Almost every single article about health, wellness and disease prevention suggests that we should eat 7-8 servings of vegetables and fruits every.single.day. Now I don’t know about you, but for me that’s hard. We had a challenge at work about 5 years ago where we had to tally how many servings of veggies we eat every day and I gotta admit that at first my tally was incredibly pathetic. That is until I started juicing in the morning. Besides the health benefits of juicing, I found my morning juice to be quite yummy, and a great kickstart to increasing my plant-based in-take for the rest of the day.
So why juice instead of just eating a big ol’ salad?
I’m not saying that you should exclude salads or even smoothies but juicing is such a great way to get lots of nutrients into your body without eating a monster sized meal of leafy greens. When you drink juice, highly concentrated vitamins, minerals and enzymes rapidly enter your bloodstream which allows you to absorb all of the nutritional benefits of the fruits and vegetables.
The benefits of juicing can include (source):
- Weight Loss
- Boosting Immunity
- Better Digestion
- Sleep Better
- Better Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Health
- Juicing is a great way to squeeze fruits and vegetables into your diet if you typically don’t like them.
- When making juice, you can add fruits and vegetables that are about to spoil. That way, you don’t waste produce (the food we waste the most money on each year).
- There are certain nutrients that whole produce will give you that you can’t get from the juice, including fiber. The skin and the pulp of fruits and veggies are where the fiber and most of the vitamins and minerals are housed, and if you discard these parts, you’re throwing out the most beneficial portions of the produce.
- Juicers are expensive. They can range in cost from $50 to as much as $400. That’s a lot of money to spend on one piece of kitchen equipment, especially when it serves only one purpose. A blender, on the other hand, can be used for a variety of foods but costs much less.
So how can you juice if you don’t own a juicer?
Easy – you can whole juice with a blender, I prefer to use my Blendtec Blender. All you need is a blender, a bowl and a fine mesh strainer, and you’re well on your way to having fresh, custom-made juice in your fridge at a fraction of the cost. The nice part of whole juicing is that you get the added benefit of fiber. Whole juice also keeps you feeling full longer! When juicing, the machine extracts the juice (this is the water and most of the nutrients the produce contains), leaving behind the pulp. When blending, there is no left-over pulp. Blenders pulverize the whole produce to make a whole juice. You may need to add water if your juice becomes too thick. You’ll want to remove seeds and rinds, and some skins.
Here’s one of my new favourite juice recipes:
- 1/4 cucumber
- 1/8 small Honeydew melon
- Small bunch of seedless white grapes
- 1 kiwi fruit (without skin)
- Large handful of spinach
- Small sprig of mint
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup of water
- Cut the cucumber in slices. Cut the honeydew, and remove the rind. remove the skin from the kiwi. Throw all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Drink immediately.
What’s your favourite juice recipe?