Sunday, April 17, 2011


I want to talk a little about juicing. I have blogged on this topic before but it seems appropriate again this time of the year. I juiced veggies everyday for 2 1/2 years for my husband. Since his passing I have only done it a hand full of times. This morning I got the juicer out and filled a mason jar and just the act of making the veggie juice felt good. I get organic veggies delivered every other week. It is much more economical for me to do this. Even the individual box is more than enough for me. So as I woke up I was thinking how I really needed to do something with the greens & beets in the fridge before they go bad and I decided to juice them. Now optimally a juice is made with fresh veggies especially if it is going to be drunk by an individual living with an illness. However when you have an over abundance of vegetables at home juicing them is a great option. I advocate juicing veggies over fruits although if you want a fruit juice it is better to make your own because with little exception most juices on the shelves are full of added sugars and fruit juice is basically sugar on its' own. I do believe in adding an apple, pear or kiwi to a strong green juice to cut the possible bitterness. Juicing vegetables allows us to get a wide variety of them in our diet and the juice is usually pretty bioavailable or easily absorbed. This make it a great option for those who need to get the nutrient nutrition fast like those with serious illnesses. In a glass of juice "the concentration of nutrients in juice without the bulk of the vegetables allows ingestion of a much larger amount of enzymes and other raw-foods nutrients than if the vegetables themselves were eaten." It is suggested that they are drunk 30 minutes before a meal to avoid digestion interference. The thing lacking from juice is the fiber. Not the case if you have certain types of juicers like the Vitamix. Now of course it is always a great idea to add the juices to an already whole foods based diet where whole veggies are being eaten so one is getting the fiber in their diet. This means you drink your green juice and eat your salad optimally. It is not an either or game. Juices are a great snack. Fruit juice should really be a treat and not a regular part of the diet. "an eight ounce glass of fruit juice has the fruit sugar of several pieces of fruit and is rapidly absorbed; the body must immediately metabolize this sugar." So limit the fruit juices and when you do make them they should optimally be seasonal. I think I have only made 2 fruit juices since I started juicing. To get started all you need is a juicer and some mason jars. If you are just beginning I do not recommend going out and buying the most expensive machine you can afford. You want to make sure this is a practice that you will enjoy and there is a bit of a learning curve to doing it. These are important considerations before investing in a more significant machine. We started off with the Jack LaLane juicer, went to a Breville and then spent the money on the Omega. I do definitely note the differences between a centrifuge and masticating juicer and find the masticating juicers to work much better and to extract more juice from leafy greens. A masticating juicer uses an agar to crush the veggies and squeeze out the juice. Also no heat from a motor will kill off the enzymes in this type of juicer. The centrifuge juicers utilize blades and a motor and spinning action to extract the juices. I think the Breville juicers are great to begin on and are, in my experience, easy to find. a simple green juice can include any of these ingredients: romaine lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, parsley, dandelion greens, celery, cucumber, kale, 1 small green apple or pear. I also like carrot juices with red beet. I call that a pacific sunset juice because of the brilliant colors. Adding cinnamon to a carrot juice is another tasty idea. Ginger and lemon give juices a kick too. Of course organic veggies and fruits are best used. If you can't use organic than you need to peel things like cucumbers first but the leafy greens need to be organic. Basically, you experiment to find juice flavor combinations that you will enjoy. I do not have kids so I cannot speak to this being an easier way to get them the nutrients in the vegetables or not. I know that they usually enjoy helping make the juices or at least the friend's boys that I lived with for awhile did. I would omit the strong stuff like ginger to begin with for kids and maybe make a simple green juice with more cucumber in it for sweetness. Enjoy & have fun in the kitchen and playing with your food. the quotes I used are from Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine by Ronald Schmid


  1. Juicing is an easy way to consume huge amounts of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants, boost your energy, enhance your immune system, and more.