Smart Juicing Tips

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juicingJuicing is very popular right now. One of the reasons is that juicing is a simple and effective way to get your daily allotment of fruits and veggies, especially if you have trouble with this. Combine the fruits and vegetables with a greens powder, and you have an antioxidant-rich drink.

One of the fun aspects of juicing is that you can experiment with all sorts of food. The combinations are endless, as are the nutritional benefits. Here are some juicing tips to help you get the most nutritional value.

1. The right juicer:  Juicers can be a major investment. It helps to do some thorough research before deciding on your purchase. Good construction, juice quality, and the amount of juice you actually get are important considerations. Quality juicers extract as much as 25% more juice from fruits and vegetables than lower-end models. There are also some great blenders that can do double duty as juicers (but blenders do a different type of work because they use the whole fruit or vegetable, so the fiber and pulp remains in your “juice”).

2. The right ingredients: Although you may reach for fruit first, keep in mind that fruits tend to be higher in sugar and calories than vegetables. I recommend using mostly veggies, and balancing it out with a little fruit for sweetness. Add a little kick with ginger or cayenne. Both have anti-inflammatory properties and kick up the heat of your juice.

3. Leave the peel on: For many fruits and veggies, the peel can be left on after a good scrub (exceptions are oranges and bananas). This cuts down on prep time, and also adds more fiber and nutrients to the juice.

4. Alternate greens: If you are using greens, alternate putting them in the juicer with harder fruits or vegetables to keep the machine working more efficiently.

5. Boost your juice: If you want to make your juices more of a complete nutritional package, or are using them for a post-workout recharge, you can try mixing in protein powder such as hemp, rice, or whey. For best results, you may want to do this in a shaker cup or even a blender. You’ll have to experiment with different juice-protein combinations to see what tastes the best to you.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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July 2015
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