Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Juice Journey

My intent was to go to sleep as soon as I got in from a long day...but my crazy friend inspired me to write about juicing.

I first started juicing about 4 years ago...but it was just for pleasure..meaning: I only wanted to make juice for fun, not for any health reasons.

I bought my Jack O Lane juicer from Target ($99) and went to town on it once every blue moon.  Now I've learned that juicing is vital to optimal nutrition. 

These days there are countless juicers and recipes on the market to suit any budget and taste.

There are two different types of juicers in our home. 
  1. Centrifugal juicer - Jack O Lane (~$99) - spins the fruit/veggie around a spinning screened cone with a blade at the bottom.
  2. Masticating juicer - Omega ($350) - squeezes the fruit/veggie through a press/screw apparatus.  This juicer is good for wheat grass and other herbs.
Jack O Lane Juicer
Omega - Masticating Juicer
Now I juice for health.  Carrots, grapefruit, berries, apples, pears, kiwi, kale, parsley, cilantro, ginger, oranges, celery, beets, even sweet potatoes.  You can pretty much juice anything besides bananas, avocado, and cup cakes....please folks....don't try to juice any bakery goods.  Things that are extremely soft are not suitable for juicing...just make a smoothie with those types of ingredients.

Fresh Juice!!!!!!!!!!!



Caleb using the masticating juicer (Omega) for parsley

Why is juicing helpful to our bodies?
  1. Juicing makes nutrients easy to use by the body.
  2. It gives our liver a break from having to digest all the wonderful cup cakes we eat.
  3. It's a good way to cleanse.
When you make fresh juice (vegetable or fruit) you want to drink it ASAP.  Fresh juice has living enzymes that aide in digestion and the available vitamins are susceptible to oxidation.  No heat treatment...no processing...nutrients are just waiting to be absorbed into your body! You can't beat it.  Once you start making your own juice, the processed juice from the store will not compare in taste and benefit!  Note that masticated juice can last up to 24 hours in an airtight container.
Drink fresh juice ASAP...straws take it down faster! :)

A draw back to juicing is the waste that is generated from the fiber/pulp left over.  You should use it for soups, salads, smoothies or compost it.  I've tried to use the waste from juicing to make soup....it was a disaster.  I could not get the right flavor profile or consistency I was looking for....so now..to the compost  heap it goes! Oh..and the clean up can last longer than actually making the juice....
 
Veggie pulp

Compost heap at a farm


But remember it's back to the basics...it takes time and effort to get positive results the NATURAL way.

If you're new to juicing take it slow.  Start off with drinking fresh juice 2-3 times a week and see how you fare.  If you feel like you want to do a juice fast then your intake will increase.  Some recommend not mixing fruit and veggies but personally I've never had any adverse reaction to doing that.

You should start with single or few ingredients.  Carrot is always a good juice to start on.

Juice
I found an awesome recipe on the Science of Herbalism's FB page called:  'Sweet Potato Blast' - first time juicing a sweet potato and it was scrumptious! Very sweet!
  • 1 sweet potato (I left the peeling on for more fiber)
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 apples
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
  • 1 lemon (peeled)
Happy Juicing!!! Let me know about your juicing experience!

Peace and blessings!