June 23, 2009

Beverages - Juicing - Festive Drinks

Beverages - Juicing - Celebratory Drinks

I have been juicing vegetables and fruits for over 20 years. When I tell people that I drink beet and carrot juice it's at first quite unbelievable. It's amazing what can be juiced. And the combinations are quite interesting. Today I felt like experimenting. I juiced an entire lemon, carrots, swiss chard, ginger a beet and cucumber. It was delicious. It was refreshing and not too bitter. That's the juice on the left.

Tomorrow I'm invited to a raw food potluck so I thought that I would create a festive drink. I took a gallon jug and put in some herbs that I have in the garden (similar to licorice), added some ginger slices, the peel of lemon, and added some herbal tea bags (Tazo Tea Sweet Orange and Celestial Seasonings Mandarin Orange) and put it in the backyard to start the sun tea. The experimentation came when I decided to juice a fresh pineapple, lemon and some ginger, added some organic coconut milk and a little agave sweetener and put the concoction in ice cube trays to freeze. These will be my ice cubes, my version of pineapple creamsicles. Sounded good!
When having a celebration or festive occasion it's wonderful to have a specialty drink for the guests. Sangria and Mojitos are two of my favorite. Sangria is usually made with red wine and usually brandy, you can add champagne or sparkling water for a twist. However, the fruit is what makes this drink so festive; oranges, apples, and pears are a few of the fruits, and even bananas. Just be careful and don't eat too much of the liquor-infused fruit. You may be drinking more than one glass! And of course my other favorite is mojito. The key is to use fresh lime juice, simple syrup made from raw sugar (1 part water, 1 part sugar, boiled to a syrup and cooled), fresh chopped mint and a sparkling water like Pelegrino or Perrier. And of course rum. The quality of a mixed drink is in the quality of the other ingredients, same as when you are cooking.
The photo below is of lilikoi (passionfruit). I had some fall in my backyard when I realized that I had a lilikoi tree! And then a man down the street had a sign "Lilikoi For Sale." What do you do with 100 lilikoi. Cut them in half and squeeze out the juice. What a project that was. But wow! Just add a little of the potent juice and you are in for a delight. I don't like the seeds so for me juicing is the only way to go. You can make desserts such as lilikoi bars or add to cheesecake or icecreams.

So it's kind of exciting. I can even get creative with beverages. A fruit is a fruit. A vegetable is a vegetable. But when you can juice lettuce, it's a whole new experience. My father used to swear by garlic juice and green beans. I haven't been able to swallow that yet. However, my carrot, beet, apple ginger juice is something I look forward to. And now it's fun, I can add a lemon or juice an entire watermelon (yes, skin and all!). So experiment and enjoy, here's to your health, sante! Aloha.

No comments: