green-cocktailWhen I was little, my mom and dad bought one of those big hand crank orange juicers for our weekend entertainment.  As soon as Florida orange season came about, my father’s parents (Grandma Val and Grandpa Wally) would send bushels of Honeybell oranges and grapefruits to our house and my uncle’s house.  We would eat those sweet oranges and grapefruits (for as long as they lasted-not long I assure you!) and wish we were in Florida instead of frozen New York.  My dad always had a love for fresh squeezed orange juice and he passed it along to my sister, brother, and me.  After the purchase of the orange juicer, Sunday mornings consisted of us eating bagels and the three of us clamoring around the juicer where my dad stood, waiting for a turn to crank the juicer and fill the container for all of us to savor.  With a little muscle (and some help from dad) sunset orange  juice would flow out, rife with whole juicy pieces of pulp.  Yum, how I loved that.  My parents still have that juicer and I intend to use it very soon!

In addition to that hand crank juicer, my mom purchased an electric juicer some years later.  We always ate pretty healthfully, but my mom went through a “health food” phase in the late 70’s and early 80’s.  It was not unusual for her to bake whole wheat bread on a weekly basis.  She also  stopped buying soda about then (a special treat was Snapple soda which was color free) and focused on us drinking water and more fresh juice.  The electric juicer made shopping for fruit a very fun experience.  I have memories of rolling the grocery cart around and picking out exotic fruits that I had never seen to put into the juicer.  Kiwis, melons, citrus, papayas, and many others became fodder for our juicing enjoyment.  We were able to be creative in combining fruits to make our own juices.  I have a memory of being horrified at that young age when my mom suggested juicing vegetables as well.  I could not wrap my head around juicing carrots, tomatoes, or anything else.  The mere thought of tomato juice conveyed visions of gagging and I refused to juice any vegetables.

Fast forward to the 1990’s and my college years.  I was attending the University of Florida and was leading a fairly unhealthy lifestyle (drinking and smoking) as well as eating very poorly.  There was a small juicing booth at one of the vegetarian restaurants in the U District and while walking home I procured a green drink one day.  I never bothered to ask what was in it, but it made me feel much better right after I drank it.  I do have a memory of it tasting very “green”.   I continued to patron Juicing Bars in Manhattan when I transferred to FIT and then really became re-interested in actually juicing myself while preparing to enroll in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2006.  I bought a juicer on Amazon (after much brand comparison) and settled on a re-conditioned Breville which I love.  I started making a green drink of my own.  I have fallen off the juicing wagon for the last couple of months and really want to get back on.  I’m trying to inspire myself here too.  My first green drink recipe was inspired by a recipe from the website of Dr. Oz but I altered to to my own taste.  Here it is.

Super Green Drink

1-2 apples (depending on how sweet you want it)
4 leaves of romaine
4 leaves of kale
2 celery stalks
1 lemon or lime (peeled)
handful of Italian flat leaf parsley

I cut the apples into quarters (no need to seed) and break all the other veggies in half.  I add them one by one to the juicer and drink when done.  I also chill all the veggies so I have a cold drink.