Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard of juicing–you know, the process of squeezing or crushing fruits and vegetables to extract their juice. So often we hear the word “juicing” and we think of a glass of sad, murky sludge that doesn’t hold much appeal (or taste for that matter), but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
With a nearly endless number of possibilities, creating different flavor profiles can be downright exciting! In fact, I explore the exciting side of juicing in my latest book Main Squeeze: Juicing Recipes for Your Healthiest Self (due out in January 2015) and, trust me, recipe testing is always a fun experience. Sure, we’re all familiar with juices that use standard fruits and vegetables like apples, berries, carrots, tomatoes and such but what about more exotic ingredients like pomegranate, ginger, turmeric, and cherimoya? Juicing is a wonderful way to try new types of produce and create delicious beverage options.
Speaking of options, you’ve got quite a few when it comes to non-alcoholic bevvies. The holidays are right around the corner and soon thoughts of menu planning will fill our heads and, for some, that menu includes a selection of cocktails, wines, and spirits. But did you know that dinners where alcohol is served are the #1 leading cause of holiday family brawls? (Kidding, kidding) Seriously, the consumption of alcohol may make for a more spirited gathering, but there are some not-so-desirable side effects (aside from the possibility of a hangover) like facial puffiness, stomach bloat, and fatigue–results no one wants especially during the festive season. What if I told you there was a way to stay healthy and enjoy a special drink during the holidays? Shocking, I know. Oh, did I mention it involves juicing? That’s right–drinking healthy, nutritious mocktails (mock cocktails) are a way to cut calories and sneak in some good-for-you fruits and vegetables. With this cran-orange gingertini, you get a tart-sweet drink with a bit of a spicy kick; there’s a bit of work involved but once the heavy lifting’s done, the drink is super simple to mix and, dare I say, tastier than its alcoholic counterparts.
CRAN-ORANGE GINGERTINI MOCKTAIL (serves 2)
Ingredients (for drink):
3/4 c. seltzer water
1/4 c. ginger syrup* (see recipe below)
1/4 c. cranberry juice* (see recipe below)
1/4 c. orange juice Pomegranate seeds for garnish Orange slices for garnish
Preparation: In 2 chilled, ice-filled highball glasses, mix seltzer water and ginger syrup; stir. Top with cranberry and orange juices. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and orange slices.
The following recipes will yield approximately 3-4 cups which is much more than you will need for this recipe. Unused portions can be refrigerated and used in other recipes.
2 lbs. fresh ginger, unpeeled and cut into small dice
2 1/2 c. sugar
8 c. water
1. Place the unpeeled diced ginger in a food processor and process until minced. Stop the machine periodically and scrape down the sides.
2. Place the puree in a large saucepan with the sugar and water.
3. Bring to a full boil over high heat.
4. Reduce to the heat to medium/medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat and let cool.
6. Strain through a fine sieve and then again through cheese cloth if chunks of ginger remain.
7. Chill the syrup mixture until ready to use.
4 c. fresh cranberries
4 c. water
1/2 – 1 c. agave nectar
1/2 c. fresh-squeezed orange juice (Use a juicer to squeeze approximately 4 peeled oranges.)
1/2 c. fresh-squeezed lemon juice (Use a juicer to squeeze approximately 4 peeled lemons, pith removed.)
1. Add the cranberries and water to a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and turn down the heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add agave to your taste.
3. Add the orange and lemon juices to the bowl and stir to combine.
4. Resulting juice will be a tad thick; thin with water if desired.
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