30 Day Juice Challenge

Today we are going to talk about juicing. The liquid fruit and vegetable, delicious tasting beverage kind of juicing of course, not the big muscles on steroids kind. Sheesh I know I look good, but how could you think that? OK so seriously what is juicing all about, and why should you try it?


Ha. OK that’s just a funny post I found while searching for juice recipes, I swear I didn’t live off wine for 30 days, as tasty as that sounds. Here is the real story. My sweet mama got me a juicer this year for Christmas. At first I kind of thought it was a strange gift, but hey I guess I’m hard to buy for? Sorry mama, I jest. Anyways, I took it home and got to juicing and never looked back. I have used it probably 60% of days since I first tried juicing and I’m pretty happy with it now. Mmmm juice. So if you’ve ever thought about trying juicing, been scared to try it, or just thought that juicing referred to steroids, then this is the post for you.

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When I started juicing, I just started scouring the internet and Pinterest for recipes. It’s hard to know what random fruits and vegetables are going to taste good together. Trust me, if you like everything in a recipe, it doesn’t mean you’ll like that juice. However, same goes the other way, don’t poo poo every recipe with beets in it for example. You are crazy for not liking them, but seriously give some a try.

So here is my number one tip, sign up for the 30 day challenge at http://juicerecipes.com/. I restarted the challenge last week so I could show you the sweet “Challendar” they have. And honestly after 40 plus days of looking at it, screen capping it for you was the first time I actually noticed that didn’t just say calendar. But I digress. This challenge is awesome because it starts you out on simpler recipes. For example the first week is mostly various combos of carrots, apples, celery, oranges, lemon and ginger. Not too scary right? We’re not talking beets and kale and spinach yet week one, we’re easing in to it. So what’s on this challendar? If you click on the little shopping cart it will give you a list of all the produce you need to buy for that week (when you sign up, mine is just a picture, I know you tried to click it). Then each day you just click the day and check off the recipe when you finish it. Super easy right! I know you want to try it! So, note, this is not a juice fast, it’s a one quart a day juice. What I did was usually just drink it for breakfast. If you are really active and hungry I’d maybe suggest drinking it with a light meal.


So if you are still scared to try juicing, take a look at the pile of fruit and veggies below. It’s a lot right! But it will turn in to 7 quarts of juice. This is what you will consume week one. Or half this if you split the recipe with a friend like I do most days and just drink a pint. I really found this increased my fruit and veggie intake. Sure, maybe normally you’d be able to eat an apple a day or something, but 2 apples, 2 oranges and 14 carrots? I think not. Juice!!!

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The juicer that I have is Jack Lalanne’s power juicer (click here to check it out on amazon). I am pretty happy with it, with only a couple complaints. Sometimes I do feel like the pulp that it shoots out the garbage end is a little wetter than it could be. Now, this is like a $100 ish juicer, whereas you can buy ones that cost three times that. Maybe they do a better job at getting the pulp really dry, but I’m not sure it’s worth the extra price tag, and this one is available at Costco and Fred Meyer! My only other complaint is if something gets a little stuck it vibrates like crazy and you think you broke it, but usually sending through another carrot clears it right up.

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OK, a few more tips before you get to juicing.

1. Start with “simple” recipes. By that I mean start with only a few ingredients that you are likely to enjoy. Even if you don’t do the challenge, try a recipe with only 3 or 4 ingredients to start. The first juice I tried is pictured below. Sweet potato, gooood, peppers, gooood, beets, heck ya! But all together. Lord almighty don’t start with something like this. Apple, orange, carrot, pepper, beet and sweet potato, what was I thinking. I jumped right in the deep end and it took me all day to finish that juice. And oh boy did I finish it, even if it was mostly just to prove to the boy that it didn’t taste bad. Yikes, learn from my mistake on that one please.

2. OK that was a long tip 1. This one is simple – ginger is your friend. And lemon. I love the recipes with ginger and lemon, and especially if you are worried it’s a recipe you won’t like.

3. Don’t start in the winter. Well depending where you live. It was expensive and I don’t love buying cucumbers and things all the way from Mexico, so I am super excited that local stuff will be available very soon.

4. Buy in bulk – even though you will have trouble fitting it all in two crispers.

5. Don’t try inventing your own recipes until you’ve completed the challenge. Or at least tried some other people’s recipes if you aren’t doing the challenge.

6. Mix up juicing with smoothie making. Personally I don’t think it’s worth it to juice berries since they are so little and expensive, so I like to mix it up. Have a smoothie some days with bananas, which you can’t really juice, and some delicious berries.

7. Drink up, and enjoy!


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Cranberry Juice

Making your own cranberry juice is so darn easy – and cranberry season in here! All you need is cranberries and water, and a little sweetener if you desire.


First, rinse the cranberries and pick out any yucky ones.


Then combine however many cups you have with equal parts of water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat and boil for 5 or so minutes. You want them to start popping and once they mostly all have, it’s time to stain. I like to crush them a little bit too with the back of my stirring spoon to release more flavour.


Remove from the heat and strain. If you are fancy enough to have a jelly bag you can use that. If you’re like me just strain into a deep pot using your regular strainer covered with a couple layers of cheese cloth. Let it drip for a couple hours to get all the juices.


When it’s been nearly 2 hours, prepare the canner, jars and lids. Then bring the cranberry juice back up to heat. You want to bring it to 190F without boiling it. At this point you can sweeten the juice to taste, if desired. Once you reach 190, sustain it for about 5 minutes and then fill the jars.


I went for the blue anniversary jars since it is the end of the season and they FINALLY put them on sale! Woohoo my waiting paid off. Fill jars leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and place the jars in the canner covered by at least 1-2 inches of water. Process at a full rolling boil for 15 minutes for both pints and quarts. After 15 minutes, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes and remove jars. ping. ping. ping!


After 12-24 hours, remove bands, label and store. mmmmm home made juice!


If you are having a party, or feeling like a twist on your cranberry juice, make a little cranberry martini with it! Sugar the rim, mix vodka, cranberry and ice, and voila!