Juice Week & other January Holidays by Elizabeth Brown, MS, RD

Every juice has its day

We thought the holidays were behind us but the celebrating is not over yet. January has a slew of festivities awaiting us.

This month we can sing happy birthday to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Sir Isaac Newton, Elvis Presley, Ben Franklin, Mozart, Ernie from Sesame Street and Little Ricky from I Love Lucy. January is also the birth month of Television, 1926. January 16th happens to be the birthday of the Kitchen Vixen which I happily share with Kate Moss, Sade, Debbie Allen and Ethel Merman. I’m in great company.

Aside from birthdays, this month we can also observe holidays such as National Dress-up Your Pet Day, January 14th. Note for next year. January 16th is officially National Nothing Day, but it’s also International Hot and Spicy Day and National Fig Newton Day.

January 19th is Good Memory Day, A Friend Raises Your Spirits Day and International Sing-Out Day. On January 20th go for a long walk in celebration of Take a Walk Outdoors Day and while you’re at it, remember to feed a squirrel which will raise his spirits and cause him to sing-out because January 21st is Squirrel Appreciation Day. (Follow this link & you will really appreciate the Squirrel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXcaFC1vF0Q)

All month long we can honor nourishing our bodies as we celebrate soup, hot tea, oatmeal, prunes and love yourself month.

The third week of January is National Fresh Squeezed Juice Week and the fourth week we have National Creative Frugality Month. We missed Drinking Straw Day January 3rd and Blender Day, January 4th. But I’m going to commemorate all of those events with my recipes this week.

I finally bought a juicer and made my first batch of fresh juice. Sometimes I just don’t feel like eating a salad so it’s nice to know I can enjoy my vegetables through a straw.

I knew that the juicer would take out the fiber and leave the juice, but my frugal nature is conflicted about wasting any part of the plant. You can use the “pulp” in recipes such as baked goods, but since I rarely eat baked goods the pulp would probably go to waste.

It took me so long to get a juicer that I’m hesitant about creating a recipe specifically for juicers in case you don’t have one.

In honor of fresh squeezed juice month, blender month and creative frugality month, I have created some fresh juice recipes you can make with a juicer or blender. Personally, I like the blender version better. It’s like drinking orange juice with lots of pulp.

If there is one universal dietary “rule” upon which we can all focus, it is to eat more vegetables and fruits each day. If we all ate the upper recommended intake of vegetables and fruits, 9 to 11 servings daily, there would be far fewer chronic diseases related to obesity, diseases such as Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and cancer. Sadly, the average American eats only three servings of vegetables and fruits per day.

Why don’t we eat enough vegetables? Some excuses: too expensive and too time consuming.

Buy local and make juices to go. There, no more excuses!

Carrot Apple Ginger Juice
2 carrots, scrubbed clean, tops removed
Small apple, core removed
1 inch ginger, peeled

If you have a juicer throw all of these ingredients in the juicer and you will have eight ounces of fresh juice in a matter of minutes.
If using a blender, either shred the carrots and apples or cut them into small dice about the size of the tip of your pinky. Mince the ginger. Add everything to your blender along with one cup of purified water. Blend, drink with a straw and enjoy.
Per serving, about 16 ounces: 115 calories, 29g carbs, 7g fiber, 2g protein, 203% DV for Vitamin A, 21% DV for Vitamin C, 16% DV for Potassium. If you use a juicer which extracts the pulp, you may lose up to 75% of the Vitamin A. Simply add the pulp back to your juice and enjoy the full nutrient profile.

Replace the apple with either 1-2 stalks of celery, 1/2 cucumber, a handful of romaine or spinach and a few sprigs of parsley or cilantro for a fresh vegetable juice. Add lemon for some additional vitamin C.

Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
2 oranges peeled, seeds removed

Add to a juicer or blender if you like orange juice with pulp. 140 calories, 42g carbs, 14g fiber if you include the pulp, 260% DV vitamin C, 12% DV Calcium, 15% DV Potassium.

Or use one orange and 1/2 cup frozen strawberries for a thick, Manganese rich juice. Add water as needed to reach desired consistency. 96 calories, 28g carbs, 9g fiber, 181% DV Vitamin C, 7% DV Calcium, 11% DV for Potassium and Manganese (essential for your body’s own natural antioxidant defense system.)