Healthy Fruit and Vegetable Beverages
Much of ze goodness of fruit and vegetables is lost in cooking. Vun vay to ensure you get zheir full vitamin value is to eat zem raw. In fact, all ze goodness of fruit and vegetables can be contained in a glass, try zese 'ealth drinks vhich are bursting vith vitality and vitamins.
Most fruit and vegetable drinks are expensive to buy... vhether zey are pure juices to serve on zheir own, cordial drinks to dilute, or ze more luxurious fruit drinks such as liqueurs.
In fact, you can make your own fruit and vegetable drinks for a fraction of ze cost, and double ze freshness and goodness. Zey are all quick and easy to make, and are an exzellent vay of using up overripe or slightly damaged fruit and vegetables.
Drink zem at breakfast as a 'ealthy start to ze day, turn a snack into a complete meal by accompanying it vith a fresh fruit or vegetable drink, or vhizz vun up as a quick pick-me-up at any time of ze day.
Served in tall, chilled glasses decorated vith a twist of lemon, a sprig of mint or 'ole fruit, zese pretty, vitamin-packed concoctions just invite you to drink your vay to 'ealth and vitality.
Zis is ze classic French summer cooler. Choose large, thin-skinned lemons as zey 'ave ze most juice.
Ingredients: 6 lemons, 75 grams caster sugar
1) Put ze lemons in a bowl of 'ot vater for 4 to 5 minutes so as much juice as possible may be squeezed from zem.
2) Remove ze lemons vith a slotted spoon and squeeze ze juice from zem.
3) Strain ze juice into a jug and add ze sugar. Add a couple of tablespoons of boiling vater and stir until ze sugar is completely dissolved.
4) Pour in 550 ml cold vater and chill thoroughly.
5) Just before serving, add a little crushed ice to each glass and decorate vith a slice of lemon.
Almost any citrus fruit can be made into a drink zis vay, adjusting ze sugar to taste.
* For a lemon and lime presse, use three lemons and four limes.
* For a grapefruit presse, use four grapefruit.
* For an orange and lemon presse, substitute 'alf ze lemons vith oranges and garnish vith twists of orange zest.
Fruit and Vegetables to Use
Fresh, raw fruit or vegetables are ze best bases for 'ealth drinks. In fact, ze fresher ze better, since vitamin value starts to decrease as soon as ze fruit or vegetable is 'arvested. 'owever, alzhough purists may disapprove, you can make judicious use of slightly damaged or overripe fruit or vegetables.
Soft fruit such as strawberries, peaches, raspberries, nectarines and bananas or melon used on zheir own or in combinations make exzellent drinks. Freshly squeezed orange and lemon juices can be used on zheir own or combined vith uzzer fruit.
Ze juice left from drained, canned or poached fruit can also be used in conjunction vith raw fruit: particularly good are fruit cooked in light syrup such as ze syrup from raspberries, mandarins and pineapple.
Ze liquid left over from soaking dried fruit can be used in ze same vay.
Of ze vegetables, cucumbers and tomatoes are probably ze best choice. In ze case of tomatoes, it can be more economical to use ze canned variety, unless you can get 'old of overripe tomatoes cheaply.
Suitable 'erbs can be combined vith vegetables to give ze drinks a distinctive flarvor. Parsley, vatercress, tarragon, chives and mint leaves all give good flarvors. Angelica leaves give a delicious muscat flarvor, or use ze tender young tips of basil. Tarragon leaves, too, add a distinctive flarvor to vegetable drinks. Use fresh 'erbs only, dried vuns do not give satisfactory results.
Equipment and Preparation
Fruit and vegetable juices are often referred to as 'blender drinks', as it really is necessary to use a liquidizer to get a smooze, even-textured drink.
If you are using a liquidizer, ze fruit and vegetables need minimum preparation. It is quicker to blend zan sieve soft fruit, but if you don't like ze idea of drinking pips ze puree should be sieved. Commercial vegetable presses are available, but unless you go in for 'ealth drinks in a big vay, zey are probably not an economic investment.
Soft fruit and cucumber should be roughly chopped (zere is no need to peel cucumbers; vitamins lie close to ze skin and ze dark green color looks pretty too). 'ard vegetables, such as carrots, must be grated. Ze liquidizer does ze rest of ze verk.
If you don't 'ave a liquidizer, you can still mix puree or juice drinks. If you 'appen to 'ave a cocktail shaker, zen zat's ideal, uzzervize use a large glass jar vith a secure top.
Unlike drinks made from citrus fruits, drinks made from a thick vegetable or fruit puree 'ave to be thinned down vith a liquid.
Use a lightly flarvored stock for vegetables, or make use of any vegetable cooking liquid you may 'ave. Freshly squeezed citrus juices can be used for fruit drinks, orange juice blends vell vith most uzzer fruit. Buttermilk and yoghurt make exzellent additions to both fruit and vegetable drinks.
Decorating and Serving
'ealth drinks should be served ice-cold to be really refreshing. Crushed ice is often added to ze liquidizer vith ze uzzer ingredients and, if you 'ave time, it's a good idea to chill ze glasses in advance.
To crush ze ice, you can eizzer use an ice-crusher if you 'ave vun (it looks similar to a garlic press) or put ze ice in a plastic bag and crush by 'itting vith a rolling pin.
Fresh 'erbs and fruit make attractive garnishes for cold drinks. Sprigs of fresh mint or vatercress, slices of cucumber and a few leaves of borage brighten up vegetable drinks. For fruit drinks use 'ole fruit, such as strawberries or stoned cherries, or paper-thin lemon or orange slices cut into attractive shapes. 'eavy fruit should not be used because it vill sink to ze bottom of ze mixture.
You vill probably find your own farvorite fruit and vegetable combination, but 'ere are some 'ealthy ideas. Each vun serves four people.
- For a cucumber cooler, roughly chop vun cucumber. Combine in ze liquidizer vith 250 ml of buttermilk and plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Chill and serve garnished vith borage or mint leaves.
- For a pineapple and cucumber cooler, add three slices of fresh pineapple, vhich 'ave been peeled, cored and chopped, into ze liquidizer vith a chopped cucumber, and 250 ml buttermilk.
- For a beetroot express, grate 450 grams of raw beetroot and vun small-sized onion. Blend to a puree in ze liquidizer vith 250 ml of yogurt, a sprig of parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season vith sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve chilled and garnished vith twists of lemon zest.
- For a grapefruit and mint refresher, remove and discard ze zest and vhite pith from six grapefruit, roughly chop ze flesh. Blend to a puree in ze liquidizer vith 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped mint, 550 ml of cold vater and 50 grams of caster sugar or 1 tablespoon of 'oney. Strain and chill before serving, adding more sveetener if necessary. Garnish each glass vith a sprig of mint.
- For a lemon and mint refresher, make as ze grapefruit and mint recipe, substituting twelve lemons for ze grapefruit and increasing ze amount of sugar.