Juicing 101, Part 2
In Juicing 101, Part 1, we discussed the types of juicers and when to juice. Here I will offer you tips on what to juice, how to juice, and more juice recipes. Ingredients for JuiceWhat you can and can’t juice:
- Most fruits and vegetables can be juiced, but not all. Certain fruits and vegetables do not contain enough water or have too much fiber to be “juice-able.” These are simply too dense to juice. You end up with a globby mess instead of juice. These include: Avocados, Mangos, and Bananas.
- Berries can be juiced and are delicious, but they are very expensive for the amount of juice they produce and, therefore, I don’t use them very often in juice recipes.
For Juicing Beginners:
- If you are new to juicing, start juicing with the fruits and vegetables you enjoy eating raw. Some of the most popular items to start with are apples, oranges, melons, celery, and cucumber. These are usually mild and familiar tastes and your body is familiar with digesting them in reasonable amounts.
- Start slow with greens and strong-flavored vegetables such as kale, broccoli, beets, and cauliflower as these have very strong tastes and need to be tempered until you’re ready for the new taste and your body is ready to digest them. They can be very powerful, so add small amounts and build your way up to higher proportions in your juices.
- Don’t take the kitchen sink approach and throw in anything you think is healthy. You likely won’t like the result. Follow some recipes at first to get the hang of it before you begin experimenting.
1. Start with Base Juicing Ingredients
Juices need a good base to start. These are high-yielding, juicy, often cost-effective, produce items that are staples in many recipes.
Green apples (Granny Smith) make a great base in many juices. They are sweet and tart, are the lowest-sugar content for all apples, and are mild enough not to dominate the juice.
The benefits of apples include:
- “extraordinary nutrition and cleansing powers. No wonder one a day keeps the doctor away.
- Tasty, able to break down toxins, lower cholesterol, and enhance digestion, this fruit is a popular, versatile, and cost-effective go-to for juices.
- With phytonutrients, powerful antioxidants like quercetin, vitamin A (in the peel), vitamin C, and significant potassium, apple is a prime detox food that’s available year ‘round.
- As an aid to cleansing, apples’ high pectin content provides a great bowel regulator, able to slow the colon down or speed it up, as the body needs.
We recommend coring apples before juicing, as the jury is still out as to whether the bit of cyanide occurring naturally in the seeds is detrimental to health.” – Detox Dynamo Cleanse, 2016.
Cucumber is another great base for juicing that contains very low sugar and is extremely hydrating. Its mild flavor allows it to blend beautifully with either sweet or savory juices. This is my go-to favorite, and often I enjoy it juiced with just a half lemon, greens and a handful of parsley for a perfect almost no sugar, mild tasting delicious summer sipper.
The benefits of cucumber include:
- “The ultimate cool-hydrate-cleanse food. It’s right in there regulating body temperature and easing inflammation.
- A relative of squashes and melons, the cuke is a natural diuretic (due to that abundant water), aiding in cell hydration, waste removal, and dissolving kidney stones.
- Cucumber’s high silica content is great for the skin, and helps alleviate eczema, psoriasis, hair loss, and strengthen nails.
- The silica in cucumber also reduces the concentration of uric acid, which causes inflammation in the joints, muscles, and tendons.
- A natural blood-pressure regulator, cucumber is high in vitamin A (mostly in the peel), B complex, C and folic acid, amino acids (methionine and tryptophan), potassium, sulfur, and natural chlorine.
To take advantage of the nutrients in the skins, we always use the less-bitter-skinned English/Dutch variety. Any cucumber, though, goes well in most recipes. Make sure your cucumber is organic and hasn’t been embalmed in a coating of wax—that stuff messes up your juicer, and let’s not even think about what it does to our own works. – Detox Dynamo Cleanse, 2016.
Carrot is another popular juice base with it’s strong, subtly sweet, earthy flavor. While this is not my favorite flavor for a base, many people love it straight up. I personally prefer it with some orange, cinnamon, and vanilla added in. Try it for yourself as it has some great benefits.
- loads of life-extending carotenes and minerals.
- This vegetable helps lower cholesterol, too, and alleviates skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, all while enhancing the respiratory system’s resistance to infection.
