Thursday, March 24, 2011

Juice Season


We've been wearing green at the farm lately in honor of St. Patrick's Day; after all, green is the business of vegetable farmers. With leafy greens still dominating the CSA and root veggies like carrots and beets making a comeback, we've officially entered juice season. Ok, it's no Hallmark holiday, but in honor of Spring, we're going orange- literally. It's embarrassing, but more than 3 cups of carrot juice in a day can create a benign condition called Carotenemia that colors the skin pigment on the palms and feet orange. We're not worried; it is not permanent- only cosmetically displeasing (way better than radiating green).

During juice season it's customary to dust off or find yourself a juicer. It shouldn't be hard; all of us have either sold or acquired one at some point at a garage sale. The juicer was invented with CSA in mind. Members who juice their greens not only increase overall health, but also their CSA longevity. Some Rio Gozo Farm members have a "Day Before the Next Delivery" juicing spree- a great way to finish up anything left over from the week in one glass. I'm going to add "Do you have a juicer?" to the CSA application as a prerequisite to the program. If you're a heavy juicer you probably have a strong opinion of your favorite type of machine for very well thought out reasons; some of us juice newbies would benefit from a little Juicing 101.

Here's a quick lesson from BestJuicers.com

There are three types of juicers: Masticating, Centrifugal, & Triturating.

1. The Masticating machine operates at a slower speed. It chews the fibers and breaks up the cells of vegetables and fruits. This gives you more fiber, enzymes, vitamins and trace minerals. The Champion is a masticating juicer. It also is more versatile because in addition to extracting juices, the unit homogenizes making baby foods, sauces, nut butters, banana ice creams and fruit sorbets.

2. The Centrifugal machine first grinds the fruit and vegetables then pushes them through the strainer by spinning at a very high rpm (similar to your washing machine on the spin cycle). This method usually yields a little more volume of juice. The Omega 1000 & 4000 and Juiceman II are centrifugal machines.

3. The Triturating (twin gear) machine, which turns at a slower rpm, has a two step process. The first step crushes the fruits and vegetables, while the second step presses the juice. This process gives you more fiber, enzymes, vitamins and trace minerals. These juicers also have magnetic and bio-ceramic technology that slows down the oxidation process, which is good if you want to make and store your juice. .These juicers are excellent for juicing leafy greens, wheatgrass, sprouts, root vegetables like beets and carrots and most water dense (non-pulpy) fruits. Juicing time is longer with twin gear juicers due to the slower juicing process which gives you a higher quality juice.

Now that you've got your juicer ready to go, take a look at this link to a few carrot juicing recipes.
http://www.carrotjuice.com/
Indulge in a 4th glass of vitamin A and enjoy the Spring veggies.
Sláinte!

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There is plenty of gozo at Rio Gozo Farm. That is JOY in Spanish and joy is one of the most dependable products we have. Gozo is commonly found in gardens and farms. Once you get a little gozo up and going it is very tolerant of most pests, withstands dry periods, and grows with a modicum of fertilizer. After gozo becomes a staple of one's diet, it goes with about anything. Actually folks crave it so much it is a wonder everyone does not have a patch of it growing close at hand. Grab up some gozo and get with the flow.