With the events of the last two days, I have mostly been eating toast. When I’m down, or life goes a bit wrong, I retreat from the kitchen – I find it very hard to cook or be creative or even taste things properly when my head is off-balance. And so I mostly eat toast. Mackerel on toast, corned beef on toast, something quick and mindless. This afternoon I figured enough was enough and my body was SCREAMING at me for fruit and vegetables – I’ve learned to listen to it over the years as those cravings are usually important, more on that another day.
Anyway, unusually for us the fruit bowl and veg drawer were seriously lacking, apart from a very bruised and squashy apple, a practically dry lemon, a wilted few stalks of celery and half a bag of kale I bought nearly a month ago that refuses to die. Unsurprisingly I didn’t want to eat any of it in its current pathetic state, so green juice it was. And a good opportunity to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a while now; a ‘how to make juice without a juicer’ recipe. You can use this method for practically any juice recipe that is already out there, or you can use it for my green juice, which despite its sorrowful origin is actually quite yummy. I usually have cucumber in place of the celery, but not today.
Makes 300ml strong juice, serves 1 hardened juice fiend or 2 gentler souls if diluted. Prices based on Sainsburys, Basics where available, coz that’s where I did my last shop.
1/2 a lemon, 11p (£1.10/5) – or 1tbsp bottled lemon juice
1 apple, 20p (80p/4 min)
a small slice of ginger, 2p (40p/100g)
a handful of kale, 5p (£1/200g) – can use spinach, fresh or frozen defrosted, instead
a stalk of celery, 7p (80p/450g)
First dice everything up really small – don’t worry about peeling the lemon or ginger, or deseeding anything. Since the whole ‘NutriBullet’ craze kicked off (basically throwing whole fruits and veggies into a tiny powerful expensive blender to pulverise them into a smoothie) I’ve been a lot more relaxed about peeling and deseeding things for juices. And by ‘a lot more relaxed’ I mean ‘celebrated the excuse to be even more lazy – sorry, time-saving – in the kitchen’. So dice it all up, and pop it into a blender.
Add about 200ml water and blend until it is well combined.
Pour into a sieve and hold over a bowl to catch the juice. If you don’t have a sieve, line the bowl with a clean tea towel (not the microfibre sort or you run the risk of fluffy juice), pour the mix into it, and gather the edges together. Hold it over the bowl and squeeze gently and the juice will pass through. Use a spoon to stir the pulp to get as much juice as possible out, and keep going, you’d be amazed at how much comes out with a vigorous stir.
And voila. Juice. If you’re looking at that pulp and thinking it’s a waste, it’s about the same as you’d scrape out of your juicer. I put mine into ice cube trays and feed them to my guinea pig as treats. Some people add water again to the pulp and re-blend it for a second run at the juice, albeit a bit of a weaker version. Up to you. Still, now you can join the juicing craze without shelling out a hundred quid for a fashionable juicer.
Blender advice: My first jug blender was a Sainsburys Basics one and was less than a tenner. It survived a couple of years of daily use, and then recipe testing for my blog and column, and my first book, and then some. I seriously put that thing through its paces but it gave up on me when I dropped a spoon in it by accident, and now is resting in smoky sulky peace. So, you don’t need a superfancy blender either. But a £10 one is a good investment – mine more than repays itself in using up mushy fruit and wilted veg that might have headed to the bin otherwise in perfectly delicious smoothies, juices, soups and pasta sauces. Charity shops are good places to pick them up for less than a tenner too, just check that they have been PAT tested first – most charity shops are good at this these days.
Do you have a favourite juice recipe? Share it below in the comments so we can all have a go – and now I’ve shared the method, I can’t wait to share some more of my juice recipes with you all 🙂
Jack Monroe. I’m on Instagram @MsJackMonroe (and have a Twitter account under the same handle, but am currently not using it after some quite horrendous abuse recently. Not sure if I’m going back.)