So I've been sort of off the grid for the past few months with my blogging and recipe posts. I'm 18 weeks pregnant and I went through about 10 weeks of brutal nausea and morning sickness (however, please keep in mind that "morning sickness" is the ultimate misnomer because that shit lasts all day). I won't bore you with pregnancy details; suffice it to say my food world was rocked for close to 3 months. Green smoothies made me gag, I had to sneak veggies into my food like I was a toddler, and, for the first time in a decade, eggs made an appearance on my breakfast plate. I had strange aversions to many of my favorite foods, and it was really tough to stomach anything that I made myself. So cooking came to a halt and creating recipes was the furthest thing from my mind. I snuck in nutrition where I could get it, but ultimately was just happy to keep down food when I could.
Now I'm back! Nestled into the comfort of my second trimester, I am feeling good and eating well, and ready for a new year of healthy kitchen creations! Good timing, considering this is one of the times of year people hyper-focus on eating well. Weeks of holidays indulgences pile up, leaving us feeling like we need to slim down (for a few tips on how to right your holiday wrongs and get yourself back on track, check out my Seacoast Online blog).
The long and short of it is this: pump clean nutrients into your body. One of the best ways to do this is with green juice. Let me clear: I'm not talking about the green-colored juice concentrates packaged in plastic bottles that you can get at your supermarket. I'm referring to fresh-pressed juice made with organic fruits and veggies and nothing else. If you're local to the seacoast area, The Juicery and Portsmouth Health Food Center both offer organic fresh-made juices. I relied heavily on these juices during my first trimester. As mentioned, it was hard to stomach smoothies or veggies, so I got a lot of my daily nutrients via juice. Admittedly, buying fresh-made organic juice can be expensive (with good reason - it takes a lot of produce to make one glass of juice). Making your own at home is more convenient and cost-effective, but not everyone owns a juicer. Most of us, however, do have a blender. Here's an great way to make fresh juice in your blender.
A blender (high-speed works the best)
A fine mesh strainer OR cheesecloth
A large bowl
Here's a recipe to start with. Feel free to take some creative liberties with this recipe, but do include some type of green (kale, collard greens, romaine, spinach, parsley, cilantro, celery), something sweet (apple, carrot, beet), and some citrus (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit). If you're new to juicing, you'll probably want to start with a higher ratio of fruits. Apples are great for adding sweetness, and lemons help to cut the bitter taste of green leafs. NOTE: if you decide to include beets, your juice will be very red in color, NOT green.
Simple Blender Juice
5 large kale leaves
1 small beet
1-inch piece ginger root
1-2 cups purified water
If your cucumber is not organic, peel it. Cut away the skin of your lemon, but leave behind the pith (the white inner skin) as it contains loads of nutrients. Cut ingredients up into largish chunks and place in blender. Add 1 cup of water and blend on high speed. If the mixture seems super chunky, you may want to add another cup of water. Blend for about 1 minute.
Pour mixture through either fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a large bowl. I prefer to use a strainer as I find the cheesecloth far too messy to deal with. I use a spatula to guide the juice through the strainer. After some handling, the juice pulp will be left behind and the juice will be in the bowl.
Pour into a glass and enjoy! It's best to drink fresh juice immediately, but if you'd like to save for later on in the day, store in an air tight container (like a mason jar) in the refrigerator.
Cheers to 2014!