I’ve always wanted to do a juice fast. Because it sounds really awesome to lose weight fast. BUT, I know there is no such thing as “get skinny quick” while also being healthy and kind to your body. At least not for everyday folk. And honestly, although I do think I am ‘overweight’, I’m not large enough to be considered for something like The Biggest Loser, where they DO lose weight extremely fast.
Why am I rambling on about this, you ask? Good question.
I decided it would be neat to try and incorporate juice into my diet as a meal replacer, instead of trying a fast or just giving up on the idea completely. Especially because I’ve always liked the idea of giving my digestion a break, since the ‘bulk’ is removed from the juice and doesn’t need my body to break it down. But I like to eat and don’t feel full very easily, so I tried to incorporate a lot of filling nutrients. I was happy with the result! It was honestly hard to get through 3 cups of the juice because it was so filling.
I also was able to try this without needing to spend a few hundred dollars on a juicer. That has been a fear too – that I would invest money in a gadget that I might not use enough to justify the cost. Answer: nut milk bag! I bought a nylon drawstring bag on Amazon that is usually meant for straining the pulp out of a nut milk, like almond milk (yes, I am using it for that too!). The best part? It cost $7.29! Not much of a loss if I decided I hated juicing. And it worked GREAT for juicing! Time consuming, sure, but I wasn’t in a hurry. Here is how it works (and I explain more in the instructions, below):
A Meal Replacement Juice (GF, DF, SF)
2 cups kale
2 cups collard greens
2 cups spinach
20 red grapes
3 red delicious apples (cored, but not peeled)
3 medium bananas
1lb of baby carrots (3-4 cups, I used a whole 16oz bag of baby carrots)
4 medium cucumbers, peeled
1 small sweet potato
3 tbs Nutiva Hemp Protein Powder
Water – as needed for blending (I used about 3 cups total)
I started by peeling and chopping everything so it was ready to be blended. Then I mixed all the ingredients (except for the protein powder and water) in to a large bowl so that the ingredients would be more equally distributed. Things like kale, collards, and spinach need things like cucumber to blend well. So try and have even batches of ingredients with blending.
I have a Vitamix and it took me three ‘loads’ in the blender to get it all done. I blended about 1 minute on medium to get everything started and then 2 minutes high (sometimes using the tamper) to smooth out the texture. Add 1 tbs of the protein powder for each batch you blend. Also, I needed to use water for each batch in order for everything to be completely blended – about 1 cup per batch. Pour the juice into your nylon bag as your finished batches in the blender.
I put the nylon bag over the edge of a juice pitcher and left it that way until all three batches had been added. Then I tightened the top by pulling the cord. I ended up hanging the bag from a draw in my counter, with the pitcher on the floor. Since my little man isn’t crawling yet, this worked fine. If you have little ones or pets, this probably is a terrible idea… ha! But the main point is to find a space where you can hang the bag over the pitcher and let it drip through. Every 10-15 minutes I would ‘massage’ the bag and pull the juice out of the sides. I did this about 4 times, so it was an hour process. Not as convenient as a machine juicer, but a lot cheaper and for a stay-at-home-mom, that not inconvenient!
As you can see, I use old salsa jars from Aldi. They are perfect because they are 3 cups each. I like to have the juice as fresh as possible, so 3 days is about as long as I’m willing to make the juice ahead of time. Yields 9 cups of juice and 2 cups of pulp. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with the pulp yet. Probably some sort of cookie or bread attempt.
Have you made juice before? What do you like to include in your juice recipes?
This recipe is linked to Real Food Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Inspire me Wednesday, Wonderfully Creative Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Gluten Free Friday, Glimpse Inside Party, Friday Pin Fest, Foodie Friday, Fight Back Friday, Friday Favorites, Real Food Recipe Roundup, Mouthwatering Mondays,