Juicing and blending help me stay energized and positive, and bring me back to center if I wander a little too far into the tempting pleasures of wine, pasta, and cheese. I hope that you and those you love will enjoy the adventure of drinking your food as much as I have—and that this book gives you the skills and inspiration to make your own kitchen an exciting, colorful, liquid laboratory, too.
Do you live juicy? Are you energized and uplifted, with a little extra spring in your step? Does your skin glow? Do your eyes shine? Is your mind clear and your outlook optimistic? Do you feel light and bright inside? The recipes in this book will expand your juice know-how with new flavors and combinations to explore. These liquid elixirs, made from armfuls of ripe vegetables and rainbows of lush fruits, are some of the most phenomenal and fast ways to get goodness into your body.
They let you cheat, in a good way. Better yet, you get to take this vitamin bonanza on the go—just add a straw. Each drink acts as a delicious, homemade supplement-in-a-cup. How much of your diet can you say that about? Juices also help you look fantastic. Famed for their rejuvenating properties, they give your skin a vibrant, healthy glow, help your eyes shine bright, help you maintain an ideal weight, and generally contribute to a younger and more vital appearance.
And juices and smoothies fit into any dietary regimen with a caloric spectrum that runs from a supremely low 60 calories per 8 ounces of green juice; to a vitamin-stacked calories for a slightly sweet ounce fruit juice; to a rich and filling calorie smoothie plumped with healthy fats. For too long, a daily juicing habit has seemed out of reach—a complicated luxury that only devout yogis and the charmed elite manage to pull off.
With a little guidance, some practice, and a willingness to try something new, you too can boost your body, mind, and spirit with nutrient-rich cocktails. The door is open—come on in! Public awareness of juicing was still a seed waiting to sprout. They loved the light and clarifying refreshment they got from green juices and the heartier replenishment of recovery smoothies. As foot traffic increased, we began to serve a bigger cross-section of Manhattanites, from harried professionals and fitness instructors, to toddler-toting moms.
Our grass-roots education in making liquid foods was earned from the best vantage point possible: behind a counter with a juicer and blender at the ready. We became international superfruit sleuths, adding yet undiscovered delicacies like pitaya aka dragonfruit to our recipes, because we were so excited about their nutritional potential and their unexpected flavor profiles.
We even launched a sister company, Cooler Cleanse, offering detoxifying juice cleanses delivered to your door. At Juice Generation, the store, our ethos is centered on making everything not just healthy but tasty. To us, enjoyment is part of well-being. You either lose the enthusiasm and drop the habit, or you keep going, but with a feeling of constriction or resentment—a state that is the opposite of vibrant health. Plus, we were motivated by sheer survival. New York City is hopping with new juice bars, plant-based restaurants, and the latest iteration of this phenomenon: roaming juice trucks that bring their tonics straight to your street.
Nationally, juice bars and juice cleansing companies are showing up in. The movement is taking off internationally, too, and the world of raw food and drink evolves daily online, with aficionados sharing daring new ingredients and exciting recipes that mix savory, sweet, spicy, and tangy with gusto. I eat a lot at my restaurant, Telepan, and juicing is a way to get a good amount of nutrients into myself before I go in, without filling me up with calories.
And it is a great activity to do with the kids I work with at Wellness in the Schools WITS —it is a creative way to introduce them to fruit and vegetable combinations they might never have considered before. They range from well-known actors and entertainers to founders of natural beauty companies; from Olympic sprinters and celebrated dancers to filmmakers and chefs. All of them have mastered the art of finding time in their hectic schedules to treat themselves right by making—and yes, sometimes purchasing— vibrantly-colored liquid elixirs, and they unanimously report they feel more centered, clear, creative, and confident as a result.
Drinking juices and blends releases the tremendous healing power of raw and living foods, which is why, when you juice and blend regularly, a range of physical ailments—from joint pain, allergies, gut. This book is designed to help you lift, clear, glow, nourish, and balance. LIFT Running your own business is a hour commitment. Juicing is the way I survive on so many levels: It is the easiest breakfast for me to grab and go and it relieves my mind, knowing I filled my body with the right vitamins and minerals to nourish my cells and have taken care of myself first thing in the morning, so I can go forward into my day facing the unexpected.
It feels like I am watering a plant, filling up my body with its live and vibrant life force. And even though I am super dynamic and results oriented, and accomplish a tremendous amount each day, I seem to have a very Zen energy. Ever seen an aggressive yogi? I doubt it. Food really does make a difference.
We are obsessed with the quest for more energy. Which leaves us in a perpetual net deficit of energy. What are we using to prop ourselves up? Surging quantities of caffeine and chemical-laden, sugar-saturated sodas and energy drinks. Now, we humbly acknowledge the pleasure of a robust macchiato brewed from the finest quality beans, or a delicate oolong steeped to perfection. The problem is when they go from a choice to a dependency.
Their initial rush gives way to a crash that undermines us like a trapdoor, and eventually they can take a system-wide toll, acidifying our systems and burning out adrenal glands. Used in this excessive way, caffeine can be dirty energy: destructive and unsustainable. Juicing provides a different kind of lift: Think of it as clean power—a more sustainable resource.