- A great source of vitamin A, carrots also contain the magical antioxidant glutathione, which protects against free radical damage, and B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
- Carrots fuel the production of white blood cells and enhance their performance, and are a great immune booster. These brilliant orange roots also deliver powerful anti-inflammatory agents, helping to relieve the symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis.
Carrot is a warming and strengthening vegetable perfect for cleansing. Cut off the greens (the jury is still out as to whether they are toxic or beneficial), but don’t peel the roots—much of carrots’ nutrients lie in the skin or just beneath. Just scrub, roughly chop (if using certain masticating juicers) and push through your juicer. The earthy sweet flavor of the juice, much richer than that of carrot itself, combines well with apple, pineapple, beets, tomato, ginger, and cinnamon, so this one works well in both sweet and savory juices. – – Detox Dynamo Cleanse, 2016.
Watermelon or other melons are also a wonderful hydrator and excellent base for juices. Heck, you don’t even need to add anything to these prolific bases, but they go really well with a little cucumber, citrus, mint or basil.Watermelon has many nutritional advantages:
- At 92% water, the watermelon can assert high-hydration and -electrolyte claims that make it a go-to for skin health, kidney detox and general wellness.
- Watermelons also contain significant vitamin B6for brain power, good levels of vitamin A and potassium, and 40% more lycopene than tomatoes.
- Watermelon also boosts immunity with vitamins B1and C, and manganese, all of which protect against infections.
- It is also an anti-inflammatory ace and powerful cooling food.
All parts of the watermelon can be eaten and juiced, even the rind, which contains a number of nutrients, such as citrulline. Watermelon yields a tremendous amount of juice, and we push it through the juicer rind and all to reap the full rewards.
2. Add Some Extra Vegetables and Nutrients to the Base
Certain vegetable juices, such as greens, may be bitter or overpowering to some people in the beginning, but generally, the palate will adjust over time. Here are some quick and helpful tips to help you adjust and add more nutrient-dense vegetables to your juices:
- Greens: Start slow and add more in as you adjust to the flavors. Spinach and bok choy have the mildest flavor of greens, so try one of those first and add just a handful or two to start. Next try a few stalks of kale, swiss chard, romaine, or collard greens. These are generally more bitter than spinach, so start with just a stalk or two and experiment to see what you prefer. To make more bitter greens more palatable, I prefer to add a ½-1 lemon per serving, which help amp up the cleansing powers of your juice and multiplies your nutrients absorption rate by up to 5 times. You can also add more green apple to the mix to sweeten the blend if needed, try a ½ to 1 apple at a time.
- Kale: Just to give you an idea of how beneficial greens are, here I highlight the benefits of this amazing green. Kale is rich in phytochemicals that protect us from cancer and provides highly absorbable calcium due to the high ratio of calcium to phosphorous content. A cup of kale juice surpasses the calcium content of a glass of milk. It can lower the risk of colon, breast and lung cancer as well as fight osteoporosis, macular degeneration, support the cardiovascular and immune systems, and assist in energy production. It also contains high amounts of chlorophyll, provitamin A, in the form of carotenoids and beta-carotene, Vitamin C, E, B6, K, folic acid, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and sodium. Kale has a much milder taste when juiced than eaten whole, and is a great alkalinizer.
- Celery: this is a powerful diuretic and contains a tremendous amount of minerals. It’s bitter flavor will build in juices if they are stored for longer than a few hours. Start with a few stalks in a juice and build from there.
- Beets: Start with one quarter of a medium beet and add slowly to a maximum of 1/2 of a whole beet. These are very powerful cleansers and builders of the blood and kidneys, therefore, it will “clear you out” in every sense of the word, and it’s best to add them slowly and not overdo it with more than 1 juiced beet per week. Beet contains high quantities of betaine, a powerful antioxidant responsible for the deep ruby color, which flushes the liver, reduces homo-cysteine levels which in turn reduces cardiovascular disease risk, helps mental functioning, balances moods, improves mental acuity and can even be used in the treatment of AIDS and alcohol addiction. It optimizes the utilization of oxygen by the red blood cells and lymph activity. It is also reportedly used for the treatment of gallstones, gout, and jaundice and serves as a valuable elixir for anemia and bladder and kidney disorders.
