January 22, 2013

Green Smoothies & Clay Pots

Tim and I tried our first green juice the other day. While knocking out a little shopping at Ellwood Thompson's, we thought it would be fun to try a little pick-me-up from their juice bar.

Juicing hasn't been something Tim and I have delved into yet, but have always been interested in when we walk by the juicing counter at Ellwoods. You can order from a long list of different juices — Tim and I both went with a vitamin rich, energy boosting green juice filled with veggie greens like kale, spinach, Swiss chard and celery, then lemon and apple to give a little sweetness and set off the bitterness in the greens. We even watched as each giant leafy green made its way through the juicer:


The end result — it wasn't bad! The hardest part was realizing we were drinking the equivalent of a lot of green veggies. While not something we'd want everyday, it was fun to try and we'll most likely try again. Don't think we'll be buying a juicer for our home anytime soon though.

While we were at the grocery store, we also came across these self-watering irrigation systems called Olla pots. They are clay pots you can plant underneath your garden and fill with water — then they do the rest of the work by slowly watering your plants over time.

It's evidently an ancient watering system that's regaining popularity. They had a demo set up at the store with one planted in an herb garden — you just fill the top of the pot sticking out of the ground with water like so:

And the pot seeps water underground overtime to feed the plants. We didn't pick one up during our visit, but love the idea and haven't been able to stop thinking about them since. I wonder if we could DIY something like this for when the summer heat hits or when we go out of town for a week at a time (like we are now).

So tell us, are you a juicing fan? Do you own a juicer and have a favorite go-to recipe or is it a great way to use up fruits and veggies from the fridge? Maybe you're like us and have tried it a few times and are fine to just have one every so often from the store. What about self watering garden systems? Tried it or curious like us?


  1. We just purchased a juicer within the last couple of weeks and I have a few things to let you know about:

    1 - I juiced everyday for breakfast and while it wasn't as filling as a 'normal' breakfast, it kept me going until late-morning. It's very quick - washing, peeling, doing the actual juicing, then washing everything takes about 15-20 minutes. Obviously depends on what fruits/veggies you're using.

    2 - I never expected this, but let's just say my body didn't know how to handle all of the fresh produce (if you know what I mean). Apparently this is normal for a lot of people, but let me tell you, it was not enjoyable. I was miserable for a couple of days.

    3 - My body has adjusted by now and I found that it's easier to juice 1-2 days worth of juice all at once, then storing in an airtight container.

    4 - We got the Jack LaLanne juicer, and the only complaint I have is that the spout sits kind of low, so we're limited to either bowls or small glasses. Look for one that has a spout high enough to fit a pint glass-sized glass/cup underneath.

    5 - I definitely think it's worth the investment to juice at least twice a week. Besides how miserable I felt, I did eventually start feeling better.

    Good luck!

  2. We don't own a juicer but Rusty makes greek yogurt smoothies with kale, spinach, chia seeds and blue berries. He would drink them before our long weekend runs and said they helped him immensely. I gave it a try but had to choke it down due to the consistency. I think I could get into a juicer though so long as it goes down easily :)

    And that clay watering pot looks like a nifty little thing!

  3. I love getting creative with smoothies! And the clay pot idea is neat. I love your blog. As a matter of fact, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! http://www.mamamakingchanges.com/2013/01/the-versatile-blogger-award.html

  4. I rarely make juice these days, my juicer produces a lot of pulp I would rather eat for the fiber. There's nothing wrong with my teeth, so why liquefy my greens, is my train of thought. Also, it kind of violates my minimal kitchen gadget energy consumption sensibilites. I do like http://spabettie.com/category/daily-juice/ this lady has such interesting recipes. I would never have tried juicing a bell pepper otherwise. Spicy but delicious.

    I've never seen the clay pot system, but I remember pinning a coke bottle as DIY Aqua Globe idea a while back. It can also be done with wine bottles! http://pinterest.com/pin/49187820900627547/

  5. I juice everyday! My typical juice is: 3 carrots, 1 apple, 3 inch cucumber, 1 inch of ginger, handful of parsley. Sometimes I will add half a beet.
    I find my energy level and mood to be noticeably higher when I have fresh juice in the morning.
    If you're ever interested in reading more, this book has been the best reference for me. Easy to read and understand and packed full of useful info about veggies and fruit (not necessarily just for juicers!) - The Juiceman's Power of Juicing by Jay Kordich

    As for the pulp, yes, there is a lot of leftovers, but it's the perfect consistency to feed my compost worms! The worms don't eat as fast as I juice though, so I city compost (we have a compost pick up program in my city) the rest. There are recipes out there for the pulp too, but I'm not super interested.

  6. We have a juicer and a vitamix. We like the smoothness that the juicer provides, but like that the vitamix keeps the fiber in the drink (thicker consistency though).

    We always enjoy adding pineapple and ginger to our juices/smoothies and anything green we have available.

  7. I like the juices and the watering pot... not only because they are great companions of concepts such as energy efficiency, health, local... by the way... olla in Spanish means pot (it's basically a cooking pot or pan). Love your blog, thanks for sharing.

  8. I got big plans to do this with plastic bottles with their bottoms cut off this summer. I have read sinking them allows the water to penetrate deeper into the soil which encourages roots to grow deeper, reduces the amount of water you need and reduces losing all your water to surface evaporation. We will see!

  9. I, too, have plans for a modern take on the Ola... using a 2 liter plastic soda bottle. I think that if you cut a few slits in the bottom with a razor blade you might get the right amount of "leakage" into the garden... Will have to experiment.


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