A glass of juice floods your body with a mother lode of components that are essential to life, giving you a boost of vitality in about 20 minutes. This saves your body some of the energy needed for breaking down solid foods, meaning you intake more nutrients with less energy expenditure. Better yet, because the foods are still in their raw, uncooked state, their enzymes are intact and able to lend their full power to your cells, assisting your body in performing all the actions it takes to keep you alive.
Cells are our tiny energy-producing factories that need oxygen and nutrients and support for detoxification. In return, they make ATP, the energy that supports life. This is one of the reasons that raw food is so important: It literally fires you up. Living food is a loosely used term that often refers to seeds that are sprouting or just bursting into growth and thus considered ultra full of natural life force. Some people use the term to refer to justpicked vegetables and fruits.
Blending has some other energy benefits. It is a meal in a cup that has the potential, if you build it right, to carry you all the way from breakfast through to lunch. Consider it a different kind of lift, one that nourishes and sustains, perking you up more gently without the jagged takeoff and bumpy landing of caffeine.
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A green juice or smoothie first thing can help soften the habit of even a hardened espresso denizen. Substitute a fresh juice for a sweet treat at that midafternoon slump and watch how it works wonders. A smart blend of plant power can provide an energizing lift without the big insulin spike and resulting metabolic disruption that comes from ultrasweet treats and wheat-filled baked goods.
CLEAR The residue of modern living and eating can show itself in the guise of a foggy mind, a weighed down body, and a dumpy spirit. Luckily, juicing and blending can bring some levity to the situation. Consider it a 21st-century survival tool that can help you stay buoyed, alert, and feeling bright and clear, even in the gunkiest moments. This clarity is due in large part to the ways that vegetables particularly green ones and some fruits like grapefruits deliver potent nutrients that support your on-board cleaning crew, your detoxification system—especially the liver, where most of your detoxification occurs.
In addition, the load on your digestive system decreases when you periodically have a liquid snack or meal instead of denser food. This diverts energy away from digestion and toward detoxification, the never-ending cleansing the body does to rid itself of the unavoidable by-products of living called metabolic wastes and unwanted toxins from outside. Combined with the greater amounts of fiber moving through your intestines and the highly efficient hydration that comes from juices and blendeds, which help your intestines to eliminate more regularly, you get to enjoy the lighter and brighter effects of improved daily cleansing.
Juicing has been a lifesaver for me as I get older playing in the NBA. Juicing has really helped me to be able to stay youthful—and to be able to keep up with the young guys. Will all this detoxification affect your waistline? That said, health and well-being is the goal, and weight changes are an added bonus. Juice Smarts: Studies show that when used in conjunction with a low-glycemic diet, green and veggie juices help to enhance weight loss.
Low-glycemic indicates foods with carbohydrates that break down slowly, releasing their glucose sugar more gradually into the bloodstream, helping create better blood sugar control and blood-lipid levels, and making you feel more full. JUICY TIP When you feel weighed down or extra sluggish, try doing one day of a liquid morning and evening—a healthy smoothie in the morning and a juice in the evening, or vice versa. Cold-pressed juices are the turbo-charged model of juicing, developed specifically for use in cleansing and healing programs.
Their major benefit is that they create a completely pulp-free elixir, which floods the body with nutrients without any energy expenditure used on digestion, and can retain full nutritional value for at least three days. In the last few years, cold-pressed juices earned cachet for their use in preventive healthcare programs—multiday detoxification and cleansing programs—because they give the digestive system such a profound break and because many say these juices have the most intense flavors due to their extraordinary extraction capacity.
Now cold-press juice has become an everyday drink, and many juice boutiques exclusively sell these ultrafine pressed juices, which they make off site every morning and sell in bottles at premium prices due to the unavoidably slower production. Not everyone enjoys pulp-free juice and sometimes you just want to see your juice made to order before your eyes! Can you make cold-pressed juices at home? It requires splurging on a specialized and costly professional-grade machine called a Norwalk Juicer. For most people, a good-quality consumerlevel juicer, which extracts juice through crushing and grinding fruits and vegetables, suffices.
It delivers plenty of raw nutrients at an efficient speed and cost. Cooking foods tends to reduce their vitamin content. Some plants, like broccoli, release more vitamins when steamed. Plants thus provide us with essential macro minerals like calcium and potassium, as well as trace minerals needed in tiny amounts, like chromium, copper, iron, and zinc. Antioxidants are molecules that help keep us healthy by neutralizing free radicals—highly reactive molecules that damage and degenerate our tissues and cause our bodies to age.
Free radicals are produced by our bodies as waste and also enter us via external pollution and toxicity, and even sunlight! Plants have multiple complexes of different neutralizing antioxidants, including Vitamins A, C, and E, and a host of enzymes. Phytochemicals are the thousands of miraculous and mysterious substances in plants that give them their color, flavor, and aroma. Some, like beta-carotene, resveratrol, curcumin, and lycopene, have been shown to have potent benefits for health and beauty. Many of them are powerful antioxidants.
