Morning Juice

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Am I weird for wanting to bro out every so often? Go camping for 4 days without showering, call everyone “dude” and let them call me that right back?

Girls do that, right? Because I definitely do that. Often.

For one thing, I’m a sucker for action movies. Give me a pair of 3D glasses and a fistful of popcorn and I’m all set for the next 2.5 hours. This is the first summer since childhood that I’ve made it a point to watch nearly every blockbuster that comes out.

Except Fast & Furious part 1289494. Why do those exist?

I think bro-ing out is important to keeping a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Sure, there’s running a 5K, practicing yoga, and cutting out processed foods — but sitting down for a few evenings with a cheap can of beer, a blazing fire and conversations amid farts? It reminds me that there’s a chunk of me that doesn’t care about nail polish, brushing my hair, or that parachute pants are back in style (Seriously, when did that happen?).

But don’t worry guys, I’m still here. By Sunday morning, I’m looking up recipes for kale salad and pulverizing vegetables into juice.

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Kale, celery. I’m really sorry for what I’m going to do to you. It’s going to be loud. It’s not going to be pretty. It’s borderline plant murder.

Also, hey, I know not everyone has a juicer. They’re expensive, bulky, and you really have to be willing to deal with a single-purpose contraption, unlike blenders, which make smoothies, margaritas and salsa. But the juicer I just bought was $100 and it’s probably the best thing I’ve bought all year. Actually, here’s a list of my favorite kitchen things.

So nix that end-of-summer clothing shopping spree and invest in something with a little more sustenance.

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I’ve made four different kinds of juices thus far without using a recipe. I’ve yet to make a bad batch because a) vegetables taste delicious and b) it’s all about balancing the greens with the sweets.

For example! If you’re packing in 4 cups of spinach or kale, make sure you complement it with sweet beets and pears. Apples are also spectacular sweeteners and give you an energy boost in the morning similar to coffee.

Oh, and ginger. In everything. Please.

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I should paint my nails in that color.

Morning Juice.

4-5 stalks lacinato kale
1 large pear
2 large carrots
1 chunk ginger, about a 1″ cube
2 small beets
6-7 stalks cucumber
1 large cucumber

Shove the ingredients in the blender in the order listed above. It’s always good to start juicing with leafy greens.

Serve with ice or at room temperature. You can make a large batch at night and drink it in the morning so you don’t wake up your roommates with what sounds like an alien spaceship hovering in the kitchen.

Makes about 20oz of juice.

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Vegan Pear Ginger Cobbler

In lieu of whining about this weekend’s Winter Wonderland, and the fact that I still don’t know what it means to “layer,” the difference between snow shoes and snow boots (I think mine are boots?), or what distinguishes a cottage from a cabin, I will instead admire the crocheted booties and warm cider that kept me warm all the while.

Oh man.  I need to re-learn how to crochet.

I also need butter, because the season is screaming for copious amounts of baked goods and I can’t make everything vegan just because I’ve run out of dairy.

In my defense, I made this cobbler even though I still had butter and eggs in the fridge.  It doesn’t even have refined sugar.

From Halloween to New Year’s I tend to gain at least five pounds.  That’s normal, right?

Even after thinking about it more, I still don’t know the difference between a cottage and a cabin.  Winter cabin?  Why can’t there be a summer cabin?  Or a winter cottage?

And why do so many of my friends prefer Aunt Jemima’s pancake syrup over pure maple syrup?

Don’t resist the urge to take bites of this while whisking.  Or right after you top the fruit.  Or…after you bake it.  Listen, I made a little extra because I knew I’d be nibbling.

So I bought these ramekins for $1 at a second-hand shop.  They’re worth $25.  It’s not a big deal.  (And yeah, I always look up the actual price of things I buy from garage sales and second-hand stores to make me feel like I won something.  Or that I’m smarter than the average consumer.)

Cobbler for breakfast?  It could happen.

Vegan Pear Ginger Cobbler.

For the fruit:

2 medium sized pears, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
1/8 cup pure maple syrup

For the topping:

3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
pinch of cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium-sized bowl, toss the pears with all of the spices and maple syrup.  Set aside.

In another medium-sized bowl, toss the oats, flour, and spices until nicely mixed.  Whisk the oil, syrup and vanilla in a separate bowl, then add to the dry ingredients, being sure to coat all of the oats with some liquid.

Take 1/4 cup of the topping and mix with the fruit.  Pour the fruit mixture into three small ramekins or one small casserole dish.  Make sure the fruit reaches the top of the dish.

Cover with the topping and bake for about 35 minutes, until the cobbler has just begun to brown.

Serves three lucky, probably not totally, vegans.