Juicing Basics

This month I am sharing with you tips on vegetable juicing. I am focusing on vegetable juicing rather than juicing fruit. While some fruits can be added to your vegetable juice blends, I do not encourage pure fruit juicing since the end product can be very high in calories!

When juicing use a “juicer” and not a blender. A juicer will make a true “juice” from the fruits and vegetables extracting the fluid along with vitamins, minerals and enzymes; whereas a blender will give a thicker consistency with the end product similar to baby food consistency rather than “juice.”

Before juicing wash and peel your produce. Peel the skin of vegetables that have been waxed such as cucumbers and the skin of beets since this skin holds a bitter taste. Fresh produce is best! To receive maximum benefits from juicing, consume the juice immediately after preparation. This is because the vitamin and mineral content is highest and most readily available at this time. However, one batch of juice can last approximately 72 hrs. in the refrig. Store pre-made vegetable juice in a glass jar with an airtight lid since this preserves the nutrition content better.

Juice on an empty stomach since it is easiest on your diegestive system for both absorption and elminination. Vegetable juices contain a high amount of fiber so drinking your juice with a meal means your digestive system has to work overtime to absorb everything. To minimize gas and bloating drink your juice on an empty stomach before your meal.

Start soft! Juice soft fruits and vegetables first such as spinach, cucumbers, berries, and oranges. Then add the tougher ones such as carrots, beets and apples. With juicing there is no right or wrong combination of vegetables, fruits and herbs. To maximize the nutritional profile of your juice make a committment to add something “green” to the recipe such as green lettuce, kale, spinach, cabbage or zucchini squash. Other popular vegetables and fruits to juice include tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, beets, lemons, celery, berries, and apples. Lastly, season your juice with herbs and spice. Experiment, have fun and enjoy your nutritious “juice.”