Electrolytes are substances that become ions in solution and have the ability to conduct electricity. They need to be in optimal balance for our bodies to work well. Sodium and potassium are two that tend to be out of balance in the Standard American Diet—too much sodium, too little potassium. This causes us to wilt like a plant, and can push blood pressure up. Juicing helps to flood our cells with higher potassium, from vegetables like cucumbers and celery, which helps us excrete sodium and return us to our energized best.
Micronutrients refer to all the organic compounds such as vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that our bodies need in tiny amounts in order to run properly. Deprived of enough of these micronutrients, we become susceptible to diseases and DNA damage. Folic acid, iron, zinc, iodine, and magnesium are just a few of these wonder substances that nature provides through food. Fiber is a carbohydrate that is not digested by the body. It can be soluble or insoluble—both are essential for optimal health.
Insoluble fiber—found in dark leafy greens, fruit skin, and seeds and nuts —regulates bowl movements and helps to maintain a healthy pH balance in the intestines, which can. Soluble fiber—found in fruit pulps, bananas, some nuts, flaxseeds, beans, avocados, blueberries, cucumbers, and more—helps you feel full longer, which regulates blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber can also lower LDL cholesterol by disrupting the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that we do not produce—they can only be obtained from our diet.
Omega-3s are made up of two fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which are the basis of the hormones that control immune function, blood clotting, and cell growth. There are limited sources—cold water fish like salmon , avocados, walnuts, and flaxseeds vegetarian sources contain ALA, a precursor omega-3 that the body must convert to EPA and DHA.
Most people tend to have low levels of this essential fatty acid, which is where blended drinks full of these good plant foods can help. The best vegetables for skin are made up of mostly water, which instantly hydrates the skin for a gorgeous glow. One of my absolute favorite drinks is the classic, all-green juice of kale, spinach, parsley, cucumber, celery, lemon, and ginger.
All of these ingredients benefit the skin with the ultimate hydration and more. Kale has vitamin K, which helps brighten your complexion and reduce dark circles. Kale and spinach also have vitamin A, which encourages your skin to repair itself and retain moisture. Cucumbers contain vitamin C and are rich in caffeic acid, which helps soothe the skin. They also contain silica, which contributes to collagen formation. Try to buy organic cucumber, since silica is mostly on the skin and this can be added to the juice. Lemon helps in the detoxification process of the body, but it can also be used directly on the skin as a natural exfoliator.
Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body to keep you going during a busy time. To replenish the skin, coconut water contains vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes that taste delicious! And aloe water is an amazing detoxifier that provides collagen and elastin repair for healthy skin. Then there are the high levels of naturally occurring antioxidants you consume, which help combat the aging effects of pollution and environmental stress and help create healthy and more vibrant skin. Blended foods pack a lot of nutrient density into a very small package. In a or ounce blended drink, you are getting so much dense nutrition in a small volume.
Blitzing salad bowl—size servings of leaves, stalks, fruits, and roots into liquid form is one way to achieve that goal; reducing them into such a concentrated form delivers a large nutritional punch in a small amount of food.
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Think of it as flipping on its head that all-American logic, that size matters and we need to eat massive portions in order to function. So much of the modern diet is super sized but nutritionally empty.
A smartly constructed smoothie packs an abundance of good things into one glass. Think: giant. These all give you extra help where you need it, like lifting the mood or calming inflammation. If you use the freshest, organic-whenever-possible, and local-whenever-possible produce, which research shows has higher amounts of essential micronutrients, you can replenish some key factors that your diet may be missing, clearing out obstacles to feeling, looking, and performing at your best. Juice Smarts: One cup of carrot or celery juice provides most of the same nutrients found in about 4 to 5 cups of the same vegetables in whole form.
Different juicers produce different amounts. Successful long-term juicers learn to liquefy greens and vegetables on a daily basis, and to juice sweet-tasting fruits and the sweetest root vegetables, which are higher in natural sugars, in moderation. But when you juice them and take out the fibers, the sugars are delivered to the bloodstream in a much faster manner, causing a bigger sugar rush and a larger insulin spike insulin is the hormone that regulates sugars in the blood.
The sugars, if not used up right away in vigorous activity, get stored as fat; the insulin spike, if it happens repeatedly, disrupts your metabolism, with weight problems or blood sugar—related illnesses a possible result. Adding healthy fats to your drinks, in the form of avocados, seeds, nut butters, or even via flax oil or coconut stirred into fresh-made juice, can also be a tool to slow down the speed of sugars entering your bloodstream and achieve good balance.
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If you are overweight or have high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, be even more vigilant about limiting your sweet fruits and pure root-vegetable drinks until you normalize these conditions. So why bother to make your drinks fresh at home? Because most of these items are juice imposters! Almost all store-bought juices are pasteurized at high heat to kill off any potential pathogens in the juice and give it a long shelf life up to a year if unopened! This sterilizing process also, not surprisingly, kills off the fragile enzymes and a lot of the active power of the vitamins and antioxidants.
