College Kitchen: Juice on the Loose

On Tumblr and Pinterest, juicing is going viral faster than cute kitten GIFs. The College Kitchenista had to see what all the hype was about — is juicing really as delicious as the fad followers claim?

A vibrant ruby-red breakfast juice is made from blueberries, pineapple, apples, plums, yellow zucchini and cherries. The ingredients are put through a juicer to separate the juice from the pulp.

Marisa Wojcik

A vibrant ruby-red breakfast juice is made from blueberries, pineapple, apples, plums, yellow zucchini and cherries. The ingredients are put through a juicer to separate the juice from the pulp.

Lucy Nieboer

Tape won’t fix a broken window. You wouldn’t use a Silly Putty to hang an expensive painting. Quick fixes don’t work. The same goes for fad diets.

Fans of outlandish health schemes are looking for something that will reverse their health ailments and slim them down quickly.

After returning from a culinary journey though America’s heartland (think hot dogs, cheese fries, deep dish pizza, Kielbasa, fried catfish), I too was looking for something that would have me feeling lighter.

After some internet perusing, a solution quickly came to my attention. All over the blogosphere folks were raving about juice cleanses.

These cleanses, which range anywhere from three to 60 days, include drinking homemade fruit and vegetable juice — and almost nothing else.

This type of diet fades in and out of fashion through the years, according to Sabrina Trudo, associate professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Minnesota. After a lack of results, it’s on to the next new thing.

Trudo said that juice fasts are not a realistic weight loss or healthy lifestyle plan.

Drinking juice can be a good source of nutrients, but whole fruits and vegetables are more beneficial because they contain fiber, an essential component that the body needs.

“Health beneficial compounds are more concentrated or found exclusively in the skins and peels, which might not make it into the juice,” Trudo said.

She did acknowledge that occasional fasting could be a part of a healthy lifestyle.

“There is benefit to exerting self restraint … on a whole host of levels from behavioral, [to] spiritual, [to] physiological,” she said.

After giving it a three-day test run, I may have felt lighter, but I was too hungry, exhausted and grumpy to care. If you take food away from the food monster, you just have a monster.

Juicing probably wasn’t the best diet plan, but it did expose a delicious way to intake fresh produce that otherwise may not be on the menu.

Prepare these juices for a light breakfast or snack on the go.

Wash all of your produce really well — remember anything on it could end up in your juice (dirt, pesticides, etc.).Cut up all the fruit and veggies into one-inch sections, ditching any pits or tough peels before hitting the juicer.

Follow the juicer’s instructions, adding your produce  until you have as much juice as you want. Stir thoroughly —different fruits have different densities and will settle as you create your delicious potion. Serve over ice.

 

“Purple Rain” Juice

 

Named after Prince’s favorite hue, this sour-sweet cocktail lives up to its name with a popping purple color that you can’t find in the average grocery store drink section.

Although I wouldn’t drink this, or any juice, for every meal, Purple Rain was my favorite of the juice combos I tried. It would be great for a tangy afternoon energy boost.

 

1 red apple

1 small yellow zucchini

1 black plum

1/2 cup red cherries

1 cup blueberries

1 cup pineapple

 

“It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green” Juice

 

Kermit was right. Being green and delicious is a very hard thing for a juice to do. When adding things like kale and cucumbers to a beverage, one walks a very fine line between drinkable and disgusting.

Striking a unique balance between earthy, sweet and tart, this juice isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a brave soul and love the color green, juice on.

 

1 cucumber

1 green apple

2 stalks celery

1/2 lime

1/2 cup kale

1 cup honeydew melon

 

 

Garbage Bread

 

Nobody hates to waste food more than the budget-burdened college student. Rather than throwing away all the pulp from your juiced fruits, create this moist cross between carrot cake and zucchini bread. Using the “garbage” in this spiced bread was a delicious way to use the excess fruit and vegetable matter left over from juicing. Mine included carrot, kale, peach and apple pulp, but almost anything will work in this versatile dish.

 

1 egg

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups “garbage” (pulp of juiced fruits and vegetables)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 pinch salt

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon crushed cloves

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

 

Mix egg, sugar, vanilla, water, oil and garbage. Add flour a little at a time. Then fold in spices and baking soda. Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes. Serve with jam or butter. Your grandmother will be amazed by your Depression-era resourcefulness.