Big Friendly Green Giant Juice

 

 

 

Seems we skipped a beat with spring here in Daegu—with temperatures already in the mid-to-high twenties, it’s practically summer and I’m not complaining. The closet’s been spring-cleaned, the body’s getting all it’s winter waste out, and I’m getting in all the greens I can. And with a little encouragement, I’m kicking coffee and sugar for the near future. Out with the gunk, in with the greens. I like it.

Usually I add half an apple or some orange segments to my juice so I’m not choking down full-frontal army-assault-green swill first thing in the morning, but I’m not having fruit for a little while. Problem solving mode: Engage. Carrots and beets are some sweeter vegetables, both ideal for juicing, but unfortunately the latter is a bit tough to track down in Korea—so no Beety Bliss juice for me here. A carrot, on the other hand, does the job quite nicely! Enough natural sugar to make the juice palatable without making it feel like you’re drinking Kool-Aid for breakfast.

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I love parsley in my green juices for its cleansing, purifying effect. It’s more than just a garnish, it’s actually an antioxidant and great source of vitamins—plus it kinda just smells like spring. Lemon is another excellent cleanser and detoxifier, helping to stimulate the digestive system and kick the bowels into gear. I’ve added ginger here for helping with digestion and its anti-inflammatory effects, but if you’re down with some garlic in your juices, go for it! It’s anti-fungal and great for your immune system. For more of my juicing tips, including thoughts on organics vs. conventional produce, when to juice, what order to put your veggies through the chute, and how to get your mix right, check out my post here.

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If you’re wanting to avoid sugars, this juice is blood-balancing, detoxifying, and sure to keep sugar cravings calm. It’s not bitter, not overly sweet, but pleasant, fresh, clean. If you really need something a little more saccharin, you can always add one or two drops of stevia, but be careful! Add them one at a time—even a few can make your juice taste artificial.

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Big Friendly Green Giant Juice (sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

Try to buy everything organic, especially for juices: A glass of pesticides isn’t too appealing, is it?

1 or 2 sprigs of parsley

handful dark leafy greens (spinach, a stalk of kale, or swiss chard are great—I think I used bok choy here?)

1/2 lemon, peeled

thumbnail-sized knob of ginger

1 cucumber

3-4 stalks of celery

1 medium-sized carrot (I used 1/2 a large)

Directions:

Juice all ingredients in the order listed. If you have a centrifugal juicer, drink within fifteen minutes so that your greens don’t oxidize and lose nutrient value. If you have a masticating juicer, you’re okay for a day or two. Drink your juice slowly, and try to “chew” if you can—it may sound and even look funny, but it helps get your digestive juices going, signalling your body that it’s got some incredibly nutrients coming its way and it might as well prepare itself for full absorption!

You can use your leftover juice pulp to make an omelette, separate out the carrot pulp to make raw cupcakes (!), or make veggie pulp crackers. Feel like a superhero, and enjoy the rest of you day. ❤

 

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Spring Cleaning: The Body Edition

Hey, internet. *waves* I’m back.

It’s been a long time coming (and I’ve been brainstorming for a while), but it’s time we do the full overhaul and admit the inevitable–this thing has become a full-fledged food blog, and I just can’t help it. Everything on my Google Reader is food, I’m taking a university program in Food Security, hell I’m staying in on a Friday night so I can write about and make and ogle food. The healthy kind, usually.

A lot of people do spring cleanses on their house. I like to think I do that too, if re-organizing your sock drawer and putting all of your stripey shirts closer together counts. But what I’m more attracted to is a spring cleanse of the body. Though I think I maintained a pretty health diet throughout my last year of full-time school and volleyball, and part-time work, my addiction to sugar and caffeine really became clear in the most clutch of times. Plus, summertime foods are much lighter than their winter counterparts, so I want to prepare myself. And now, it’s time to clean this bitch.

If you’re like me, and spent a large portion of your childhood on antibiotics, or tend to lean towards sugar, or have taken the birth control pill for an extended period of time, you’re more at risk for candida overgrowth. It’s kind of complicated to fully diagnose the whole deal, but you can take a quiz online that basically spells out the symptoms for you. I’m not trying to be a hippie hypochondriac or anything, but after getting headaches from the majority of my sugar intake for the last few weeks, I think it’s time I swept out the dust bunnies and gave my body a break. Plus the naturopath says so, and she is pretty damn well always right. And the best part? It’s lent, so I don’t have to try and explain it to everyone and make them think I’ve got some nasty yeast overgrowth that’ll soon turn me into pizza. The full diet is listed online, but basically it’s no sugar (including fruit, and sugars found in some veggies, and those natural, low-glycemic sugars that are sneaky, too), mostly no dairy, no caffeine, no booze, no gluten, and of course, no yeast.

So what does that leave me to eat? Nothing you might think. But I like the challenge of experimenting with a limited array of items—a Top Chef-esque challenge, if you will (though my wallet doesn’t). So drool with me, as I present you the mixes, meanderings, and mishaps in my kitchen this spring!

And of course, we will begin with a Recipe in Honour of St Patty’s Day: Zucchini Muffins. And I’ll try not to finish them all before my sober St. Patty’s day comes to an end…

Zucchini Muffins (adapted from WholeApproach.com forums)

Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, vegetarian

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice flour

1/4 cup melted coconut butter (or regular butter, or earth balance would work I’m sure)

1/4 cup water

2 eggs

1/2 cup grated zucchini (add more if you wanna get extra vegetable-y!)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. zest of lemon

pinch of sea salt

stevia (optional, if you want a sweeter muffin—or you can use cane sugar or agave syrup if you’re not worried sugar!)

Directions

Bake at 350 for 18 minutes. Makes ~ 6 muffins…. and I’d double-batch this one if I were you.

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Made the drive out, Arcade Fire style, to the ‘burbs for the highly-recommends Vinnie Zucchini’s all-you-can-eatery. This is plate one. Call it a retox..

But don’t worry, this was just a twenty-four hour thing. Gotta put the system in shock so it knows how well it’s been treated these past thirty days! Will blog on future food plans soon, but for now-a huge thanks to everyone who’s been so incredibly supportive during this cleanse! Everyone who sent me websites, passed along tips, humored me by reading this blog, took me out to dinner.. thank you!!! And of course the biggest thanks of all, to my wonderful boyfriend Luke who completed this cleanse by my side-two big bright shiny organic stars for you, too!