Let’s Start Juicing!

Getting started with juicing can be an exciting adventure into nutritional delight; or it can be an nightmare of machinery and cleaning and resulting in yet another abandoned tool. Here’s what to look for in a juice machine, and other accessories that will make your juicing more pleasurable.

Have you been the later person or know someone who has? Or have you fallen in love with juicing and find it a remarkable way to get nutrition?

This may help you get started on the right foot. Whether you are juicing for therapeutic reasons such as fasting or for a specific health reason or you just want to be healthier, here are some things to look for in juicing:

First you really need a good juicer. It needs to be able to extract the juice and maintain the integrity of the nutrients. There are several types of machines on the market now. Basically there are four different methods of extracting the nutrients you want from fruits and vegetables.

The most common is the centrifugal-force juicer. This juicer cuts veggies into tiny pieces and spins them in a basket at a high speed. They are circular or cylinder in shape and spin the juice out by sheer force. The next method is “trituration” which operates by ripping or chewing up the veggies or fruit and forcing the pulp through a screen by the pressure of a rotating cutter. It has a ripping action to it instead of the centrifugal whipping action. It is supposed to tear open the cell membrane exposing nutrients and enzymes that might not be captured otherwise. Another juicing system is a twin gear masticator. The crushing action or mastication process is caused by the two gears folding inward into each other, squeezes and pushes the veggies against a sieve, squeezing out the juice. The motor runs at a slow speed and doesn’t heat up like the faster machines and is said to have less oxidation because it doesn’t have the high velocity blades ripping the veggies. This process is also good for juicing wheat grass. The fourth process is the worm gear juicer, similar to the old hand crank meat grinders; this is good for wheat grass and fruit juices. It comes in manual or motorized machines; the gentleness of this type of machine is good for fragile nutrients. Can you believe there is this much to consider when getting a juicer!

The other thing to look for is the durability of the machine, based on your planned use. Make sure you get a powerful motor. Look how it disposes the pulp, and is the machine easy to clean. Take apart the machine for cleaning purposes and see how it works. Some machines eject the pulp as you juice and allow you to juice more. Other non-ejectors collect the pulp in a spinning basket that would have to be emptied after two quarts or so. Space may also be an issue to you, some take up a lot of space too. All the machines can juice citrus fruits and some have special attachments for juicing just about anything. Ask yourself the most important question of all, will I use this if I buy it. Make sure it is convenient for you and fits your lifestyle, not to mention pocket book! Some are much more expensive than others are.

Other tools that you may want to invest in are as follows: a small grinder for nuts and seeds. This is great for sprinkling in to your drinks. I like to add flaxseed for plant based Omega-3. A blender is a great complement to the juicer to experience the wonderful sweetness of fruit smoothies’ etc.

If you are just setting up your kitchen you will need a cutting board, such as a white polyethylene plastic. These are easy to clean up after. Wood boards tend to split, mildew and warp easily. Glass measuring cup to measure how much juice you are getting from a single vegetable or fruit. It is important for you to get a handle on how much veggie juice you are mixing with another juice. For example beets have a very cleansing reaction, they are wonderful for the liver, however, must be limited in quantity. Where as carrot juice can be used for just about anything and people tends to drink an entire class of just carrot juice. They may cut it with a little celery or other juice but most of the drink will be the carrot. A kitchen scale can be helpful, but I think is optional, it is good when you first get started so you can have an idea of how much produce you are using for recipes. You can also weigh it at the store, if that is were you are getting your produce from. Yes, there are other places to get food, some people may belong to a food co-op where someone buys all the produce at a wholesale price and divides it among a group of people, or some may buy directly from a farmer. Sharp high quality knives for cutting veggies and fruits make sure you have a large carving type knife, a serrated knife and paring knives. Make sure they stay sharp for ease of cleaning and preparing your fruits and veggies. A salad spinner, colander and strainer are a must too. I like to strain my juice after putting it through the juicer. Vegetable brush or designate a new scrubber for cleaning fruits and veggies only. You also need some good quality storage containers that are air tight such as Tupperware makes, or Ziplock bags and now tubs that can be reused. Oxidation is the main issue in keeping your fruits and vegetables fresh and with nutrients intact, that is, keep them contained in an airtight environment. Finally, make certain all your tools are cleaned after you finish juicing.

Now you that you are set up for juicing you will need to buy produce, you will find yourself plowing through a lot. I like to buy all organic fruits and vegetables. Organic is pesticide free, which means you may find bugs and other things that all those chemicals try to kill off. You need to wash it thoroughly. If you wash it all before you start, and seal it completely, it will be easy to grab a little of this and that without it being a huge project every time you juice.

Organic is good for the soil because they rotate the crops, but also, you won’t get genetically altered (GMO) food. Also, most organic food is picked ripe and has more phytochemicals in them and I find that they are sweeter than non-organic food. Before eating organic I always thought that spinach was very bitter, until I tasted an almost sweetness to this commonly bitter plant! Apples and pears are so sweet, that in my opinion, it can’t compare to non-organic. Of course, some of this depends on where it was grown and the weather etc. More and more non-heath food stores are selling organic food, however, space is limited, so they may not even put it out for a few days until they have space, if you go to one of these stores talk to the produce manager. They may also be able to give you a better deal if you plan to buy in bulk.

If you are in an area that you cannot get organic food, make certain that you clean the produce with a mild, biodegradable, natural cleanser. You can find them in the produce section of most stores now. You may use all or part of a piece of produce, so clean the outside. Carrots for instance, do not peal, just wash the outside and juice.

Okay now you are ready to juice! There are just a few rules of digestion that you will want to follow. Do not mix fruits and veggies together! With only some exceptions like carrots and apples can be mixed in with other juices. Green juices can be cut with these or you may find temporary gastric discomfort if you don’t.

Vegetables are the builder foods, the build new tissue, muscles etc. Fruits are the bodies cleansers and energizers. To revitalize your body you need both. Most people can eat lots of fruits but rarely get the required amount of veggies our body needs. We need 5-9 servings preferable of each! Do you do that now? It is also good to eat fresh food, regularly. If you don’t eat food, then you are fasting, and this may only be done on a short-term basis.

You will probably start with the traditional fruits like Orange or Apple juices. Try adding ¼ a cup of carrot juices to your 8 ounces of orange juice. Or combine Orange and Pineapple juice together add a little lemon juice and you have a great little cleanser drink. Just have fun mixing and matching.

Now if you have read this entire article and said, I can’t do this at all. Or I know I need to juice but I think I will be doing it periodically, or on the weekends and at night then here is something for you too. The next best thing, I would suggest is a whole food supplement that I take and can provide for you through this Internet web site www.juiceplus.com. It is called Juice Plus+ and is fruits and vegetables in a capsule form. Unlike powdered fruits and veggies you can get at the health food store. This is backed with research for it effectiveness in not only getting into the system but working at the DNA level of building healthy cells. It has all the phytochemicals intact and enzymes too. Without enzymes we cannot digest the food we eat. Now you will still need to drink water through out the day, but you won’t have to carry your juicer.

But for all you juicing fans, there is nothing like the real thing in taste!