Liquid Sunshine (Carrot Orange Juice Recipe)

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Liquid Sunshine (Carrot Orange Juice)

Carrots + oranges + lemon + ginger root + turmeric root = liquid sunshine. I mean, it’s straight goodness. An instant mood booster. This juice recipe is sweet, tart, and with a slight “bite” from fresh ginger root. You can certainly give it more than a slight bite if you are a ginger lover. Just increase that ginger zing by adding more ginger root. Either way, you’re gonna feel better after you drink this.

I fell in love with the carrot-orange, flavor combo waaaaay back when. I’m talking 2004 when. Northstar Cafe first served it up to me back when they opened in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. Under the name Shooting Star, a carrot + orange+ lemon + ginger juice is fresh-squeezed to order in the cafe. Whenever I go home I’m more than happy to grab my fav eats and this juice. I really think their juice was my first exposure to the idea of juicing!

Liquid Sunshine (Carrot Orange Juice)To Juice or Not to Juice

Most people either love or hate juices. And haters usually hate on the principle of it.

You will always hear the argument, “why don’t you just EAT the fruits and veggies instead of juicing them?” That way you get the fiber, which besides the vitamins and minerals is probably the biggest benefit of eating the whole fruit/veg. For some produce like apples, a lot of the vitamins and minerals reside in the skin. Fiber consumed at the same time as the sugar slows the blast of sugar to the blood stream for more sustained energy, fullness, and less energy “crash” later. Plus we all know fiber is key to gut health and bowel regularity. So I’m not denying that these things are true. I just can’t deny that a good fresh juice is hydrating, energizing, refreshing, and mood-boosting. So every now and then, if I’m craving it, why the heck not? Am I condoning juice as your sole source of fruits and veggies day in and day out? No. It isn’t all or nothing, people. Health is all about finding that gray area, not living in the black and white.

With what I know right now, I’m not a believer that juices are especially detoxifying and I don’t encourage or think anyone NEEDS days or weeks of juice fasting/detoxing. I believe proper hydration + a healthy liver and kidneys do a fine job of “detoxifying” and filtering things in and out of our bodies. At the same time, I cannot deny that veggie or veggie + fruit combo juices are incredibly refreshing. Especially when it’s warm outside, I find I’ll actually crave them.

Liquid Sunshine (Carrot Orange Juice)

I admit, these juices make me feel GOOD when I drink ’em. Whether it’s the hydration, the calories, the vitamins and minerals, the sugar, totally mental, or some combo of the above, who knows. And frankly, I don’t really care, because these days I fuss WAY less over the nutrition facts of a meal (meaning calories/carbs/fat/protein) and focus way more on…

  1. The ingredients. WHAT foods am I eating? Are they whole, real, recognizable foods? How processed is the food? How long is the list of ingredients? Do I recognize what the ingredients are?
  2. How the foods make me feel. How full/hungry am I? After eating do I feel refreshed and energized or lethargic and sluggish? Am I physically hungry or is something else going on? Am I bored, emotional, nervous, etc.? I try to be mindful to give my body what I actually need, and that isn’t always food.
  3. What I’m craving. I give myself what I want, be it a “healthy” or “non healthy” food, being mindful of portion sizes, balance and moderation. If I want a Candied Ginger Scone and coffee for breakfast, I eat a scone and have a coffee. Even if that lasts for a few days, I go with it. Because I know in a few days I’ll be back to craving Strawberry Smoothies, 1 Banana + 2 Egg pancakes, Whole Food Cereal, and dinner’s leftover veggies with fried eggs on top for breakfast. And the more I deny myself the scone, the more I want it, the less satisfying the veggies and eggs become, and the easier it becomes to overeat. Skip the struggle and give your body what it wants.

Liquid Sunshine (Carrot Orange Juice)Liquid Sunshine (Carrot Orange Juice)The Sugar Content

Sure, depending on what you’re juicing, you might be getting as much sugar as a venti Caramel Frappuccino. If you’re juicing fruit only, juices like pineapple, orange and apple for example contain about 24-25 g sugar per cup. So obviously fruit-only juices will be higher calorie and higher sugar. Vegetable juices will have less calories and sugar. Carrot and beet juice is more like 10 g sugar per cup. Your leafy greens like kale or spinach are going to yield around <5 g sugar per cup. Non-starchy, watery veggies like cucumber and celery are going to offer the least sugar per cup, <1-2 g.

Herbs and spices like ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, mint, basil, parlsey etc. are so not calorie-dense to begin with, plus they’re added in juice recipes in such small quantities usually, that their caloric and sugar contributions are negligible.

My juice preference tends to be at LEAST half veg/half fruit if not a more veg to less fruit ratio. So I don’t sweat it; if you like fresh juice now and then, neither should you.