Your fruit or vegetable nectar goes from fresh to, well, somewhat vapid. Pasteurization does enable big food producers to make huge amounts of product and ship it nationwide without fear that contaminants are left in, but the ones who benefit the most from this process are the producers, not the consumers, who are left to guzzle drinks stripped of their best components. Plus, check the ingredient list and the nutritional content. Compare to an ultra-green juice you make at home that may contain just 2 grams.
This concentrate is then stored in refrigerated tanks until it can be packaged or reconstituted. Along the way, the heating process pasteurizes the juice. And, when it comes to your kids: Just say no. The supermarket juices have been pasteurized to survive transit and have a much longer shelf life. This is done through a new process called High Pressure Processing or High Pressure Pascalization that, its advocates say, keeps most of the fragile nutrients intact, because the process does not use heat. Rather, it surrounds the packaged juice in water at high pressure.
Four days? Ten days? Crack one of these beverages open and see: The taste and vibrancy will be different from the juice made right before your eyes. Juicing mavens use juicing and blending as their secret weapon for staying in balance. It boosts the immune system, making it a preventive healthcare boon. It protects against pain and chronic disease by alkalinizing your blood, which buffers the acidic imbalance from sugars, meat, dairy, and grains that is a major cause of joint and muscle pain and a gateway into degenerative disease.
Juicing and blending also helps create a more balanced relationship to food. Ardent juicers report a reduction in cravings and say their appetite feels under control. Satiety—the happy feeling of having had enough to eat and drink—is increased by consuming vibrant flavors along with healthy fats. Even fearsome sugar cravings have a chance to simmer down, or even dissolve, when sugary addictions are replaced with fresh juices or green drinks.
Cravings usually come from an overgrowth of candida living in the guts, which feeds on sugar and tells you to consume more. Many renowned healing centers and methods use juicing as a tool for more serious conditions: There are green juicing programs designed to reverse type 2 diabetes and cancer patients have found success in a somewhat controversial healing system called Gerson Therapy, which follows a strict regime of using 14 cold-pressed juices a day to help their bodies heal.
BLEND Though some people take sides—juicy fruit and veggie elixirs versus thick, luscious purees—we prefer an equal opportunity approach. We like to juice, blend, and eat our vegetables and fruits—raw and cooked. This is about having more options, not less. The number one perk of choosing juice over blends: Nutrients are easily absorbed because the foods are virtually predigested; the resulting energetic uplift can have a supercharge effect.
Slow down. Take a breath. Chop carrots. Juicing is a kind of mindfulness training. The act of handling your food deliberately—washing it, cutting it, and watching it transform with a rush of flavor and aroma and a flood of color—has the power to stop your mind from racing and connect you to the present. Bring your awareness to the tangy, succulent tastes in your mouth as you drink, and you cannot help but grin. But consider it a food meditation of sorts.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the juice habit has a happifying effect—it floods contentment, as well as nutrition, through your veins. What happened, we find ourselves wondering on our commute or work break, to having the time to cook with joy and love? We say: It starts with the simple and short act of pulverizing a rainbow of colors, sprinkling in a hint of spice or a splash of citrus, and serving it joyously to yourself or someone you care about. For many people, juicing and blending is a doorway into a bigger lifestyle shift that includes eating consciously, shopping responsibly, and living in a more wakeful way to the natural world.
Welcome to the Juice Generation! The benefits of juicing have opened up doors to a sharper mind, a more powerful and explosive body, and an overall feeling of wellness. A few visits later, they get more curious, venture outside their comfort zones, and experiment with one of the sweeter green juices, like a watermelon-kale. They might get adventurous and add a shot of wheatgrass —a health elixir bursting with living energy—or green-blue algae full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids. And it explains why these days, our green drinks outsell fruitonly offerings by ten to one.
When it comes to getting started in your own kitchen, this unfolding can happen in the same way. There are a couple of other factors to consider as well. Learning to carve out extra time in your day, starting with simple and nonintimidating recipes, and keeping costs within your budget are equally important. The Green Curve addresses all these by guiding you at a comfortable gait from simple juicing and blending recipes to more sophisticated ones. A happy green habit that lasts is founded on a genuine love for the flavors, textures, colors, and possibilities of vibrant, plant-based ingredients, and is based on enjoying the process of combining them in exciting new ways.
The Green Curve helps you to develop this love by presenting sumptuous treats alongside the good-for-you drinks, and keeping you. The Green Curve is designed to ease you into consuming more of the leafy and dark green plants that pack such extraordinary health power. To us, green is an umbrella word describing all things vibrantly phytonutrient-filled—full of plant power. We use the term a little loosely: It involves all the foods that are actually green—from spinach and celery to kale, watercress, lettuce, and more—as well as ones that are all the other colors of the rainbow: from orange, yellow, and red to purple, blue, and brown.
Juice Smarts: The more intensely colored a fruit or vegetable is, the more chemically active antioxidants it usually contains. Go bright! This 3 x 3 formula helps you get accustomed to the recipes in each phase at a reasonable pace before moving on to the next level of complexity and flavor intensity. The goal throughout the Green Curve is also to start listening to your body and noticing how different types of things affect you and what you might naturally feel drawn to consume at different moments.
