Monday, September 19, 2011

Let's Try Juicing Some Carrots

       I brought in seven pounds of carrots yesterday for use in a variety of ways.  Six cups, coarsely shredded, went into Carrot Pepper Salsa last night.  One and a half cups, finely shredded, found its way into Carrot Cake Jam this morning.  That left a pile of carrots.  I washed and peeled them all for juicing.  Never having used a juicer before, I kept putting it off.  Every time I walked past the bowl filled with those lovely golden carrots, one found its way into my hand and disappeared, like magic.  Yum.  Then I cut a few up for pasties for dinner tonight.  I began to worry that all the carrots would be gone before I got around to trying to use the juicer, so I sat down and read the directions that came with the Waring Pro Juice Extractor that my daughter "loaned" me.
       I don't know if she's going to want it back because, in exchange, I loaned her a sixteen quart stock pot.  She'd never used the juicer; she's already used the stock pot several times.
       I learned that I wasn't supposed to peel the carrots, just scrub them, and they didn't need to be cut up unless they were too big to fit the hopper.  The booklet also said that the juice should be drunk immediately, or at least during the day it's made.  You may remember that I've already commented elsewhere that carrot juice does not freeze or can well.  I read that when you first start drinking this stuff, you should start with small amounts and increase your intake gradually, and it's recommended that you drink it between meals, not with them. 
       I found most of this rather unappealing.  The juicer takes as much space as a four-slice toaster, more counter space than I want to dedicate to something I don't expect to use daily.  Of course, the company making the juicer hopes that I'll do exactly that.  So, anyway, I juiced some carrots.  It was easy.  Clean-up took longer than the process.
       I like a smooth drink.  For example, for myself I'd buy pulpless orange juice. What came out of the juicer required, by my standards, further screening.  I poured it through a sieve and took another sip.  Tasted like carrots, without the crunch.  No surprise there.
       If you detect a lack of enthusiasm here, you got that right.  If for some reason I couldn't eat normally, like, for instance, if my jaw were wired shut following surgery, I expect I'd use a juicer daily, even several times a day, processing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.  Would fresh carrot juice be a workable choice in an emergency situation?  Probably not, considering that you need electricity to produce it.  Then again, "fresh" means just that.  Juicing during the summer is fine, but how about during the winter?  The carrots I over-wintered in sand last year tasted okay, but I expect they weren't nearly as juicy as when they were plucked from the ground.  I'm not ready to put the machine away, but the juicer won't be sitting permanently on my kitchen counter.  Even more than before, I favor my carrot soup over fresh juice.
       Excuse me while I return to the kitchen to cut up the rest of those carrots, blanch them and package them for the freezer.


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