Friday, 18 October 2013

Utilising juicing pulp - Ricotta Cakes (gluten free, nut free)

And so it is that I am a huge convert to juicing, if you haven't already noticed on Mellymaks Facebook page!
Earlier this year my hubby and I completed a 3 day detox, created by the team at Food Matters.  It wasn't so much a detox for us but a door which we opened to find the wonderful world of juicing, among other things (such as how much nicer activated nuts are, how little hunger you feel when you actually feed your body with a barrage of nutrients, the deliciousness of chia puddings etc!!).

So back to juicing..... although I had tried it here and there in the past, and actually had a juicer in the cupboard gathering dust (as many of us do!!!) I hadn't felt the benefits of vegetable juice before, and the few commercial varieties that I had tried in the past definitely gave the idea of vegetable juice a bad name for me (think that terrible V8 juice in a can!!).

But a green juice was part of the detox and so we set about buying all the ingredients we needed - cucumber, parsley, lemon, apple, celery, kale and ginger.

You know, in those three days of juicing (and obviously not consuming any processed foods, sugar, coffee) we felt fantastic!  The little black spots that I see all the time in my vision had gone, we never felt hungry (and actually didn't feel like our snacks half the time) and instead had a new energy feeling which was not up and down with the help of caffeine and sugar, but just an even state of energy that felt really good!  Our skin felt great, and we slept well too.  All in just three days!  And I would say that we actually have a pretty good diet anyway.  But definitely coffee, tea, sugar etc do appear in our diet and for me, often lunch is missed or something quick on the run as I dart around with the boys.  So yeah, its not perfection, but we do the best that we can.

Anyway, since January when we did the detox, I have changed to having a green juice for breakfast.  I have a big milkshake sized glass full of the above ingredients, changing them around every now and then with other vegies and fruits such as zucchini (which actually gives a creamy taste which is yum!), coriander, orange, Aloe Vera (from our herb garden), mandarins, limes, silverbeet, beetroot etc.
I love it now, and wouldn't want to go without for more than a day!

The problem I have been having is looking at the discarded pulp and feeling really wasteful - especially given most of the veggies/fruits I use are organic.
The benefit of having just the juice and not the whole veg/fruit blended into a green smoothie is that the nutrients get absorbed within 15 minutes when just the juice is consumed.  When the whole veg/fruit is consumed you gain the added benefit of the fibre component however this obviously slows the digestion process allowing the possibility of nutrients not absorbing into the body and passing through.  The choice is a personal one but I am going with the juice!

 Last week I invested in a cold press juicer (which, by the way, I highly recommend if you get into juicing such as I have) and decided I really wanted to test out some recipes using the pulp.

SO, this is where this recipe comes in!  (Finally, you say!!)

I made the boys a carrot, orange and apple juice and decided to use the pulp to create a cake, mini cakes actually although it could be made into one big cake.  The result was a moist, subtle and delicious cake that will be versatile enough to play around with what you add in the pulp.  From one orange, one apple and one carrot, I had about 1 cup of quite dry pulp, so depending on your juicer and the amount of fruits/veg you use, just use less milk if it is a wetter pulp.

I hope this is the first of other recipes I come up with to use the pulp, both savoury and sweet, so that we can all benefit from less waste and also gaining that fibre in a different way.

These have stayed moist for 3 days now!  If you are avoiding egg, either use egg replacer powder or mix up a tablespoon of chia seeds with 1/4c water and leave it for 10 minutes or so until a gel is formed and use it in place of the egg.  Unfortunately it will be harder to make these dairy free given the ricotta however a silken tofu would probably be your best bet.

So, last words.... Brush the cobwebs off your juicer and give 'green' juicing a go.  Take the 14 day test and if you don't feel the difference at the end of those 14 days, please let me know.
And with your pulp, give these a go and let me know what you think!!

These are so easy to make, you can have your morning juice and whip up a batch of these cakes in time for morning tea (if your hungry!).


Juicer Pulp Ricotta Cakes 


1 cup juicing pulp (I used carrot, orange and apple)
250g ricotta cheese
50g rapadura sugar (coconut, brown or raw would also suffice)
100g gluten free self raising flour
1 egg (or egg replacer powder, or 1tbs chia seeds soaked in 1/4c water for 10 minutes or until gel forms)
150g milk

1 banana (or your desired fruit - ie berries, sliced peach etc)
extra rapadura sugar

Method - Conventional

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Lightly grease and line a mini loaf tin, Texan muffin tin, or one 20cm round cake tin.
  2. On top of the lining, sprinkle rapadura sugar to lightly line the base, and arrange slices of banana or other desired fruit on top.  Set aside.
  3. Place pulp, ricotta and sugar in a food processor or electric mixer bowl.  Beat ingredients together until smooth.
  4. Add flour, egg (or egg substitute), and milk and beat again until smooth.
  5. Pour on top of sugar and banana and lightly smooth top.
  6. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.
  7. Leave in tin for 5 minutes before running a knife around the sides of the tin and carefully turning out onto a cooling rack.  Carefully peel the lining from the banana.  Cool.

Method - Thermomix

  1. Follow steps 1 & 2 above.
  2. Place pulp, ricotta and sugar in the TM bowl and process on speed 5 for 15 seconds.  Scrape down if necessary.
  3. Add flour, egg (or egg substitute), and milk and process again on speed 5 for a further 10 seconds.
  4. Follow steps 5-7 above.


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