There are many more fruits and vegetables to try once you begin juicing, but start with these basics and experiment from there. Try to rotate your fruits and vegetables regularly to get a wide variety of nutrients and benefits. Some of my additional favorites include: fennel, zucchini, butternut squash,
3. Add Some Zip and Zing to Your Juices:
There are a variety of ways to add both more nutritional benefits and flavor to your juices. These are all added into a base juice in small quantities as described. Some ideas to consider are:
- Ginger – juice a half inch of fresh root for some warming heat and reducing inflammation
- Turmeric – juice a ½ inch of fresh root to quench inflammation and help sleep
- Parsley – add a handful for a fresh herbal flavor that helps purify blood
- Cilantro – add a handful to chelate heavy metals and add a delish flavor
- Basil – add a handful to give a nice subtle herbal flavor and build immunity
- Mint – add a handful to mellow out greens and melons nicely and soothe digestion
- Cinnamon – add a sprinkle to your produce before juicing to help control blood sugar
- Celtic Sea Salt – add a pinch to your completed juices to help mineral absorption and meld the flavors (not any table salt, but high quality, unprocessed, full-mineral salt)
- Vanilla extract – a wonderful addition to sweet or earthy juices, just a ¼ teaspoon per serving will do!
In another blog, I will discuss additional topics such as sugar content of juices and the importance of organic produce. Stay tuned!
Basic Juice Recipes
- All recipes are per serving, dilute all juices, unless otherwise stated.
- Watch the sugar content! For juices that are mostly fruit and have a high sugar content, add almost as much water as juice (ration 1-2 parts juice:1 part water).
- For low-sugar, mostly veggie juices, add about a third as much water to juice (ratio: 2-3 parts juice:1 part water).This helps to slow down the sugar absorption in the body.
- Substitutions: Green Apples have the lowest sugar content of apples, so they are preferred. If unavailable, red apples can be substituted.
- Spinach and kale are interchangeable in recipes, as it is good to use both as much as possible.
- Zucchini can be substituted for cucumber also with minimal difference.
- Burdock root can be substituted with radishes.
- 1 green apple (cored and sliced)
- 2-3 handfuls of spinach OR kale
- Half – one whole lemon (yellow rind removed)
- Optional: Ginger root (thumbnail size)
This juice is designed to aid the body in cleansing overall. Lemon helps detoxify the liver and dissolve mucous. Apple helps break down toxins in the intestinal tract. Spinach and kale help cleanse the body, and regenerate cells, blood and the respiratory system. Burdock root is an anti-bacterial that helps reduce inflammation while cleansing and supporting the liver. Ginger further helps reduces inflammation, reduces congestion, and aids digestion. This is a universally favorite juice flavor combination which tastes like fresh lemonade that most everyone loves!Liver Tonic1 green apple (cored), one orange, One-quarter medium beetThis juice is a powerful cleanser, focusing mainly on the liver with the powerful beet juice. Apple and orange add cleansing powers and loads of Vitamin C. People are often surprised how much they like beet juice in this combination! Just be aware as it will stain everything on the inside of your body along with clothing and cutting boards too!Liquid Sunshine1 green apple (cored), 1 large carrot, One -eighth pineapple,
- 1 green apple (cored)
- one orange
- One-quarter medium beet
This juice is a powerful cleanser, focusing mainly on the liver with the powerful beet juice. Apple and orange add cleansing powers and loads of Vitamin C. People are often surprised how much they like beet juice in this combination! Just be aware as it will stain everything on the inside of your body along with clothing and cutting boards too!
- 1 green apple (cored)
- 1 large carrot
- One -eighth pineapple
- small handful of fresh mint
This is a fun juice to drink, with a yummy, zippy, tropical taste, yet it still packs a powerful cleanse! Pineapple contains a powerhouse of valuable enzymes, such as bromelain, and minerals renowned for aiding digestion, reducing inflammation, and curbing appetite. Apple helps break down toxins in the intestinal tract. Strawberries offer a nice serving of Vitamon C, while carrots are packed with beta carotenes and Vitamin C to both alkalinize and enhance the immune system. Mint helps clear the lungs and ease digestion and balances the flavor. Try this juice with a twist of lime to finish it, and some ginger if you like.
- 1 green apple
- 2-3 stalks of celery
- Half lemon
- 4 carrots
- Half-inch piece of ginger (optional)
- Half cucumber
- One-quarter pineapple
- Half cucumber
- Half lemon
- One sprig of mint (optional)