It’s the height of summer here in Pennsylvania and it’s the best time of the year to enjoy a fresh & nutritious juice for breakfast! (new to juicing? want to know why it’s something you should include as a part of your healthy life? click HERE to learn more) Every morning (in the warm months) I start my day out in the garden; planting, weeding, harvesting, etc. As I was filing my harvest basket with fresh veggies from our garden, I got the idea to put together a creative juice using all the amazing fresh homegrown & wild plants, vegetables & fruits growing on our homestead. Too often people limit their juices to a selection of safe & easy ingredients like apples, carrots, oranges, etc. and they miss out on a variety of seasonal flavor combinations! Today my juice included a unique mix of ingredients, all from our own land and fresh picked minutes before juicing. I’m sure you all could easily identify the baby carrot and probably the baby beet… But were you familiar with Elderberries, Ground Cherries and Sumac?? They are my summer obsession! Elderberries or sambucus, is a fruit-bearing, deciduous shrub with at least 30 known species, most commonly found growing in the Northern Hemisphere. The elderberry shrub typically grows to about 10 feet (3 meters) tall and shows yellow and white blossoms in early summer, followed by deep blue or black berries which usually ripen around August/September. The berries are edible when ripe and have long been thought to have medicinal properties Ground Cherries are a Small orange fruit similar in size and shape to a cherry tomato. The fruit is covered in papery husk. Flavor is a pleasant, unique tomato /pineapple like blend. The ground cherry is very similar to the cape gooseberry, both having similar, but unique flavors. They are often found growing wild but can also be planted from seed, we grow them in our garden. Sumac that is readily available in the US is Staghorn Sumac (Rhus Hirta- Rhus Glabra), which grows wildly in the Northeast US. Staghorn Sumac should not be confused with poison Sumac, which scares people due to the detrimental effects it has on our skins. The two can be easily distinguished: Poison sumac has large white berries, and Staghorn Sumac has much smaller red hairy berries. Don’t limit yourself! Be creative with your juices and I challenge you to create a Juice that Bites Back as a part of Williams-Sonoma’s Juice week! Experiment with unique flavor combinations, adding herbs, spices and even wild foraged edibles! It’s important to remember when you’re juicing things like grasses and dry berries (sumac) that you will get the best results using a masticating juicer (click HERE for the juicer we use or click HERE for an assortment of similar juicers that are also amazing)
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