A Green Pear Juice and a Mojito Detox Water + a Catskills Workshop Announcement!

Me and Christiann Koepke will be hosting a 3 day retreat in the Catskills, at the border with upstate New York, from October 28th through the 31st.
For all details and signup, click here.

We’ll be nestling into a beautiful home on 225 acres next to a private lake, baking and shooting all weekend, finishing off our creative days with mulled wine and warm dinners. This Autumn Harvest Retreat will center around fall baking, spices and all things cozy and warm and certainly is not one to miss…
{ To read Christiann’s post about it, click here. }
Book your spot soon as this is selling fast!

There’s still a week to vote for the Saveur awards!
If you’d like, you can support me, or anyone you like, here. You can vote every day!

This post is made in collaboration with Smeg 50 Style. If you are in Italy, head over to their website to find out how to win this gorgeous Juicer!

Thanks to Weck & MCM Emballages for the jars!


If you have been following me for a while, you will probably remember about my recovery from hormonal issues caused by polycystic ovaries, which mostly happened through food. You can read about it in this post, but, to sum it up, as long as I follow a low glycemic index diet, I am all good (see all that beautiful pasta that I photograph? If I want to be at the top of my shape, I can’t eat it).
This is why, though I was always interested in trying one of those emerald green concoction, I never approached juicing. I had my first green veggie juice at the Pressed Juicery in Los Angeles, I thought it was absolutely delicious, and that was it.

Because they are stripped of the fiber, juices are mostly sugar, especially if they are made from fruit alone. I hate the fact that they are stripped of all the fiber, which my system needs very, very much to balance out any carbohydrate I feed it. My body and foods that are just carbs without any fat or fiber really do not go along: I start feeling sluggish and bloated, even if all I ate was half a slice of whole wheat bread.
Furthermore, I am now back on the fitness regime I was on last year and that I strayed from, so now less than ever I thought I would be willing to give juicing a go.

Therefore, when Smeg approached me to try out their new juicer, I had all the reasons to say no to them. But I remembered the green juice that I had, and my curiosity to test out a few drinks with veggies and citrus, and decided to say yes. Turns out that I had tons of fun with it, and really love the idea of using it for flavored waters.
And I love the rich, luscious green I captured in these shots.

Green Pear Lemon Juice | Hortus Natural CookingGreen Pear Lemon Juice & Mojito Detox Water | Hortus Natural CookingMojito Detox Water (Lime, Lemon, Mint, Ginger) | Hortus Natural Cooking

Because I am a complete noob in the juicing world and needed some guidance, I referred to an awesome blogger turned friend of mine this summer. His name is Antonio; he is an holistic practitioner who went through a really bad case of Chron’s disease, and literally saw death in the face. He recovered thanks to clean food and now has a lovely Facebook page that you should all visit.
He is the king of juicing and gave me some advice about making juices, like adding at least a bit of apple and a wedge of lemon to make them more fragrant.
So thank you, Antonio! You’re the best!

The first juice takes advantage of the crunchy, beautiful, fragrant pears from our garden. It is a concoction of spinach, pear and lemon with jasmine and elderflower scented ice, which is sweeter than I thought it would be and where the spinach can be hardly tasted at all. One of the most delicious juices I have ever had.

The second one is aptly named after one of the most popular drinks in Italy. The combination of limes, lemons, mint and a huge chunk of ginger makes it taste exactly like a mojito, but without the sugar. I can see this going totally well with my fitness regime. Drinking lemon and ginger first thing in the morning actually works as a cleanser to some extent, and this one will not only burn fat – it will also probably burn your throat and eyes should a drop of it go where it shouldn’t. It is a bit harsh, but I love that extremely refreshing burn – it is the most perfect wake up drink.

pearGreen Pear Lemon Juice | Hortus Natural Cooking


(Makes one big mason jar, or 2 small ones)

1/2 cup Elderflower juice
1 cup brewed and cooled flowery tea, such as Jasmine green tea
1 crispy apple
2 medium crispy Williams or Nashi pears
Half a lemon, Meyer if you can find them (use one whole if they are small)
A tiny piece of ginger if you like

Combine the elderflower juice and tea and use the mixture to make ice cubes.
Wash and cut all the fruit into pieces that will fit into your juicer, and remove the peel from the lemon. Start the juicer and drop in one piece of fruit at a time.
Serve with the flowery ice cubes. Wait for them to melt a little bit – the flowery scent will get stronger as they melt.

Green Pear Lemon Juice | Hortus Natural Cooking
Green Pear Lemon Juice & Mojito Detox Water | Hortus Natural CookingGreen Pear Lemon Juice | Hortus Natural CookingGreen Pear Lemon Juice | Hortus Natural Cooking


(Makes 2 tall glasses)

1 medium cucumber
2 limes
2 lemons
1/2 tightly packed cup mint leaves
2 fat thumb sized pieces of ginger
Ice-cold filtered water
Ice cubes to serve

Cut the cucumber and citrus into manageable pieces, and remove the peel from everything. Add the limes through the juicer first, then the mint and then the cucumber, so that it will push all the mint leaves down. Add the ginger and then the lemons last.
Divide into two tall glasses, and fill each with water. Serve with lemon slices and ice cubes.
If you feel like it is a little too harsh, add some honey or brown sugar to your heart’s content (but then it is not detox anymore!)

Mojito Detox Water (Lime, Lemon, Mint, Ginger) | Hortus Natural CookingMojito Detox Water (Lime, Lemon, Mint, Ginger) | Hortus Natural CookingMojito Detox Water (Lime, Lemon, Mint, Ginger) | Hortus Natural Cooking

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