This year’s gardening season has begun to bear fruit, so to speak, with early harvests accompanied by the perennial paradox of having a green thumb: You’ve grown so many fruits and vegetables that you end up with extra.

Or maybe the produce at the farmers market or supermarket was so tempting that you bought too much.

One solution for using the food before it goes bad is juicing. (That’s also a good way to use fruits and veggies that are overripe or not as pretty as the rest of your crop.)

Juices and their cousins, smoothies, also can illustrate some unexpectedly successful partnerships among ingredients. Take, for example, Creamsicle Juice, where a sweet potato adds a delightful creaminess to a mixture of apple and orange juices.

CREAMSICLE JUICE

Yield: Four servings

4 to 5 peeled, organic oranges

2 to 3 organic pears or apples

1 sweet potato

2 cups ice, optional

Process through a juicer one item at a time, then mix juices. To thicken, if desired, put in a blender with about 2 cups of ice and blend until smooth.

Per serving: 106 calories; no fat; 1g protein; 27g carbohydrate; 16g sugar; 3g fiber; 19mg sodium.

Adapted from a recipe by nutritional counselor Sheree Clark on her website, fork-road.com

 

SOME OTHER juicing recipes and their twists:

SANTA FE SUNSHINE

Yield: One serving

1 (1-inch) slice peeled jicama

1 pear

1 apple

Cut jicama into strips. Cut pear and apple into narrow wedges. Process the jicama and the fruit in a juicer.

Per serving: 200 calories; no fat; 1g protein; 54g carbohydrate; 36g sugar; 10g fiber; 4mg sodium.

Adapted from “The Juiceman’s Power of Juicing,” by Jay Kordich (William Morrow and Co., 1992)

THANK YOU BERRY MUCH SMOOTHIE

Yield: Two servings

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

6 strawberries, stemmed

10 blueberries

4 blackberries

4 raspberries

1 banana, peeled

1 fresh or dried date, pitted and chopped

Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend at high speed until smooth.

Per serving: 135 calories; no fat; 2g protein; 33g carbohydrate; 22g sugar; 4g fiber; no sodium; 25mg calcium.

Adapted from “Eat Raw, Eat Well,” by Douglas McNish (Robert Rose, 2012)

GINGERED BEET AND APPLE JUICE

Yield: Two servings

3 apples

2 beets

1 pear

½ lemon

¼ cup sliced ginger

Apple wedges, for optional garnish

1. Rinse apples and cut into wedges. Scrub beets; discard tops if wilted (use them if they’re firm and fresh). Rinse and quarter pear. Peel lemon.

2. Push apples, beets, pear, lemon and ginger through a juicer and process until juiced.

3. Stir well; pour juice into 2 glasses. Serve immediately, garnished with additional apple wedges, if desired.

Per serving: 145 calories; no fat; 2g protein; 35g carbohydrate; 24g sugar; 5g fiber; 70mg sodium; 30mg calcium.

Variation: To prepare this recipe in a blender or food processor, core the apples and the pear, remove the seeds from the peeled lemon, peel the ginger and cut all ingredients into pieces no larger than 1 inch.

Adapted from “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Juicing,” by Ellen Brown (Alpha, 2007)

SUMMER COOLER

Yield: One serving

1 peach

Juice of 1 orange

Juice of ½ lime

½ cup sparkling water

Crushed ice (optional)

1. Cut peach into narrow wedges; discard the pit. Process the peach in a juicer.

2. Add orange juice and the lime juice to peach juice; stir to combine. Pour sparkling water into a glass (with ice if desired), and add juice mixture.

Per serving: 95 calories; no fat; 2g protein; 23g carbohydrate; 18g sugar; 2g fiber; no sodium; 35mg calcium.

Adapted from “The Juiceman’s Power of Juicing,” by Jay Kordich (William Morrow and Co., 1992)

GREEN SMOOTHIE

Yield: Two servings

1 head romaine lettuce, stem removed

½ cup peeled, coarsely chopped cucumber

1 to 2 cups coconut water

½ packed cup fresh parsley

Juice of 1 lime

¼ cup cashews, soaked overnight, or 2 tablespoons unsweetened cashew butter

½ avocado, peeled

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth, pulsing a few times before running the motor continuously. If necessary, turn off the machine and push down any unprocessed or lumpy areas, then start again to ensure proper mixing.

Per serving: 280 calories; 17g fat; 2.5g saturated fat; no cholesterol; 9g protein; 31g carbohydrate; 13g sugar; 11g fiber; 60mg sodium; 165mg calcium.

Adapted from “The Naked Foods Cookbook,” by Margaret Floyd and James Barry (New Harbinger, 2012)