Just like smoothies, juices are superstars in the nutrient dense kitchen. What’s wonderful about juices is that they are very effective at delivering nutrients to the body quickly because the body doesn’t have to process much fiber if any at all. Pure liquid nutrition sounds ideal, right? It is a perfect healing tool during those times when we are really out of balance, when we’re recovering from illness or trying to heal from a chronic condition. While I think juicing is great and there is a whirlwind of juicing goodness in the world because of eye-openers like “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” and “Crazy Sexy Life”, I also think that we should use juice in moderation. Why? Well, juice is powerful stuff. It’s concentrated and goes through the system quickly. Because there is no fiber involved, a diet too rich in juices will potentially yield some issues (like constipation.) Besides that, most people quite like chewing food.
So, I look at juicing as a tool. Use them to give your digestive track a break for a few days. Use them to boost your nutrient intake in times of stress. Use them to build healthy kids and strengthen the elderly. Aim for balance. Make juicing a regular part of your routine and it will help you along the way.
A few things to know about juicing:
- A ratio of 1 part fruit to 3 parts veg/greens usually yields a balanced juice that is sweet enough to be palatable but not sweet enough to throw you into sugar shock! (Remember that fruit sugar/fructose is still sugar. With the fiber from the whole fruit removed in the juicing process, the sugar hits your system quickly. So using veggies as the bulk of your juice will help keep things even.)
- Juices will spoil relatively quickly. Only juice what you think you will drink in the course of a day… maybe 2 days at the most. Store your juices in a glass jar or container in the fridge. Also, fill your jars as full as possible to keep air flow to a minimum. Juices spoil as a result of oxidation, which happens when in contact with air.
- Pulp, pulp, everywhere! No matter what juicer you choose, you will create some pulp from the juicing process. Sometimes I like to take the pulp and mix it with a bit of flaxseed, hempseed and some herbs. This mixture hits the dehydrator and comes out as tasty, fiber rich crackers or wraps that are perfect for lunch and dinner alongside a great salad.
Choosing a Juicer
I am no expert on choosing a juicer. I don’t have the funding to be able to purchase them all and test drive them (though if anyone wants to send me one to try, I’ll gladly accept the challenge!). There are reviews on the web that are bent in whatever direction you choose, really. So, check out the ones that are available and match up the features you’re looking for in the price range that fits your budget.
Here are some combinations I like. They are kid tested (6 year old and 10 year old boys); in many cases, they are kid crafted! One thing I didn’t mention is that juicing is an incredible way to get kids involved in nutrition!
1 inch ginger
|lightly spiced, a bit sweet, beet||red||kids like this with a bit more apple|
|Mojito||1 cucumber, 1 handful romaine, 1 sprig mint, 1 lime (peeled), 1/2 apple||refreshing, limey mojito!||pale green||great mocktail|
|Carrot Cabbage||1/2 lb carrots, 1 cup purple cabbage, 1 apple, 1 large cucumber, 1 clementine(peeled), handful kale, 2 stevia leaves(optional)||carrot, apple with hint of cabbage||earthy orange||32 oz: great yield!|