What is juicing exactly?
Essentially juicing is extracting the juice from all kinds of fruits ALONG WITH those lovely veggies. You could, if you wanted, have a juice made entirely of brussel sprouts (though I wouldn’t recommend it!).
So why would anyone go to all the trouble of juicing, when you could easily pop in the store and buy it, after all most people drink apple or orange juice from from the cartoon, so what’s the big deal – right?
Well store bought juices, on the whole, are nowhere near as good as freshly pressed juices. They have way less nutrients liter for liter than the fresh juices because a lot of the good stuff has been pasteurized out of them. When fruit and vegetables are juiced fresh then you get those crucial enzymes, nutrients and natural vitamins that make it so good for our bodies. So while the shop bought juices taste good, they will never stand up to good old home pressed juice.
Some vibrant tasty juicing recipes
Eat more veg – without even trying
And there’s something else. When you juice yourself you can put in whatever the heck you like in it. Now that’s a big deal, especially for those of us that need to eat more vegetables and fruits but can’t stomach them for some reason or another. In fact, if you want a sneaky way to get more veggies in your kids, then I would recommend juicing. Get some Kale with some pear and banana and you’ve got yourself a shot full of heaven!
In fact, going back to the brussel sprouts, I am not a fan – that is no secret. In the past I have been notorious in hiding them under bits of food, or feeding them to a hosts greedy dog, so when I say I don’t like these things, I really mean it.
But, recently I double dared myself to whiz them up with some beets, apple juice and some grapes and….oh my goodness, my tongue started to do the rumba. It was so fricken good. And those sprouts are packed with iron and B vitamins, so I feel quite smug about tricking my body into loving them.
So is juicing healthy?
One of the main benefits of Juicing is that it helps give the digestive process a little break, since It naturally requires less energy to digest than a full meal. And those Juice nutrients will get to your body so much faster than they would solid food which would, on average, take about 12 hours to fully break down and supply your body with what it needs.
One of the many benefits of juicing is the fact that it raises your pH balance AND this in turn, helps to protect us from Disorders that are associated with acidic imbalances, like heart AND kidney disease, osteoporosis, IN ADDITION TO diabetes. So is juicing healthy? Heck yeah, when done right! There’s even stories where juicing was cited as being life saving, as people step foward to talk about weight loss and illnesses they have overcome just by juicing. Read Tiffany L. Stokes juicing testimony and how she overcame Autoimmune Issues and Arthritis here
Detoxifies the Body
Juicing and detoxing tend to go hand in hand. The main reason being that juicing provides the body with a large amount of nutrients that push out toxic waste.
And if you want to detoxify and lose weight then you have to get your liver functioning. You will often find juices made with lemon, grapefruit, or garlic, all of which have been proven to purge the liver of toxins so it functions at optimum.
Why Juicing Is essential: Juicing provides important minerals and nutrients that the body needs to effectively get rid of toxins in the liver, colon, and other organs.
Juicing Helps keep you hydrated
Ever find that you don’t drink enough because you’ve just forgotten? If so juice is a little health hack that you need. Juicing will help you correct any dehydration issues you may be having. And you can be sure that the rest of your family and friends will thank you for passing some juice on to them too, since a large proportion of people get well under the recommended daily water intake. More water equals better functioning organs and a healthier you.
Suffering from insomnia? Get Juicing
If you find yourself recounting those sheep in an attempt to nod off, then I would certainly recommend juicing. All you need to know is the right foods to juice up in order to get that blissful and natural good night sleep.
There are particular foods that contain melatonin, the hormone that is released to make your body drowsy. Try juicing cherries, oranges, tomatoes, or bananas after your dinner and then watch for signs of sleep when bedtime comes around.
EDITORS TIP: Find out how Goji berries can transform your body
Calories In Juicing
A big thing to remember, particularly if you are watching the waistline, is to factor in the calories the juices contain. An ounce of juice usually consists of 15 calories, although this does increase when the juice gets sweeter. So for faster weight loss, pack those veggies in your juice and only add one or two fruits for sweetness. Also, don’t forget the pulp leftover. Not only is it great for compost heaps, It can be recycled straight into soups, rice dishes, pasta sauces, muffins, and in many cases crackers! But lets say, you have a lot of weight to lose and you’re determined to just juice, then I would say add some avocado or nut butter and get that blended in too. That way you get the fresh nutrients and some added protein too.
Oxidation, heat, and enzymes
Oxidation is a hot button topic when it comes to juicing. The theory among juicers is that if less oxygen is whipped into the juice, the enzymes remain more active. The foam that accumulates on top of your juice are indicator of the quantity of air whipped into your juice by the machine; more foam equals more oxidation. Harold McGee from On Food and Cooking, “Because juicing mixes together the contents of living cells, including active enzymes and various reactive and oxygen-sensitive substances, fresh juices are unstable and change rapidly.”
The best juicers for juicing.
I have to admit that when I started juicing, I simply started with one of juicers I’d been given as a wedding gift. It was a shop brand and although it coughed and spluttered a bit, I still got my half a litter of juice everyday. But that was when I was young and naive in world of juicing…and frankly was looking at speed verses quality. Now I’m have some juicing knowledge under my belt, I’m mortified at all the nutrients and enzymes I was know that a juicer an investment. That being said, lets take a look at what you should be looking for when you buy a juicer.
The four types of juicers
There are for basic types of juicers:
- Vertical single-auger juicers – An auger is like a big, threaded screw that pulls the vegetable into the juicing chamber and presses the juice out. The auger can turn anywhere from 45 to 80 rpm, this produces a low foam, low temperature, high-volume, and nutrient-dense juice. Excellent for greens and hard roots.
- Vertical models are tend to come in the $300 to $400 range and I would not recommend for those just “dabbling in juicing”. These models are ideal for those who juice fresh green juice as part of their daily routine and are concerned about low oxidation and maximum yield. The vertical juicers on the market today have food mincing and frozen-fruit-sorbet-making capabilities. The best examples areTribest Slowstarand Omega VSJ843are examples of vertical single-auger juicers.
- Centrifugal – This a very popular style of home juicer. Vegetables are ground up with tiny teeth on a rapidly spinning basket, and the juice is forced through a fine mesh sieve. This method tends to produce quite a bit of foam. Best for carrots and other hard fruits and vegetables. If you prefer hard fruits and vegetables this is the juicer you need. The great thing about Centrifugal juicers is the affordability— one of the best out there is the L’equip Mini, this is available for only about $100—and are a good juicer to pick when you start out and are “testing the waters” .
Masticating juicer – Unlike the auger which simply pulls vegetables in for crushing, this “chews” the vegetable using a cutter (it looks like an auger with sharp metal teeth). then presses the juice from the pulp. The 1960s-era Champion Juicer is a classic masticating juicer. It’s great for hard vegetables and fruits, but isn’t suited for today’s green juices, requiring a separate attachment for leafy greens and wheatgrass. Even though this juicer is popular in restaurant kitchens— it can take quite a beating— it’s not best for home use because it makes quite a mess and is bulky.
- Twin-auger juicers – For greens such as kale, spinach, and wheatgrass, a twin-gear juicer, such as the Green Star, extracts the most juice. Twin-auger juicers are also the most expensive, setting you back over $500. As the name suggests, two gears work together to crush the cell walls of the vegetable and extract the juice. They’re best for greens and other tough fibrous vegetables and not great for fruit.
Boost the juice
So what is the best juicer? It depends. If you want to get serious about juicing, then it’s best to look at are juice yield, ease of use, foam production (oxidation), and longevity. Slow juicers, on a whole, deliver better results than centrifugal models when it comes to juice yield and foam production. Models like Tribest Slowstar, are great for those with limited kitchen space. Its single vertical auger turns at a slow 47 rpm, which means it’s one of the slowest juicers available—key for getting maximum nutrients and enzymes from produce
Another perk with slow juicers are how much quieter they. Perhaps not a concern for everyone, but if ever you decided to get your early morning run on, no one will thank you for being woken up by the gurning and whirling of your latest juice concoction.
However, if you are looking for money…
Centrifugal juicers are the best value. This kind of juicer extractor does such a good job with common juicing ingredients like carrots, apples, citrus, beets and cucumber it comes highly recommended. These cost between $75 and $300.
There are many brands on the market, but Joe Cross used a Breville juicer throughout Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. And he still endorses them to this day. Note that in the UK and Europe, Breville markets its products under different brands (e.g. Sage, Riviera & Bar, Gastroback). The links below will direct you to the equivalent model.
Some tips for juicing and/or blending:
- To prevent excess sugars, limit the fruit in both juices and smoothies to 1-2 servings per drink (i.e. ½ cup to 1 cup fruit)
- Green veggies like kale, spinach, parsley, and cabbage funny enough do not taste very intense in smoothies or juice, so get your fill of those!
- Citrus, lime juice in particular, can help to cut out any bitter taste from vegetables (remember to remove the peels)
- When juicing, high water content vegetables like cucumbers and celery will help to add volume and nutrients
- When blending smoothies, add regular or coconut water to make it less pulpy
- You get what you pay for when buying a juicer or a blender: the current products claiming to have benefits over other standard blenders tend to have higher horsepower
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