When the end of the month rolls around and our bank accounts are pathetically low, my friends and I like to play a game we call Urban Survivor. It’s less thrilling than it sounds. In fact, it should be called the ‘Hunger Games’ because basically it involves subsisting on just what’s currently in the fridge or pantry for one full week. No grocery store runs or meals out allowed. This little exercise in restraint always reminds me of what’s important and how little I actually need to get by.
As a chronic overzealous buyer of carrots, I inevitably have pounds of them waiting to be eaten. Trust me when I say that ‘Urban Survivor’ week often results in a sore jaw from all that raw carrot consumption. Tons of chewing aside, eating a whole raw carrot, with the peel still on, is exceptionally satisfying. I’ve discussed this at length with my friends. As children of the 1980’s, we’ve grown up on convenience food and carrots were no exception. ‘Baby carrots’ became the snack of choice for brown bag lunches. But honestly, why is a baby carrot that shape? And what machine made it that way? Another point to ponder, is there anything else in that water it comes in? Chemicals? But I digress…
Another great use for those organic whole carrots is making carrot juice (duh!). That bright color is thanks to Beta Carotene which converts to Vitamin A in the body and does all kinds of good stuff. We all know that carrots are great for our eye health, but Vitamin A is also known to ‘cleanse’ the liver by reducing bile and fat levels (good news for those of us who may overindulge in a few cocktails now and again). While I’ve already shared a recipe for Carrot Pulp cookies, below is my favorite carrot juice recipe. It takes the sweetness of carrots and bumps things up a notch with other ingredients I tend to have extras of in my fridge. Feel free to substitute based on what you have laying around and raise a glass to being an economical ‘Urban Survivor!’ Cheers!
Carrot Juice Ingredients
4-5 organic, whole carrots
1 apple (I usually have Granny Smith’s left over, but any type works)
2 cups greens (don’t be picky… whatever you have in the fridge is fine. Spinach, salad greens, arugula, throw it all in!)
Wash the carrots thoroughly and remove any dirt and the tops, but leave the skin on. Wash the apples and greens if they aren’t already. Process all ingredients through your juicer and bottoms up!
Photo credit: Michał Pietrzyk