For my dear friend, TLC, (who hid spinach in her sons’ smoothies) and requested these juicing tips from me.
Hmmm . . . fav recipe? Not really. Mostly I just wash, chop, and add whatever arrives in our two, weekly Johnson’s Backyard Organic Garden boxes of veggies.
What I will share are 12 personal discoveries, preferences, and guidelines: Juicing Info and Tips
- Good basic greens: staples for each juice–Kale, cabbage, chard, and/or spinach. Note: you’ll extract more juice from the first three and spinach can get foamy. More recently, I also add watercress.
- Other staple additions: carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, bell peppers, zucchini, and celery (although sometimes celery clogs the juicer with its strings so I add it last).
- Something sweet: Mostly we juice veggies, but I usually add one apple for a little bit of sweet. Have juiced watermelon, oranges, cantaloupe, and grapefruit. But of course these taste great–they’re fruit! 🙂
- Something savory: I prefer juice with added herbs–have tried basil, cilantro, and mint. Mostly use cilantro b/c it’s so available. But if you juice a cantaloupe–try it with mint! I also like to add a small piece of peeled fresh ginger.
- Conventional or organic: honestly? With the exception of bell peppers, I process organic veggies almost exclusively.
- Stronger flavor: broccoli is nutritious, but I prefer adding smaller quantities if I add due to its dominant and sometimes bitter flavor; green onions or radishes kick up a little kapow, but add too much and your taste buds may say, “Wow!”
- Non-preferences: fresh beets tend to thicken the juice and change the texture but cooked beets are more palatable to me; fennel–well, I’m not a huge fan of the flavor Anise and it also leaves strings.
- Preparation: Wash, trim off ends, and slice veggies in smaller pieces to process.
- Volume: Don’t be surprised when a heaping pile of veggies on your cutting board makes only 28-32 oz of juice. I usually drink 8-10 oz., send my hubby with 12 oz. of juice in his lunch, and divide the remaining juice (8-10 oz) between our five children who down it fast before Daddy leaves for work. “The juice line-up” we call that event.
- Juicer: A friend recommended this slow juicer and we’re very pleased with it! Very easy to use and clean. My kids know how to work this machine—even the 2 year-old. In fact, my kids help me make juice on weekday mornings! All plant fiber/cellulose is purged from the juicer while juicing, so there is not a need to stop and clean its components until you’re finished. Sweet!
- Fiber: Juicing this way removes most of the fiber. I don’t recommend juice as a super-food to replace every meal. Matt and I try to add essential fiber to balance our daily diet, which includes a substantial breakfast and dinner, so we can be healthy.
- Frequency: For the past five years, my hubby and I have committed to drink juice in lieu of eating lunch. We do eat a serving of nuts–micro-nutrients–and wash them down with water and coffee. 🙂 We juice for lunch 4-5 days/week. Obviously, when we’re out of town, on weekends, and when dear friends join us for lunch and tea–we adjust our plan accordingly. 🙂
Why did we decide to juice? A friend of ours that suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis lost 55+ pounds and remedied his blood chemistry—not by popping pills—but through eating whole foods and adding to his lifestyle change, regular juicing. Amazing.
He also recommended we watch this documentary: Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead. Very romantic—our Date Night with movie and coffee—not the video on the screen. But it’s worth your time and will make you think about what you eat!
I’ll close with two juicy Lee Cochran quotes:
1) In response to the kids’ question, “What does it taste like?” we answer, “It tastes like a garden.”
2) In response to the kids’ reaction, “I don’t like this.” We answer, “It may not be your favorite, but God can help you make a good choice for your body.” Training. Ha. I could tell you stories . . . 🙂