May 2, 2017
Benefits of Juicing – and Juicing Tips
Although juicing fruits and vegetables isn’t a replacement for eating them whole, there are numerous benefits of making and drinking your own juice – and here are just a few of them. First, you don’t know how long a bottle of juice has been sitting on a grocery store shelf but, when you make your own juice, you know that it’s ultra-fresh.
Plus, if you look at the list of ingredients on bottled juice labels, you’ll often see added sugar. It’s much healthier, though, to use farm fresh produce that tastes naturally sweet and skip the additives. And you may also find ingredients listed on the labels that are nearly impossible to pronounce, much less understand. When you do your own juicing, though, you know exactly what you’re drinking.
Here’s another benefit of juicing. “You’d be hard pressed,” reads an article in Fitness Magazine, “to eat three carrots and half a bag of spinach in one sitting, but you can easily squeeze that much into a juicer.” The article also points out that about 70 percent of females have a hard time eating four to four and a half cups of produce a day (the USDA quota) but juicing makes that much easier.
Here’s yet another benefit discussed in the article. You might not eat veggies at breakfast, but you probably would if it was in a delicious and nutritious juice. And, when you start your day in a healthy way, it’s just human nature to be more likely to continue your day in that mindset.
Chef Matt Ward from the Culinary Vegetable Institute lists fruits and vegetables that he enjoys using when juicing. They include beets, carrots, greens, cucumbers, apples, pears and citrus fruits. “When you use greens,” he says, “remember that you don’t get as much juice from them as you might expect, so make sure you have enough.”
He also likes using kale in his juices, calling it “much heartier than spinach” and encouraging people to juice the stems, as well. Although he likes using berries, you need to use quite a few to make a berry juice, so he likes to use them to flavor juices with other ingredients. He also likes to flavor juices with ginger.
Because commercial juicers operate quickly, Matt says you can end up with a lot of pulp, a result you may not want. One solution is to run the pulp through the juicer again, to get more juice. Or, the solution that he prefers is using a cold press juicer that operates more slowly; these are often available in specialty home stores.
Here’s another tip. Cut your produce into smaller chunks before juicing. “If you’ve ever tried shoving a whole beet into a juicer, “Matt says, “you’ll know exactly what I mean.”
On the morning that we talked about juicing with Matt, he’d already made his first juice – out of asparagus, a favorite vegetable of Matt’s, of Farmer Lee Jones and of many others of us at The Chef’s Garden, especially now when fresh asparagus is being harvested daily. Not what you might expect, though, right?
That leads us into our final juicing tip. Choose the best fresh produce that you can, produce that’s nutritious and bursting with flavor, and then be creative!