Hello hello hello,
I’m feeling a bit perky and inspired right now and I’ll tell you why – I’ve just had some long needed fruit drink! Sound trivial? Perhaps but for my body fruit is a major and favourite part of my diet. Oh fruit, how do I love thee? So for a person that’s practically lived off pure fruit drinks her whole life (with a late sojourn into herbal tea) the last 3 months have been tiresome. Why? I haven’t had fruit juice/smoothies for 3 months ‘tis why and have been living off various grass water (wheatgrass, spirulina etc), apple cider vinegar and when necessary sodium bicarbonate in water, oh wait and I rummaged around and found some clay bentonite. Those are all incredibly healthy drinks to have but I just need fruit drink… neeeeed. I love all the fruit I’ve tried (ok except jack fruit, I just, the stickiness, the gooey texture in the mouth and the strange sweetness… uck, *gag* I just can’t.)
I usually do my best to get fruit drinks that are not from concentrate and I stay away from the ‘red flagged’ ones which if you read up online will find all kinds of off putting info about e.g. the processing of orange and apple juice. I would prefer to make my own from scratch but have never had any space (even indoor space) to grow my own and unfortunately it works out as far more expensive to buy the fruit than to buy them ready made. Yep it’s a twisted actuality where food with tons of ingredients and bi-products both ‘natural’ and artificial are cheaper than whole foods that farmers don’t have to wear hazmat suits to grow and can be made into their finished products with the minimum of ingredients and processing. Plus is it just me or do the vouchers/coupons that manufacturers and supermarkets ‘give’ out mainly consist of junk food offers? That said I never buy sweetened, fizzy or drinks from concentrate that don’t state that they’ve used filtered water.
So during the 3 months of patient longing and wanting to drink less and less (reminiscent of the 5 weeks I spent without moisturizer, a sad experience where I started to understand how a person made of rubber might feel but that’s another story) one idea came to me. Why not make drink out of the fruit spread I had (which I had been previously using to make sourdough more appetizing). Mixing it with water did work as the fruit had been reduced in the first place so I was just re-hydrating it, however it took quite a lot each time to make the juice fruity instead of just flavoured water and so the small tub ran out quickly. Damn I thought, at least it’s a good thing I like to eat/drink soup.
Then earlier today lightning struck and mum said to me ‘Why not use your raisins?’ :O :O Shock, horror, dumbfounded; why the hell hadn’t I used the dried fruit?!?! Seriously how could such a beautiful notion elude me for so long and Her of the greater intellect and ability (mother)? I mean it, how bloody how? Doesn’t the fruit know how much I MISSED it?
THE PRACTICAL BIT
Okily dokily, here’s what I did:
I put 250g of mixed dried fruit (raisins, currants, sultanas with no sulphur dioxide – I never buy dried fruit with that or processed White sugar) in a blender topped up to 1500ml of water (reverse osmosis and/or distillation people) and hit start (on the lower setting). A few seconds later and voila – honestly, I shake my head in embarrassment it was so simple to do. Maybe it’s because we’re so busy all the time making homemade this, that and the other that I just kept putting it aside and thinking of it as a future goal.
Anyway the result was delicious and refreshing! A perfect juice with bits in it (could blend further to smoothen) – not too watery and not too thick as to be difficult to properly quench the thirst. Naturally sweet but could easily be made sweeter with raw cane sugar/ demerara, molasses, muscovado or for non-sugar fans there is stevia, xylitol and pure fruit/argave/rice syrups.
From an economical point of view it’s also cheaper for me to do this as I buy in bulk and 250g of dried fruit is more fruitful (ahem) for me than buying the necessary amount of fresh fruit to get the same result. It’s even cheaper than buying readymade smoothies in particular as in the past few years I’ve noticed the ones I liked being repackaged/branded and as a result getting smaller whilst staying at the same price or increasing in price. There are also great offers from places like Holland & Barratt health stores (I’m not sure what a US alternative would be) who do ‘buy one get one free’ deals and ‘penny sales’ where you buy one product and get any other in the range for a penny. With the sky rocketing price of nuts and certain fruit it can be helpful to buy during those sales.
So basically after all this time I’ve turned to concentrated fruit juice but needs must and it’s healthier than store bought because the fruit is organic, the water used is less questionable and I can drink as much as want instead of rationing! Heck yeah!