Spring is in the air, which means that it's time to start thinking about shedding that cozy winter wardrobe in exchange for shorts, dresses and swimwear! In an effort to get myself "spring & summer ready," I am overhauling my diet. At a high level, my personal overhaul consists of the following:
- Upping- Natural Vitamins, hydration and fresh ingredients
- Reducing- processed foods, simple carbs and sugar consumption
One thing that fits perfectly into this overhaul is daily juicing. I have been a fan of juicing for a few years now. I think it's a great way to incorporate an array of vitamins and minerals from natural sources into your diet. In addition, it is significantly cheaper than buying pre-made pressed juices and can be customized to suit your palette and/or dietary needs.
For today's post I have decided to compile a list of my best tips for every aspect of juicing at home. It really doesn't have to be as involved as the reputation may suggest. Simple adjustments can make juicing a seamless addition to your everyday menu and who doesn't love an extra dose of healthy in their day?!?
Produce for Juicing
Juicing primarily veggies and using fruits sparingly will keep the caloric and sugar content down to a reasonable amount. Here is a breakdown of the produce I like to use when juicing:
- Kale (washed with spines removed)
- Celery + Leaves
- Beets (Red or Yellow)
- Carrots (sweetener)
- Green Apple (1/4-1/2 MAX to sweeten)
- Lemon (1/2-1 whole)
- Fresh Ginger (1" piece peeled)
Flavor Enhancers & Color
I drink extracted juices for their nutritional value, so taste and color are never the priority for me. HOWEVER, if aesthetics and taste are important to you, here are a few things to consider:
- Carrots and Red Beets will turn your green juice into the ugliest and most unappetizing color of brown. For this post, I opted to exclude both beets and carrots from the juice pictured at the top, but usually I include both in my drink.
- A slice of green apple, lemon and/or piece of fresh ginger can do wonders for the taste of your juice
- Coconut water is also a great addition if desired due to its hydrating benefits.
I have the Breville Juice Fountain Plus Juicer and absolutely love it. While it may not be the fanciest juicer on the market, it does exactly what I need it to do so I am a beyond happy customer.
When it comes to cleaning my juicer, I used to take the time to wash each piece by hand (which was slightly insane because it took FOREVER). After conducting a bit of research and spending enough time juicing, I realized that there were a few ways that I could cut down on the total cleaning time I spent daily on my juicer:
- With the exception of the motor base, all pieces of my juicer are dishwasher safe (top rack). I still hand wash the blade each time to insure it stays super sharp, but technically it too is dishwasher safe.
- Before juicing, I line the pulp container with a small trash bag. This makes for easy disposal of the waste post juicing and keeps the container clean. You can also use these Breville Compostable Bags.
- Get all of your produced cleaned and prepped at the the beginning of the week. This will help to cut down on morning prep time. I like to store my cleaned and prepped produce in ziploc bags so that I can label and date them.
- Do Not- bulk juice ahead of time. The most you should juice in advance is 2hr prior to consumption. Reason being, nutritional value is at its peak when freshly cut or juiced. In addition, the risk for bacteria developing in your juice increases the longer it sits.
- Do - run the pulp through the juicer a second time to ensure all juice is extracted. You will be amazed at the amount of juice that is extracted during the second time through the machine.
- All parts on my Breville Juicer are replaceable, which is fabulous because who wants to buy an entirely new juicer simply because a single piece is faulty/broken.
- Pulp can make for great compost and depending on what produce you're using, it can even be mixed into a veggie burger recipe (or similar).
- For a few great recipe ideas: Visit this Williams-Sonoma Page and this Video from Giada De Laurentiis