Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Juicing in - a refreshing juice with apples

I know, this is not juice weather and yet here I am, talking about and making fruit juices. First, I thought I will tell you that it is summer in the southern hemisphere(SH) anyway and I made this juice for my abundant fans from that region. Plausible? I could have gotten away with it but here is the catch, I don't know if I have fans or even people that look at this blog in SH and since I am not much of a liar, I am bound to be caught before I finish attempting this post in entirety. Before you think I am on to some kind of a diet, let me set things straight and say that is not the reason either. I was talking to a cousin in India recently and the discussion somehow steered itself to health, weight and topics of that nature. This cousin of mine told me that she tried the new trend of 'juicing', naturally curious I asked her how it went and she explained that she had nothing but fruit juices for 3 days (which is meant to be both detoxifying and calorie light) and then the 4th day went back to eating masala dosa and idli-vada combination for breakfast. I didn't have the heart to ask her if she lost any weight :-). Since I don't normally do any of the diets, let me tell you the real reason I actually made the apple juice in this cold winter.

My juice memories are from a nondescript store packed with people of all ages at all times of the day in a bright and summary Bangalore. If you live around Jayanagar area or frequent the stores in the popular 4th block complex, you probably know what I am taking about. This store opened up across the street from the actual complex building and juice from every single fruit was available there. I have my thoughts about the quality of the fruits he got but he sure made it up for the taste with his many ingenuous spice powder additions :-). Before these stores, the only option available was to go to the road side cart where you would get sugar cane juice in the season or a concoction made from splashing different colorful liquids from ketchup bottles which the guy called fruit juice. Don't ask me if that even had fruits in it. The cleaner stores with a permanent structure and a roof over its head where the fruits were kept on display in the glass cupboards helped build confidence among people and grow the clientele. The place became an icon very quickly and was the equivalent of a 'hang-out' in those days with college students, working men/women, married couples making different groups and enjoying a cool drink.
I went to this store not as a student but after I had started working, it has been a few years and with the kind of changes sweeping Bangalore, I won't be surprised if I don't find that store in the corner on my next visit. The juice-wala had 3 colorful mixer/blenders running almost consistently except when the power went off. My favorites from his juice collection were the Guava and Pineapple. I prefer juice to milk shakes any day and I usually stuck with these choices unless it was the sugarcane season. If you have gone around the shopping mall in the hot sun and are exhausted, here was your gateway to a refreshing non carbonated drink right when you were ready to collapse. Take that tall, cool and colorful glass in hand, find a somewhat shaded area on the steps in front of the store, park your bags next to you and enjoy the sip slowly, yumm, makes me want to go back to Bangalore right now :-)

Back to the story of my out of season juice today, last weekend, we were driving some internal roads here and as always I was watching signs and boards all around. I noticed a sign that said 'Fresh, farm picked apples' and there was a small make shift counter just off the street. Washington apples are very good and I did my usual holler at poor BH and made him park and went to check out the apples. There they were, looking really plump and juicy and loaded in to boxes to be carried home. The sight of those yummy apples made me lose my mind (or may be it was more of the unexpected sun and bright weather) and I picked up a box and came home. When I tried to put them into my refrigerator, I realized what a really tall order I had picked up, there were over 50 apples in that box and even my refrigerator kind of grunted to indicate I was overdoing it.
BH has been taking an apple for lunch everyday to do his bit, but only accounts to 5 apples in the last one week and then we may have consumed an additional 8-10 at home which still leaves a whopping 30+ apples. I didn't feel like making pies and crisps just because it involved some prep, more butter and sugar. So I opted to make the juice. This is a very simple recipe. The apples I got are called honey crisp, they are literally crisp to bite, sweet as honey so I didn't add any sugar in the juice. As far the recipe, here it is..I told it was a no brainer.

What do you need to make apple juice? 
5 medium sized apples
1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger
pinch of salt
2 cups of water

How do you make apple juice? 
  • Wash, peel and core the apples, cut into cubes. 
  • Wash, peel and chop ginger. 
  • Take all ingredients to your mixer (split them into batches if the jar doesn't hold them all together). Make a smooth puree. 
  • Strain the puree (you can drink it with pulp if you prefer but for apple juice I like to sieve it) and collect the juice. 
  • Work the puree with a spoon to extract all juice and then discard the pulp. 
  • Refrigerate it and serve cold. 
  • Add a pinch of black salt & chat masala per serving to make the juice more peppy. 
  • Add freshly powdered black pepper or roasted cumin powder to the juice before serving. 
  • Fresh ground cinnamon is yet another good addition on this juice if you love the apple-cinnamon combination. 
  • I used juice from one small tangerine for one of the batches, orange will work too. My daughter noted that this combination tasted very similar to her cold medicine so I have discarded that option :-)
  • The apples I used are not bland and have a hint of tartness, if you are using very sweet or bland apples, add a Tsp of lemon/lime juice to taste. 


NamsVeni Pothas said...

nice apple juice. here in South India the summer is almost entered. so we can enjoy and welcome the summer with a glass of juice.

Mina Joshi said...

I love fresh fruit juice.

Fred Jonshon said...

Amazing juice! Yummy apples… I used to be a big fan of apple juice as a kid and my mum used to make this very often. But now I pick up packed juice from the market. I feel KDD harvest’s apple juice tastes very home made and nice… But nothing to beat my mum’s homemade apple juice… :)