Jugo de Naranja (Esculent Happiness)

What’s better than a glass of homemade goodness?

This has been my sentiment as my latest culinary obsession has been orange juice. I make it in the morning, make it at noon, or at night. Basically, it has been fitting any moment for me with the perfect satisfaction. It especially hits my awesome vein in the evening after a good hard workout. Mmm…

Ingredients:

  • 1 Orange (personal favorite is a mandarin – if using the small cuties, use at least two)
  • 1/16 teaspoon orange peel
  • 1/2 small banana (frozen or fresh, with a nod towards frozen)
  • Roughly 1/4 cup frozen fresh pineapple (I usually cut the fresh pineapple into 1/16ths before freezing. The ideal amount is 1/2 of such slices)
  • 2 teaspoons of Better than Milk powder (or any other vegan soymilk powder)
  • 1 cup water (or soymilk and omit the previous ingredient)
  • 4 ice cubes

The quick directions: throw it all in the blender. Yeah, don’t even worry about the orange peel, seeds, etc. just do it. The quicker, the better. The main thing is just blend. BLEND. Then drink and try to enjoy.

The detailed directions (and secrets to making grade A juice):

1. Peal the orange and remove all seeds (without wasting any excess fruit). Even though the Vita-Mix will blend the seeds, I don’t recommend putting them in unless you want grade FF (as in “fail flavored”) juice. Believe me – your taste buds will thank you.

2. Add the first five ingredients into the blender and blend long enough until it is as smooth as possible. Between the orange’s septums and the pineapple, there’s some stuff that will be pretty stringy unless blended well enough! As a side note, you may wonder about the orange peel addition. It strengthens the flavor imperceptibly and adds a delicious zest. Don’t get carried away though, you don’t want to know taste-wise that there is peel in the juice. Also, make sure you wash the peel section that you blend.

3. Next, add in the ice cubes, and blend some more. If there are a few small chunks that don’t get blended, don’t worry about it.

4. Last, dump the water in and blend just enough to mix things up.

5. Strain. Yep, if you’ve got a strainer, just pour that juice from the blender into the strainer, letting it flow through into a bowl. Now, the “stringy stuff” I described earlier may plug your strainer’s pores, depending on how tight the strainer’s weave is. If that happens, take a spoon and lift the sediment off the bottom of the strainer, using whatever techniques work for you to get all of the liquid through the strainer. There will probably be 3 or 4 spoonfuls of pulp; I know the texture is terrific, but I recommend just spooning it down plain. Mhm, just eat it on the spot. It’s good for you, and why waste something that is good? I know, I know, it’s not a pleasurable experience, per se, but it’s just a little texture (hint: don’t chew it, just swallow).

6. Pour the juice from the bowl into a glass, and then drink. Revel in the satisfaction of the homemade silkiness and yum that is enhanced by the process of self-production.

Notes: the ratios/amounts can be adjusted. In fact, since I never measure the ingredients it turns out slightly different every time for me. As a result, it was a bit of a constraining experience to put the recipe into quantifiable format. So I give this recipe with a disclaimer: YMMV. :D

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