Sunday, April 8, 2012

Anti-inflammatory Juice

Lately there’s been a lot of debate over which is better, green juices or green smoothies.  I believe that there is not right answer; it depends on who you are and what you like.  In the past, I would load the blender full with cucumbers, celery, greens and other veggies, but found it to be a little too much fiber for me. 

So I switched to juicing because I could more easily control the amount of pulp that went into the juice and the slow crushing juicer I use does a nice job of extracting as much juice as possible.   If you’re concerned about the waste, you can use the leftover pulp to make veggie burgers and I will be posting a recipe for those soon.

My daughter was here visiting from California recently and we got into the habit of preparing a daily green juice.  I love them more and more as the weather gets warmer because they’re refreshing, energizing, and can help with your body’s cleansing process.   The juice below is one we prepared the most and I like it for its anti-inflammatory ingredients, like ginger, parsley, and tumeric.  Play around with the veggies and fruits or simply use whatever you’ve got because juicing is one of the best ways to get large quantities of vegetables into your diet. 

Anti-inflammatory Juice

2 carrots
1 cucumber
1 tart, green apple
2 stalks of celery
½ a lemon
a handful of fresh parsley  
1 inch piece of ginger

Wash, trim, and peel the vegetables (if not organic) and pass through the juicer.  Pour into a nice glass and sprinkle with tumeric.   Slowly enjoy the healthy decadence.

Some variations: 

  •        add in additional greens such as kale, collards, or spinach;
  •         include a small beet - this will change the color completely;
  •         use a sweeter apple, like a pink lady or Fuji, or a crisp pear;
  •        sprinkle with other spices such as paprika, curry powder, or cayenne pepper, or add a drop or two of tobasco sauce

Note:  if you don’t have a juicer, use your blender and strain the mixture through a colander. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fruit and Nut Truffles

Lately, whenever I’ve wanted something sweet, I’d whip up a batch of these.  They’re quick to make and just as good with the substitutions in parentheses.  To minimize messy hands, I now shape them into perfect little mounds using a small cookie scoop.  The batter could also be pressed into a small pan, chilled, and cut into small squares. 

I love the combination of orange with the chocolate and fruit but it can easily be left out or swapped for almond or maybe some cinnamon.  Try them as an after school snack for the kids, or as a sweet treat after lunch or dinner.  They also travel well; I took them on a plane trip and they made it wonderfully.

Fruit and Nut Truffles

1 c raisins or dates
1 c walnuts
¼ c chopped good quality dark chocolate (or 2 T cocoa powder)
2 T unsweetened coconut
1 t vanilla
few drops orange extract (or 1 t orange zest)

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor until mixture gets crumbly.  Form teaspoon sized portions into tight balls or pack the mixture into a small cookie scoop to form more uniform mounds.  Chill to set and store in an airtight container in fridge.