There are no hard and fast rules. Why can the initial sips of good-for-you drinks be challenging? If this is your experience, it is OK. It is because your palate has been hijacked! Consider that even the healthiest person is biologically conditioned to crave non-green flavors. And since those early days—through no fault of your own—that tendency has become more pronounced, as humans developed agriculture, grains, and the ability to produce dense, carbohydratefilled food.
The natural sweet tooth has gotten more exaggerated. By the way, if you think the primate diet sounds about right, consider that our chimp friends are always in active mode, swinging on branches, burning through carbohydrates at rapid speed, not perched all day in front of a computer screen, storing up carbs as fat. Our pleasure centers are also fired up by fatty, salty things, because we need fat as well as the right amounts of sodium to survive.
Now factor in how our taste buds have been taken on a wild ride over the last few decades. Big corporations have figured out how to exploit our natural palate by developing edible products that deliver artificially enhanced instant gratification to our neuro pleasure centers. The good news is that taste bud preferences can change and palates can transform.
Your palate literally expands. As the loud noise of artificially enhanced foods dies down, you gain a heightened awareness of the subtler yet delightful flavors naturally found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouts. Fresh veggies and fruits can seem pricier than their meaty counterparts, but USDA studies have found that, pound-for-pound, produce is actually less expensive than most protein-rich foods and processed foods.
One of the keys to mastering affordable juicing and blending is to seek out alternative places to buy in volume, and to be flexible according to seasonable availability. When your favorite summer vegetables are out-of-season and getting shipped in from afar, consider switching to a smoothie with frozen fruits. Buying your ingredients; washing and storing them; chopping and juicing or blending them; and inevitably, cleaning the juicer or blender afterward.
The time factor is why thousands of people bought juicers back in the 80s along with their roller blades , used them once. And also why the blending trend, with its speedy production and cleanup, is possibly outpacing juicing in its growth. The Green Curve will get you comfortable carving out a few extra minutes little by little—and not diving in to complex concoctions straight off the bat.
Get acquainted with the deep flavor of ripe strawberries and tomatoes harvested at their peak, and you might start to question the taste and the sustainability of midwinter versions flown in from afar. The goal of juicing is not to follow a protocol of a specific amount or schedule. The goal is to find what suits you and makes you feel good. When in doubt, remember less is more. Start with a glass of juice or a small smoothie, and try it out first thing in the morning if you can.
Make sure that you keep eating a healthy solid-food diet, even if you occasionally substitute a liquid meal for a plated meal. If you find you want to increase the number of liquid meals in your day, be sure to include lots of green, vegetablerich drinks, coconut waters, and nut milks, and keep fruits in check. Though the Green Curve is not a cleanse, some enhanced detoxification may occur, especially if you are also shifting off of irritating or toxifying foods. This could express itself as greater energy and better bowel movements, but also as temporary headaches and fatigue.
Many healers say that the three-month mark is when people begin to notice deep and lasting changes from true dietary improvement. Three months happens to be the lifespan of red blood cells, so perhaps putting vibrant foods into your body for that length of time, along with cutting out bad habits, is why 90 days is a marker for a substantial shift. So consider making your Green Curve journey three months of adventure and exploration!
Not at all. A couple of pieces of equipment—which you may already own—and some savvy shopping skills will get you started. If purchasing a juicer is too much of a leap at first, in Phase 1 you can begin with a blender and acquire a juicer later. There are two kinds of juicers for at-home juicing. Centrifugal juicers grind produce to a pulp and release the juice by spinning it through a serrated metal basket at an extremely high speed. Centrifugals tend to be cheaper and are considerably faster at their job. Heat will speed up the oxidation of the naturally occurring enzymes and nutrients in the produce that occurs when you chop and break down whole food.
Several years ago I started a personal juicing program, which has had a profound effect on maintaining high energy levels, clear skin, and fast-growing, healthy hair. For me, good looks are important. Frequent TV shows, magazine articles, and public appearances require that I look and feel good, and that my appearance personifies everything I write and talk about. My green juice regimen is simple. I put a random. My mix includes celery, cucumbers, mint, ginger, papaya, carrot, pear, spinach, and orange peel.
They can usually extract liquid from delicate plants like wheatgrass and sprouts, where most centrifugals cannot. They are typically more expensive to purchase; however, the benefits reveal themselves over time, when money is saved due to their efficiency with extraction.
And there are now some vertical masticating juicers that can fit neatly into a snug kitchen corner. The cons: They do juice more slowly, and almost always require that you cut your produce into smaller chunks. If every second counts in your morning, you may want to look for one of the good-quality, speedy centrifugals.
When shopping, keep in mind that cheap juicers tend to deliver less volume, and are less durable. Pass your pulp through a second time to extract every ounce of juice from your produce. Centrifugals usually produce more foam in the juice because they are more oxygenated. If foam bothers you, pour juice through a tea strainer and squish it through with a clean finger. A third at-home option is one of the new dualextraction juicers that crushes and presses produce at a low speed. Its proponents say it gets even more nutrients than a masticating juicer and does not aerate the produce at all.
