Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fresh Juice-No Juicer

Yes, you read the title correctly! I successfully made my own juice without the use of an expensive juicer. I just returned from eating my way through Texas I knew it was time to get my diet back on track with some fresh juice. There are a ton of companies that offer really great delivery programs right to your door, but they are expensive! I wanted a way to have fresh juice as a regular source of vitamins and nutrients for my body, but I did not want to break the bank while trying to lead a more healthy lifestyle.

I started this adventure by researching different vegetable and fruit blends that would provide me with all the good stuff my body craves. My research lead me to juicerecipes.com. This website has so many great recipes and also lists why each blend is beneficial. Really great information.....totally wish I came up with a site like that. So helpful!!

I did my shopping at Trader Joe's because they have incredibly fresh produce with even better prices. If you don't have a Trader Joe's, check out local farmer's markets or community gardens for inexpensive fresh produce. Or work on a garden of your own! I saved on the cucumber and parsley because I already have those items in my garden.

My Shopping List:
Green Apple
Red Apple

Now for the juice without a juicer! You will need a blender so I'm sorry if you thought you could do this without any appliances at all. A blender is useful for so many other reasons. You will get much more out of it than a juicer. I have a Vitamix and it is incredible! Highly recommend! I can make soup, smoothies, sauces, dips, spreads, juice, margaritas and a whole mess of other things with it. Totally worth every penny!

You will also need a strainer and/or a cheese cloth. I have found a two step process with both is more successful when it comes to removing the pulp so you are left with only liquid juice. I hate pulp so the two step process is necessary for me. It may not be for you so pick your poison.

Juice #1
2 Cups Kale
2 Cups Spinach
1 Cucumber Peeled
2 Stalks of Celery
Handful of Parsley
2-3 Large Chunks of Pineapple
1/2 Cup of Water

The great thing about the Vitamix is that you don't have to finely chop your vegetables. I literally threw everything into the blender in chunks and let the machine do the work. After everything is turned to a liquid form, it's time to strain the pulp out so you are left with only juice. My two step process is shown below with a strainer and then a cheese cloth. I started with the strainer then put what didn't drain through the strainer into the cheese cloth. Gently squeeze it to help all the juice to press out. You will be left with a very interesting green clump that can go directly into your compost. The cheese cloth can go in the compost too so clean up is super easy and you are making the most of everything by not putting the excess in the trash. Juicing and saving the planet all in a day's work!

Once I have all the juice squeezed out, I store it in mason jars for safe keeping in the fridge. It will be fresh for about 3 days. I like to drink it after it has been refrigerated for a couple of hours. Cold and refreshing!

Below are a couple more recipes I have tried and love. This has really made me feel so much better. Whether you want to do a juice cleanse or incorporate juices into your daily diet, I highly recommend!! Please share thoughts and any recipes you have in the comments section. 

Green Machine

4 Cups Kale
2 Stalks of Celery
1 Cucumber Peeled
3 Green Apples Cored
1/2 Piece of Ginger Peeled
1 Lemon Squeezed (Juice only in blender)
1/2 Cup of Water

Orange Monster
6 Cups Carrots
2 Lemons Squeezed (Juice only in blender)
1 Inch Piece of Ginger Peeled
1 Cup Water

3 Red Apples Cored
4 Beets Peeled
2 Cups Carrots
1 Cup Water

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Living North of the Mason Dixon Football Edition

Recently a lot of people have asked me 'How do you like living on Cape Cod?' It's funny because the tone always implies that I'm going to respond that I hate it. I live at the beach in a vacation town.....how could anyone not love it here?? The summer is amazing and I wish it was longer, but I feel like this is true with a lot of places. You take the bad weather with the good. When I lived in Dallas it was a billion degrees in the summer. Not exactly ideal but there are other times in the year that make it worth it. 

Now that we are seeing a glimpse of fall coming around it does make me miss the south quite a bit. It's Football Time in Tennessee and I do wish every Saturday that I was in Knoxville signing Rocky Top at the top of my lungs while moving my arms along to every routine I can remember from my dance team days. There is no better place in the world than Neyland Stadium on Saturdays!! The campus traditions of the Vol Walk, the parade with the Pride of the Southland Marching Band, running through the 'T', the beauty of the orange and white checkerboard end-zone, V-O-L-S, and of course the Whooo in Rocky Top are more than enough to give you chills and cause your hair to stand on end. 

Along with football comes the best tailgating in the world. Waking up to the sounds of Game Day and wondering through a sea of orange will wake you right up in the morning. It doesn't matter what time the game is as long as you are on campus first thing in the morning. The smell and view of amazing tailgate spreads like BBQ, chili frijto pie, Smokey dogs, and dips as far as the eye can see. My favorite part of tailgating is bouncing around from tent to tent having a taste of all the southern goodness that is homemade with love and usually cream cheese. YUM!! Then a little friendly game of cornhole will keep you going until its time to enter the stadium. 

While I do love where I live, I miss so much that comes with life south of the Mason Dixon line. College football, fried food, tailgating, and of course the most amazing accents on the planet. The best part about southern accents is that only we can differentiate between states. TN is very different from SC who is very different from AL and AR and GA. It's wonderful! But we are all part if the SEC which is the best! I think the funniest conversation Chris and I had was about our favorite teams. When I asked him who his football team was and he responded with the Patriots I about fell in the floor. He didn't have a college football team!!!! What a tragedy!!! All it took was a visit to Knoxville for the TN/Bama game for him to be a fan and to understand the deep love that southerners have for their college football teams. There is nothing better in the world!

It's Great To Be A Tennessee Vol!!!!