After my first experience with The Complete Idiot’s Guides, I had planned to avoid this publisher at all costs. Yet, something intrigued me about The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Juicing by Ellen Brown. At first, I passed this title by, assuming that the purchase of an expensive juicer would be necessary. However…when I took a closer look…I discovered the author’s note that most of her recipes are also compatible with blenders and food processors. I took this claim as a challenge.
The author makes several good points on the benefits of juicing. I am still not sold that cutting out the fiber is the best nutrition option, and thus have not yet made a juicer investment. Nonetheless, this did turn out to be a very blender friendly-guide, allowing me to use the appliance I already had on hand and keep my beloved fiber.
The initial chapters cover the basics: how to juice, recommended equipment, the low down on various fruits and vegetables, and bonus healthy additions (flaxseed, herbs, protein powder, etc.). The remaining 11 chapters share over 100 recipes for various fruit and vegetable concoctions.
I confess my smoothie ways have limited me to only blending fruit in the past. And…it seems old habits die hard, as the first recipe I gave a whirl was the Spiced Blueberry and Banana. It should be noted however, that this recipe calls for pears, a fruit I have never used in smoothies before. Okay, rolling your eyes at my complete lack of adventurousness is permitted. However, the Spiced Carrot and Cauliflower and Gingered Orange and Banana recipes are next on my list. Stepping into the common vegetable and rhizome world of beverages will certainly take me a touch out of my comfort zone. Luckily, I trust this author’s simple recipes and instructions, and am ready take this giant (italicized with immense exaggeration) foodie leap.
For special dieters, nearly all of the recipes (with possibly a few exceptions) are free of all major allergens (milk, wheat/gluten, nuts, peanuts, etc.) and suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Though the recipe noted below calls for soymilk, very few do, and I in fact used hemp milk with great success. Yes, I said hemp milk – more on that topic next week.
With summer on the way, I am curious to trial this book out for entertaining as well. The author makes frequent recommendations for decorative (and typically edible) garnishes, and she has dedicated the final chapter to “Luscious Libations.” The Cape Cod Cocktail looked like it would dazzle dinner guests. Of course, for us tea fans, there is an entire chapter focused on creating refreshing black and green tea based juices. I am dying to try the Black Tea, Raspberry, and Pineapple beverage. Would it damage my “wild” image to sample this recipe before the vegetable ones? I may have to live with the downgrade, as the warm weather is enticing my iced tea cravings.
The only pitfalls I found with this book seemed to be to no fault of the author. The Idiot’s Guide structure of continuously re-capping and adding one note or warning to virtually every page is slightly irritating, and seemed to force the author to fill in with some rather silly suggestions and comments. I don’t think it would be easy for any author to come up with that many useful tips and tidbits of information.
Though The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Juicing followed the “Idiot’s Guide” format, I liked the author’s personal style and recipes. This cookbook / guidebook really worked for me, and will definitely be staying in my collection.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Juicing is available from: