Healthy Sweet Juice Pulp Muffins/Cupcakes

Healthy Sweet Juice Pulp Muffins/Cupcakes

Fruit Pulp Muffins

My husband has been doing a juice fast recently, leaving me with a massive amount of juice pulp.  Although most of the pulp has been vegetable pulp, he has provided me with some fruit pulp, which I’m excited to use.  There are so many ways to use fruit pulp!  Add it to oatmeal, mix it with yogurt, and even mix it into cookies.  Today, I decided to use some to make some sweet, fruity muffins.

Fruit pulp

What is the difference between a sweet muffin and a cupcake?  I kind of consider them to be very similar, but there are some differences.  Muffins, even sweet ones, are not too sweet, whereas cupcakes tend to be much sweeter.  Muffins are also more dense while cupcakes are a bit more fluffy.  I also tend to think that cupcakes come with icing on top, while muffins do not.  Therefore, this recipe is for muffins but I include instructions how to alter it to make it into cupcakes.

Ingredients in mixing bowl

These muffins are great for breakfast or as a snack.  They are only slightly sweet so they satisfy kids’ desire for a sweet flavor without giving a sugar rush.  (They do not contain processed sugar.)  The size of muffins is inherently a good serving size for sending in a school lunch.  Because they are made with whole wheat flour, they are actually a really healthy (and slightly sneaky) way to get kids to consume whole grains.  Because they are made with fruit pulp, they are not as sweet as if you made them with whole fruit – most of the fruit sugar goes out with the juice.  Yet, they still give the flavor of the fruit.  As a bonus, the fruit pulp is very high in fiber, which too many kids today don’t get enough of.  They don’t have too many ingredients and none of them are too hard to get ahold of (except possibly the juice pulp, if you are not juicing on your own).

Batter for fruit pulp muffins

The fruit used to make the pulp was a mix.  It was at least 50% strawberry, but also included a mix of grape, plum, and nectarine.  Really, any mix of fruit would work.  Of course it will change the flavor of your muffins dramatically, but that’s okay.  It means that every time you make this recipe it will be new and fun.

Sweet Fruity Muffins

This recipe makes approximately 2 dozen mini muffins and 6 regular size muffins.


1 cup fruit pulp (from juicing)
1 cup rice milk
1 free range egg
1 tbsp organic agave nectar (or honey)
1 cup self-raising whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking soda


  1. Preheat oven to 175 C/350 F forced fan setting (increase by 10-20 degrees C if not using fan force).
  2. Mix together wet ingredients.
  3. Sift together dry ingredients
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
  5. Put in greased or lined muffin tins.  You can fill them to the top as these are muffins and don’t rise much.
  6. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool before serving.


  • To turn these muffins into cupcakes, do three things:
    1) Add 1-2 teaspoons baking powder (to give them the extra lift they need)
    2) Sweeten them extra with an additional 1-2 tbsp agave nectar
    3) Top them with healthy frosting or icing!
  • Add extra flavors for a new dimension.  A few drops of vanilla not only gives a nice vanilla flavor but also gives the sensation of increased sweetness.  Other essences work, too, such as almond extract or even rum extract.
  • Add spices.  Depending on what kind of juice pulp you’re using, you can pair it with certain spices that work well together.  For instance, if you are using pear or apple pulp, consider adding some cinnamon or nutmeg.  Grapes go well together with cinnamon, star anise, and cloves.  Strawberry and banana is surprisingly good with flavors like orange zest and Chinese five spice.

Fruit juice pulp mini muffins ready to go in the oven

These muffins were an absolute hit in our house.  It is almost worth it to make more juice just to get the pulp!  Enjoy – and let me know how yours turn out!

Fruit juice pulp muffin

(Raw) Vegan Gluten Free Pizza Crackers

(Raw) Vegan Gluten Free Pizza Crackers

Maybe it is because I am a child of the 80’s that I remember eating pizza-flavored crackers as I grew up. I’m probably thinking of the Combos Pizzeria Pretzel, pizza flavored bugles crackers, or the inimitable Combos Pepperoni Pizza Cracker, although the thought of pepperoni-flavored anything pretty much freaks me out now.  Still, I love pizza and it is probably one of my favorite foods.  So what could be better than a pizza-flavored snack?  A healthy pizza-flavored snack, of course!

Carrots, beets, and red capsicum/bell pepper cut up and ready to be juiced.

Carrots, beets, and red capsicum/bell pepper cut up and ready to be juiced.

So here it is, the ultimate snack of goodness that your kids will love because it tastes like pizza and that you will love because there is nothing that could even remotely be construed as unhealthy in it.  That’s right, they are vegan, gluten-free, raw (if you keep the temperature on your oven below 115 F/46 C), fat-free, and they are even kosher enough for the strictest of Passover-keeping Jews (and there is no diet more strict than that – they make gluten free and paleo look like wimps).  I am honestly convinced that this recipe is the snack recipe to end all snack recipes.  Because it is made of amazing.

Add spices to juice pulp to flavor it.  When the pulp is dehydrated, the flavor concentrates and makes these crackers FULL of flavor!

Add spices to juice pulp to flavor it. When the pulp is dehydrated, the flavor concentrates and makes these crackers FULL of flavor!

The key ingredient in this recipe is juice pulp, so you actually kind of get a two-for-one deal in this recipe.  Sure, you get a crunchy snack cracker that tastes like pizza, but you also get some super healthy (and yummy) juice to drink.  It really is an all-around winner.

Juice pulp and spice mix spread on a baking tray, ready to be dehydrated into crackers

Juice pulp and spice mix spread on a baking tray, ready to be dehydrated into crackers

Vegan Gluten-Free Pizza Crackers


4-5 packed cups juice pulp from red/orange veggies (I used carrots, beets, and red capsicum/bell pepper)
1 heaping tbsp tomato paste
1 heaping tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1 tsp rubbed oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt (I use pink himalayan salt)


  1. Juice your vegetables and discard the juice.  Just kidding! Drink the juice and keep the pulp to make these crackers.
  2. Mix all ingredients.  I recommend using your hands to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed and to break up any clumps of pulp.
  3. Using the flat of your palm, press pulp mixture evenly onto 2 cookie trays lined with baking/wax paper.  Depending on how thick you want your crackers to be, this will fill 2 medium or 2 medium-large trays (or 1 giant tray).  Alternately, press into the trays provided with your dehydrator.
  4. If you are making thicker crackers, score the pulp with a knife so you can break the crackers apart easily later.
  5. Optionally sprinkle top of crackers with sea salt.
  6. Place the trays in your oven on the lowest setting.  I use 50 C fan forced, but keep it below 46 C if you are going for a raw option.  (Although this designation makes me confused, as it definitely gets above 46C in the Aussie outback on a regular basis, so I suppose nothing grown there could be considered raw… but I digress.)  Bake until crispy.  Times vary depending on your oven, settings, and thickness of the crackers.  I make mine quite thin and with fan force on it takes only 3 hours to fully dehydrate these crackers.  If you are doing thicker crackers, do not have fan force, or use a centrifugal juicer that does not get out as much juice as a masticating juicer, it may well take 5 hours to complete this.
  7. Break apart crackers and test.  If you made thicker crackers, break on the lines you scored.  If you made thinner crackers like I do, you will find they have shrunk and cracked on their own during the dehydrating process.  They won’t be perfect little squares, but who cares when they taste so good?!  If crackers are not crunchy and brittle, return to the oven and check again in 30-60 minutes.
  8. Enjoy crackers on their own or with toppings that pair well with pizza, like sliced olives, sun dried tomatoes, etc.  Store extra crackers in an airtight plastic container or ziplock bag.


  • Finely chop up “pizza” toppings and mix them in.  My favorite is olives but other toppings such as sun dried tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, roasted red bell peppers/capsicum, crumbled tofu, mushrooms, tempeh, or vegetarian meat substitutes.  Be sure not to overdo it with the “toppings” as you still want your crackers to be crackers!
  • Change the spices added.  These crackers really smell and taste like actual Italian pizza, but mixing in other flavors like basil won’t hurt.  Or change the spice mixture completely, swapping for instance with Mexican spice mix to make “taco” crackers.
The final juice pulp crackers have a nice reddish-orange color that suits their pizza flavor.  They're very high in fiber and also have lots of great nutrition.  Because they are so highly concentrated, they also have a delicious flavor - you will be really surprised!

The final juice pulp crackers have a nice reddish-orange color that suits their pizza flavor. They’re very high in fiber and also have lots of great nutrition. Because they are so highly concentrated, they also have a delicious flavor – you will be really surprised!

I hope your kids love these crackers as much as mine do!  I’ve actually had to restrict my older toddler from eating too many or he’ll eat the whole lot of them.  Of course, if you have a child who suffers from constipation, eating the whole lot of crackers might be a good move – these snacks will keep your kids very regular!  But given that most kids today do not enough enough fiber, these crunchy crackers are a really healthy addition to your kids’ diets.  In fact, even my “big kid” had been sneaking crackers from their box constantly – and he’s the one who’s supposed to be doing a juice fast!

Liver Detox Juice – For Kids!

Liver Detox Juice – For Kids!

“Love your liver” was always one of my favorite phrases in college.  I was a bit of a geek and wasn’t into drinking to excess, one of the greatest sins you can do to your liver.  But did you know that lots of other things place strain on your liver?  Diets high in animal fats can produce “fatty liver,” which is what happened to Morgan Spurlock when he ate too much McDonald’s.  Low-carb diets, like the Paleo Diet, the Atkins Diet, or the South Beach Diet place extreme strain on the liver, which has to work overtime not only to remove toxins from blood that the excess animal products being consumed create, but also to convert fat into usable sugars.  Environmental toxins, such as bleach, chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, vehicle exhaust fumes, or secondhand cigarette smoke are also taken into our bodies and then filtered out by our overworked livers.

Most of us probably need a bit of a liver detox.  It’s easy to forget that children, too, have a liver that is working overtime to filter out all of the environmental toxins humans never had to deal with prior to industrialization and chemical-based agriculture.  Kids today eat more meat, consume more agricultural chemicals, and are exposed to more environmental toxins than ever before in history.  The best thing we can do to help their bodies not just cope and remain healthy, but to grow up vibrant and flourishing, is to help protect and detoxify their livers.

There are certain foods that are fantastic for detoxifying the liver.  I’ll share some liver detox recipes for kids soon.  But to start, I’ll share a few juice recipes.  Most kids love juice and will drink as much fruit juice as you put in front of them.  If you’re able to juice fresh fruits and vegetables, they will get the maximum benefit.  And the best part is that you can give them a great liver detox drink and they’ll never know.  They won’t even realize just how good it is for them!

Orange Power!

Vitamin C helps stimulate the liver and is an important ingredient the liver can use to convert toxins into water-soluble forms the body can easily expel.  Combine it with the glutathione found in grapefruits and carrots, a protein that is excellent at detoxifying the liver, and you have a powerful team.  The knockout is delivered by mixing in turmeric, which, with its mild flavor, won’t be noticeable but will help enzymes that flush dietary carcinogens from the body.


2 oranges
1/2 grapefruit
2 carrots
1 level tbsp turmeric


  1. Quarter the oranges and the grapefruits and cut carrots into sticks your juicer can handle.
  2. Juice fruits and veggies.
  3. Mix in powdered turmeric
  4. Enjoy!


  • The oranges and carrots in this juice should be sweet enough to overcome any bitter flavor delivered by the grapefruit and turmeric, but if not, try adding an additional 1/2 apple.  You can also mix in a few drops (seriously, 1/8 tsp) raw organic agave nectar.
  • I’ve written this recipe to call for powdered turmeric, which is most readily available, but if you can get fresh turmeric root, add a knob of that into your juicer along with your carrots and you’ll increase its potency!

Red-Blooded Liver Detox Juice

Beets, carrots, and tomatoes are both high in glutathione, a protein, which, as I mentioned above, is the #1 liver detox champion.  As a side bonus, the lycopenes in tomatoes help protect against several different kinds of cancers, and the pectin in apples helps the digestive tract release built-up toxins. Be sure to chill all your ingredients beforehand because this juice is most delicious fresh and cold!


2 carrots
1 large (or 2 medium) tomato
1 medium beet
1 apple


  1. Cut carrots into sticks, tomato into quarters, beet into sticks, and apple into slices.
  2. Juice all ingredients.
  3. Enjoy your beautiful red juice!


  • Feel free to omit the apple from this juice.  It will still taste good without it, but kids usually appreciate the extra bit of sweetness!
  • Turn this into a savory drink by replacing the apple with an extra tomato and adding a pinch of pink Himalayan salt.

Aside from juice, other drinks can be great for liver detox, such as green tea.  I make a liter at a time and keep it chilled in the fridge on hot days or room temperature when it’s cooler out.  Both of my boys will happily drink it due to its mild flavor.  Want to deliver a one-two-knockout-punch to cancer-causing agents? Mix half green tea and half white tea.

I hope you and your kids enjoy these yummy drinks and that you all feel healthier for them!  Please let me know what you think, and share your favorite liver detox juice recipes below.

Juicing for Kids: Using Leftover Pulp in Everyday Recipes

Juicing for Kids: Using Leftover Pulp in Everyday Recipes

When you’ve got lots of leftover pulp, you have two options: discard it or consume it.  For the longest time, I just threw it all in the compost bin, but now… Now, I eat it!

One of the best things about juicer pulp is that it can be used in so many ways.  Initially, I had an aversion to the idea of eating this fibrous mess. I mean, all the flavor and nutrients already came out of it, right? Wrong!

It is true that the majority of the nutrients are extracted when juicing – that’s what makes juice so healthy. But there’s a reason why whole foods are so healthy: the whole food contains benefits.  The fiber and remaining nutrients in pulp are good for you, and they taste good, too.

Our bodies expend a lot of energy mashing up and processing foods.  Think about the whole process, from chewing on down: all throughout your body, parts are moving to mash up the food.  The pulp from your juicer has already had a lot of that breaking down of fiber done, which makes it easier to digest.

The best thing is, you can add juice pulp to a lot of recipes you already make.  Just make sure to always separate your vegetable pulp from your fruit pulp, preferably cleaning out your juicer in between.  Every juicer, no matter how good, can have bits of pulp stuck on the inside that can come out later.  Trust me, you don’t want bits of tomato or radish flavoring your apple pulp. It won’t taste good later.

Vegetable Pulp

Veggie pulp can be a great addition to lots of savory dishes.  Saute it with some garlic and onion in olive oil and put it over your  whole grain pasta.  Or add it as a layer in a lasagna (I’ve done this for guests and everyone loved it).  Toss it in a soup or boil and strain it to make vegetable broth.

Both of my kids especially love the lasagna, and most kids enjoy pasta. The benefit of using the juicer pulp is that, unlike big pieces of vegetables, the small juicer pulp shreds aren’t so easy to pick out – great for getting some extra veggies into kids that aren’t such big fans.

Fruit Pulp

Fruit pulp can be added to almost anything that’s sweet, provided you remove the seeds and stems first. (Getting an apple corer/slicer is worth the $2 it will cost you on eBay.)  Try adding some extra to your morning smoothie for additional fiber.  Or mix it in with your morning oatmeal or muesli for some extra flavor.  Add some for a subtle flavor when you make vanilla ice cream.

Most kids love sweet things, and most kids enjoy fruit for that reason.  My kids like it mixed into homemade yogurt (or frozen yogurt, for a treat!).  They also really like the oatmeal.

You definitely can use that pulp from juicing. And you can probably use it in recipes you’re already making, without having to do much different.  You might even find it makes life easier.  After all, there won’t be any need to chop up apples for the morning oatmeal if you’ve got some apple pulp ready and waiting to go!

Enjoy! And please let me know how these recipes work for you!


Juicing for Kids: What to do with all that Pulp?

Juicing for Kids: What to do with all that Pulp?

Juicing fruit and vegetables is a really healthy way to consume lots of bioavailable nutrients and, if you have a masticating or cold press slow juicer, enzymes.  But if you’re drinking the juice, what are you doing with all that pulp?

For the longest time, I threw away all my juice pulp.  I couldn’t feel too guilty about it because at least I compost it, but it still made me sad to see such a large part of the beautiful fruit and veg going to waste.  Aside from composting, you could also feed it to your chickens, or even to your dog. (Dogs actually really enjoy a bit of juice pulp over their dry kibble!  Domesticated canines have actually evolved to be able to digest more fruit, vegetables, and grains in their diets. It gives them extra vitamins and nutrients, as well as added moisture and flavor to their meal.  Just make sure you’re not giving them pulp that contains anything that could be harmful to them, such as grapes, avocado, raw potatoes, onion, or garlic.)

But why should the dirt, chickens, dogs, goats, or pigs be getting all those extra good-for-you vitamins and nutrients when I could be getting them? Or, better yet, when my kids could be getting them?

There are lots of different ways to use juice pulp, so don’t throw it away! I separate my fruit and vegetable pulp by always juicing all my vegetables first, collecting the pulp, and then juicing any fruits.  Vegetable pulp can be used to make burgers, soups, sauces, and cracker.  Fruit pulp can be used to make fruity crackers, cookies, or even muffins and breads.

I will be testing and sharing with you a few of my very favorite juice pulp recipes, so stay tuned!

Juicing for Kids: Juicing Leafy Greens

Juicing for Kids: Juicing Leafy Greens

For the past few days, I’ve been talking about juicing for kids.  Too much fruit juice can be bad for kids, but homemade fresh juice can contain vegetables as well as fruit, and is free of the chemicals and sugar many commercial brands contain.  Because it’s not pasteurized and can be drunk fresh, immediately, homemade juice contains so many more vitamins and minerals, plus enzymes (if you’re using a cold press or masticating slow juicer).

The first thing to consider is what leafy greens you’re juicing.  The world is full of possibilities!  There are actually a lot of greens that are edible and great for juicing, even though many people discard them.  My personal favorite is beet greens because they’re sweeter than most other dark leafy greens.  But there are lots of others, too.  Take a look at some of the other vegetables you buy that might come with greens on top.  In our home, we often end up with lots of leafy dutch carrot tops or radish greens.  Both of these can be juiced (although bear in mind radish greens can be slightly spicy – try using them in a salad and you’ll be pleasantly surprised!).  Any salad green can be juiced and can add new dimensions of flavor.  Try mixing some spicy radish greens, mustard greens, or arugula/rocket into your tomato juice for healthy take on a “Bloody Mary.”  If you like tonics, try bitter greens like dandelion greens or chicory.  And of course, there are all the beautiful deeply colored greens often used for cooking, such as collard greens, chard, kale, and English spinach. And of course, try adding any leftover fresh herbs to your juice.  Mint goes beautifully in lots of fruit juices and herbs like parsley, basil, or coriander can give a new twist to old favorites. The possibilities are endless!  Just make sure you check that you can actually safely eat the greens you want to juice.  Certain greens found in some gardens, like rhubarb greens, can be poisonous!

Another comment about greens that I hear a lot of people say is that they’re not really getting any juice out of their greens.  Pop a handful of spinach into your juicer and out dribble a few drops.  What to do? How to get more juice out of your greens?

The trick is all in sandwiching your greens.  Try pressing your greens between two slices of apple and juicing it that way. Suddenly you’ll notice you have a lot more juice coming out of that spinach!  If you’re making big batches of juice, like I often do, and you have lots of greens to juice, making tiny sandwiches might take too much time (although if you’re juicing with your kids, they might really enjoy making lots of little apple-and-greens sandwiches to put through!).  If that’s the case, simply alternate one hard fruit or vegetable with one soft one.  I often switch between greens and carrots.  This is usually sufficient to keep the juice flowing from your greens, and also means that stringy greens are less likely to get wound up and clogged in your juicer.

Good luck and happy (green) juicing!

Juicing for Kids: How to Get Your Kids to Drink Green Juice

Juicing for Kids: How to Get Your Kids to Drink Green Juice

As I’ve been discussing, while commercial fruit juices are really not the best for your kids’ health, juice itself can be hugely beneficial.  The trick is to buy a good juicer and then make juices packed with healthy vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and enzymes fresh for your kids.  The best juices contain nutrient-rich veggies, especially dark leafy greens.  But how to get your child to drink juice with greens in them when even a small amount of greens change the color of your child’s entire drink?

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to tackle this problem.  To my mind, there are five main strategies to getting your kids to drink green juice: habituation, stealth, participation, copycat, and reverse psychology.  Use the strategy (or strategies) that you think will work best for your child.


Habituation is, you guessed it, making green juice a habit.  This means educating your kids from early on that green equals good, and by ‘good’ I mean ‘tasty!’  The best time to start is from the very beginning.  Start in pregnancy and you’ll set your child up for a lifetime of juicing.  Babies in mum’s third trimester can taste what she’s eating via amniotic fluid they swallow.  Studies show that babies whose mothers drank carrot juice in their third trimester showed a marked preference for it when they were given it to drink themselves.*

Babies can begin having juice from 6 months of age up, although juice should supplement, rather than replace, their normal food consumption.  Babies don’t have any preconceptions about what is good and bad, so they won’t look at green juice and think “gross!” like many adults will.  So if you start your baby on green juice and continue giving it to them as they grow up, your child will have strong positive associations with drinking green juice.

Habituation can work with older kids, too, especially when paired with some of the other techniques below.  Introduce them to the Beginner’s Green Juice in yesterday’s post and if they’re brave enough to try it, they’ll quickly discover they won’t even taste the greens in it.  That recipe is all sweetness – the greens just give it a bit of color and a small nutritional boost.  The major benefits of it are getting kids over their fear of drinking a juice that looks so totally green.  Get them used to drinking that and you can slowly introduce more greens, as well as other veggies, into their juices without them batting an eye.


Gerber Sip & Smile Spill-proof CupsOkay, I know some parents will probably slam me for this tactic, but it can definitely work for some kids!  Stealth means slipping green juice in without your kids noticing.  The best way to do this is to use a cup your child can’t see through.  For young kids, this is perfect.  Most young kids are accustomed to (or at least willing to) drink from a sippy cup of sorts.  If so, choose an opaque sippy cup (like the Gerber Sip & Smile Spill-proof Cups shown in the picture at right, or the Playtex Sipster Cup) and fill it with Beginner’s Green Juice – then watch how your child doesn’t notice you haven’t just given them delicious plain fruit juice!  With each passing week, try increasing the percentage of green in the juice ever so slightly and see if your child notices. Eventually you should be able to switch to a regular sippy cup and show them that this is the juice they’ve been drinking all along.


This is the very best strategy to use if you have older kids (babies won’t get much out of it, but toddlers might). Kids love to help out in the kitchen and are much more likely to eat something they’ve grown or made themselves.  It’s simple: Get them to help make the juice!  Have them choose a combination of fruits and veggies and let them be creative.

You’re the boss in your home and rules are good for kids, so you might want to come up with some useful rules to encourage your kids to drink healthy juice or to avoid wastage. Here are some ideas:

  • You must drink the juice you make
  • You must include at least one green element (e.g., a couple stalks of celery, a cucumber, or a handful or two of greens)
  • Each member of the family will make juice for the whole family for breakfast on a rotating roster
  • If you have a masticating or cold press juicer and not much time, designate one morning a week (such as Sunday morning) to do the juicing for the whole week.  (Masticating juicers produce juice that contains more nutrients and enzymes, for much longer, so you can really juice once a week.) Make a few different kinds of juice, put them in bottles, and have them all week long.

By getting your kids involved in helping out and giving them control, they’ll find it a fun family activity, they can exercise some creativity, and you can get them to drink fresh, healthy fruit and vegetable juice.


The essence of this strategy is basically to lead by example.  My kids are like puppies sometimes – if they see an adult eating something, they immediately want some (“Right now!” as my toddler says).  If you have a child like this, you can get them to start drinking green juice simply by drinking it yourself!  Our kids will drink all sorts of juices, drink whole fruit smoothies, and eat salads and dark leafy greens with gusto, simply because they see us consuming these things all the timeon a regular basis.  How frequently do your kids see you drinking green juice??

Reverse Psychology

A lot of my friends have babies and toddlers who are just the opposite of our kids.  Rather than copying their parents, they want to do the exact opposite.  If mommy and daddy are eating it, these kids turn up their noses at it.  If that’s the case, you can employ the opposite strategy – “refuse” to drink it and hopefully your kids will take the bait (of course, you can and should drink green juice when they’re not looking! It’s good for adults, too!).

Another trick I find works with my toddler when he’s refusing to eat something is simply to take it away.  I take it away and tell him he’s not allowed to have it.  As soon as it’s gone he wants it again.  And he’ll gobble it up!  Of course I don’t actually want to take it away – if I’m giving it to him, that means it’s healthy and tasty – but sometimes toddlers get it into their heads that they want whatever they can’t have.  But wait, aren’t we all like that sometimes?


I hope you’ve found these strategies enlightening and I hope they will help you persuade your kids to start drinking green juice!  Please leave a comment and let us all know how you got your kids to start drinking green juice.  If you’ve used one of these strategies, do let us know if it worked and why!

*Mennella JA, Jagnow CP, Beauchamp GK. Prenatal and Postnatal Flavor Learning by Human Infants. Pediatrics 2001;107(6):E88.

Juicing for Kids: Green Juice Recipes

Juicing for Kids: Green Juice Recipes

One of the benefits of juicing at home is that you can make up your own fruit and vegetable combinations to suit your kids’ particular tastes.  Your child loves pineapple but hates apple?  No problem! Juice only the fruits your kid likes.

Another major benefit is that you can use juice to get your child to consume fruits and veggies they otherwise avoid.  Your child won’t touch broccoli with a 10-foot-pole? No problem – hide it in some yummy juice and they’ll never know!

Green juice is a great way to get healthy vitamins and minerals into your kids.  Because it’s in the form of juice, the enzymes and nutrients are more readily available for absorption.  And when you juice it yourself and drink it fresh, juice contains far more vitamins and minerals than you could possibly get from commercially-produced juice.  Juice also means you can consume a greater quantity of healthy fruit and veg without it filling you up.

Remember, not all fruits and vegetables make for great combos.  Some go better together than others, especially when you’re convincing your kids to drink it! So here are a few kid-friendly recipes, with many more to come:

Carrot & Orange Juice

One of the most traditional juices out there. With no actual greens in it, your kids won’t even know they’re drinking their veggies!


approximately 1/2 kg or 1 lb organic carrots
4 organic oranges


  1. Wash the carrots and oranges.
  2. Slice the carrots into pieces (if necessary for your juicer) and the oranges into quarters.
  3. Put carrots and oranges through your juicer.
  4. Drink and enjoy!


  • Replace two oranges with two apples.
  • Add a knob of ginger.

ABC Juice

ABC Juice is another one of the most traditional and most delicious juices out there.  ABC stands for – you guessed it – apple, beetroot, and carrot.  With its beautiful orange-red color, your kids won’t be frightened to try it. And with its sweet flavor, they won’t guess they’re drinking their veggies!


2 organic apples
1 organic beet
2 organic carrots


  1. Wash all ingredients well.
  2. Chop into quarters.
  3. Place through juicer
  4. Enjoy!


  • Add 1/2 a lemon for more tartness.
  • Add a small knob of ginger (too much can be overwhelming).
  • Add 3-4 leaves of kale or chard to turn this into a green juice.

Berry Red Beet Juice

This one hails from Sophia at Love and Lentils.  While her family loves beets, I grew up hating them.  It’s only in recent years that I’ve fallen passionately, madly, head-over-heels in love with them.  But if I’d had beets presented to me in this way as a kid, I almost certainly would have fallen in love much, much sooner!


2 organic beets
8 organic strawberries
1 organic orange


  1. Wash the beets, strawberries and orange.
  2. Cut the greens off the strawberries, and slice the beets and orange into quarters.
  3. Place all ingredients through your juicer.
  4. Serve and drink right away.

Beginner Green Juice

I understand if your kids shy away from green juice based on color alone.  However, if you can convince them to try it, they’ll find that they like it.  This is a fantastic beginner green juice because it actually has so much fruit and so little greens that your kids won’t taste them at all.  If you can get them to try it, they’ll be pleasantly surprised.  If they’re still wary, try offering them this juice while you read them Green Eggs and Ham!


1 handful organic dark leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, or swiss chard
1 organic pear
1 cup organic strawberries
1/2 organic lemon (unpeeled)
1 organic apple


  1. Wash all ingredients well.  If you are not using organic ingredients, wash the greens especially well to remove any lingering pesticides.
  2. Cut the greens off the strawberries, cut the lemon in half, and chop the apple and pear into quarters or eighths.
  3. Put the ingredients through your juicer in the order listed above.
  4. Enjoy!

Beginner Green Juice (Stage II)

Another green juice that tastes quite sweet but still gives a good amount of green power.  This one has a bit more veggie flavor to it, so try it after your kids have admitted to loving the Beginner Green Juice listed above!


1 handful organic dark leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, or swiss chard
2 organic apples
2 stalks organic celery


  1. Wash all ingredients well.
  2. Chop ingredients into pieces.
  3. Place through juicer.
  4. Enjoy!


  • Replace 1 apple with 1 pear.
  • Add 1/2 lemon.

Try making these delicious juices for your kids or come up with your own! Please share in the comments any juice recipes your kids love.

Juicing for Kids: Choosing a Juicer – Citrus, Centrifugal, or Masticating?

Juicing for Kids: Choosing a Juicer – Citrus, Centrifugal, or Masticating?

If your kids love juice but yesterday’s post has made you rethink giving them so many liquid calories, there is a solution: Juice it yourself!

Juicing at home retains many vitamins and minerals that are lost when commercially produced juice is stored in bottles for a long time.  It also avoids added sweeteners, preservatives, colors, flavors, or other nasties big corporations hide in their products.  It’s pure, natural, delicious, and – most importantly – nutritious!

But before you start contemplating which delicious juice combo to make first, you kind of need to have a juicer.  But which one to buy?

