As the founder of Gingersnap’s Organic—the cult favorite juice shop and raw food vegan eatery in New York City’s West Village—Jamie Graber knows a thing or two about detoxes. Having spent the past four years sharing her clean eats, and clean eating wisdom, with Manhattan, the vivacious healthy food guru has honed a cool healthy living philosophy: It’s about creating a balanced, nourishing lifestyle that leaves you feeling energized and eating mindfully—even if grabbing a meal on the go is more what your life resembles.
Now Graber is going for an audience beyond her juice bar: Her new book, Juice It, Blend It, Live It, features more than 50 easy (and, it goes without saying, delicious) recipes—including juices, smoothies, and nut milks—that you can try without having to rely on the NYC subway system.
The book’s foreword comes courtesy of her good friend (and cohort in downtown NYC’s wellness scene) Gabrielle Bernstein, so you could say that the book has the spirit junkie stamp of approval.
But you don’t need to be part of the cleanse Illuminati to enjoy Juice It, Blend It, Live It—and to prove it, Graber talked to us about how anyone can makeover their kitchen to be detox-ready. (Once you’re ready to go, check out three of her favorite easy-to-make recipes.)
What advice would you give to someone who might find it daunting to make their own juices and smoothies at home?
I was very conscious to make sure that the recipes were easy and simple to follow. Juices and smoothies really don’t have to be complicated. We tried not to have a huge amount of ingredients in each recipe. Simpler is better, because as you start simple you can find out what you like and then play around!
What are the kitchen essentials you need to get started?
A lot of people get caught up in getting the “best” juicer or the “best” blender, but my answer to that is to always get the one that you will actually use. For example, maybe instead of starting with a Vitamix, get the Magic Bullet [Blender] since it’s smaller and easier to use and clean. And for a juicer, as a beginner, a Breville Fountain is really all you need—it’s what I did all my recipes with! As far as ingredients, frozen fruits are always great to have on hand, as are coconut oil, avocado, and greens.
What about making nut and seed milks at home? What are the benefits of doing that?
You definitely want to stay away from the boxed nut milks. They have ingredients that are far from natural—they’re filled with chemicals. All you really need in nut milks is the nut, some spices, maybe a sweetener, and water; there’s no reason to have anything else.
You talk about super foods in the book—what are some of your favorites?
I love, love, love coconut oil, for every reason imaginable. It’s good for your skin, your digestion, and helps you feel satiated, to name a few. Maca is amazing too; it gives you energy and balances out your hormones. Another favorite is tocotrienols; they’re a form of vitamin E, and are great for your hair and skin in addition to giving a great sweet taste and creamy texture to your smoothies.
What’s your advice for doing a DIY cleanse?
First, it’s best to make the juice as close to when you’re drinking it as possible because at-home juicers don’t retain the nutrition like the commercial juicers we use [at Gingersnap’s Organic]. The second tip is regarding milks: they last for a longer time, so you can make them at the beginning of the cleanse. Finally and most importantly, take the time to relax and take care of yourself when you’re cleansing! Go inward, do yoga, go to a sauna, meditate. Part of cleansing is slowing down, going in, and resting; not only are you clearing out your cravings and your habits, but also clearing your mind. —Carmela Ciuraru
Next, see Jamie Graber’s 3 recipes from “Juice It, Blend It, Live It” to help you sip your way through winter…
(Photos: Jamie Graber)