Freshly pressed juices are not only delicious, but also beneficial, for you providing a number of health benefits. Here we shall look at some of those benefits, how to go about introducing juicing into your life and what to look for in a juicer. We will also look at the difference between a juicer and a blender and what you can make in a blender.
Introduction on How to juice and what you need to start juicing
In order to start juicing, you will need a selection of fruit and/or vegetables, a juicer and about 10 minutes to spare.
If this is your first go at juicing, first read the instructions that come with your juicer and wash all the removable parts.
Select your vegetables, wash them, top and tail or peel, if necessary (see below). Cut them into pieces slim enough to fit in the top of the juicer. Make sure you have a jug or vessel under the juicer where the juice comes out and another one to catch the pulp that comes out. Some juicers do not eject the pulp so this is not necessary if you have one of those. You can then start juicing. If you are using more than one type of vegetable or fruit then push them through alternately.
To peel or not to peel
If a peel is edible, such as with carrots or apples, then it is best to buy organic and to scrub the skin, rather than peeling it. If you would not eat the peel, such as with pineapples or lemons then remove it as usual.
The ideal scenario is to buy organic produce as these just needs to be washed but not peeled. There are many nutrients just below the peel which may be lost when you peel fruit and vegetables. If you buy non organic produce then peeling may be the best option.
Alternatively, wash the produce in a solution of water and apple cider vinegar. To do this, half fill the sink with water, add a cup of cider vinegar and soak the produce in the water for 15 minutes. Scrub if necessary and rinse well.
What to juice
Most fruit and vegetables can be juiced. Fruit juices tend to be very sweet and delicious but should not be taken too regularly as they can upset blood sugar levels. Vegetable juices are the most nutritious juice that you can consume! Apples and lemons are the only fruits that combine well with vegetable juices.
Non juicy fruits like avocadoes, bananas and dates do not produce enough juice to warrant juicing them. They are, however, great blended into smoothies or sliced into fruit salads.
Good things to juice include apples, carrots, celery, beetroot, lettuce, chard, kale, cabbage, cucumber, tomatoes, lemons, kohl rabi, ginger and parsley. Experiment with different combinations. Carrots and apples add sweetness to a juice so are often good to use as a base. Celery, tomatoes and cucumbers are useful as they yield a lot of juice. Green vegetables such as kale and cabbage are best used in small quantities as they are strong tasting. Ginger is good for giving the juice a more warming effect and a bit of kick in terms of flavour.
When to juice
Juicing can be done at any time of day. First thing in the morning is an ideal time to drink fresh vegetable or fruit juices as they are a great way to wake up the digestive tract providing hydration and nourishment. Otherwise, try having a juice after work as an appetiser 20 minutes before dinner.
Storage of juices
It is best to drink freshly squeezed juices straight away as they may lose some nutrients and enzymes if you store them. If you do have to make them in advance, add a squeeze of lemon juice to help prevent oxidation. Store in a flask in the fridge.