In our house, we keep two: a citrus juicer and a masticating juicer.  Sure, our masticating juicer can juice oranges and the like, but I love having a citrus juicer for quick and easy orange juice in the mornings, freshly squeezed lemon juice for a spontaneous summer lemonade, or fresh lime juice for Mexican or Asian dishes.

Breville Citrus JuicerSo, my first recommendation would be the Breville 800CPXL Die-Cast Stainless-Steel Motorized Citrus Press.  Ok, I know that at just under $200 it is on the pricey side, but I have tried more than a half a dozen citrus juicers and none of them were even close to being in the same category as this one. It juices citrus fruits in – literally! – seconds. And the parts come apart super easily for cleaning.  If you rinse it off as soon as you’re done, cleanup will take you approximately one minute.  The stainless steel parts are also really sturdy and well-crafted. I’ve even run them through the dishwasher. I have no idea what the manufacturer’s recommendation on that is, but mine has held up like it was bought yesterday. In fact, I’ve had this juicer for over 2&1/2 years and I’m thrilled with it.  I can’t emphasize enough how much I adore my citrus juicer.  That’s not a sales pitch. That’s pure, unadulterated honesty!

But what if you want to juice something other than citrus? That’s great!  Getting a juicer than can handle anything you throw at it is essential if you want to produce healthy juices your kids will consume.  And if you want maximum nutrition for your kids, you’re going to want something that can juice greens and other veggies.

The traditional type of juicer is called a centrifugal juicer.  This is basically a metal disc and mesh filter that spins really fast to use centrifugal force to separate juice from pulp.  This is the most common type of juicer and also the cheapest and most widely available.  We used to own one until we upgraded to a masticating juicer.  A masticating juicer, also known as a cold press juice extractor, which first crushes and then presses the fruits and vegetables.  Fortunately, masticating or cold press juicers are becoming more widely available and prices are coming down, too.

Hamilton Beach 67608A Big Mouth Juice Extractor, MetallicIf you’re on a tight budget and opt for a cheap centrifugal juicer, you’ll need to consume your juice right away to get the most vitamins and minerals from it – what remains of them.  That’s because the high speed spinning of the mechanism creates heat, which destroys most of the enzymes that make fruit and vegetables so healthy.  Of course, if you plan to use the juice for cooking, such as making your own tomato sauce or ketchup, then that won’t matter. But if you want to make fresh juice to replace the commercially bought kind your kids are currently consuming, a centrifugal juicer is definitely not the way to go.  They also don’t process greens very well, can’t handle nuts, and produce less pulp (which is great for using in other recipes – stay tuned!).  Nevertheless, if you do want a super cheap juicing option the Hamilton Beach 67608A Big Mouth Juice Extractor clocks in at under $50, which makes a good first try buy for the family who can’t afford a more pricey model and is just experimenting with juicing for the first time.  After all, you can always upgrade!

Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice ExtractorIf you still want a centrifugal juicer and you actually have a larger budget, then get the best centrifugal juicer you can.  The Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor gets good reviews, although for just slightly more money you can upgrade to the Breville BJE820XL Juice Fountain Duo Dual Disc Juicer, which includes an extra disc capable of processing berries, bananas, and other soft fruit.

Yet oh, masticating juicer, how I must sing your praises!  Here are the top things a good cold press juicer can do:

  • Maintain maximum nutrient and enzyme content
  • Efficient juicing of leafy greens (more on this in subsequent posts – trust me, you’ll want a juicer that can handle these!)
  • Makes almond, cashew, or other nut milks
  • Makes nut butters
  • Makes sorbet(!)
  • Makes pasta(!!!!)
  • Produces lots of pulp you can use in other recipes
  • Run very quietly

With all of these benefits, it makes great sense to invest the extra money in a better machine.

clean up time! Click here to get one for yourself – trust me when I say it’s worth every penny!!

Avancer Cold Press JuicerFor Australians and New Zealanders: This is the Avancer Cold Press Juicer. This is the juicer we use at home. At just over $100, it’s probably one of the cheapest masticating juicers on the market. (Click on the link or picture for an additional 5% off!) However, we find that it is great quality. It juices almost anything with ease and produces plenty of pulp, which we then repurpose.  It also has dual direction control, which allows you to dislodge stuck fruits and vegetables without taking it apart. It also comes with an apple corer/slicer that makes slicing your apples for juicing very easy.  The benefit is that Avancer is a great company with amazing customer service and our juicer came with a three-year warranty – a long time for an appliance!

Breville BJS600XL Fountain Crush Masticating Slow JuicerFor those in other parts of the world or with more money to spend on a good juicer, try the Breville BJS600XL Fountain Crush Masticating Slow Juicer.  Coming from Breville, which is famous for its juicers, it is a high quality juicer.  It’s also a bit better with soft fruits and vegetables than the Avancer Cold Press Juicer.  Like the Avancer Cold Press Juicer, the Breville BJS600XL Fountain Crush Masticating Slow Juicer comes with dual direction functionality. However, it only carries a 1-year warranty.  For heavy juicer users, this is not the best because heavy users frequently end up burning out their machines eventually and one year is not a secure guarantee.

Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer - Black and ChromeAlternatively, try the Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer. It’s in the same price range as the Breville but boasts a stunning 15 year warranty!  It also has other fun features like an optional pasta attachment and there are a lot of tutorials online featuring unique ways to use this juicer.  It definitely has a following! It boasts of an impressive variety of functions, including chopping garlic and herbs, grinding spices, grinding coffee, extruding pasta, producing nut butters, and making baby food.

Hopefully you have found this guide helpful and you now have an idea of what juicer (or juicers!) you’d like to buy. Juicing at home will revolutionize your kids’ health and open up a world of healthy cooking options.  Just wait until I tell you how to make homemade sugar-free ketchup that tastes better than store-bought!


Orange and other Fruit Juice: Is it good or bad for kids?

Orange and other Fruit Juice: Is it good or bad for kids?

I love orange juice.  When I was a kid I loved orange juice.  In fact, when I was a kid I drank so much orange juice I actually got a rash from drinking all that acidic juice!  But of course anything consumed in super high quantities will be bad for you. So, what is the truth about orange juice? Is it good or bad for kids?

Many juices sold today are not actually 100% juice, but you have to look closely to figure that out.

Many juices sold today are not actually 100% juice, but you have to look closely to figure that out.

The first issue with most commercially produced fruit juices is that they are really high in sugar.  You might be surprised to see that a lot of “healthy” juices on your grocery store shelf are not 100% juice.  Squeezed in among claims of being “high in vitamin C” and having “no preservatives,” “no artificial colors,” and/or “no artificial flavors” is the admission, “35% fruit juice” or “10% fruit juice.”  Many popular kids drink pouches and juice boxes sport these kinds of labels, as do many refrigerated and shelf-stable bottled juices.

Take the popular drink “Sunny Delight” for instance.  Sunny D’s ingredients?

Water, High Fructose, Corn Syrup and 2% or Less of Each of the Following: Concentrated Juices (Orange, Tangerine, Apple, Lime, Grapefruit). Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Beta-Carotene, Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Natural Flavors, Food Starch-Modified, Canola Oil, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Benzoate To Protect Flavor, Yellow #5, Yellow #6

Seriously? 2% or less of a mix of fruit juices?

Not only that, but juices like this one are high in sugar.  High fructose and corn syrup are just another way of saying “sugar” (albeit an even less healthy version!).  So, the first thing to ask is whether your kids are actually drinking real juice? Or are they drinking sugar-water with a bit of juice added in?

Now, suppose you’re buying 100% juice. That’s a good start, but it may not be enough.  You see, 100% fruit juice can also be sweetened – with concentrate.  Concentrate is when water is removed from the original fruit juice, leaving a kind of sweet syrup behind.  Sure, that syrup is still 100% fruit juice, but it is also really high in sugar, and can be used to increase the sweet flavor of fruit juice.

Even if you buy juice that is 100% juice and contains the term “not from concentrate” that juice is still going to be high in sugars.  That’s because fruit is high in sugars!  Now, there are some fundamental differences between fruit and fruit juice.  Fruit contains fiber, which makes you feel full and which is an essential part of your diet.  It also comes in solid form, which takes longer to consume.  Think about it: it takes 21 oranges to produce approximately 2 liters of orange juice.  How long would it take you to drink (even in a leisurely fashion) 2 liters of orange juice versus how long it would take you to eat 21 oranges?  Juice, by virtue of being a liquid, is easier to consume than solids.  You can also pack in more liquids in your diet than you can solids.  Think about the last time you ate a really big meal.  When you were so full you didn’t want to eat another mouthful, you were still able to stomach the thought of drinking a glass of water to wash it all down.

Kids today are consuming more sugars than ever before; indeed, more calories than ever before.  Do your kids really need to be consuming extra calories in their drinks – even if those calories are in the form of “healthier” fruit sugar?

The fact is, the more sugar in your child’s diet, the higher their risk of obesity.  Sugar (even fruit sugar) in their diet will also increase the incidence of cavities.  Unlike a piece of fruit, which is generally consumed all at once, kids frequently sip at juice over the course of a day, increasing the amount of time their teeth spend in contact with sugars.  Furthermore, when kids fill up on juice, they have less space to fill up on more nutritious foods, like fresh fruit and vegetables.  Of course, a little bit of juice now and then is fine, even healthy, for kids, at least according to a study published in June 2008 in the “Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.”

What is the right amount of juice to consume? Well, kids do not need to consume any juice to be healthy, although certain juices can be a good way to get additional vitamins into your child.  Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Children should only consume 100% fruit/vegetable juice (not from concentrate)
  • Children under 6 months of age should not consume any juice.
  • Children 6 months to 6 years of age should consume 4-6 ounces of juice at most.
  • Children 7 to 12 years old should consume 8-12 ounces of juice at most.

One last point to ponder is that nutritional value of juice is lower than the fruit itself is.  The longer the juice is outside of its original container (which is the fruit itself!), the lower its nutritional content.  If you really want optimum nutritional value in your juice, you’ll have to juice it yourself!

Which sounds like a great post for tomorrow… Let’s talk about juicing!