Juicing has never been more fashionable, with Hollywood stars, health gurus and foodies singing the praises of freshly-pressed plant juices. It’s not just a fad either, as there is plenty of evidence to support its many health benefits. It’s also a fantastic way to boost your energy levels. With some guidelines recommending we eat seven (not five!) portions of fruit and vegetables a day, juicing is an easy way to achieve this number, while also giving an energy hit, helping with weight loss, clearer skin, a boosted immune system and a better mood.
Many health practitioners believe that nutritional deficiencies in our modern diets are contributors to disease, but just one delicious glass of unprocessed juiced fruit and veg juice has the power to nourish, cleanse, protect, soothe and heal. If you’re new to the whole juicing phenomenon, here’s what you’ll need to get your started!
You can use a hand blender with your ingredients in a large plastic jug and add in some water, but this may not deal with tougher raw ingredients, so think about a more specialised piece of kit. I use a Nutri-bullet and love it. It’s compact on the counter and takes little effort to clean. This is an important factor when choosing a juicer: the reality is that if cleaning the equipment is a lot of work, you’re unlikely to become a daily juicer, so keep it simple!
Juicing leaves you with a concentrated glass of nutrients. Those nutrients, since they’re in a liquid state, are also absorbed by your body faster than if you were to eat all the ingredients in their original form. Juice can be very calorie dense, so it’s a great option if you’re not feeling hungry, when you’re sick, for example. However, juicing won’t keep you feeling full very long, so combine it with your normal food intake. Embarking on a juice-only diet is not advised. One of the best things about juicing machines is that you don’t have to peel or prep any of the fruit or vegetables, since the indigestible fibrous stuff gets separated from the juice. Since this is the case though, buy as much organic produce as possible.
Knowing how to put a good juice together is crucial to enjoying juicing. The right balance of base vegetables, green leafy vegetables, fruits and other add-ins is necessary for a good tasting glass. A good basic green juice to start is a handful of spinach leaves, a small amount of kale (about 3 leaves), an inch of ginger (peeled), half a lemon (skin removed), 3-4 mint leaves and handful of blueberries (frozen are a cheaper option). You could also try half a green apple instead of the blueberries.
Celery and/or cucumbers. My preference is cucumbers, which are a great base for juicing. They have a high water content without a really distinct taste, and will help fill up your glass.
Green leafy vegetables
After the base, add 2-3 green leafy vegetables for nutrition to my juices. Your options here are spinach, lettuce and kale.
Fruit is going to give you sweetness and the most flavour to your juice. Green apples, pears and pineapple all work. While not really a fruit, carrots are great for sweetness too; in fact, carrot and orange is another one of my favourite combinations. Now... Let's get juicing!