Top 20 Ways To Select Produce for Homemade Juicing
Here are some tips for selecting the freshest and most nutritious produce for your juicer:
- Select only fresh produce. Avoid produce with soft or mushy spots, browning, or bruising.
- Limit storage time. If you harvest from your garden, it is best to juice within a day or so of harvest. If you buy from a store, avoid "marginal" produce that may become overripe or begin to go bad once you get it home.
- Select leafy greens with no wilt at all.
- Store leafy greens in zip-lock bags and press out as much air as possible from the bag before sealing it.
- Fruit should give just a little when gently squeezed. It shouldn't be rock hard, but it shouldn't be mushy either. An exception is apples, which should be hard.
- Try smelling fruit. If it doesn't smell all that flavorful or ripe, it probably isn't.
- Gently squeeze the fruit at the market. If it readily gives to the touch or is as hard as stone, don't waste your money on it.
- Select local produce if possible. Because it hasn't been shipped from somewhere far away, it has better nutritional quality.
- Vegetables are usually available at stores fully ripe. Fruits, on the other hand, are often sold a little underripe. Placement in a sunny windowsill for a day or two can speed up the ripening process. An exception is apricots, which have a short season and are very perishable.
- Remember that berries do not ripen after harvest. Select only peak berries for juicing and juice as soon as possible. They quickly spoil.
- Rinse produce thoroughly before juicing. Scrub if necessary with a natural bristle brush before juicing.
- Cut produce into small pieces just before juicing. Don't cut it and store for any amount of time. Strawberries especially lose their freshness very rapidly once they are cut. Also leave any stalks attached until just before juicing.
- Leave the skin on just about everything. The only real exceptions would be fruits like pineapples, bananas and citrus.
- If you are juicing the peels make sure that they aren't waxed!
- You do not generally need to remove seeds. Melon seeds can be removed if you are so inclined, but it is not strictly necessary; they just tend to spin around a lot.
- Do remove pits from fruits such as peaches or apricots. You wouldn't want to put rocks through your juicer!
- It is important to remember that fiber is an absolute essential nutrient for your body. So nobody can live on juice alone. Combine fresh juices with whole grains, legumes, whole fruits and vegetables, and nuts or seeds.
- Avoid storing juice. Fresh juice quickly loses its nutritional quality if not consumed immediately after extraction. Orange juice, for example, will lose nearly all of its vitamin C if left out for just one hour.
- If you like you juice chilled, use produce that has just been taken out of the refrigerator. Do not juice it and then chill it. You may add ice cubes or cold sparkling water if you like.
If you are concerned about pesticide or fertilizer residues, (and you should be) buy certified organic produce, grow your own, or peel before juicing.