I call the kids for snack time and offer them pear juice. Green pear juice? After the first sip, they want more. Had I invited them to sample delicious cucumber pear juice, or zucchini pear and ginger juice, they would have been frowning at me and trying to negotiate some sort of deal that involves a candy. But by all means, if your kids welcome juices with veggies, call them what they are. I’m not one to hide unpopular healthy ingredients in other foods. I think it is important to teach kids that vegetables are good for you and can actually taste really good. But most kids go through phases, and sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. In this case, my son had a friend over and both of them admitted they really liked the juice when I revealed what was in it, after a guessing game.
I realize I am talking to a small part of home cooks out there who happen to have juicers. I confess that I only know 2 other people who have them: two of my uncles – the one who gave me the appliance as a wedding gift (almost 10 years ago!), and the one who taught me that you can actually juice cucumbers and zucchinis (and a whole lot of other great things). Both live in Brazil, where you can juice fresh produce year round. Ours doesn’t get much use other than when we join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or when we have too much of something in our garden. So if you have a juicer, you are set. Otherwise, I’ll get back to you with a new version of this juice when I experiment with blending and straining.
I used Bartlett pears (the soft yellow skin ones). They are super sweet, perfect for a juice. You can use zucchini and cucumber interchangeably, same for pears and apples. The zucchini gives it a thicker, foamy texture, which is a nice change from the thiner cucumber juice, yet it is also light and refreshing. Try both!
I let the kids have a say on the process as we taste along the way – they are a lot more excited with the end result when they share their opinion and help decide. We rarely need to add any sugar, you can just add more fruit if you need it to be sweeter (or sugar when that won’t cut it!).
ZUCCHINI AND PEAR JUICE WITH LIME AND GINGER
Chop zucchini and celery stalks. Core and chop pears. Peel and cut lime in quarters. Press ingredients through the juicer. Stir and drink immediately or serve it over ice.