Reprinted with permission from Juice by Carly de Castro, Hedi Gores & Hayden Slater (Ten Speed Press, © 2014).
June 22, 2017

Pressed Juicery opened in a 22-square-foot “broom closet” in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles just a few years ago. Since then, the company has grown into a mini juice empire with 20 stores in California and a new book out called Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing & Living Well.

Here, co-owner Carly de Castro reveals some of her juicing secrets, and previews some of her best nut milk recipes.

Let’s start with basics: If I’m new to juicing, what juicer should I get that will fit in an apartment and not be crazy-pricey?

The Hurom Slow Juicer. It’s low-speed, which is the key, so it extracts from the fruits and vegetables, it doesn’t grind them. You get a lot more vitamins and minerals out that way. The Horum is a little more expensive, around $300, but Breville makes a low-speed juicer as well for about $200.

 What are five great ingredients to keep on hand to mix with juice at home?

I love chia seeds—which you can just get at Trader Joe’s now—for their omegas and aloe vera; it’s great for your skin. I also like cayenne pepper to help stimulate the digestive system, and Manuka honey—a New Zealand honey. But my biggest staple is probably lemon juice. It cuts and neutralizes any taste you might not like, and preserves the juice as well.

Is there a secret ingredient people might not think to add to a juice that will really enhance its flavor?

Our newest experiment has been with jalapeño, which was awesome. If you add a little you get all of the flavor and just a bit of the kick.

You’re obviously focused on health so you might not mix booze with your juice, but is there a cocktail you would recommend?

Oh, we definitely do that. Right now I love pineapple-pear-ginger-mint juice with tequila, and watermelon-mint with vodka. But in the winter we do a great apple-persimmon-cinnamon juice with brandy.

Beyond the liquids, is there one healthy dish you can’t live without?

Yes. Pamela Salzman has an amazing recipe for spinach and quinoa with feta and dill. I feel like make it three times a week and my son and husband love it. It’s always in the fridge.

Why are nut milks getting so popular?

Nut milks are really important to us because we wanted to have an option with some protein in it, especially for people who are cleansing. And nut milks and grain milks in general are a part of a movement toward eating cleaner.

Why do you like them as an alternative to dairy?

First, everyone should know that it isn’t a complete substitute for dairy. There are things you can get from cow’s milk you can’t get from almond milk. But in general, we can’t break down dairy as well as we think we can. Also nut milk, almond milk in particular, has no saturated fat or cholesterol; it has calcium, so it’s good for your bones and honestly, I think it tastes better.

Other than drink it straight, what is the best thing to do with nut milk?

Ice cream. We used to run our almond milks through ice cream makers, and I recommend that people try that. We also just released a soft-serve in Palo Alto that is made with just almond milk and juice. Fruits, nuts and vegetables.

If you want to make nut milk or nut milk ice cream at home, here are three recipes from Pressed Juicery to try (feel free to substitute cashews or Brazil nuts for the almonds).

TRADITIONAL ALMOND MILK

Makes 2 cups of milk per cup of almonds

  • At least 1 cup raw, organic almonds (or more, depending on how much milk you want)
  • 2 cups purified water per 1 cup almonds, for soaking
  • 2 cups purified water per 1 cup almonds, for blending

Add the desired amount of almonds to a con­tainer with the required amount of purified water for soaking. Cover and soak for 1 to 2 days, then drain the almonds, rinse them with fresh water and drain again.

Place the soaked almonds in a blender or food processor with the required amount of purified water. Pulse the blender at low speed, and then increase the speed to the highest setting and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. You know you’re on the right track when the almonds have formed a fine meal and the water is cloudy and white. (If you’re using a food processor, this step will take about twice as long as in a blender.) Once the mixture is smooth, add sweeteners or other flavorings, according to the recipes below, and blend again.

Place a nut milk bag or cheesecloth over the blender or processor. Wash your hands thoroughly, and then strain the almond mixture through the nut milk bag, using your hands to squeeze the mixture through the bag. Store the milk in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

CHOCOLATE ALMOND MILK

Makes about 16 ounces

  • 1 cup raw, organic almonds
  • 4 cups purified water (for soaking and blending)
  • ¼ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1 pitted date (optional)

Follow the Traditional Almond Milk recipe. Once the consistency of the mixture is smooth, add the salt, cacao powder and date. Blend again until smooth.

VANILLA ALMOND MILK

Makes about 16 ounces

Carly de Castro says, “Though it’s often easiest to use vanilla extract, there is something so special about fresh vanilla bean. We use it in all of our almond milk, and we believe you can really taste a dif­ference. To extract the seeds, simply take a fresh vanilla bean pod and split it lengthwise down the middle. Scrape the seeds out of the pod and add them to your recipe.”

  • 1 cup raw, organic almonds
  • 4 cups purified water (for soaking and blending)
  • ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • Seeds from ½ fresh vanilla bean (see note below), or ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pitted date (optional)

Follow the Traditional Almond Milk recipe. Once the consistency of the mixture is smooth, add the salt, vanilla and date. Blend again until smooth.

Related: Healthy Summer Recipes 
Who Wants to Taste Some Healthy American Camel Milk? 
15 Ways to Use Almond Milk

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