Homemade juices and smoothies go in and out of favor every few years it seems, but right now, we’re in a blending renaissance, driven in part by the interest in juice cleanses and the fancy juices that you can buy out of food trucks, walk-up juice bars or even nicer grocery stores. But buy a few of those $7 juices and you start to wonder if you couldn’t make them at home for a little less money.
That’s where Tess Masters’ website and new book comes in. Masters is the blogger behind the Blender Girl (healthyblenderrecipes.com) and she’ll be in Austin this weekend to promote her book, "The Blender Girl: Super-Easy, Super-Healthy Meals, Snacks, Desserts, and Drinks" (Ten Speed Press, $19.99). She’ll host a free demonstration and book signing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Whole Foods Market’s Lamar Culinary Center downtown and another from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Williams-Sonoma at the Arboretum.
Masters calls this recipe a salsa, but it’s more of a spicy sweet smoothie that "packs a powerful punch without pushing out the paunch," she writes. One of Masters’ biggest tips for better juicing? Use just a hint of salt to bring out the flavors of the other ingredients, no matter what kind you’re making.
1 cup coconut water or water
2 1/2 cups diced pineapple, fresh or frozen
1 cup firmly packed baby spinach
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped red onion, plus more to taste
2 Tbsp. chopped cucumber
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp. finely chopped jalapeño chile, plus more to taste
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more to taste
Pinch of finely grated lime zest
Pinch of natural salt, plus more to taste (optional)
1 cup ice cubes (none if using frozen pineapple)
Natural sweetener, such as agave nectar, date sugar, stevia, coconut sugar, maple syrup, yacon syrup or pomegranate molasses (optional)
Put all of the ingredients into your blender in the order listed and puree for about 1 minute, until smooth and creamy. Tweak flavors to taste (you may want more onion, jalapeño, lime juice, salt, or sweetener, depending on the ripeness of your pineapple; I find I never need it, but different strokes). Serves 2.
— From "The Blender Girl: Super-Easy, Super-Healthy Meals, Snacks, Desserts, and Drinks" by Tess Masters (Ten Speed Press, $19.99)