range juice from Florida... it isn't just for breakfast
anymore.” So sang the national television ads of the
1980s in a Florida-driven effort to boost America's orange
juice consumption. This language assumes the common understanding
among the audience that, up to that point, orange juice
was being consumed exclusively for breakfast. Since then,
the American Academy of Pediatrics has taken the position
that kids who drink fruit juice all day long are more
prone to obesity and cavities due to fruit juicesugar
content. And kids aren't the only ones that sugar makes
fat. So maybe anymore, orange juice is just for breakfast.
Vegetable juice, on the other hand, is generally lower
in sugar than fruit juice and higher in vitamins, fiber,
enzymes, amino acids, chlorophyll and other goodies,
like antioxidants. And here in the northern hemisphere,
we've all got plenty of vegetables.
But it's astounding how easily our local resources can
be overlooked. I was strolling the aisles of the organic
food store the other day when I noticed some glass jars
of juice imported from Switzerland. The juice contained
tomato, beet, celery root and carrot. I thought, That's
strange. Why are we paying Swiss people to grow juice,
bottle and ship the same vegetables we can grow right
So I walked over to the juice bar, where my girl Juicy
was working behind the counter, and asked her to whip
up a combo of carrot, celery root (also known as celeriac),
beet and tomato juices. Juicy didn't have celery root – it's
too early in the season yet – so she used celery stalks.
The result was a potent symphony of earth-toned sweetness.
Veggie juice is definitely not just for breakfast. But
perhaps the association between juice and breakfast is
related to the fact that fresh juice has long been used
as a digestive tonic, best taken before a meal, so its
raw living goodness can be absorbed quickly, rather than
rotting behind an intestinal backlog of potatoes, bacon,
cheese and other slower-burning fuels. Breakfast – that
quintessential “breaking of the fast” – makes sense as
the meal to be associated with fast-acting, digestion-stimulating,
My buddy Juice Dog agrees. And he has more miles on
his Champion juicer than most people have on their Toyotas.
“I juice because I'm lazy,” he says. “I want to eat
good food, but I don't always have time to prepare it.
I'll just go into the garden, pick whatever is ready
and push it through the juicer. Kale, cucumbers, beets
... carrot is crucial, it's the base.
“But if I want to give myself a treat,” he continues, “it's
definitely carrot, ginger, apple juice. That's my favorite.”
If you are in the market for your own juicer, Champion
brand is definitely the gold standard workhorse. And
remember: Clean your juicer as soon as you're done using
it – ideally before you enjoy your juice. The clock starts
ticking quickly as veggie scraps bond to your juicer.
Immediate rinsing is better than soaking and scrubbing.
Or if you prefer to get your fix at the juice bar, by
all means do. Some people complain it's expensive and
then think nothing about dropping the same amount of
money on a glass of beer. Go figure.
At the Juice Bar, I asked Juicy what her favorite combo
is. “Carrot, apple, ginger,” she said.
Juicy and Juice Dog are only two of many experts who
choose carrot/ginger/apple as their favorite. Always
run the ginger first, most experts agree, so that the
juice which follows runs through the ginger pulp.
Then I noticed a new option on the Juice Bar menu board,
called “Sparklers,” made from fresh juice and bubbly
water. One of the sparklers that caught my eye was Gingerade,
made from fresh ginger, lemon and apple.
Seconds later, Juicy handed me a Gingerade. It was completely
stupendous: sweet, tangy and bubbly. For your benefit,
dear reader, I begged her to show me how to make it.
For one portion, you need: One cubic inch of ginger;
one apple; one lemon.
Run the ginger and then the apple through the juicer.
Squeeze lemon juice separately, stir it into the apple/ginger
mix and pour over well-crushed ice. Top off with bubbly.
This combination offers a rare exception to Juice Dog's
rule of thumb about carrot being the universal base for
veggie juice.A0Here we essentially take the carrot/ginger/apple
juice (plus lemon), and substitute bubbly for carrot
juice. Of course, apple and lemon are fruit juice, which
means maybe they should be just for breakfast anymore.
And ginger isn't local, unless you live in Hawaii, at
which point you couldn't grow apples, but you could grow
lemons, and I don't know about carrots.
The bottom line is, to really master the art of juice
making you must transcend the rules, categories, and
paradigms. Juice is the essence of blending. Go for it.
But Juice Dog is right: Carrots are an amazing base.
In fact, straight carrot juice tastes so good it's easy
to blow off adding anything else, even though you still
should. So here is a final tip, in the event that you
don't have much of a carrot patch: most farmers at the
farmer's market – as well as many earthy supermarkets – will
sell ugly carrots at a reduced price as juicing carrots.
Now is the season to stock up, and get juicy.