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JUICING FOR HEALTH



 

November 5, 2010 on 6:45 pm
organic fruit and vegetables
Image by val’sphotos via Flickr

The joy of juicing is not just about nourishing and cleansing your body. While the health benefits may be what initially lead you toward a lifestyle of juicing, the concepts of getting the most from your food, helping the environment, and never wasting a dollar are also very important to many people who live this lifestyle.

Purchasing a juicer that squeezes every last dollar of nutrient-rich juice out of every piece of produce juiced is important to getting the most out of your food, but knowing what to throw away and what to keep can help you stretch your food even further.

This is why everyone who brings juicing into their life needs to understand the following concepts:

* How to use the pulp for more than just a trash can contribution.
* Understanding which fruits and vegetables should be peeled prior to juicing.
* Knowing which fruits and vegetables have potentially dangerous seed and which seeds are highly nutritious.

Recycling the Pulp

A good juicer machine will produce very dry pulp because it will squeeze the maximum amount of goodness out of the fruit or vegetables so more of it makes it into the juice. While this dry pulp is the sign of a high powered, highly functional juicing machine, that dry pulp is not worthless. It still contains a lot of the fiber our body needs as well as some enzymes, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

The pulp that remains after a round of juicing can be used in the batter of many baked goods. Think of adding fruit pulp into the batter for a fruit flavored cake or perhaps muffins, for instance. This will give them a bit of flavor, especially if you are baking whole grain or bran muffins that could use some lightening up and extra flavor.

You may also consider using the pulp from your juicer in compost for the garden or perhaps as food for animals that love fruit and vegetables. Try making homemade dog biscuits.

You may find yourself creating different combinations of fruit and vegetable juice with these other purposes in mind. For instance, when creating a fruit juice for the morning meal you may choose flavors that will taste delicious in muffins to be baked for snack time later on.

You can even use your pulp to create homemade sauces from a variety of different fruits. These sauces can be drizzled over baked goods or perhaps placed inside crepes and other delicious treats.

Not only will you be getting the most out of every drop of food and saving money and time, but you will be adding more nutrients and added fiber into the food that nourishes your body and that of your family.

Know When to Peel

Understanding which foods need to be peeled and which ones are best juiced with the peel on is a big issue for those just starting out in a juicing lifestyle. For starters, try to get a hold of organic fruits and vegetables that have not been sprayed with pesticides or treated with unnatural fertilizers during the growth and harvesting process. When you are using produce that is not organic you should consider peeling everything to get rid of trace of these chemicals.

Of course, you can also use non-organic fruits and vegetables and really scrub the peels down hard prior to use. This will at least minimize the unnatural chemicals that are consumed through the juice. In some cases it may be enough to eliminate the toxic elements of fertilizers and pesticides.
You want to keep the peel on your fruits and vegetables as often as possible because that is where the majority of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals are located. When you strip the peel you are giving up many of the heath benefits that would otherwise be enjoyed.

If you don’t like the taste of particular peels then you may want to strip about half of it off, leaving the rest since it will be masked with the blend of other fruits and vegetables combined in your juicer.

Getting the Most from Your Seed

The final consideration regards the seed that naturally grows in the center of many fruits and vegetables. When dealing with soft, tiny seeds such as those incorporated in tomato you will of course just juice them up with your vegetable and fruit. They will just add some extra nutrition to the final product.

Yet, there are some seeds which many people believe are unsafe for consumption. That would include apple seeds, which contain natural cyanide. There is hot debate over apple seeds with some people claiming they are perfectly safe to juice while others claim they are unsafe. And of course you have peach seeds, obviously you don’t want to eat these and mess up your blender or juicer.

Another fruit of concern is the pomegranate, due to the huge number of seeds inside each piece of fruit. Most people will juice these seeds and eat the seeds while enjoying the fruit fresh. They are a bit tough to chew up but contain the majority of the antioxidants that make the fruit so beneficial to your health.

Remember, juicing is about more than just nourishing your body and cleansing your system of potential toxins. When you make use of every string of pulp, every slice of peel and every little seed you can save money and infuse all of your meals with nutrients you would otherwise toss in the trash can!

June 4, 2010 on 9:42 pm

vegetable juicerDrinking fresh vegetable juice every day can be a great way to get more healthy vitamins into your diet.

When you’re able to make juice yourself at home at any time, you’ll never be without its healthful benefits.

Whether you already have a vegetable juicer, or are simply in the market for one, you’ll want to keep a list of your favorite recipes

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Cucumber – Cucumbers are high in Vitamin K, and also contain Vitamins A and C.


Cucumber Juice Idea
:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 apples
  • Small piece of peeled ginger.

Ginger is believed to aid in digestion and may also act to relieve pain for some people.

 

Kale – Kale is a surprisingly healthy green leafy vegetable, very high in Vitamins A, C and K, and also contain respectable amounts of protein, Vitamin B6 and manganese.

Kale Juice Idea:

  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 apple
  • ½ cup parsley (optional)

 

You may find that you want to increase or decrease the amount of apple in the recipe, depending on whether you prefer it sweeter, or more “vegetable-tasting.”

 

Carrots Carrots are exceptionally high in Vitamin A. (Just a single carrot has over 400% of the RDA for Vitamin A). They also contain a fair amount of potassium and Vitamin B6.

Carrot Juice Idea:

Carrots are perhaps the most versatile juicing vegetable there are. Carrots can be juiced together with fruits (carrots and oranges are great together), fruit or herb accents (plain carrot juice with just a little lemon juice, mint, or cayenne pepper are quite tasty) or any hearty green leafy vegetables. Experiment and find what works best for you!

 

CeleryCelery is high in Vitamin K, and also a good source of Vitamin B9 (Folate), Vitamin A and potassium. Celery is very low in calories, so it would be a good choice for someone who plans on drinking a lot of freshly made vegetable juice, but who is particularly concerned about their caloric intake.

Celery Juice Idea:

  • 3 sticks celery
  • 1 pear
  • 1 small piece of ginger

 

Again we have ginger supplementing the nutritional benefits of the juice. This particular recipe, in addition to the vitamin and mineral benefits (and the fiber from the pear), is thought to

 

Spinach – Spinach is one of those foods that people know is good for them, but that they probably don’t eat very often (or ever). Once you find a spinach recipe that you particularly enjoy, keep it handy so that you can make the juice often.

Spinach Juice Idea:

  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 apple
  • ½ lemon

Be sure to use large leaf spinach for your juicing recipes, and not baby spinach. Not only is it generally less expensive, it also yields more juice than baby spinach.

 

The best piece of advice is simply that you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with different amounts of different vegetables in your juice recipes. You might come up with a recipe that you want to make every day!

Fruit & Vegetable Juicers