Juicing is an amazing way to boost your metabolism while gettin in delicious fruits and vegetables. While juicing doesn’t replace a diet, it has many benefits that would make a great addition to a healthy regimine. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist before modifying your diet to any extremes!
Juicing perks include
Quick infusion of vitamins and minerals
Because juice has been processed to mechanically remove fibers, peels and general “bulk” of your produce, you’re left with the essential water, vitamins and minerals in your finished product. This is typically easier to digest and a faster way to introduce the nutrients you need into your blood stream. Get ready for a quick “crash-less” boost of energy.
Easy to take on the go
Simply bottle-up and go. Some machines even allow you to expel your juice directly into the container of your choice!
Sneak in those veggies!
Often times, you can sneak in vitamin rich vegetables, such as spinach, cucumber and carrots, without even tasting them. If you’re not a huge vegetable eater, this is a game-changer for your tastebuds and your health.
Healthier than store-bought juice
In the sea of juices in beverages isles, it can be difficult to read every label to make sure there aren’t hidden ingredients in the juice that’s even labeled “all natural”. With homemade juice, you know exactly whats going into your cup and into your body.
What’s the difference between fresh and traditional?
Simply put, almost all store bought juice is cooked.
Due to FDA requirements and general safety concerns, most fruit and vegetable juices must be “super heated” or pasteurized to kill off bacteria that would form if the liquid sat on the shelf too long. This goes for juice on the shelf and in the refrigerated section. This process lengthens shelf life, but it also kills lots of essential nutrients you would receive if you had juice from fresh.
With more health movements on the rise, there are brands of “raw” juice available at select grocery stores. However, it has a tendency to be more expensive because of smaller batching and short self life.
Look out for “juice drinks” or juice beverages
Buyer beware of sugar lurking in juice that may even have the titles “natural” “real” or “healthy” on the label. Any juice that has “juice drink” or “juice beverage” in the title is more than likely mixed with water, sugar and other additives. It is not 100% juice and by law cannot be called so. Stay far away from these processed beverages. They can sometimes have as much sugar as your everyday fast-food soda. When in doubt. fresh is best!
Essential tools for Juicing
There are many ways you can get started with making your own juice at home. Because juicing has become more popular, lots of companies have begun flooding the market with affordable equipment to get the most out of your fruits and veggies. This includes, centrifuge juicers, slow juicers and citrus juicers. For the sake of this post, sticking to ctnerifugeal juicers, but i will touch on the other two for your information.
centrifuge juicer (3 links)
centrifugal juicers are the most economical and versatile juicer for the everyday user. centrifugal juicers have a chute to feed your produce through, with a very sharp blade and mesh basket. it spins very rapidly, using centrifugal force to separate the juice from its pulp. the pulp is pushed into a reservoir and your fresh juice is poured into a spout on the opposite side of the juicer. these types of juicers produce every quickly, and can withstand lots of fruits, veggies and herbs, with the exception of produce such as potatoes, unpeeled oranges and bananas.
this is the kind of machine i use to make my own juice, and what i’ve used to create the recipes i’ll be sharing with you below. these machines are easy to clean, don’t have a ton of parts and easy to find. most centrifugal juicers run from about $45 up to $100. i have attached two really on amazon ones here. click the photos to learn more about them.
Slow or masticating juicers use a different type of machinery to expel juice from the produce. These juicers rely on a expeller mechanism that slowly “chews” the vegetables, fruits and herbs, while sorting the liquid from its pulp. Though the process takes longer, more juice is produced and less waste is made. Some slow juicers can even handle tough produce such as bananas, wheatgrass and sweet potatoes.
These are the most expensive types of juicers, and the kind you are more likely to fine at a professional smoothie/juice bar or health club. This is definitely something I plan on upgrading to in the future, and will update this post after I’ve made the switch!
these are worth mentioning because they are still juicers right? only made for oranges, lemons, limes grapefruits and other citrus (hence the name), simply slice, smash into the spinning mechanism (open fruit down) and let the juice drain into your container below. they are so easy to use and will surely get your morning oj in your glass quickly.
I have a blender, can I juice with that?
SHORT ANSWER: YES AND NO
Blenders are made to puree fruits and veggies so in theory you should be able to create juice using one. However, your blender needs to be pretty powerful (Keyword: vitamix, other keyword: $$) to pulverize solid produce into a liquid. Even then, you may have to dilute your “juice” with water to create a liquid that isn’t in the smoothie territory. The extra step of straining your pulp from the juice to get the right consistency may be necessary.
In my option, it’s perfectly fine to use this method to get started and see if juicing is something that you want to incorporate into your lifestyle before making the investment in the machinery to do so.
Time/money saving tips and tricks
We don’t have a lot of time, and saving money is always best!
Always wash your fruits and veggies, even the ones you’re going to peel before juicing. This is just good sanitation and an easy way to keep your juice fresher longer. Wash your produce in a veggie wash or 1/4c water diluted in a gallon of tap water
LEAVE THE PEEL
On produce with thinner skins such as ginger, apples and cucumbers (does not apply to citrus). The juicer will shred right through it, to there’s no need to go through this step. This is why washing your produce is vital.
LEAFY STUFF FIRST
Place produce like kale, spinach, mint and parsley in your juicer first, and follow immediately behind with more watery produce to extract more out of the leaves and stems.
MAKE CLEANUP EASIER
Line your pulp container with a plastic baggie to speed up cleaning. Simply throw it away when you’re done! Rinse your parts immediately after juicing, even if you don’t have time to fully wash them. Leaving pulp in the machine makes it so much harder to clean later on.
Use a dedicated scrub brush for your centrifuge. A simple produce brush’s bristles will easily remove pulp and debris.
BE TRAVEL READY
Get a set of juice bottles for easy travel (2 links). Keep them near your juicer so you’re ready to juice in the mornings, pre/post workout or before leaving for work. I’ve linked a pretty set of glass juice bottles that are durable and affordable!
Your Juicing Guide to Jumpstart a Healthier Lifestyle
- 1 large cucumber
- 1/4 melon of choice peeled
- 1 bunch mint
- 1 bunch spinach
- Thoroughly wash all ingredients in vegetable wash or in 5:1 water/white vinegar solution. Peel any heavy skinned fruits such as oranges or melons and cut into sections small enough to fit into juicer chute.
- Turn on juicer and add all fruits and vegetables, starting with leafy green and herbs like mint and spinach, then more watery fruit/vegetables, such as cucumber and apples. Allow all juice to drain into reserve container before shutting juicer off. Transfer fresh juice to glass or bottles for serving. Immediately disassemble and clean juicer. Always unplug juicer before disassembly!
Other CombinationsGreen machine
- 1 large cucumber
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 apples
- 1 small kiwi
- 1 c blueberry
- 3 apples/pear
- 1/2 large beet
- 1 white peach
- 3 large carrots
- 1/4 large papaya, peeled
- 1 inch piece turmeric
- 1 orange, peeled
- 1 tangerine, peeled
- 1/4 large papaya, peeled
- 2 red or yellow cactus pear (tunas) peeled
- 2inch ginger
- 3 small or 2 large apples