As the temperatures begin to drop many forget about their juicers, seeing juicing solely as a warm-weather endeavor. All those poor juicers just collecting dust…so sad. What happened to cold weather juicing?
Guess what Juicer Test Kitchen fans? We’re here to change that by getting YOU excited about juicing all year-’round! To help you get started, I’ve listed some fun ways to make fresh juice equally appealing when we switch from shorts to sweater weather.
1. Get Into The Season
Summer is when we typically think about fresh produce. During the warmer months, we’re surrounded by delicious fresh fruits and veggies that we can juice with abandon: watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes, cantaloupe, spinach, raspberries, and the list goes on and on.
But there is so much more out there than these summertime favorites! As the leaves drop so do a pile of fantastic juice ingredients; some you know and some that may surprise you. Let’s take a look!
- Brighten Up Your Glass With Citrus
Fall and Winter are when fresh citrus comes into season and becomes the star; bringing happy colors and bright flavors to what can be a dreary time of year. While you may be familiar with Florida oranges and grapefruits, there is an entire world of tasty citrus that delivers some delightful juice; blood (also called raspberry) and Cara Cara oranges, tangerines, Meyer lemons, tangelos, mandarins (clementine, honey, Sumatra), and pomelos, just to name a few. Be sure to add some of these fun citrus varieties in your next round of juicing to add some sunshine to your day!
Juicer Test Kitchen Pro Tip: Read my Walking in a Citrus Wonderland article for a deep dive into the wonderful world of citrus.
- Get Juicy With Autumn Apples
This time of year brings more than citrus for your juicing pleasure. Apples are in peak season, and what a bountiful season it is with tons of types available. Apples are a fruit where the old has become new again with countless heirloom varieties making a resurgence in the marketplace. From farmers’ markets to local groceries, there are so many to choose from; each with its own unique flavor profile.
Start with a simple blend of apples, carrots, and lemon to make a rich and tasty juice. Then take it to the next level by snagging some new-to-you apple varieties to hold your very own taste test. See what makes each one unique and use them in your favorite apple-based juice recipe. The results may surprise and delight you!
But that’s not all there is to juice when it gets frosty outside…
- Pumpkins Aren’t Just For Haloween
Did you ever think of adding pumpkin, winter squash, or even sweet potato to your cold-weather juicing repertoire? They aren’t just for pie anymore! I highly recommend you try juicing these fabulous Fall fruits and vegetables. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also packed full of compounds (like anthocyanins) known to boost health and vitality.
Here’s one of my favorite Fall flavors juice recipe:
ORANGE YOU GLAD IT’S FALL? (1 Liter)
- 1 Small Pie Pumpkin
- 4 Carrots
- 3 Oranges (peeled)
- 1 Lemon (peeled)
- Dash of Cinnamon
Adding that dash of cinnamon is a fun way to embrace the cool Fall season, and I’ll talk more about adding spices in the next section. Feel free to substitute the pie pumpkin with any other hard squash, like butternut or acorn, or try a different type of sweet citrus. (I suggest tangerines or mandarins.) Experiment to discover what you like best!
You don’t need to peel or de-seed the pumpkin for this recipe, or for any juice unless your juicer doesn’t handle them well. For less powerful juicers, cut up dense produce (like pumpkin and carrots) into smaller pieces to help them process more easily. If you’re using a high-powered unit (like the Nama J2) feel free to simply chunk them up and let the machine do the work!
2. Spice Things Up
- Embrace Your Inner Hot-Head
Another fun way to welcome the dropping temperature is to amp up the spice in your juice! Adding hot peppers to your favorite juice recipe is a tasty way to heat things up (a little or a lot).
If you’re not a chili-head, start off slowly by adding a quarter or half of a jalapeno to your next recipe. Jalapenos may typically be on the milder side of the hot pepper heat index (known as the Scoville Scale), but we still recommend you start off slowly.
If you’re into chiles and looking to really amp things up, go get yourself a cayenne for pure heat or habanero for a blend of high heat and delightful citrus notes. Both are much higher up on the Scoville Scale and will certainly warm you up! Be cautious if you’re not already a seasoned hot pepper eater because they are far spicier than the jalapeno.
And if you’re just plain crazy, and know exactly what you’re getting yourself into, throw in a bit of a fresh ghost or Carolina reaper pepper…but PLEASE be careful as they are ridiculously spicy! Seriously, approach these babies with extreme caution as they’re two of the world’s hottest peppers.
- Slide Open Your Spice Rack
Hot peppers aren’t the only way to spice up your cold season juicing. Rummage through your spice rack for some tasty additions to your next juice. Try a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, ginger and turmeric (fresh or ground), and even black pepper to add depth and warmth to any juice recipe.
Here’s a spice-centric recipe for you to try when the cold sets in:
WINTERTIME SUNSHINE (1 Liter)
- 4 Oranges (or other sweet citrus) (peeled)
- 2 Grapefruit (peeled)
- 1 inch Finger Fresh Ginger
- ½ inch Finger Fresh Turmeric
- Dash Black Pepper
I really like to mix oranges and grapefruit together to create a nice balance between sweetness and acidity. If you like your juice more on the sweet side, simply substitute one or both of the grapefruits for more oranges (typically 2-1). The same goes for ginger, turmeric, and black pepper. Experiment with adding more or less, depending on how intense you want the spices to be.
3. Why Not Make it Warm?
I just talked about adding hot peppers and warming spices to your next juice, so now I’ll focus on physical temperature.
- Let The Room Bring Up The Temp
Juices don’t have to be consumed ice cold in order to be tasty. Often, I let my refrigerated juices warm up on the counter before drinking. Another trick is to bring the produce itself up to room temperature before juicing.
Cold temperatures can dampen flavors in juice, as well as anything else we eat or drink, so it’s nice to enjoy a juice that’s a little warmer. Not to mention when it’s cold outside, often the last thing you want is something cold to drink.
- Employ Your Dehydrator
To achieve an even warmer juice, use a dehydrator (if your unit is big enough to fit a glass or bowl) or your stove top (on a very low setting) to raise the temperature before drinking. You don’t want to expose your juice to extreme heat as that will denature the delicate enzymes present and also change the flavor. So if you’re going to use these more active heating methods, keep a close eye on the temperature.
Now that you know juicing is great for all seasons, your juicer will never have to sit there, collecting dust, ever again because you understand that ANYTIME is a great time to juice. With the above tips, recommendations, and recipes you have all the tools needed to warm up your juicing game during the colder months ahead. Keep up the good work. Your body and mind will thank you for it!
How do YOU get your juicing on during the colder months? Tell us in the comments and Stay Juicy!