Hop on the juicing bandwagon
Matthew Kadey, MSc, RD
There's nothing quite as delectable as freshly squeezed juice. From kale to blueberries to cantaloupe, at-home juicing is an optimal way to squeeze the most nutrition from a rainbow of fruits and veggies—the only limit is your imagination. These recipes make it easy to get started on your juicing journey.
There is something oh, so refreshing about freshly made juice that makes every glassful taste like a treat. Best of all, juicing is a very efficient way to infuse your diet with a bounty of fruits and vegetables. Nutrition experts are constantly trumpeting the importance of eating more brightly coloured fruits and vegetables for optimal health. This love affair stems from the knowledge that these superfoods have soaring levels of disease-thwarting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In fact, half the fun of juicing is experimenting with the virtually endless possible combinations of fruits, vegetables, and herbs to find the ones that please your taste buds most. And by experimenting with different blends, you’ll be exposed to a greater diversity of nutrients and antioxidants. For athletes, this liquid fuel makes even more sense, as fit bodies can greatly benefit from the easy-to-digest carbohydrates and various antioxidants in juice that may aid in exercise recovery. All-juice diets have been gaining attention and new adherents in the past few years, but many nutritionists advise caution. To ensure your body receives all of the fibre, protein, and healthy fats it requires, use juices such as the refreshing recipes that follow as part of a well-balanced diet full of whole foods, rather than as a replacement.
Follow these tips to get the most out of your juicing experience.
Fruit-only juices can have an avalanche of sugar calories. So for most juices, strive for an approximately equal ratio of fruits and veggies. Since most people desperately need to bolster their daily vegetable intake anyhow, this remedies both issues.
By nature, juicing calls upon the use of large amounts of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. For this reason, try shopping for them at your local farmers’ market, where you are more likely to find a better product for better prices.
Firm produce yields more juice than overly soft ones do. In other words, you’ll get more juice out of firm peaches, carrots, and celery than from bananas or avocados.
Following a good wash, many fruits and vegetables do not need to be peeled or cored prior to juicing, particularly if you choose organically grown items. Large stones (pits) of fruits such as peaches and mangoes, however, should be discarded before juicing. The peel of citrus is best removed as well, but the white pith can remain.
To extract the maximum juice from leafy greens, it is best to alternate putting leaves through the machine with harder items, as this keeps the machine working efficiently.
Depending on how wet your pulp is after juicing, you can “re-juice” the pulp to squeeze out even more liquid.
In contrast to sugary sodas, vitamin-rich homemade juices can be a healthy addition to a child’s diet. Encourage your tykes to invent concoctions and get them involved in preparation.
To help preserve nutritional potency, store any extra homemade juice in an airtight (preferably glass) container in the refrigerator for not more than two days.
Looking for ways to beat the summer heat? For an icy treat, try freezing extra juice in ice pop moulds.
No matter the model, cleaning out a juicer is a bit of a chore. Clean the screen of your juicer soon after juicing to prevent any pulp from drying onto the blades.
Excessive pulp is a major bone of contention for juicing naysayers. Thankfully, many modern machines are better than ever at limiting the pulp-to-juice ratio. There are also many things you can do with that fibrous pulp:
No juicer in the house? Many juice recipes can also be made in a high-powered blender. Simply place the ingredients in a blender container along with some ice and water, and blend until smooth. The mixture won’t be as smooth as what is produced in a juicer, but each sip will surely be delicious nonetheless.
If you want to make your juices more of a complete nutritional package or are imbibing them after a workout, you can try mixing in protein powder such as hemp, rice, or whey. For best results, you may want to do this in a shaker cup or even a blender. You’ll have to experiment with different juice-protein combinations to see what tastes the best to you.
Mercifully, the performance of juicing machines has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years. There are two main types of juicers on the consumer market: masticating and centrifugal.
Masticating juicers use a screwlike mechanism to crush and squeeze out the juice from your fruits and vegetables. This “cold-pressing” method of extracting the juice maximizes the liquid yield and is thought to preserve more nutrients.
Centrifugal juicers use a cutting blade that spins at a high speed to separate the pulp from the juice. While these machines are faster and more affordable than the aforementioned, they tend to produce more pulp and perform less well at extracting juice from leafy greens and herbs.