do everything yourself

Lately I’ve been making juice. By “lately” I mean “today and yesterday” but it’s so quick and simple that it’s hard not to grow conceited and start thinking of yourself as some kind of juice expert. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really one for mad diet fads, and I have been accompanying all my juices and smoothies with plenty of solid food. So is my dad, who is on a bit of a health kick and wants to combat certain illnesses, and his weight, by getting more fruit and veg in his system.

This one went down a treat with both parents:


It consists of carrot, celery, ginger, apples, raisins and a cup of water. I got the recipe from a book, but I’ve been pretty cavalier about portion sizes and what constitutes “dried fruit”.

See, that’s the main problem with making juices and smoothies: it is very expensive and I’ve been trying to suss out ways to cut costs. For starters, my family don’t have a blender with a juicing function so I’ve been making smoothies, then draining the juice out of the pulp with a sieve. Here’s the result of this round of juicing:

DSC_0217One of the nicest things about making your own food or drink is marvelling at the differences between your product and the stuff you’d get from a supermarket. I love the colour of this stuff, although admittedly I haven’t seen a lot of apple, carrot, celery, raisin and ginger juice at the supermarket. I’d imagine really upscale supermarkets stock that sort of thing though.

There’s also something exciting about making staple foods instead of buying them, even if you COULD buy them. I mean, look at the massive surge in the popularity of baking in recent years, even though it’s not particularly difficult to buy bread or cake. Sometimes (if you have the time) it’s just nice to put in the effort and taste that effort in the resulting food.

Juices and smoothies are also really nice to make for someone who is ill. Again, I am so not advocating BeyoncĂ© style all-juice-and-nothing-but-the-juice diets but it is a nice way to give someone a boost, emotional and physical, if they’re dealing with anything from cancer to the flu.

– For the love of God, don’t use Pink Lady apples. I used Braeburns for this recipe, even though I hate them because in juice you don’t have to deal with that gross sawdusty texture. Seriously, fuck Braeburns. Except in juices and smoothies.
– Use up old vegetables. Your celery might be too soft to eat but it’ll work fine in something like this. Some recipes I’ve seen require broccoli, I say use the yellowing stuff that you left out of your last stirfry because it looked unappealing.
– Only make smoothies and juices once a week/fortnight (once the initial novelty wears off) or on occasions where you already have four out of five ingredients. Unless you can afford lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in which case, good for you and make me some.

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