Juicing for Kids
0 Comments. Add your own comment!

Juicing for Kids

To supplement my freelance/writing career, I recently took a job as a so-called “household manager” for a single dad and his lovely daughter Kate. Kate is six and about as sassy as they come. She is smart, supremely adorable and has become my best little sidekick in just one month’s time. Part of my role as her caregiver involves preparing her meals. I can say with all honesty that this has become one of the most difficult aspects of my life at the moment. While Kate will eat a piece of salmon (doused in teriyaki sauce, of course) on occasion, her diet mostly consists of goldfish, chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes with mounds of butter and mac n’ cheese. I’m a bonafide nutrition zealot, and these foods go against everything I believe in. What’s a nanny (or parent for that matter) to do?!

What’s even worse about this situation is that I’ve found myself nibbling on her leftovers. Not only is her little body not getting adequate nutrition but now mine has become a garbage dump too. Yikes. Something had to give. So I decided to turn it into a game. Namely, the Juicing Game. I explained that my cool silver juicer is the “board” and we can put whatever we want in it. Like an antioxidant rich version of “Easy Bake Oven,” my juicer has become a veritable chemistry lab for Miss Kate. Sometimes the results are not so great, but usually things turn out okay and she loves to drink her “creations.” This strategy is bound to work for any adventurous kids. Just follow a few guidelines below (based on trial and error) and I promise that your little one will be slurping down fresh pressed juice by the sippy-cup full.

The Juicing Game

1. Have your kids juice in the same color category. For example, they can do an all green juice (celery, kale, green apple, cucumber, etc…) or an orange/red juice (carrot, beet, etc…). Why follow this color-coded approach, you ask? Kids are more apt to consume substances in bright colors. Brown juice just won’t fly. Trust me.

2. Start sweet. Let’s be real… bitter veggie juice is hard for even us adults to choke down sometimes. Don’t expect your kiddos to worship plain kale juice right from the start. It ain’t gonna happen. Instead, start with palatable fruits that you know they’ll love. Apples, carrots, watermelon, oranges and mangos are all good choices.

3. Supervise closely. Explain how your magic juicer works and the mechanisms involved – specifically a sharp spinning blade and basket. Make sure that your kids are always keeping their hands out of the chute (if you have a centrifugal juicer) and that the chopping of veggies and fruits should also be taken seriously and only handled by adults. Since Kate loves to “do everything,” I combat this by chopping up the stuff while she’s playing in another room.

4. Make cool stuff with your juice! One of the best ways to get your kids to love the process of juicing even more is to use your juice to create kid-friendly foods like popsicles, soups, etc. Not only will you feel great knowing that your child is getting tons of great nutrients, but you’ll also be setting the little munchkin up for a lifetime of healthy food choices.

Photo credit: Horton Web Design

 

Bookmark and Share
10 Open-Faced Summer Sandwiches
0 Comments. Add your own comment!

Everything gets a little lighter when it’s hot outside, and the open-faced sandwich is a perfect example. Begone, second slice of bread! All of you have to do is pile delicious toppings onto a single, thick piece of toast, and chomp down on it while shooing away flies. (They’re everywhere these days. Ugh.) Naturally, the classic tomato sandwich rules them all, but here are ten more ideas for those days when you want to spice it up a bit.

1. The classic avocado sandwich.

Smash a few slices of perfectly ripe avocado on a crusty piece of toast. Drizzle with olive oil, top with sea salt. Add: crushed red pepper, black pepper, a squeeze of lime.

2. Salmon, radish, and apple open-faced sandwich.

A cool take on a traditional Danish dish.

3. Open-faced BLT. 

Coat one slice of toast with mayonnaise. Top in this order: 1) lettuce 2) tomato 3) bacon.

4. Open-faced steak sandwich with tomatoes and goat cheese.

Perfect for using up leftovers.

5. Fried egg and asparagus sandwich.

Roast or steam a few skinny pieces of asparagus. Fry up an egg, as hard or as runny as you like it. Butter a piece of toast, add the asparagus, top off with the fried egg. Finish with a crack of black pepper and a few shavings of cheese.

6. Fig, ricotta, and honey open-faced sandwiches.

Grecian and delicious.