Fresh Turmeric Root

Where do you find it and what’s the nutritional fuss all about?

I found mine at a regular ol’ grocery store King Soopers (Kroger) here in Denver, but I also see fresh turmeric root in Whole Foods. It sort of looks like ginger but it’s a smaller, more “finger-like” shape than ginger, and the flesh is orange. If you can’t find it, you could always add 1 teaspoon ground turmeric to the juice recipe. Just whisk or blend it in before drinking.

Liquid Sunshine (Carrot Orange Juice)

If you do find the fresh root, it’s like a beet in that the color totally stains your hands the more you handle the flesh. It looks like you drew on your hands/nails with a yellow highlighter. Just handle it quickly after peeling (like beets) and you’ll be fine.

Nutritionally, turmeric is a hot button these days. Why? Most of the nutrition is attributed to the compound in turmeric called curcumin. While turmeric is only 3.14% curcumin by weight (1), its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are undeniable. Curcumin is such a strong anti-inflammatory food it rivals some anti-inflammatory drugs (2, 3, 4, 5). We want to eat antioxidants because they fight free radicals AKA help prevent cancer.

Liquid Sunshine (Carrot Orange Juice)No Juicer? No Problem.

If you don’t have a juicer, you don’t juice often, and/or you just don’t want to invest in a juicer, you can still enjoy homemade fresh juices. Use your blender! Here’s how:

  1. Start by adding 1/2 cup cold water to your blender.
  2. Next add your fruits or veggies starting with the softest, juiciest or most watery ingredients on the bottom (like oranges, lemons and cucumber) and hardest ingredients on top (like carrots or beets).
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Strain out the pulp using (1) an old kitchen towel or (2) a nut milk bag (both shown below).

The kitchen towel technique is shown below to strain almond milk, but it works the same way for juice. If you’re using a kitchen towel to strain juice, just choose one you don’t care about, because it will get discolored.

Making Juice without a Juicer

Just line a large bowl with a towel. Carefully pour the blended liquid in. Gather the corners of the towel being careful not to let any contents spill over the sides. Once secure, twist the towel and squeeze the liquid out. When you’re finished, the liquid/juice/milk will be in the bowl and the pulp will remain in the towel.

If you’re using a nut milk bag (shown below), line a large liquid measuring cup (or bowl), pour in the blended fruits/veggies, and squeeze to strain. The nut milk bag linked is the one I have (and it is an affiliate link). It works great and is machine washable.

Straining pulp

Carrots (at least with my juicer) don’t yield a lot of juice. 2.5 pounds of carrots yielded 20 oz of juice. So when you read the recipe that might look like a lot, but it’s correct for making two 16 oz servings. Of course half the recipe if you’re juicing for one.

I enjoy an ice cold juice. If you do too, you can achieve this by starting with cold ingredients right from the fridge. I store leftover ginger and turmeric in a plastic baggie in the freezer. If you’re blending your juice in a high powered blender, frozen ginger or turmeric will work just fine. I don’t advise adding anything frozen to your juicer. Or, of course, you can always serve your juice over ice.

Well, I gotta run and go enjoy some REAL sunshine; it’s a super sun-shiny Colorado day! At least I know I can have some Liquid Sunshine anytime I want. With this juice recipe, you can too!

Liquid Sunshine (Carrot Orange Juice)

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Liquid Sunshine (Carrot Orange Juice Recipe)
 
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For an instant mood boost and dose of vitamin C, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods, whip up the carrot + orange + lemon + ginger + turmeric juice with or without a juicer.
Author:
Serves: (2) 16 oz juices
Ingredients
  • 2.5 pounds of organic carrots, chopped
  • 2 navel oranges, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lemon, peeled and chopped
  • 1 inch ginger root, sliced
  • 2 pieces turmeric root, sliced
Instructions
Using a Juicer
  1. Add your ingredients gradually to your juicer.
  2. Enjoy!
Using a Blender
  1. Add ½ cup cold water to blender.
  2. Add ingredients to the blender.
  3. Puree until smooth. (If using a Vitamix, place on "smoothie" setting.)
  4. Strain out the pulp (using a clean kitchen towel or a nut milk bag) and enjoy your fresh juice!

Can’t get enough? Here’s more juice recipes for you:

Clean Green Juice {Spinach + Celery + Granny Smith Apple + Orange}

Clean Green JuiceRise and Rind {Cucumber + Pear + Celery + Spinach}

Rise and Grind - Green JuiceBlushing Beet Red {Beet + Apple + Lemon + Celery}

Blushing Beet Red Juice: Beet, Apple, Lemon, Celery

What’s in your favorite juice combo?? Share below in the comments!

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