There is no reason why good health should not be fun as well, so bringing some juicing into your life on a daily basis is a bit like opening the curtains and letting the sunshine into your kitchen. Fruits and vegetables are made from sunshine and soil, after all!
Most people nowadays are familiar with what a juicer is. It is a machine which extracts the juice from fruits and vegetables and throws out the pulp in one method or another.
It is not a blender or smoothie maker; those will make everything into a liquid (or sludge) and keep all the fibre, pips and peel in the mix – and whatever you throw in, stays in.
What is the best way to start juicing?
Juicers come in all shapes and sizes, and prices from £25 up to £1500 (or more if you want a gold-plated one, seriously). You do get value for money up to a point, and it depends on how seriously you take your juicing. Start with an inexpensive one to get the hang of it, and move up through the ranks as you understand what you are seeking from your juicing and what your juicer needs to provide for you.
The easiest ones to start with are whole fruits such as apples, which will provide you with a quick juice for the busy life. They tend not to tackle green leaves too efficiently, but there are shortcuts and tips to help get the most from your fruits and veggies.
The whole point of juicing is to cram all the nutrients into a glass from all the fruits and vegetables that you would not otherwise have time or inclination to eat. One look at the recipes below will show you how much goodness is squeezed into one glass and downed before leaving for work. It is a meal in the glass but fresh, living, vibrant and brimming with vitamins, minerals and all nutrients.
One luscious, green juice (we used to call it Shrek juice but there is a copyright on the name, sadly), can set you up for the day and almost give you health insurance in a glass!
Keep it simple, inexpensive and easy. Buy the ugly fruit and veg that nobody else wants – go shopping at the end of a market day to get some real bargains.
Clean up immediately when your juice is made and make it a rule to always wash up your juicer before you sit down to drink your juice. Savour it, swirl it around your mouth to get all the flavours and mix with saliva before swallowing. Enjoy it, it is full of vitality.
What is good to add to your juices?
A glass of fresh mixed juice can be a great way to deliver other nutrients into your life (this means you can hide good things in it!).
Anything which is added to a freshly extracted juice to boost its nutritional value can be considered a juice boost, and they are totally optional. They can include such ingredients as:
Spirulina or Sun Chlorella A – basically, they are types of algae, but that is what all living things evolved from on our planet, so it has EVERYTHING in it that you need: vitamins, amino acids, minerals… everything. A small ½ teaspoonful in your juice will really give you a nice noggin of nutrients.
Udo’s Oil Blend, MCT Oil or Evening Primrose Oil – a tablespoon can be stirred into your juice and it disappears. This will boost your ESSENTIAL fatty acids and help with brain health, cell membrane integrity, nerves, memory, skin, hormones… in fact, most things inside and outside of you.
Probiotics – commercial probiotics don’t set up home inside your gut, but they do some good while they are passing through. A large spoonful will hide discreetly in your juice and be very useful for your gut flora balance.
Prebiotics – these are basically soluble fibres which feed your gut bugs. Bug Food. Sounds awful (!), but it can really help with bowel function, digestive problems, and keeps your inner critters happy.
Herbal extract powders, Maca Powder, Powdered, dried foodstuffs, bee pollen, wheatgrass powder… these are all powerful superfoods which offer super nutrient boosts to the already magnificent nutritional profile of a fresh, living juice. They just make the wonderful juices even better.
This list is by no means exhaustive and people develop their own habits and preferences as to what extras they may put in their daily juices.
You can enlist the help and advice of a Taymount Nutritional Therapist to advise on your particular needs and maybe recommend appropriate juice boosts to offer you the extra nutrition you may need, depending upon your state of health and lifestyle demands.
Two words of caution:
1. If too many juice boosts are added to your juices on a regular basis, it becomes hard to know which particular product is having the most beneficial effect; or conversely, if there is an unpleasant effect or allergy, it would be hard to know which juice boost had caused it. Try adding only one boost at a time for a period of at least a week or two to make sure it suits you. Any beneficial effect would be felt by two weeks in most cases.
2. If too many juice boosts, or too large a dollop of any one in particular, get added to your juice in the mistaken, but enthusiastic, belief that more is better… you can RUIN a juice. Too much of anything can render it disgusting and undrinkable. Trust me, I’ve done it a lot! Go gently – a little is better than a lot for most of those super-nutrient superfoods. And they tend to be expensive, so go easy and let the body adapt slowly to this powerhouse of nutrients you are suddenly chugging down!
Come and learn more about juicing; try it for real and ask questions – Body Talks 2 is all about Juicing. It’s a workshop for everyone to get involved, get clued up and get juiced!
For all the recipes, use organic if you can. Don’t wash organic stuff. Where it is very important to use organic (where you eat the peel, skin or leaf), we state that in the recipe. Otherwise use cheaper fruits and veggies if you are going to peel them, wash them if not.
Juices made with a high speed centrifugal juicer need to be consumed within 2-3 hours if possible. If you use a slow-speed augur, low-friction juicer (these tend to be the more expensive juicers), then your juice will keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 72 hours, but it might go a little brownish as it oxidises a bit; it is still ok to drink, it just doesn’t look so fresh! It’s like an apple or banana going brown in the air after peeling.
Most of these recipes serve 2 people for breakfast.
Green Giant Juice (can’t call it Shrek juice)
2 apples – not peeled
1 stick celery
¾ inch slice of fresh pineapple (optional but yummy)
B…I…G handful organic spinach (not washed) (or a mix of any green leaves)
Chunk of broccoli stem if you have one, or cabbage stem, or a couple of cauliflower leaves (anything green and being thrown away!)
Juice those ingredients and, when done, tip into a liquidiser or blender with:
½ an avocado.
Add whatever juice boosts you are into at that moment and briefly blend until smooth.
Pour over ice and feel that green goodness flowing into your body! Smile and stick out your green tongue!
Beet it – or Non-Tequila Sunset (if you get it mixed right!)
1 large raw beetroot, not peeled, but washed of all soil and dirty, hairy, rooty bits
1 large or 2 small oranges, peeled but left whole
2 medium carrots
1 large yellow or orange pepper
Small handful of green leaves, spinach (organic)
Start with the lighter colours first (bottom of the list upwards), and then gradually add the darker ones, finishing with the beetroot. If you get this done right, it will look like a sunset in the juicer! Get it wrong and it still gives you incredible Vitamin A power, even if it looks like a Quentin Tarantino movie scene!
B…I…G handful of mixed greens of any kind (even brussels sprouts!) (organic)
Just juice them all, pour over ice and drink. Getting your 5-a-day can be this simple. Do it more than once – go on, be a 10-a-Day, we dare you!
Handful of frozen cranberries
Quite a few (technical measure) Brussel Sprouts (organic if possible, not essential)
A few green beans or peas or both
A few pieces of broccoli (organic)
Frozen cranberries should go through your juicer well enough to flavour the juice, you may seem to lose most of them spread around the juicer strainer basket, so put them through first whilst the juicer is going, and then when you juice the other ingredients they may carry more of the cranberries through the strainer into your juice. Alternatively, add them into your blender and blend into the juice after making it, as in Green Giant Juice above.
Cold Cure – At first signs of a cold….
B…I…G knob of fresh ginger root (go on, be brave, add more!)
Juice it all, put in a shot glass and knock it back like a shot – make loud macho noises….