It’s “Juice Week” at William-Sonoma, and I was asked to share my favorite seasonal recipe using a savory spice or tangy ingredient that will undoubtedly kick your juiced drink up a notch. As you know, I’m an avid year-round juicer with a love for using unique herbs and spices to make juicing a little more interesting. If any season calls for a good juice, it’s summer…and particularly late summer when the most amazing produce is in season and we’re all pretty much over that exhausting heat and craving a sweet rest (I’m looking forward to our Fall Equinox Detox to beat the heat in a few weeks!).
We had a late season for cantaloupes here in Oklahoma, and I’ve just started to receive the plumpest, juiciest beauties I’ve ever seen in my weekly CSA basket from Guilford Gardens. Growing up, I always hated cantaloupe. To me as a kid, it was that bland cardboard-tasting filler fruit that just got in the way of the grapes in my fruit cup. Man, a flavorless fruit is the worst isn’t it? Well luckily, my local CSA has totally blasted my childhood bad fruit memories out of my mind and now I actually look forward to these amazing ripe melons each year. Truthfully, I could have eaten this whole melon alone before it made it to the juicer this week, but I saved some for this sweet, cooling drink.
For this juice, I used a combination of fresh Thai basil and sweet basil in this variation to pair with the melon and oranges. Using cooling herbs and spices like fresh basil, cardamom, cilantro, dill, fennel, and turmeric can help reduce excess Pitta (fire/heat) from the body that can accumulate during the hot months of summer. TIP! When using light leafy herbs in your juicer, particularly in centrifugal juicers like the Breville that use fast spinning blades to extract the liquid from the plant, I like to wrap the herbs around something water dense, like the carrots or oranges in this case. This way it grabs hold and pushes more liquid out so you get more flavor and benefits from the herbs in your juice. This technique also works great for kale or other loose leafy greens, give it a try and let me know what you think. I’d also love to hear what tips and tricks of trade you have for juicing and blending. Stay tuned and inspired next week to see which juicy combos Williams-Sonoma unveils as their top picks.
CANTALOUPE, CARROT, ORANGE & BASIL
½ small cantaloupe, rind & seeds removed
2 orange, peel removed
2-3 basil leaves (sweet or Thai basil)
Remove seeds and rind from the cantaloupe, chop into pieces that fit will fit through your juicer. Process remaining ingredients through your juicer. Strain through a fine mesh strainer for a smooth juice. Pour into a glass and enjoy right away, or seal in an airtight glass container to store in your fridge up to 36 hours.