Easy Tips for Making Juices and Smoothies
This is part one in our series on Cooking with Small Appliances.
The data is pretty compelling: People who eat the most fruits and veggies are half as likely to develop cancer. And the health benefits hardly end there, so it’s not surprising that many people are seeking ways to introduce more fresh produce into their diets. Raw fresh juices and blended drinks are an easy and tasty way to ensure that you get the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
Pat Crocker, a home economist specializing in herbs and healthy foods, is the author of two invaluable books on juices and smoothies: The Juicing Bible, Second Edition and The Smoothies Bible, Second Edition. The following tips are excerpts from these books.
Quick and easy tips for making smoothies
- Pour liquid ingredients into the blender jug first and solid ingredients last. This is essential for the blender to work properly.
- Blend on the low or mix setting for 10 to 30 seconds, then increase speed to the high, purée or liquefy setting for another 10 to 30 seconds. This allows the blades to chop the bigger chunks finely before they spin faster and lift the mixture up and out of range.
- Be sure to always chop ice with some liquid in the jug.
- If you find that your smoothie is too thin, add a couple of ice cubes, a banana or frozen fruit.
- If your smoothie is too thick, add more liquid — juice, soy milk, milk or water.
- If your smoothie is too sweet, add lemon juice, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, until taste is corrected.
- If your smoothie is too sour, add chopped sweet fruit (banana, apple, grapes, pineapple or dried apricots or dates), in 1⁄4-cup (50 mL) increments, until desired sweetness is achieved.
Quick and easy tips for enjoying raw juices
- Fruit juices are intensely sweet and, depending on individual preferences, may need to be balanced with lemon or beet.
- A rule of thumb for diluting stronger vegetable juices is to use the ratio of 3 mild ingredients (apples or carrots) to 1 strong ingredient (cabbage, broccoli, leafy dark vegetables).
- When you go shopping, buy twice as many apples as any other single fruit or vegetable and use them in 3:1 ratio.
- Gradually incorporate more variety and stronger-tasting vegetables such as cabbage, spinach and fresh herbs (leaves and roots) as these can be an acquired taste.
- Start taking fresh raw juice slowly — one or two glasses a day for several days — to allow the body time to adjust. Minor discomfort may be experienced in the form of gas and slight abdominal pain. This transitory stage should be short.
Also in the Small Appliance series:
Part Three: Using Your Stand Mixer: 101
Part Four: 8 Tips for Making Great Slow Cooker Recipes