Can I afford more upfront and save by getting more out of my produce down the line, or is my budget on the tighter side today? Bothersome cleanup will stop even an enthusiast in their tracks. Check online reviews on every machine to get real-people feedback. How efficient is the machine at extracting juice? Does it extract a good amount, especially from leaves? Does the pulp come out fairly dry meaning most of the juice is out or is it wet and goopy? How fast or slow does it work, and what are the purported effects on its nutritional quality? How long is the warranty on the juicer and its parts?
Will it fit on my kitchen counter and how does it look? That will get you started whipping up blended drinks. Medium-price blenders can do a better job with frozen produce and achieve a good consistency. The true joy of blending is revealed with high-speed blenders, like those by Vitamix, the grandfather of all blenders, and from its newer rival, Blendtec.
These expensive workhorses of the professional kitchen have become lusted-over items for amateurs because they are true heavy hitters. The consistency they achieve with blended drinks is remarkable think: as creamy as a milkshake ; they grind nuts and water beautifully into nut milks or instantly turn dry nuts into powder for your smoothie; and they liquidize things very quickly without wear and tear on the machine.
Some small, portable high-speed blenders now exist—often sold on late-night infomercials—that can be especially great for making smoothies at work or on the road. They may not stand up to long-term use in the kitchen like a full-size model, but they achieve surprisingly good consistency. Cutting boards for chopping produce. Bamboo boards are from sustainable resources, naturally antimicrobial, and cost effective. Keep it well sharpened but stored separately from your other kitchenware so as not to dull the blade.
Sharp paring knife for opening fruits with hard rinds, like pomegranates. Metal kitchen bowls for catching nut milk and coconut water. Nut milk bag, or cheesecloth plus a metal sieve, to make homemade nut milks. Mason jars or clean, recycled glass food jars. Biodegradable produce wash and biodegradable detergent. See for homemade produce wash recipes. Compost pail. Until that day comes, here are some ways to make the best choices.
Ask the vendors how. For many small-scale growers, organic certification is prohibitively costly, yet they still refrain from using chemicals either in fertilizing or pest reduction, and their prices are very fair. To find a market in your area, go to localharvest. Buy organic for the most pesticide-heavy foods whenever you can. See Clean Scene. Fruits with tougher skins like grapefruit, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, watermelons, and avocados will not contain as many pesticides and other chemicals, so these are less of an urgent concern. Be a bargain shopper. If you find a bumper crop of beautiful organic berries, peaches, cherries, or other soft fruits at a market at their seasonally lowest price, stock up, prep if necessary, and freeze in separate baggies for months of off-season smoothie-making.
Get involved with growing your own. A little digging around may produce surprising resources in your area for helping you to plant an edible garden at home, getting involved in farm volunteer programs, or enrolling your kids in a garden initiative at school. This trend is only going to grow and grow. Wax on, wax off: At the supermarket, check if conventionally grown apples and cucumbers are coated with wax this seals in their water and keeps them looking fresh during long travel times. Nix the produce that looks suspiciously shiny.
Apples Carrots Cherries, grapes.
Lettuces Pears Strawberries Bell peppers Celery Cucumbers Peaches, nectarines Spinach, kale, chard Collard greens Note: Frozen fruits have been grown in the same way as fresh fruits, so check if your local store carries organic frozen fruit at a price that works for you. Genetically Modified Organisms are foods that are grown from seeds created in a laboratory.
When food is a product of biotechnology instead of nature, its long-term effects on the body become questionable. Organic food cannot by law be GMO. There are only four vegetables and fruits grown from GMO seeds at present: some variations of zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, sweet corn, and papaya. The only one that may affect your juicing habit is GMO papaya from Hawaii. A 4-digit code is conventionally grown. A 5-digit code starting with a 9 signifies organic. Wash all produce well before using, swirling it well in your sink with your hands, and rinsing in fresh water.
Scrub root vegetables with a special scrubbing brush under cold water.
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And wash all citrus fruits before cutting. These tend to be made of food-grade cleansing agents. A little of this goes a long way: You can put some in a spray bottle of water and spritz it onto produce in the sink before rinsing well. Soak fragile berries and herbs in a very diluted solution of produce wash for a few minutes; then soak again in clean water.
Of course, produce wash cannot remove the pesticides inside the produce, so it does not make it organic. But it helps. Kitchen Wisdom: How to Get the Most from Your Precious Produce Harder produce like apples, carrots, cucumbers, and pears can be washed in advance, then air dried on a towel and stored. More delicate leafy produce presents a problem: any remaining moisture will quicken the wilt in the fridge.
Either salad-spin and leave to air dry extremely well before storing in the fridge, or wash as you need it. Keeping them whole until the last minute is preferred, but if chopping in advance helps you fit juicing into a busy day, go for it. Drying the produce very well after washing and before storing is key. Kick it up a notch by storing your refrigerated produce in produce-saver, BPA-free plastic bags that use a natural mineral to help retain freshness. They are reusable many times over if you take care of them.
