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Smoothies and juices are not only wonderfully delicious but make good nutrition sense for active men, women, and children. Quick and simple to prepare, they require only easy-to-find ingredients and a minimum of equipment. You may discover that these delicious drinks are the most efficient way for you to take control of your nutritional and dietary intake, allowing you to maintain balance and stability in your eating habits.
What makes a smoothie different from a juice? For the purpose of this book, juices consist of the fluids and solids extracted from fruits and vegetables. Juices can be cold, room temperature, or warm. Smoothies, on the other hand, are always cool or cold, are mixed in a blender, and usually consist of a thickener, or binding elementlike dairy or soy milk, yogurt, ice cream, sorbet, gelato, banana, or just plain iceadded to a base of fruit juice. Think of smoothies as power milkshakes for quick starts, stamina, and soothing refreshment. As a snack, quick meal, or side beverage to a light lunch, smoothies can't be beat.
Milkshakes without guilt. Unlike conventional milkshakes, smoothies do not need to be high in calories or fat. As you try some of the recipes in this book, experiment with the amount of milk, yogurt, or ice cream you put into your drink. You may be surprised by how little you need to soften and mellow the taste of the fruit juice. Most of the recipes here are delicious with the addition of just nonfat plain yogurt, an excellent source of protein and calcium without fat.
Don't forget flavor. This book isn't just about grabbing a fast meal in a glassit's about experiencing and enjoying bold flavors and richtextures in refreshing, rejuvenating concoctions. By distilling and concentrating flavor, juicing reveals nuances of flavor that cooking often dulls or even destroys. Also, the possible combinations of fruits and vegetables are almost endless: modern growing, shipping, and storing techniques have made it possible to savor delectable and exotic tropical fruits or summery herbs and vegetables all year long, with a different treat almost every day.
Vegetable cocktails and juice soups. Don't stop with simple summer drinks. With a little more thought and preparation you can heat delicious vegetable cocktails to make soothing, warming soups. You can take these in a thermos to the office or the ski slope for additional enjoyment. Leftover vegetable juices can be used as soup bases.
Good-bye to food fights. Smoothies are an excellent way to make sure the kids are getting proper nutrients too. Since texture and appearance affect a youngster's enthusiasm for unpopular foods and since most kids love milkshakes, you may able to get yours to drink what they won't eat. You may have to do a sleight of hand at the mixer, but it's worth a try.
Preparation. The recipes here are organized by basic ingredient. For many of them you can decide whether you want to concoct a terrific juice or a refreshing smoothie by making slight adjustments in the preparation. When both forms are possible, preparation advice is offered. Serving sizes vary, but generally, a small serving is approximately one cup (240 ml); a medium serving, one and a half cups (360 ml); and a large serving, two cups (480 ml). Blenders whip air into a beverage, and some ingredients create froth, so use these measures as general guidelines only.
Juices for health, diet, and weight maintenance. Pills may have their place, but juices provide a better means of ingesting the vitamins, minerals, and trace elements so vital to your health and your immune system. This book makes no claim to prevent or cure any of the array of health maladies that confront us, but it gives recipes for making tasty drinks that are good for you, and any doctor or nutritionist will tell you that eating properly is essential to enjoying and preserving good health and to maintaining your ideal weight. This book will present you with quick and efficient ways to meet your nutritional goals.
"Live" foods. Live foods are fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables still teeming with vitamins, amino acids, and essential trace elements. The benefits of "live" foods are difficult to prove empirically but become obvious when you feel them boosting your energy level. The premise is simple: processing and cooking destroy much of the nutritional value of most of the food we eat. Even store-bought 100-percent juice has been processed to the point that most of the vitamins and minerals listed on the label are additives. The closer you stay to fresh-picked, ripe fruits and vegetables, the more nutritional benefits you reap. Make the juices described in this book from the freshest, most delicious ingredients you can find. This puts younot some huge factory a thousand miles awayin charge of what you ingest.
What if I just eat the vegetables, instead of juicing them? Eating them is fine, but be prepared to do a lot of chewing. You would have to eat four or five cups (560-700 g) of chopped carrots or celery to equal the nutrients in one cup (240 ml) of carrot or celery juice. Juice gives you more than 90 percent of the nutrients from each ingredient, so you can see how much easier it is to drink rather than chew them. Also, while raw vegetables can take hours to digest, the nutrients in juice are absorbed more quickly and efficiently, so you feel the benefits right away.
Isn't bulk good? Certainly it is, and fiber is necessary for proper digestion; you should supplement your diet with bulk. Most fruit has lots of fiber and is easier to digest than most vegetables, so you may want to eat more fruit and drink more vegetables. Juice made in a blender (as opposed to a juicer) retains all the original fiber, so with a good balance of fruit, fruit drinks, juice, raw or cooked vegetables, beans, and whole grains, you will be well supplied with essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fiber. You can also save pulp from the juicer and use it in baking and soups (see page 21).
Some vitamins need fat to work. If you are dieting, resist the temptation to completely eliminate fat from your diet; you may be doing yourself harm in the process. Some vitamins, like B and E, are only soluble in your system with fat. It would be a shame to gulp down a vitamin-rich drink only to flush the nutrients through your system without giving them a chance to give you a boost! Simply adding a little low-fat milk or yogurt or eating a low-fat snack with your drink will do the trick.
One word of caution. If you are diabetic or suffer from gout or hypoglycemia, you should check with your physician before drinking straight fruit juice. The large quantity of natural sugar in fruit juice may be absorbed into your system too quickly and trigger a reaction.