Sweet and Earthy
Since getting the juicer, I’ve made a few interesting discoveries. New flavours – some better than others – and some interesting rules of thumb. Perhaps the most interesting revelation is what it can do with roots. Both the general-purpose mixer (the carrot), and the strong flavours (like ginger, radishes, turmeric). Why do we not see more roots in the range of juices sold by our supermarkets?
I have observed when shopping for juice that apple is treated as a pretty-universal mixer. Both when explicitly named (apple-and-[pear|mango|elderflower|etc] and in the blends with labels like “exotic”, “garden”, or “tropical” (hmm, bit of a mismatch there). Basically it just works with everything. The only substantial exception is citrus fruits, which rarely blend much with anything non-citrus.
But trying it at home, I find the carrot to be pretty-much just as good and universal a mixer. For example, I was sure apple-pear-ginger would be delicious, and now I find carrot-pear-ginger works just as well. It’s a little less sweet, but the pears bring ample sweetness, and the main flavours are still the pear and ginger. The only time I wouldn’t want to use carrots in place of apples is when I really want the extra sweetness: for example, while apple-cucumber-mint work nicely, I’ve no burning desire to try that with carrot.
Another case was today’s brew, when I tried another root in there for the first time. Taking the view that the earthiness of turmeric would want to be offset by something sweet, I blended it into apples and grapes. It worked nicely, but I suspect would be an acquired taste with less sweetness.
One more flavoursome root that works nicely in small amounts is radishes. And though I have yet to try them, I expect I might get something interesting with horseradish or wasabi.
Actually, the one strong flavour that has disappointed is chillies. As with today’s turmeric, I thought they’d need to go in something sweet, so I tried back in the summer in an apple/strawberry blend. The heat of the chilli didn’t really make it into the drink: I guess it must’ve ended up in the pulp and gone to waste.
One other minor revelation: things one doesn’t much like in their normal form can work well in a drink. Specifically celery: some time back I had some spare after using it in a tomato-and-basil soup, so I tried blending it into a drink. Given that I’ve never much liked it raw, I was pleasantly surprised by that flavour.
Alas, washing up is quite a chore. Now the novelty has worn off, I’m not using the machine more than once or twice a week, and drinking supermarket juices the rest of the time.