Pan (pictured) is an especially juicy variety.
T is for Tourmeric Root: It would be worth using this spice for its radiant saffron hue alone. It also contributes gentle heat and a distinctive woodsy flavor.
U is for Ugly Tomato: Pretty tomatoes have been bred for looks, not flavor. Opt instead for gnarly, tasty heirloom varieties.
V is for Vietnamese Cinnamon: Also called Saigon cinnamon, this is the richest, sweetest, zippiest variety. For a mellower flavor, try Ceylon cinnamon.
W is for Watermelon: Possibly the most refreshing of all juiceable fruits, watermelon plays very well with citrus and herbs.
X is for The X Factor: Supplements like camu camu and goji berries are popular additions—though Meredith Baird of M.A.K.E. advises against overdoing it and ‘muddying’ your juice’s flavor.
Y is for Yam: Garnet yams (pictured)—technically a variety of sweet potato—make a sweet, thick juice. Combine with something tart, and throw in cinnamon and ginger for a cozy preview of autumn.
Z is for Zucchini: Send that late summer bounty of zucchini to the juicer right now. Its mildly vegetal flavor makes it a nice, light base for a mellower green juice.
Six Delicious Was to Get From A to Z
Jaimaican Green: A + G + K + L = 1 apple, 1/2 inches fresh ginger, 10 pieces kale, 1 lemon, 3 stalks celery
Zest for Life: B + F + O = 1 medium red beet, 1/2 fennel bulb, 1 blood orange, 6 shiso leaves
Succotash Smash: E + I + S = 5-8 leaves epazote, 3 Italian sweet peppers, 1 yellow summer sqaush, 7 cherry tomatoes, pinch of salt (optional)
Rosie Cheek: L + R + W = 1/2 lemon, 1/3 cup raspberries, 1 lb watermelon, 5 drops rosewater