Last week, mid-monsoon, I was having a mildly trying day. I had to return an item to the mall, and I see malls as a microcosm of the crumbling of our once great nation. On the upside, they have juice bars. So I decided to treat myself to my first Jamba Juice. There on the side of my cup of zippy, outstanding ginger-kale-tea tree-mango-beauty bark concoction were these words: “Squeeze the Day.” “Why didn’t I say that first?” I implored of the young juicer.
He had accidentally made me more than the 16 ounces I ordered, and politely inquired whether he could offer me a larger cup. “I get extra?!?” I yelped. “Wow,” said he, “a lot of customers get upset when I give them more and say, “Hey, I didn’t want that much juice!'” Excuse me: too much artisanally- pressed juice?
I will be the first to admit I am hardly a pillar of even-keeled good cheer. It only requires light irritation for me to decide I merit a 27 dollar green smoothie. But I have enough of my dad (and antidepressants) in me, to know not to look a gift juice in the mouth. My fellow Americans, refugees clamor at our borders, their desperate faces pressed to the smeary glass, longing to make a go of it in the land of the free and the home of the hand-macerated smoothie. I am sure any of them would be grateful to take that pesky extra four ounces of juice off your hands.
While Young Juicer was blending, the sun actually came out, causing me to yelp again (I wasn’t writing a review for yelp.com, I was actually yipping, like a dog). This is more singular than it sounds, (not the yipping) unless you live here and know that we are in the midst of a weeks’ long soaking.
Our wettest winter on record (not to be confused with the winter of 2005-2006 which featured the most consecutive days of rain: 60) has many of us wandering waterlogged, light deprived, and needing a fortifying steinful of antioxidants.
I reproduced the recipe later at home, using spinach in place of kale because I think it has a fresher taste; and besides, kale puts up too much of a fight with all its fibrous fronds. Frozen fruits yield the best, slightly slushy texture, (I sometimes cut and freeze them ahead of time) but fresh fruits are easier to blend. My blender means well, but I always need to add some water to this to get it to work.
Rainy Day Juicy Smoothie
This tastes like sunlight and a newly mown lawn. But if it tastes too much like the actual grass clippings, then cut back on the greens.
Blend the following:
1 cup spinach or kale, slightly packed, more if you like
1 orange, peeled and cut into large pieces (tangelos are perfect in this)
1 mango, peeled and cut into large pieces (or a cup of frozen mango chunks)
fresh ginger to taste (I use a square inch)
barest dash of salt if it tastes flat
beauty bark (optional but good for the skin, I hear)
Cooks Note: Pineapple is also delicious in this.