I love juice. I’m like one of those toddlers who will throw a tantrum when she can’t have her sippy cup.
Holding the title of Ultimate Sweet Tooth, I was skeptical of juicing at first. My cousin Monica first inspired me to juice. She bought a juicer a few years ago and has been raving about it ever since.
I have always loved juice of almost any variety*, but seeing the scary list of ingredients in Monica’s juice really threw me off (think kale, parsley, beets, etc).
*Variety meaning fruit, or mixed fruits. You couldn’t pay me to try a store bought veggie juice (sorry, V8, I’m sure you’re wonderful).
Monica is a health junkie. She has no problem downing an 8 oz. glass of kale juice. I, on the other hand, am a bit afraid of vegetables even in their natural form, so changing their state of matter was a big step for me.
I had heard so many good things about juicing that one day I decided to purchase a juicer (my spontaneity kills my bank account). I found this one at Bed, Bath & Beyond for a good price and got started immediately. I figured if I ended up completely hating veggie juice (or “green” juice, for those of you who aren’t hip to the juicing jargon) at least I could make some killer apple cider*.
*Which I now make in the fall…and it’s mind blowing.
A juicer can be scary, I know. It’s pretty big, it’s loud (well, mine is pretty quiet actually), and there’s a blade inside of it. I get it. But once you see how simple it is to operate (and clean!), you’ll be hooked.
Juicing is all trial and error. You could follow a recipe (like the one at the bottom of this post), but you could just as easily CYO (create your own…I’m so cute).
Now, there are a few tips and tricks that I will share with you to make your adventures in juicing a little easier:
- If you’re juicing to make a meal replacement, stick to veggies for the most part. I usually try to keep the majority of ingredients green which keeps the nutrients high and sugar low.
- Apples make everything sweeter. If and when you make that green juice, throw in an apple or two to sweeten things up.
- Throw in a hunk of ginger. I will be the first person to admit that I hate ginger. I do. I hate it. But the health benefits are just too good to pass up. Ginger is loaded with antioxidants and helps soothe everything from hot flashes to the common cold. I throw a small chunk in to spice my juice up a little, and truthfully I can’t really taste it.
- Always add kale. Just do it. Seriously, you’ll thank me later (vitamin K, C, A, B6, Calcium…basically all of the vitamins in existence).
- Don’t peel skins, don’t cut off stems, don’t core. Ok that rule doesn’t apply to everything, but you get the idea. I peel oranges and lemons (the rind is bitter) and I take out the pits of peaches (please don’t put a pit in your juicer…bad idea).
The combinations of fruits and vegetables in juicing are limitless. Some of my go to favorites are: orange-carrot, cucumber-melon-mint, and kale-spinach-lemon-apple-ginger.
Like I said above, I like to make a big pitcher of apple cider in the fall. I also like to play Martha Stewart and make fresh OJ for Sunday brunches.
See? You can go fancy or understated, the choice is yours.
The juice below is on the sweeter side (i.e. it has a lot of fruit). This is a good one to start out with because it’s loaded with green veggies but all you can taste is the sweetness from the fruit. Enjoy!
Sunshine Day Dream
Yield: 1 glass of juice.
4-5 stalks kale
Handful of spinach
2 large carrots
1 whole apple
1 small orange
½ cup blueberries
1 small chunk ginger (or more if you prefer)
- Combine all ingredients in juicer.
- Serve in large glass and enjoy.
Helpful Hints: Try juicing greens and spices first, and cucumber last. The large water content in the cucumber helps to flush out any juice that might be stuck in small compartments within your juicer.
Play around with the recipe and try out some new ones of your own. I’d love to hear what your favorite juice is—I’m always looking for new recipes to try!
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