Weekend juicing for healthy family!
When I was a stay-at-home mom, I used to make fresh juice every morning. I believe that I asked my husband to buy me a “Power juicer” for mother’s day many years ago and I adored it for awhile. I bought large bags of vegetables and fruits and experimented with many different combinations for tasty, fresh juice. It was doable until my youngest child started full day at school, then I started working and my juicer was long forgotten.
Last weekend, out of the blue, I decided to make carrot juice in the morning to surprise my family. So, I did. It was a spontaneous idea and I could only use whatever I had in my fridge. I used four carrots and five apples…that’s all. It was still good, but my favorite combination is carrot, beet, lemon, and apple.
It was Sunday morning and I wanted to bake something for weekday breakfast. Then, just like I used to do, I scooped carrot pulp from the juicer to make carrot muffins. This is the best way to maximise the benefits of carrots. Juicing is a great way to consume a variety of nutrients from fruits and vegetables, however, an important part: pulp(fiber), usually goes to waste. Some benefits of using pulp in baking are: 1. no need to grate carrots, 2. reduces organic waste, 3. can freeze the pulp and use it later, and 4. It makes you feel good that you maximized carrot usage!
This time I made ‘oatmeal carrot muffins’. Since they are high in fiber, my husband calls them “Incredible Intestinal Cleanse Carrot Muffins”.
Here is how to make 12 muffins;
- 1 cup buttermilk (sour milk which contains active bacterial culture)
- 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (high in fiber)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (or canola oil)
- 1 egg
- 2 cups carrot pulp (and other fruits pulp if you like)
- Pumpkin seeds (topping)
In large bowl, pour milk over oats; stir to mix. Cover and let stand for two hours or refrigerate overnight. Mix together all of the dry ingredients into a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix well coconut oil, egg, brown sugar. Then add dry ingredients. Finally add pulp into mixture. Fill muffin cups. Bake in 350F oven for 25-30 minutes.
If you are not a baker, that’s okay. You can add carrot pulp into pancake batter, tomato sauce, curry, hamburger, meatballs, tuna salad, and more. You don’t have to put a lot. You can figure out the right amount by experimenting many ways. Back then, I always had carrot pulp in my fridge and I used it with anything…even in peanut butter cookies! I remember everything I made looked slightly orange.
The amazing number of health benefits of carrots are: protects eye sight, high source of antioxidants, prevents heart attacks, improves skin health, boosts the immune system, detoxifies the body, boosts oral health, improves digestion and prevents cancer.
Carrots have massive amounts of dietary fiber which is one of the most important parts of maintaining good digestive health. Consuming high fiber foods regularly will ease the conditions of constipation, and also protect your stomach and intestines from serious illnesses, including colorectal cancer.
One of benefits for juicing vegetables and using the remaining pulp is that since the vegetable’s fibers are already broken down (somewhat “pre-digested”) the digestive tract can absorb nutrients into the blood stream more easily and quickly. This process requires less work for the stomach, intestines, liver, and other digestive organs. This is especially important for people with weak digestive functions and digestive disorders.
Carotenoids in carrots and other vegetables act like anti-cancer agents. Especially consuming high levels of carotenoids seems to reduce the risk of certain diseases, which includes colon cancer.
A study showed that consuming fresh carrot juice daily leads the body’s defenses against cancer. Regular juicing was also an effective way to increase levels of protective antioxidant carotenoids in the blood. Another study showed that eating carrots could reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Daily juicing is ideal for health benefits, but it is not easy to maintain such a good habit. You need large amount of vegetables and fruits regularly, and time to prepare and clean the juicing equipment. Life can be very busy with school-aged children and work, so It is not worth stressing yourself out if you can’t commit to juicing every single day.
I started juicing only on weekends, but I consciously use carrots in anything I make throughout the week. I feel that consuming carrots in various ways is a great way to enjoy and appreciate the goodness of this amazing vegetable. For now, weekend juicing (along with baking) is the most I can do, and I am happy about it.
All is well and all the best!