Here’s a small feature on me in the new Conde Nast House & Garden Gourmet Magazine. It was shot in my home the day before I left on a three month stint to Europe in April this year, the image is by Mark Cameron.
Bern le Roux, the editor noted a tweet of mine re freshly squeezed juices in the first quarter of the year. I have been making fruit and vegetable smoothies with a hand held blender for over 7 years and this year, finally bought a juicer. We played around with red and green ingredient combinations and settled, in the end on my favourite green juice combo: cucumber, baby spinach, Granny Smith apples, mint and lime – a real pick me up in the mornings.
I love the fresh look and design of Gourmet (and not just because I have a share a few pixels of space). Take a look at, in food stylists’ terms, the bold and brave styling called Metallic Magic on page 22. Black sea urchins, what looks like a barracuda with scary face, black crockery piled up on table, gold accents. The page is about modern luxury and touch of ‘keeping it real’. Beauty in food is not necessarily about picture perfect white country kitchens and safe pastels. Huge respect for this project.
Also the magazine focusses on a range of food folk, both local and international who are making a difference or an impact. Nice to see Andy Fenner and Kobus van der Merwe feature too.
-What elements are key to making a great juice?
I think there are few rules when it comes to juicing – some prefer to use what’s at hand. I try to keep colour groups together (mixing green leaves and red berries will yield a brownish gloop- healthwise this is perfect, visually, not so great) and not to complicate the flavours too much. Juicing is about extracting the goodness in a raw format, so it goes without saying that you will juice raw fruit and vegetables- the more vibrantly coloured, the better for your health. Excessive heat given off by the machine will destroy the integrity of the cell walls.
-What is a surprisingly great combination of flavours?
I find adding lime to a juice adds a ‘I’m-awake-now’ zing. A favourite at our house is cucumber, baby spinach, Granny Smith apple, mint and lots of lime. I also use mint in most juices.
-What juicer do you use at home?
I use a Breville – it’s a mid-high range in terms of price but seems to have good ratings worldwide. I spotted one at a raw juice store in Istanbul and had to sneak a photo of it. There are far more expensive machines on the market.
* note this has not been sponsored*
-What do you add to balance acidity?
I find using a neutral vegetable (like cucumber, which is also a diuretic) helps to balance acidity.
-What do you add to sweeten a juice up?
I prefer the fruit (like apples, pears, bananas) to provide the sweetness to a juice or smoothie. I sometimes use honey or agave nectar too. Some juices needn’t be sweetened though.
–Can you give any tips to create the ultimate juice? (based on fruit selection, equipment maintenance etc etc…)
To create the ultimate juice, keep your selection focussed, like with the cucumber and spinach juice I mentioned above. Bear in mind that some fruit and veg will yield little juice – when you juice at home you begin to appreciate the R40 glass of freshly squeezed apple juice! Use a “juicy” fruit or vegetable, such as cucumber or apples along with berries or leaves to add volume. Herbs like mint and basil will add unexpected dimension to your juice- you want to keep things exciting! I make the juices and my husband cleans the machine- that’s our deal. One tip we can give: clean the machine as soon as possible. If you ever add broccoli to the mix, you will know why instantly.
-How do you solve the problem of left over pieces/bits of fruit or vegetables? Can you give us an example of something you make?
It depends on the fruit used, but some, like plums and carrots leave a lovely pulp in my machine and if the carrots are peeled, I use this in muffins or breads. I add all the remaining peels and pulp to our composting heap.
Conde Nast House & Garden Gourmet Magazine Spring/Summer 2012