I meant to get this review done within days of receiving the book. But in reality it took me a couple of weeks to try enough recipes to give an accurate review. We were having so much fun trying recipes, the kids were disappointed when I told them I really needed to get the review written before the end of April. I think I’ll come back with a review update in a month or so because there are still SO MANY recipes we are dying to try!
About a month ago, Jessica Fisher from Life as Mom asked via facebook if anyone with a juicer and a blog would be interested in reviewing her new book, Best 100 Juices for Kids: Totally Yummy, Awesomely Healthy, & Naturally Sweetened Homemade Alternatives to Soda Pop, Sports Drinks, and Expensive Bottled Juices. I jumped right on that bandwagon! My husband has juiced for years and we even have a pretty high quality juicer. Reviewing a kids cookbook might be slightly odd for a decor blog but I think it’s actually a great segway into blogging about more than just home decor.
When I received the book in the mail, I also received a little packet of fun striped paper straws. I loved that extra little touch! Jessica has six kids herself so I bet she knew even the most reluctant taste tester would play along just to get to use the fun straws!
To give you some idea of the variety of recipes included in the book, here is a quote from the press release:
“Fisher offers parents super-nutritious alternatives to cheap juices loaded with junky ingredients — and also to healthy but pricey store-bought gourmet juices. Seventy of the 100 recipes are for juices, 45 fruit-based and 25 vegetable-based. The remaining 30 feature luscious smoothies, including several dairy-free recipes, and “sparklies,” which are club-soda-based carbonated drinks that are great ways to replace artificially flavored and sugary soda pop. For the hot months in which kids are most likely to reach for unhealthy drinks, there are recipes for icy slushies and refreshing juice-based ice pops.”
You see why I am anxious to try more? There is a fantastic variety. I tried four juices and one smoothie but I can’t wait to try the “sparklies” and the ice pops!
I have permission to share one recipe with you. I actually got to choose one recipe from a list of twelve and I was very tempted to share the Chocolate & Banana Nut Butter Blast as that was my kids’ favorite, but since I’m reviewing a juice book I thought it made more sense to share an actual juice recipe. I chose the Kids’ Choice Juice and it was overall a huge hit with most of my six kids — even the picky ones. Here’s the recipe:
Kids’ Choice Juice
Makes 15 to 20 ounces
2 medium apples
1 1/2 cups strawberries
2 cups seedless red or green grapes
1. Core the apples. Remove the hulls from the strawberries.
2. Juice the apples, berries, and grapes according to the directions on your juicing machine. Whisk to combine.
3. Add water to taste if you or your children prefer a milder juice.
The first thing I did was pull out all my ingredients:
As you can see, I have a Champion Juicer which is on the very pricey end of juicers. I actually found mine on Craigslist a couple of years ago for $50. But none of the recipes in the book require a high end juicer. The press release states that “Fisher tested all the recipes on both low-end and high-end juicing machines and she provides expert guidance on how to get the best results from any model of juicer.” My husband used a $30 model from Walmart when he first started juicing and it worked fine until we cracked it during a move. Even then, he still used it until we found the Champion.
The next step is to prepare your produce for juicing by cutting it up into pieces that will fit into the juicer. I threw everything into a pitcher to make it easier:
The juicer does produce some waste. My kids like to call it “juicer poo”. One thing that I absolutely loved about Jessica’s book is that she even includes a muffin recipe and two cake recipes that incorporate the discarded pulp!
Finally, whisk the juice and serve!
I tried to get a decent picture of the kids but somebody was looking goofy in every. single. shot. Oh well. You get the idea.
I had the kids give me a review. Here were their responses:
ds15: “Tastes like a sweet juice. I didn’t know it had apple in it.”
ds13: “The apple was more prominent than I thought. I loved it. It got better the more I drank.”
dd11: “I think it’s good; I can tell its got the apple right away. I can taste the grapes but not really the strawberries.”
ds9: “It didn’t taste so good in the beginning but it got better.”
ds3: “Not yummy.”
So 5 out of 6 of the kids gave it a thumbs up. And I’m not convinced ds3 wasn’t just trying to say the opposite of what his sister said. He seemed to enjoy drinking it just fine:
One thing we learned is that the juice isn’t very cold straight from the juicer. On our next try, I put it in the freezer for a while before serving it and everyone agreed that it was better colder. Our second juice was called We Got the Beet and was largely a veggie juice.
I used to laugh at my husband for taking pictures of his produce before he juiced and posting them to facebook. But now I understand! How could you not want to take pictures when you have all this beautiful produce laid out:
This one got mixed reviews from the kids but I think as their palates adjust they will enjoy it more. Jessica has the book arranged so that you gradually introduce more vegetables to the juices. The first section is all fruit, the second is fruit and veggie combos, and the third is mostly veggie with a little fruit thrown in for sweetness.
I wanted to try a variety of things before posting the review so the third thing I made was from one of the non juice sections and is called Chocolate & Banana Nut Butter Blast. This one was amazing! All the kids loved it and ds3 even begged for more.
Here’s a close up just to make your mouth water. I might have to go make some right now!
The other two I tried were Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah and Gingery Orange-Mango Juice. Didn’t she come up with fun and yummy sounding names? The kids weren’t super fond of the Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah and found it a little heavy on the carrot flavor. Again, I think they just need to get used to it. I personally found it very refreshing and couldn’t taste the carrot juice at all! The Gingery Orange-Mango Juice was a hit with everyone. By the time I got to this juice I realized I could just pour it over ice to get it super cold and not worry about losing any of the nutrients by waiting for it to get cold in the freezer.
The kids are anxiously waiting for me to try some more recipes like Minted Apple-Blueberry Juice, Orange Cream Smoothie and Cactus Coolio, which has added club soda so should be a yummy replacement for sugary pop. They are also after me to buy some ice pop molds to try the Banana Fudge Ice Pops or the Yogurt Peach Ice Pops.
Overall, we give the book 5 stars! My personal opinion is that this little book is a fantastic introduction to juicing for kids OR adults. My husband and I enjoyed the drinks even more than the kids did! If you’ve been curious about juicing, this is the book to buy!
*I received a free copy of the book, Best 100 Juices for Kids by Jessica Fisher, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Links within the post are affiliate links. If you click on the links and make a purchase, you will not pay any extra but I will receive a small percentage of the profit. You can, of course, go directly to amazon or your favorite bookstore to order.