7. Sautéed vegetables tossed with feta or parmesan cheese.

Slice up whatever produce is getting old inside your fridge, and quickly sauté with a bit of olive oil and garlic. Pile onto bread, crumble cheese on top.

8. Caramelized onions and a slice of mozzarella. 

Need I say more?

9. Open-faced bacon-and-egg sandwiches with arugula. 

The BLT’s fancier cousin.

10. Cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches.

Spread cream cheese over toast. Top with thin slices of cucumber, julienned basil, salt, and pepper. Perfect for tea time.

Pro tip: if you have guests over, refer to these sandwiches as tartines. Que merveilleux!

photo attribute: Jeffery Loo on flickr

 

Bookmark and Share
How to Arrange Flowers
0 Comments. Add your own comment!

Flowers may not provide you with your daily dose of Vitamin K, and they’re not gonna help you get extra fiber into your diet (unless you eat them…), but here’s the thing: a healthy life is a conscious life. You can eat raw vegan salads all day and all night, but unless you take the time to stop and smell the flowers–literally and figuratively–you’re hurting your own quest to be a healthy, well-rounded person. Scientists have studied the emotional impact of flowers, and discovered that flowers not only immediately increase your happiness, but they have a long-term positive effect on your mood. And the best part of all of this? Flowers are naturally so gorgeous that you can literally throw them in a jar and call it a day. Still, if you’re looking for a little more guidance, here are some tricks.


1. Be asymmetrical.

Your bouquet doesn’t have to look the same from every angle–in fact, it’s cooler if it doesn’t. Don’t stagger your flowers like you’re beading a necklace–let them clump, droop, and gather in visually interesting formations.

2. When in doubt, pick just one flower.

If you’re filled with despair at ever achieving the perfectly-arranged bouquets in Martha Stewart living, then stick to one type of flower. You absolutely cannot go wrong with a simple cluster of daffodils, hydrangeas, roses, tulips, lilacs, peonies… (you get the point).

3. Gather wildflowers. 

You know those tangly patches of Queen Anne’s Lace, dandelions, and black-eyed Susans that grow along the side of the highway? Clip an armful and bring it home to create a centerpiece that’s absolutely stunning in its authenticity. Just remember shake out the flowers before you bring them inside to get rid of bugs.

4. Fill up on greens.

A) Flowers are expensive. B) Greens are cool. If you only have a small handful of blooms and want to make a lush bouquet, gather things like ferns, ivy, tree branches, and even pretty weeds to fill out the bouquet.

5. Make multiple small arrangements.

Collect whatever glass containers you have on hand: old Coke bottles, jars, wine glasses, champagne flutes, traditional vases, etc. Divide your bundle of flowers into mini bouquets (don’t use the same ratio of flowers in every bouquet–variety is the spice of life, friends!) and put a few stems in each container. It’s super cool if the containers are varying heights. Cluster in the middle of the table, or on a windowsill, desk, or bookshelf. Who knew happiness was so easy to arrange?

 

Bookmark and Share
Summery Quinoa, Basil, and Goat Cheese Salad
0 Comments. Add your own comment!

One-dish salads, packed with grains and lots of fresh vegetables, herbs, and cheeses, are one of my favorite thing to eat in the summer. You can make a huge bowl and have it for lunch all week, adding more herbs, slices of avocado, or a dash of hot sauce as you go. And salads like these have as many nutrients as a green smoothie, just in a different form.

The formula is simple: a base grain (quinoa, faro, barley, etc.), plenty of crunchy filler (celery, carrots, radishes, fresh corn), some luxurious add-ons (fresh herbs and cheeses), and a simple dressing of oil + acid. Toss, eat, store leftovers in the fridge. This isn’t so much a recipe as some loose guidelines for tossing delicious vegetables in a bowl.

This salad has some of the flavors of a classic caprese (tomato and basil), but instead of mozzarella, I used goat cheese to make a more robustly flavored dish. Quinoa is a complete protein, too, so it’s one of the best bases you can use for a grain salad. And of course, there’s plenty of vitamins worth writing home about: vitamin A from the shredded carrots and vitamin C from the grape tomatoes.