Look for them in your health-food store. You can also invigorate wilting greens and herbs by storing them in jars of water in the fridge. These fruits do not need refrigeration until they soften or you slice into them: Apples Apricots Avocados Melons Nectarines Peaches Pears Persimmons Plums Do not refrigerate the following: Bananas they will blacken Chiles Garlic Mangos Pineapple Sweet potatoes Tomatoes Root vegetables like carrots and beets do well with refrigeration, but also store pretty well in cool, dark places outside of the fridge if you take the leaves off. Herbs like parsley and cilantro can be kept on the counter with their stems in a glass of water.
The best tip for saving juice for later is to put it in a jar that you can fill all the way to the top, so the juice touches the lid. Put it in the fridge, because exposure to sunlight will also cause oxidization. Smoothies typically endure a bit better in the fridge; again, store in an airtight container. Glass jars are better than plastic for storing juice as plastic is permeable to oxygen. The vast majority of juicers trash this colorful mix in the name of time and convenience. Not so fast! At Juice Generation, we compost every night and even put free pulp out for neighborhood gardeners, who come and fill baggies to take home to their plants.
Consider keeping your juice pulp out of the landfill: Use pulp in snack recipes. Juice pulp can be used to make flax crackers that are dehydrated in the oven on low or in a dehydrator. A quick search online will reveal recipes for dehydrator crackers, as well as muffins and carrot cakes that use juice pulp. Some juice blogs even post savory ideas like baked vegetable patties and throwing your pulp into vegetable stocks for soup. Compost it yourself: If you have a backyard, consider creating a compost pile in a corner for the. If you have a patio, a tumbler composter should fit easily and somewhat unobtrusively.
Just a few easy steps make a green drink even greener:. Turn the tap off! Fill up your sink once, wash all your produce, then drain and fill a second time to rinse well. When taking your drinks on the road, go for glass. Glass is free from harmful chemicals like BPA,. Salvaged glass food jars make excellent to-go cups or look for a glass water bottle. If you prefer a less breakable vessel, get an insulated stainless steel thermos. Next time you restock your under-sink supplies, try a natural cleaner for your countertops and. Before reaching for a new pack of paper towels, stop!
Chefs use washable kitchen towels in their kitchens—follow their lead and get a three-pack of cloths for cleanup and drying. Lay wet vegetables on clean cloths to let them air-dry thoroughly before storing. Ditch the plastic baggies and shrink wrap: Buying your fruits and vegetables loose by the pound. Try to resist gulping it down.
Then wait 20 minutes or so before eating anything solid. Vegetable juices also tend to give a more energizing effect when consumed on an empty stomach. If drinking them as part of a meal, pay attention to how your belly feels when food and juices combine. Give us five minutes of your morning; or maybe seven. Show up to your kitchen counter with your taste buds just the way they are and nothing but curiosity and a carrot—or ten—in hand. This phase is all about small and reasonable steps.
A blender will do at first if you prefer to ease in conservatively. Phase 1 is about simplicity and experimentation. This first phase of juicing will also have you liquefying fruits that are positively bursting with. And it offers a gentle introduction to the drinkable versions of two easy-to-find and nourishing leafy greens: kale and spinach. These foods offer a vast range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as well as providing powerful health benefits—from blood sugar regulation to detoxification to improving your cardiovascular and circulatory systems.
Phase 1 also breaks down the smoothie into its simplest components and shows you how to whip one up with a variety of options. These drinks skew a little on the sweet side. This is a deliberate tactic to lure your palate, not a longterm daily strategy. Try to replace a midmorning or midafternoon pick-me-up drink with a juice or blended, and see how it makes you feel. After enjoying it, ask yourself: Do I have more energy or alertness?
Do I still crave the caffeine top-up or energy drink? Could I do without it today? Use Phase 1 as a time to see how a fruit-and-veg boost can work for you. Bonus: Phase 1 introduces you to satisfying and energizing drinks made without dairy. Limiting pasteurized dairy products throughout your day—like lattes, yogurt, and cheese—can be one of the most effective things to help you feel clearer, lighter, and brighter. If this Trade-Out sounds deceptively simple, remember that in a world of rush-rush-rush and no-timeto-think, finding the time to stick something fresh in a juicer or blender is a little, sweet victory.
Hack That Juice! Two-in-one recipes make busy life a little easier. Carrots, strawberries, Granny Smith apples, and spinach for a touch of iron : It helps feed my soul and feed my cells and the carrots help me read the fine the print. You can have them at any time of day that works for you. Try to incorporate both juices and blended drinks into your routine; the idea is to get familiar with both. Juicing makes it a lot easier to eat all the fruits and vegetables I need. The ingredients I use are also good for skin and hair health, inflammation, and coping with stress.
Phase 1 introduces the essential ingredients of juicing.
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This achieves a balance in your cup. This is in-the-field training; if you get familiar with how much juice you tend to get from your produce, juicing becomes second nature. When adding ingredients to your juice or blended, think in terms of roughly packed cups, loose handfuls, or small pinches instead of exact measured ounces. Choose experimentation over precision.
And have fun! Not ready to splurge on a juicer yet? Try these combinations as blended drinks if your blender does a great job with hard produce, but add water or ice to make sure they blend. If your blender cannot handle hard produce, stick to the smoothies in this section the first week while you find a juicer that works for you, then start juicing in your second and third weeks.
