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To Juice or Not to Juice? - Modern Alternative KitchenModern Alternative Kitchen

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It was almost a year ago when my husband and I decided to jump on the juicing bandwagon. We had been enjoying the benefits of a clean, whole foods diet and felt juicing would contribute to that.  With very little idea of what we were doing we bought a juicer and jumped right in.  I quickly learned several of my friends and family had juicers of their own.  Was everyone at home secretly juicing?

Types of Juicers

When deciding to purchase a juicer you’ll find there are basically 3 types to choose from depending on your needs and budget.  Commercially centrifugal juicers are the most common, most affordable and probably what you are most familiar with.

  • Centrifugal Juicer: These types of juicers can juice most any fruit or vegetable very quickly and easily.  The biggest advantage with this type of juicer is the speed at which you can juice.  However, they are not great with your leafy greens like wheatgrass, spinach, lettuce or other herbs. In addition, they tend to leave some juice behind in the pulp.  Since the juice is extracted at a very high speed there is quite a lot of oxygen dissolved into the juice causing it to spoil (lose its nutritional value) quickly.
  • Masticating Juicer:  These types of juicers are more efficient than a centrifugal juicer; extracting more juice and nutrition from the same amount of food.  They work at a slower speed literally chewing the fruit and vegetable fibers.  They can juice any fruit and vegetable plus are great with your leafy greens like wheatgrass, spinach, lettuce or other herbs. Masticating juicers are generally more expensive then centrifugal juicers.
  • Triturating Juicer: The most expensive type of juicer but also offering the most benefits.  These types of juicers work at the slowest speeds, extracting the most nutrients from your fruits and vegetable.  The slower speed also creates less oxygen in the juice and you are able to store your juice for a few days. Triturating juicers will extract the most juice from your leafy greens especially wheat grass.

By far the hardest part of juicing is finding the right juicer.  We ended up with a centrifugal juicer.  It’s easy to use and our juice always turns out great.  When we purchased it we weren’t sure how into juicing we would be so we kept our budget low.  A year later I think we are ready for a bigger investment and I’m looking into upgrading to a masticating juicer to get more out of my leafy greens.

Juicing vs. Smoothie?

Almost every morning we go to the gym and follow that up with a smoothie for breakfast.  It’s an easy healthy way to replenish what we are burning working out.  I personally don’t think a juice would be enough to satisfy us.  I need the extra calories, fiber and carbohydrates after a good workout.  The loss of fiber is why many believe juicing isn’t enough and choose to include smoothies in their diet instead.  Smoothie proponents typically include their greens in their smoothie.  I have tried this and it’s just not for me.  Personally a handful of spinach just ruins the smoothie for me.  I have incorporated vegetables and enjoyed it before but more of the sweet vegetables.  My favorite vegetable smoothie is this pumpkin smoothie.

Juicing proponents argue that it takes less energy to digest food in liquid form.  The loss of fiber gives your digestive system a break while you are still getting all the food enzymes you need.  It is also believed that consuming your juice on an empty stomach will give your body the best opportunity to absorb the nutrition from the fruits and vegetables.

We decided to incorporate juicing in our diet as a way to increase our fruit and vegetable consumption.  We already had a healthy diet choc full of good fruits and vegetables but felt incorporating a few more wouldn’t hurt.   Personally, my energy went up and neither of us have had any real sicknesses since we started juicing regularly.  We think of juice as our daily multi vitamin.

What to Juice?

I try and incorporate vegetables in my juice that I typically wouldn’t eat on their own.  I have never really loved beets.  The health benefits of beets are endless but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat them.  Turns out I love beet juice!  New research shows beet juice to be better for you then cooked beets since they tend to lose some of their beneficial nitrates.

  • As a general rule your juice should include mostly vegetables and just a few fruits.
  • Clean all your vegetables and fruits very well and stick to organic only; you don’t want to be drinking a punch of pesticides!
  • Pick a base; either celery or cucumber (I enjoy using both a lot of times).
  • Then add what vegetables you have on hand, or can get in season.  I shop our local farmers market each weekend along with including items I receive from our CSA.
  • Top it all off with an apple, pear or another juicy fruit that will add a little sweetness.

 

juice veges

Summer Vegetable Juice

[amd-zlrecipe- recipe:77]

Juicing Tips

** If you have a centrifugal juicer the best way to juice greens is with another item.  I usually put a piece of apple in the shoot, top it with greens and then another piece of apple before pushing it all through.

Clean & chop all your fruits and vegetables, then place them in a bowl in the order you want to juice them.

Clean & chop all your fruits and vegetables, then place them in a bowl in the order you want to juice them.

 

For easy clean up place a baggy in your pulp discard container

For easy clean up place a baggy in your pulp discard container

 

What is your favorite vegetable to juice?  Do you prefer juice, smoothies or like me both?

 

This is the writings of:

robyn

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1 Comment

  1. Maybe I’m the only one to say this, but I don’t juice. I drink juices on occasion, but I’d rather get the fiber from the food myself. Just my two cents, but glad you like it and it’s working for you!

    Oh, and I do smoothies occasionally. But, personally, I like to eat (plus to make a smoothie keep me from being hungry within an hour I have to add peanut butter and possibly coconut oil, and that gets expensive…especially when I can just eat my food instead!).

    Reply

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