Quinoa, Basil, and Goat Cheese Salad

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, washed and sliced
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 loose handful fresh basil, julienned
  • lemon juice
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Cook and cool the quinoa. (Pop it into the fridge for a bit if you want.) Gently stir in the carrots, tomatoes, goat cheese, and green onions. Drizzle olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice over the top, stirring frequently and tasting as you go. Season with salt and pepper. Top each serving with a tablespoon of julienned basil.

This salad keeps well in the fridge, as the flavors will continue to blend. Serve alongside sandwiches, or use as a complete meal.

Looking for more salad recipes? Try this Herbed Feta-Lentil Quinoa Salad or a Crunchy, Warm Spring Salad.

 

Bookmark and Share
Back to Basics
0 Comments. Add your own comment!

Back to Basics

Whether you’re a gourmet chef or a hopeless disaster in the kitchen, there are a few techniques that everyone should master. As someone who falls in the latter camp (like Carrie Bradshaw, I use my oven to store sweaters… not to make culinary masterpieces), I’ve recently become obsessed with perfecting the simplest of cooking skills. Luckily, I have a professionally-trained chef in the family who is not only a total foodie genius, but also possesses the patience to school me on everything I should already know by now.

Below are the two techniques I’ve found most useful–especially since cooking healthily doesn’t always produce uber-delicious food. And don’t forget that your juicer and blender can be extremely helpful tools in your arsenal. With the possibility to produce soups, nut butters/milks, salsas and more, make sure you keep these workhorses handy.

How to Boil an Egg

Yeah, yeah, roll your eyes. But making the perfectly boiled egg is an art, my friends. None of that overcooked, green-rimmed yolk business. Once you master the art of the perfectly boiled egg, you’ll wonder how you went so long doing it the old way.

Start with cage-free organic eggs. They taste better – I swear it. Just keep in mind that brand new eggs are harder to peel. It’s better to let them sit in the fridge for a few days before boiling.

Fill a large pot with cold water, place the eggs in the bottom of the pot and bring it all to a boil. Let the eggs cook in a rolling boil for 9 minutes and then remove them immediately and immerse them in ice water. Once they’re cool, peel and eat. I like to keep a bowl of hardboiled eggs in my fridge all week for a quick snack or to make egg white salad (see last week’s recipe).

How to Brine

Want to know the best kept secret in restaurants? Brining! In a nutshell, a brine is a mixture of water, salt, and flavor. When you immerse a lean cut of meat in a brine, osmosis goes to work, some crazy chemistry happens, and you’re left with a super flavorful and tender piece o’ protein. I recently brined pork chops (organic and humanely raised, duh) and was BLOWN. AWAY. No offense to my mom, but her chops never tasted like this. Try it this weekend for your fam.

  • ¼ cup Kosher salt
  • 4 cups of water
  • Pinch sugar
  • Seasoning of your choice (fresh herbs are best – i.e. Rosemary sprigs or smashed garlic cloves)

In a sauce pan, bring all ingredients to a boil to dissolve the salt and sugar. Cool in the fridge before using. Then submerge a lean cut of beef or chicken in the mixture for 1-1.5 hours. Remove from the brine and rinse with water to remove excess salt. Pat dry and get cooking!

Photo credit: Pontus Edenberg

 

Bookmark and Share

The Best Selection of Juicers!

We have committed ourselves to offering the best juicers available on the market. Since we use juicers ourselves, we can recommend the best units! We test every single product on our site before we decide to sell it. This goes for all of our products, whether it is a juicer, soy milk maker, dehydrator, rice cooker or even the taste of the Acai we sell! Also be sure to visit our free and informative Health Blog and Health Tips Newsletter hosted by our very own resident JuicyJosh! 877MyJuicer has served the raw food community, vegan community, and general health guru for over 6 great years and we plan on continuing to offer the best support, best prices and always offer our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee – the best return policy in the industry.

We want to make your investment in our selection of products as risk-free as possible. To make sure you are completely happy with your investment, we offer a 30-Day Trial on almost all of our products! We whole heartedly believe that if you take care of your body with natural goodness (juicing wheatgrass as an example) that your body will take care of you. What we do is more than a business, it is a lifestyle and passion for health. Juice away!

Why should you order from us?

  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Live Customer Service 10am - 5pm CST
  • 24 Hour Order Lines
  • Same Day Shipping before 2pm
  • BizRate, Shopping.com and NexTag certified
  • Quick email response time
  • Proactive order status emails