Apart from beetroot (which most most people come round to when they learn how good it is  roasted) celery is possibly one of the least loved of all the veggies we (very occasionally!!) put in our bags. While it does make good soup (amazing with Cashel Blue toasts) salads and can be braised (in white wine with a Gruyere topping) to very good effect it really prefers to take a back seat in the kitchen. Celery, you see,  is what’s called a flavour builder.  Used, a stick or two at a time, it gives depth to pretty much any sauce, soup or stew. In France, along with onion and carrot it’s part of the holy trinity known as Mirepoix- diced up and fried in butter (what else?) it’s the starting point of a millon dishes. They do the same in Italy although they saute in olive oil and in the markets it’s very common to see sticks of celery for sale instead whole heads and this makes a lot of sense because generally that’s all you really need. Luckily it lasts well so as long as you don’t forget it’s in the fridge you can use it up over time. Try adding it to any dishes you’re cooking over the next while and see if you notice a difference… Read the rest of this entry »

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Juice Detox Recipes

January 4, 2010

Hi everyone,
After Christmas everyone seems to think that a grand gesture must be made to counteract all the excesses of the festive season but the truth is, with your bag of veggies or fruit and veggies you are already taking the first steps to “detox” or cleanse your body. Detoxing is something the body does naturally if you give it fresh healthy food. Something as simple as a little lemon juice in some hot water first thing in the morning is a fantastic way to get your digestive system going, eliminating all the toxins built up during the previous day while things you may be eating every day all have their functions – Apples are packed with vitamins and minerals, Celery is great for cleansing the liver while Carrots work on the kidneys.  Even humble Brassicas like this week’s Kale have fantastic cleansing properties.
If you’re busy juicing is a great way to go if you want to detox. You can pack the nutrients of a couple of kilos of fruit and/or vegetables into a single glass in a couple of minutes. As there’s no cooking involved, none of the nutrients have been destroyed by heat so it’s more nutritious than eating the same ingredients cooked. Plus, if you’re getting all the nutrients you need you’ll be less likely to crave the bad stuff (cravings are the body’s way of telling you you need something but for some reason this is usually interpreted as “time for another chocolate biscuit”) so they can be good for losing weight.
All of the ingredients in your selection this week can be juiced but some work better than others and I’ve put together a few basic juice recipes to get you started……

apples

apples

Apples, Celery and Carrots – full of vitamins and antioxidants which protect and cleanse the liver which is where the body deals with most of it’s toxins so if it’s working properly so are you.
Beetroot – fantastic for cleansing/detoxing the blood and our digestive system as well as a million other properties. Flavourwise, it can take over in a juice so go easy until you get used to it.
Lemon – Citrus fruits are fantastic liver and intestinal cleansers and they work to protect against colds and coughs.
Ginger – Gently cleanses, aids digestion and also fights against colds and flu. It adds a lovely kick to almost any juice.
The proportions given are a guide, juicing is really a question of taste (and also what’s to hand sometimes). If you find the vegetable juices (especially the one with Celery) hard to take at first just add in more fruit at first. You’ll find that over time you’ll acquire the taste and you’ll be able to substitute more of the fruit for vegetables
These recipes make 2 glasses of juice.
Carrot, Apple and Lemon Juice
3 Medium Carrots
2 Apples
1/2 Lemon
Wash but don’t peel the Carrots and Apples then cut into pieces small enough to fit into your juicer. There’s no need to core the apples. Peel the lemon and cut into pieces.
Juice all the ingredients, stir and drink immediately.
Carrot, Celery and Apple Juice
3 Medium Carrots
2 Apples
2 Sticks of Celery
Wash but don’t peel the Celery Carrots and Apples then cut into pieces small enough to fit into your juicer. There’s no need to core the apples.
Juice all the ingredients, stir and drink immediately.
Carrot, Apple and Ginger Juice
3 Medium Carrots
2 Apples
1 piece of Ginger about the size of your thumb nail
Wash but don’t peel the Carrots and Apples then cut into pieces small enough to fit into your juicer. There’s no need to core the apples.
Juice all the ingredients, stir and drink immediately.
Beetroot, Orange and Ginger Juice
3 Oranges
1 Medium Beetroot
1 piece of Ginger about the size of your thumb nail
Wash but don’t peel the beetroot. Take the root and top from the beetroot.  Then cut into pieces small enough to fit into your juicer. Peel the orange. Juice everything up and feel amazing!!!!