Ever since our family has been making a change to eating a more traditional/whole foods diet, one of the biggest items on my kitchen gadget wishlist has been a juicer. We had all but given up on store-bought juices, due to artificial ingredients, dyes and high-fructose corn syrup, but save for the occassional bottle of Naked or Santa Cruz juice (expensive...yikes!), we discovered one truth about the Vega family...we really, really like juice! With no juice in our home, Henry and I both began to crave sodas, something we had not done for quite some time! So, after some careful consideration, we decided it would be a good investment to buy a good-quality juicer. We decided on the Juiceman Hero Electric Juicer from Black and Decker. The Juiceman is very basic, not too large and super-efficient! It has 2 speeds, one for softer fruits and veggies, and another for hard ones, like carrots. I particularly like the ease of disassembly for cleaning--everything disattaches from the main unit so you don't have to try to clean parts while avoiding getting the motor wet!
An added bonus to this juicer is the compartment that collects the pulp from the fruits and veggies being used. I add this pulp to a basic whole- grain muffin recipe with flavorful, moist results! After making a quart of carrot-orange juice the other morning, I used the pulp to create the recipe for Sunshine Muffins, a surprisingly big hit with little Henry.
*Note: a soaking step for the whole-wheat flour is reccomended, although I made these on the spur of the moment, so I skipped it.
2 c. whole-wheat pastry flour
1 c. softened butter
1/2 c. maple syrup or honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. baking powder
reserved orange and carrot pulp
1 c. milk
Cream butter, pulps, egg and sweetener in a mixing bowl; add baking powder and vanilla, creaming until smooth. In a large mixing bowl, combine soft ingredients with the flour and milk, a bit at a time, stirring until well-moistened. Fill greased muffin tin cups 3/4 of the way full; bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes one dozen muffins.
Tropical Delight Juice
2 c. chunked fresh pineapple
2 mangos, quartered
2 oranges, peeled and quartered
1 c. coconut milk
Run first three ingredients through your juicer; add coconut milk, shake and serve.
4 lemons, peeled and halved
1 c. water
1 c. rapadura
Juice the lemons. In a saucepan, combine rapadura and water; bring to a boil, then recuce heat, stirring constantly until rapadura is dissolved, forming a simple syrup. Combine syrup with lemon juice and 2 cups of water or sparkling water for a lemonade spritzer.