Yeah I know it’s probably too late to be saying “in the new year”. It’s almost the end of the first month into the the new year and I have been slacking. No, I didn’t make any great resolutions, I don’t really believe in making any, as they would’ve lasted all of 1 month anyway, if that.
The year started off quiet after a fun-filled family filled reunion at the end of the year. For the first time in many years, we actually spent a quiet evening on New Year’s eve. I think we deserved it and maybe even owed it to ourselves:)
It has been quite an eventful 2012 – a big move to Asia, change of schools, change of homes, change of jobs – our entire world had suddenly turned almost a full circle, as we moved closer to India, where we started! With all that, it didn’t really feel out of place to take a breather and brace ourselves for whatever is coming in 2013.
So as we look ahead, 27 days already into the new year, I keep my fingers crossed that we make the best of this adventure, taking life one day at a time – discovering and evolving in our journey. If anything, this move has taught me that – we have no idea what or when the next adventure is – so let’s take it slow and live in the present:)
I know one discovery I have made after moving here – it must be the change of pace – I have become more conscious of eating healthy, more veggies, more fruits, more grains, and more juices – not to forget, eating small meals every 2-3 hours.
Juicing and smoothie-ing (if that was a word) is slowly becoming a way of life. I was first inspired by the film, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and resolved to buy a juicer when I moved to Singapore. I bought a Philips centrifugal juicer which worked great until I discovered this world of centrifugal vs masticating vs slow juicers. Thanks to my dear friend Pushita, who is a health and wellness counselor (check out her page on Facebook for health tips and recipes), I was introduced to the technicalities of juicing. What types of juices heal, provide energy, and give the body the alkalinity it needs to stay healthy. And so researching juicers became a new found passion. I became a “juicer geek” from a handheld geek:). Um there are many apps and FB pages for juicing as well, in case you were wondering.
My new year’s gift to myself and the family was the investment (it literally is one, given the price) of the Hurom Slow Juicer. I’ll let you read the differences between the centrifugal and slow juicers here. But in a nutshell, the slow juicer produces more juice, less pulp and doesn’t lead to oxidation of the juice. So the juice stays fresher longer – as long as you store in glass bottles in the refrigerator. And they taste as fresh as can be:)
I am now hooked – a juice or a smoothie is a staple in our home and I make it a point to either make vegetable juices or introduce some veggie in the fruit juices. You don’t really want to do 100% fruit juices everyday with the high amount of sugar it has. Adding in celery, spinach or kale seems to work wonders and doesn’t really interfere with the taste much.
So here’s the first of possibly a series in juices and smoothies – pomegranate, celery juice on day 1 of buying the juicer.
-Seeds of 2 pomegranates, 2 sticks celery on Day 1
-Orange, carrot , celery, tomato, ginger and lemon on Day 2.
– Carrot, passion fruit, celery on Day 3.
Pretty soon I was on a roll. But there was a small catch. I was beginning to collect a lot of pulp. Now this was different from the Philips juicer pulp of course, the Hurom juicer extracts all or most of the juice so you get very dry pulp. But I didn’t have the heart to throw away the carrot or the apple pulp. Here are some tips to use the fruit pulp after juicing-
- Use as compost for your plants
- Make sure you save the pulp separately in plastic containers or Ziploc bags and keep them in the freezer.
- Use the celery, carrot, spinach, kale pulp for making vegetable stock. Boil the pulp in twice or three times the amount of water, add a pinch of salt and pepper and let it boil till the pulp begins to float on top. Strain and use the liquid in soups, gravies, sauces etc. You can also freeze the stock in ice trays and use for later.
- Use the fruit pulp for cakes, muffins
- Add some of the pulp to smoothies.
With the carrot and green apple that I had left over, I made a carrot, apple cake. The best part- it was eggless and vegan. I used flax seed meal as the egg substitute added some dry fruits and the 2 cups of pulp and it was the moistest cake I had ever had. Recipe adapted from the Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
Carrot Apple Vegan Cake:
Ingredients for one 9 inch cake:
3 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup olive oil
1 cup carrot pulp
3/4 to 1 cup apple pulp
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour (you may also substitute this with 1/2 cup wheat flour)
1 cup demerara sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp grate nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice ground
1/2 tsp salt
You may use cream cheese frosting for this cake but I didn’t have any cream cheese and didn’t want to add any more sugar so opted not to.
1. Preheat the oven to 350F or 180C.
2. Grease a 9×9 inch square cake pan.
3. Whip together the ground flaxseed and water until its frothy and creamy, for about 2 minutes.
4. Take this mixture in a stand mixer or hand blender or food processor with the paddle attachment, add the olive oil and beat at low speed till combined.
5. Add the carrot, pulp, apple pulp, walnuts and raisins and stit to combine.
6. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.
7. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stor again to combine.
8. Transfer the contents to the greased pan and spread evenly.
9. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, for about 30-35 minutes. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Invert the cake, let cool and then cut into squares.