You have to enjoy this to stick with it. In most recipes, the order of ingredients juiced is not written in stone. If using a centrifugal juicer, try rolling up your green leaves into cigar shapes to make them denser before pushing them through; follow with a harder vegetable or fruit. Beet juice has been found to lower blood pressure, purify the blood, and increase the production of glutathione, which helps the body eliminate environmental toxins.
Scrub them well under running water, chop, and juice. And keep the greens—you can juice them, too. These stalks have special essential oils—you can probably smell them right away—that help regulate the nervous system and are very calming. Celery supplies our cells with the soluble, live sodium they need to uptake nutrition and stay hydrated, which is why celery juice is a good rehydration drink for athletes.
Carrot juice is sometimes called the golden juice of healing—it cleanses and restores the liver. As a deep-soil root vegetable, carrots absorb an abundant array of minerals from the earth; they are especially rich in B vitamins and folate. They have a surprising dark side: Early varieties of carrot were mostly purple and black. Our modern orange carrot stems from a mutant source that lacked those pigments. When in a rush or in the mood for simplicity, carrot juice tastes terrific on its own. Celery, Carrot, Spinach 2 stalks celery 4 medium carrots 1 cup spinach Juice.
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Carrot, Orange, Kale 4 medium carrots 1 medium orange, peeled 1 cup kale Juice. Chop the tops: Too many carrot greens can trigger your skin to burn in sunlight. Put cucumbers in the juicer and watch the liquid flow—they are primarily made of water and deliver satisfying amounts of juice. Their outer skin is a superb source of silica, a mineral that helps our connective tissue stay strong —and improves the complexion and skin health.
But its neutral flavor makes it the perfect partner for almost everything else! ORANGE When juicing oranges, a juicer trumps a hand-held squeezer or citrus press because it puts the important nutrients from the pith into your drink. Wash and roughly peel your oranges, leaving as much white pith as possible on the fruit. If you can get organic watermelon and you wash it very well, juice part of the rind along with the flesh to get all the goodness. Always pick cukes that are medium-to-dark green, not yellowed or aged.
Use blood oranges when available to up the ante on flavor, color, and wow factor. But use a gentle hand—small amounts go a long way. The best way to spike your drink is to toss an inch-long knob into the juicer and judge how strong you like it. Look for firm, almost-hard ginger with unwrinkled skin. The thicker the skin, the stronger the flavor.
Combination Considerations: Some juicers people, not machines caution against combining fruits and vegetables in one drink, with the exceptions of green apples and carrots they almost always get a pass to mix freely. The thinking is that the two food groups break down in the stomach in different ways, and this creates gas, bloating, and discomfort. If you notice discomfort in your tummy, scale back to separate fruitbased drinks and vegetable-based drinks, with green apples and carrots available to both, and pay attention to the effect.
If separating the two groups works better for your digestion, follow that path moving forward. Green Apple, Ginger, Orange 1 medium green apple 1 inch fresh gingerroot, peeled 2 medium oranges, peeled Juice. When thrown into juices, they add an energizing zing, have an alkalinizing effect—despite being citrus fruits—and mask bitter flavors, which makes them perfect companions for darker and more bitter green vegetables.
Always have a stash of limes in your fruit bowl. If you overdo the darker greens like kale and get a too-bitter juice, another lime can help bring it back to balance. As you make your morning juice, sip on the lemon water and enjoy its uplifting effects. It floods your body with alkaline fluid, which is helpful as the body becomes more acidic overnight through digesting and detoxifying.
It dissolves mucus and helps to flush the liver, helps you absorb minerals better, and encourages the formation of bile in the gallbladder, which helps to break down fat. It also helps to stimulate the bowels to move in the morning. If you enjoy the taste, drink this simple mix throughout the day—warm or cool. Taken for granted as an everyday fruit, the humble apple is a shining star in raw juices, which showcase its popping flavor.
At Juice Generation, we get our apples from a historic New York State orchard that grows more than 30 different varieties, and we think exploring the spectrum of apple varietals is a journey in itself. Tart, green apples are the primary, low-sugar choice for mixing with vegetables to make green drinks; red varieties like Fujis have an irresistible, pear-like flavor for a sweeter drink.
And there are many, many more to try. A simple combo of one or two ingredients is enough. Try varying red and green apples to learn their flavors and sweet-tart effects. Tropical Lust Pineapple is high in bromelain, an enzyme that helps the body digest proteins and reduce inflammation. Eating—or drinking—fresh pineapple is not only a gustatory delight, it can help reduce swelling and pain from injuries.
Red Delicious Orange and carrot add depth and color to red apple juice plus another gift: a good dose of vitamin C and beta-carotene. Apple Zing Ginger adds a spicy kick while delivering anti-inflammatory benefits and soothing digestive distress like nausea. The juice from these palm-based berries does not have a shelf life outside the point of origin, but as a staple food of the Amazon Region it does have significant benefits when freshly produced. You Might Also Like Surviving the Holiday Season November 23, Reply Alan Skyrme March 28, at am What is sold outside of the Amazon Region as Acai is, as you say, more of an energetic smoothie.
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