- Food and Cooking
How to Juice
Drinking fresh juices make me feel better and I love the taste. I love whole fruits and vegetables too, but juicing is an easy way to get more greens and other super foods. I juice a lot for detoxing and spring cleansing, and when the garden gives me more vegetables than I can eat.
Juicing breaks apart and eliminates the indigestible fiber in fruits and vegetables and releases locked up enzymes and nutrients. Without the fiber, the vital enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients are easily absorbed.
In short, I find juicing to be the easiest, most enjoyable way of getting more of the healthy benefits fruits and vegetables have to offer.
I like to make my own juice as part of an independent, healthy lifestyle. Store-bought juice is convenient, but it's not fresh and pure. Even the best has traveled from the factory to the store and sits on the shelf. All the juice in my store has been pasteurized which means heated which kills some of the nutrients. If it's made from concentrate, it has been heated even higher and has lost much of the nutrients. Most juice has preservatives and other chemicals added that I don't want in my body. For the taste and selection of ingredients, nothing beats making your own juices.
Now that you know why I juice, the rest of this lens will tell you how.
All photos are by me, Kamala (LoveEmbroidery).
What Is the Difference between Juice and Smoothies?
In a word: fiber.
Juices are made with a juicer or juice extractor that separates the insoluble fiber from vegetables and fruits, leaving a watery liquid and the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are disolved in the fluid.
Smoothies are made in a blender and contain the whole food. I add flax seeds, nuts, banana, coconut oil, and protein powder to juicy fruits like berries or grapes. It all gets ground up into a thick shake. Blending is good for fruits that don't juice well, like bananas.
Juices are lighter, easier and quicker to digest. Smoothies are thicker, heavier, more like a meal and last longer in the tummy. I often have a fruit smoothie for breakfast and a vegetable juice for a mid-morning or afternoon snack.
Fiber is important for digestion in a daily diet. But if you're doing a detox or cleanse and want to give the digestion system a rest, you don't want the fiber.
You probably have a blender and can start with smoothies. But to get all the benefits of juicing, you'll need a juicer.
Do You Make Juices or Smoothies?
Do you juice or blend?
First, you'll need a juicer. I bought mine at Amazon.com. Here are some recommended models.
This is the juicer I bought after much research and a demo by the young man next door. I chose it because it's better at extracting juice from greens and produces a very dry pulp. I mostly juice green leafy vegetables. It also has attachments for making fresh pasta and nut butters - yum.
If you want something less expensive to get started and see if you really get into juicing, Breville is a very popular brand and this is the Number 1 best-selling juicer on Amazon with 1,314 five-star reviews.
My next door neighbor also had this Breville. He preferred it for hard foods like carrots and apples. It's more powerful than the 700-watt above and will extract more juice quicker. It has a variable-speed control for more efficient juicing of different types of foods.
Let's Get Started Juicing . . .
- Set up your juicer. Every juicer is different. Consult the user's guide for instructions.
- Gather all the ingredients. I usually try to buy organic produce because I don't think GMO foods are healthy and because I don't want the pesticides and other poisons in my body. But I especially try to get organic produce for juicing because juice is a concentrated food and I want to concentrate nutrients, not toxins.
- Wash the produce thoroughly. You might want to try a veggie wash.
- Peel if needed or if it's not organic.
- Chop anything that's too big to fit in your juicer's feeding tube.
- Feed produce through your juicer. How to do this depends on the model of your juicer. Consult the manual for details.
- Enjoy the juice! Drink it as soon as possible because once it's juiced, it starts to loose nutrients. If you prefer it cold, pour over ice.
- Clean the juicer. Check the owner's manual for procedure and to see which parts can go in the dishwasher.
You can juice almost any juicy fruit or vegetable. Mix them up according to your taste and what you have on hand. I usually add apple and/or carrot to green veggie juices for a bit of sweetness.
Here are three of my favorite juices to help you get started.
I love to start the day with this healthy juice. It's loaded with Vitamin C and beta-carotene for glowing skin, healthy eyes, and a strong immune system. Fresh juice you make yourself is so much better tasting and healthier than store-bought juice.
You can vary the amount of the ingredients to suit your taste, the size of your produce, and the amount of juice you want. Experiment with the ginger. If you're not used to it, it can be quite sharp.
- Prep time: 10 min
- Cook time: 5 min
- Ready in: 15 min
- Yields: 1 (16-18 oz.)
- 3 large carrots
- 2 oranges
- 1 large slice ginger root
- 1. Scrub carrots. You can juice your carrots with the greens and skins still on. I peel them, if they're not organic.
- 2. Peel the oranges keeping as much of the white pith as you can. It contains flavonoids that help your body absorb the vitamin C, and antioxidants. Cut to fit your juicer and remove the seeds.
- 3. Slice off a piece of ginger and peel it.
- 4. Put all ingredients through the juicer.
- 5. Enjoy the juice!
Basic Green Juice
This is my favorite main juice. I have it with lunch or as a mid-morning or afternoon snack. It's a great way to pack in nutrients from super foods like kale without having to eat a whole plate of it.
- Prep time: 15 min
- Cook time: 5 min
- Ready in: 20 min
- Yields: 1
- 6 leaves kale
- 1 cucumber
- 4 stalks celery
- 2 apples - green is good; I use red if I have them
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 piece ginger
- 1. Wash everything. I don't peel anything except the ginger.
- 2. Cut to fit juicer.
- 3. Feed everything through the juicer.
- 4. Enjoy the juice!
Another one of my favorites. Very healthy with carrots added to the kale and spinach.
- Prep time: 10 min
- Cook time: 10 min
- Ready in: 20 min
- Yields: 1
- 1 apple - green or red
- 3 handfuls of spinach
- 4 large carrots
- 8 kale leaves - I like a mix of kinds and colors: purple/red/green/curly.
- 2 " piece of ginger
- 1. Wash the apple and cut to fit juicer.
- 2. Wash the spinach really well. Mine has a lot of mud and grit in it. Roll each handful and run it through with a carrot.
- 3. Wash the carrots.
- 4. Wash the kale
- 5. Peel the ginger.
- 6. Put everything through the juicer.
- 7. Enjoy the juice.
or you could just say hello . . .
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