Putzing around my basement on a recent afternoon, I ventured into a seldom-visited, cupboard-sized room overflowing with handpainted ceramic plates and mugs from my crafty childhood, out-of-commission blender motors, hopelessly tarnished silverware, and stacks of Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines dating back to the mid-1980’s. An unfamiliar off-white, bulky appliance peeking out from behind a set of unused ramekins caught my eye, and I proceeded to unearth the robot-like machine from its dusty cellar tomb. Turning over the apparatus in my hands, I examined the circular, fanged metal gizmo that whirred when switched on; the plastic repository that fed into a small pointed spout positioned beneath the metal gizmo; and the cone-shaped lid with an open-topped protruding cylinder that locked into the plastic repository beneath the metal gizmo. An unexpected gust of realization rushed through my mind as I envisioned myself feeding a carrot into the cylinder, only to observe its sweet vegetable nectar flowing out of the spout and into an expectant drinking glass—I had discovered a juicer.
Bounding up the stairs and into the kitchen where my mother poured herself a glass of lemonade, I admonished her for not disclosing the juicer’s existence to me at my first lamentation of my lack of homemade juice at least two years prior. After performing a cinematic double-take at the motorized baby I cradled, my mother professed having erased the juicer from her memory, but now recalled that she had recieved it as a wedding gift almost twenty years ago. My heart sagged—a twenty-year-old juicer couldn’t possibly harbor the horsepower (excuse the animal-exploitative language) to adequately extract the liquid essence of classic hearty juicing vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and beets, or that of thick-skinned fruits and veggies like cucumbers and apples…or could it?
I promptly emptied the refrigerator of all fruits and vegetables that possessed juicing potential, whirred up the ancient juicer, and gingerly inserted a carrot into the machine (just like in my basement epiphany). To my great surprise, a stream of bright orange liquid spewed forth from the appliance’s spout. I sent through a stalk of broccoli, a wedge of beet, a stick of cucumber, a slice of apple, a leaf of kale—this baby could juice anything! Performing a veritable happy dance around my kitchen, I beamed at my newfound ability to concoct fresh juices every single day in my very own home—the blissful experience about which I’ve dreamed since the onset of my veganism.
In my juicing experiments, I’ve produced many revitalizing, colorful beverages, as well as a couple downright disgusting liquids that no one’s taste buds should ever have the misfortune to experience (never juice a radish, people). After a couple “clean-out-the-fridge” juices that utilized a cornucopia of produce, I’ve discovered that I prefer simpler tasting juices that highlight the flavor purity of each fruit and veggie. This particular juice of carrot, orange, and lemon accomplishes exactly this task—the subtlely sweet, earthiness of the carrot mingles lusciously with the citrusy zing of the orange and lemon, providing an astoundingly refreshing summer drink that even those hesitant to vegetable juice will enjoy.
Carrot Citrus Juice (Raw, Nut Free, Oil Free, Soy Free)
Makes about 12 ounces.
3 medium carrots, sliced lengthwise into quarters or halves depending on the carrot’s girth
1 orange, peeled
1/2 lemon, peeled
Feed each ingredient through a juicer. Drink immediately.
Recipe submitted to Wellness Weekend.
Local Ingredients: Carrots from Driftless Organics.
Comment Provoking Questions: What old kitchenware do you keep in your basement? Have you ever discovered anything worthwhile down there? How old is your juicer and does is still work well?
Until next time, Ali.