By now, you’ve heard about juicing. The fact that “juicing” has become a verb speaks to its tremendous popularity.
By Caitlin Brown
By now, you’ve heard about juicing. The fact that “juicing” has become a verb speaks to its tremendous popularity. Juice bars and cold pressed juice delivery services are popping up every day mixing up a rainbow of elixirs to cleanse balance and refresh our bodies. But, at $9 to $10 a pop, these gardens in a glass can add up. More and more people, myself included, are opting to do it themselves. This can be intimidating for a newbie. How, for instance, does one find the best juicer? What are the most nutritious dark leafy greens to throw in, the best fruits to add for sweetness and taste; which herbs to use and what is the best mix of ingredients to deliver the right results?
Choosing the right juicer
Shopping for a juicer can be daunting. Salespeople throw words at you that leave you scratching your head — masticating juicer, centrifugal juicer, triturating juicer. And there are so many brands and a wide range of price points to boot.
Where to begin? First, learn the difference. There are endless websites to search through. I found it easier to educate myself rather than listen to the salespeople. The basic differences I found between the two main kinds of juicers: “centrifugal” and “masticating” (cold-pressed) is that the centrifugal is faster, tougher to clean, and the juice doesn’t last as long. The masticating is slower, tends to be easier to clean, and the juice lasts for up to three days. What one ends up choosing is more a personal choice. It comes down to what model works best for you; which is easier for you to clean and use.
(I love the one I settled on, The Breville Juice Fountain.)
It’s all in the ingredients
Once the search for a green machine has come to a close, you’ve made friends with your new toy and you’re ready to start, let the fun begin! It’s important to understand the kinds of vegetables (leafy greens, fruits, herbs etc) best suited for juicing. It takes quite a bit of produce to make enough juice to last a day, let alone a glass. One glass of green juice (though missing the fiber, as it is extracted from the machine) packs a powerful punch of phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals — there’s a ton of produce in there.
Some vegetables — dark leafy greens, for instance — are grittier and it takes quite a lot to make juice. For this reason it is important to add vegetables like cucumber and celery that have more water (more water results in more juice).
Fruits are also a great way to get liquid and add little bit of sweetness (start with pineapple, green apples, citrus fruits). For the healthiest juice, fruits should be used more sparingly, as they can pack a lot of sugar in. Smart juicing means becoming savvy about sugars in your drinks. Dark leafy greens (some of the better ones: kale, spinach, collard, dandelion greens) and watery vegetables should be higher proportionately. A little bit of fruit goes a long way in terms of flavor. A little bit of raw ginger root, turmeric, even garlic (all touted for their healing benefits) can also go a long way in the flavor department, and they’re great for your health.
Get creative. It’s really about what suits your taste buds and what feels right for your body, so listen to it. Cheers and enjoy!
Try this recipe from Eric Helms’ “The Juice Generation”
The Green Elixir
3 leaves kale
1 cup spinach
1 medium green apple
5 stalks celery
¼ medium cucumber
½ small beet
½ medium lemon, peeled
Some great, healthy produce to keep on hand for juicing: