For children who like creating recipes in the kitchen what could be healthier than producing their own fresh fruit drinks as a healthy alternative to fizzy drinks.
Nowadays, cold press juicers are easy to use and easy to clean. They are relatively quiet and fascinating for children to watch as the waste coming out of the pulp tube changes colour. Getting your children to create their own recipes can add to the appeal, and just about every combination of fruit will work.
It is good to have a variety of fruit in your diet. Each fruit has something to offer: blackberries and pears contain potassium, raspberries contain manganese, blueberries are high in anti-oxidants and strawberries have more vitamin C than oranges. Some vegetables and salads can also be added if your children like the taste. Spinach is a good one to choose because it turns a juice a gruesome green colour without altering the flavour.
The fruit needs to be washed and then cut into small chunks to extract the optimal amount of juice. You may want to do this yourself and then let your children get on with feeding the machine. This should be done slowly and without force. There is a tool to use to push fruit into the feed tube to keep fingers away from the moving parts.
You will need to peel hard-skinned fruits like citrus fruits but not soft-skinned fruits like kiwi fruits and also remove pits and apple pips. Bananas won’t juice well so they are better put in smoothies which are best made in a liquidizer.
Softer fruits go into the machine before the ones with harder flesh so cut the apples into chunks and put them into the bottom of a bowl, put the oranges on top of them and the berries at the top and everything will be in the right order to be fed into the machine.
The colourful juice will come out one side and the pulp the other. Not much of the pulp produced is edible but can be put on a compost heap so it is not completely wasted.
Fully ripe fruit produces the best yield and the sweetest juice. Honey can be added to any juice that is too tart, but choosing the right mixture of fruit should guarantee this won’t be necessary.
Buying fruit in bulk from markets or using a harvest of even normally hard-to-freeze fruits from your garden will keep the price of juicing down. The edible parts of windfall fruit can be juiced saving a lot of wastage. Storing juice in a freezer takes up less room than the fruits needed to make it.
Using shop-bought frozen or tinned fruit will save you time if you are in a hurry. Frozen fruit should be de-frosted before it is used.
The juice is best drunk straight away. It can be kept in a fridge for 1-2 days but it is so delicious it will probably be too good to resist for that long.
Children who are encouraged to get involved with the making of fresh juices may be far more enthusiastic about drinking them.