You all know how I love juicing. Fresh juice is so much better than store bought juices, with less sugars and none of the unnecessary additives. I was asked a while ago to share some tips for making juicing easier and fun.
There are haters of juicing. Obviously I am not one of those. I find juicing to be a great addition to one’s health and a great tool for getting more servings of fruits and vegetables in one’s diet. I don’t do the juice cleanse, as I am active and burn many calories through training, but I do find it important to do frequent cleanses with juicing apart of the cleanse.
Haters say, you lose the fiber from the fruit and vegetable, and only gain the sugar. While this is true, you can use the “wasted” fiber in the pulp in other ways (more on that later). Pairing the right vegetables with fruits, allows for a less sugary drink and better absorption of vital nutrients. There are many benefits of juicing.
Before I list my Tips and Tricks for juicing, I find it important to include the benefits of juicing or the reasons why I love to juice.
Benefits of Juicing:
- Juices are easier to absorb, allowing for your digestive tract to rest and repair
- Juicing creates an alkaline environment for your body’s cells and tissues (which allows them to release toxic waste products)
- Juicing can act as an energy booster – with less toxins in the body (helping to be eliminated by juicing) the mitochondria are able to work more efficiently. *Mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells, where we get our energy.
- Juicing strengthens the immune system
- You consume more fruits and vegetables in one go – Since it takes a lot to make one juice, you can get nearly all of your recommended servings for fruits and vegetables in one juice
- Fruits and vegetables contain vital antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals – The average American does not consume enough fruits and vegetables, thus are missing vital antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. One juice can supply most of these recommended needs.
- Fresh juices are full of enzymes – Enzymes are needed to help digest our food, and most enzymes are destroyed through the cooking process. Since fresh juice contains digestive enzymes (needed for breaking down foods in our digestive tract), it allows for better digestion and preserves the body’s digestive enzymes.
Okay now that you have the basics for why Juicing is great for your health, we can move on.
The most time consuming part of juicing really is the clean up. Most vegetables and fruits don’t have to be chopped or seeded (depending on your juicer). You may have the occasional peeling of oranges, lemons, limes and removing watermelon rind, but you can basically fit a whole apple through a juicer. The following Tips and Tricks will help speed up your juicing process and provide you with a guide to juicing.
Tips and Tricks:
- Pick the Right Base to Your Juice: I suggest starting with carrots, celery, apples, and lemons. These fruits and vegetables are great at toning down a drink. For example, if you can’t stand the taste of beets, but know they are great for your health, add in an apple, celery, and lemon. The combined flavors help to “drown out” the beet flavor.
- Line the Pulp Bucket/waste basket with a Produce Bag: I keep old produce bags or giant bread sacks for this purpose. This makes clean up way easier and quicker. It’s one less piece to wash. You simply throw the bag away.
- Prepare Vegetables and Fruits Ahead of Time: If you don’t have a lot of time in the morning for preparing your juice, do some prep the night before. This way the ingredients are ready, they just need to be thrown in the juicer.*Use this as a last resort, vegetables and fruits lose some of the enzymes once they are cut, resulting in less nutritional value.
- Store Juice in an Air Tight Container or Mason Jar if You aren’t Consuming Right Away: I prepare juice in the a.m. and take it with me to work. I store mine in a mason jar. When juice is exposed to oxygen it begins to lose nutrients. Try to consume right away, but if you can’t this is your next best option.
- Use the Pulp From Your Juice in Your Cooking: If you hate wasting all the pulp from juicing (and there’s a lot of it) simply save it for using in your cooking (especially if you aren’t going to compost it). Vegetable pulp is great for using in soups, burgers, or tomato sauce. Carrot pulp or fruit based pulps are great for using in muffins, cookies, or breads (think zucchini or carrot muffins). You can even add the beet fiber to brownies (Beet brownies are popular and tasty). Plus it’s high in FIBER!!
- Sneak in Some Vegetables: Juices are a great way to sneak in additional vegetables, that you or your spouse or your kids wouldn’t normally eat. With the right combinations, you can’t taste the spinach or kale. Try my Apple Carrot Spinach Jolt or Green Royal Flush.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment: Be brave and try making your own combinations.
- Watermelon and Cucumber Serve as Great Ingredients for a Refreshing Juice – Drinking pure watermelon juice is amazing and so great after a hot training run. Adding a cucumber (with it’s high water content, and watermelon has a high water content too) to an apple or carrot juice makes it much more refreshing and has added hydration.
- Drink Fresh Juice Slowly: Better to take sips, not gulps since fresh juice is already pre-digested.
- Consume 20-30 Minutes before Meals or 1 hour after: Unhealthy fermentation can occur if you mix fresh juice with food that has to be digested.
- Chose Organic Produce: I will say time and time again, organic produce is always better (more nutritional value) as it’s less harmful for you and the environment. If you can’t always afford organic, make sure you are at least buying the Dirty Dozen organic.
For recipe ideas you can check out my Smoothies and Juices page. Remember there’s many combinations, and once you get comfortable, it’s super easy and fun to come up with your own great combos.
Until Next Time Be Whole, Be Fit and Get Juicing!!
Do you like to juice? What’s your favorite tip or trick for juicing?