My boyfriend and I purchased a juicer for ourselves for Christmas, and we've spent the last month experimenting in the the kitchen with healthful juices. Not only is fresh juice super tasty it is loaded with bright green, orange and red energy from our favorite vegetables! According to the Mayo Clinic, juicing is beneficial because our bodies can better absorb nutrients and can, “reduce your risk of cancer, boost your immune system, help you remove toxins from your body, aid digestion, and help you lose weight.”  Juices can be enjoyed everyday or just occasionally, but always check with your health care practitioner before beginning a juicing regimen or a juice fast, as some juice may be counter-indicated for certain conditions.
There are lots of reasons to try fresh fruit and vegetable juice! Adding fresh juices into your diet can help boost nutrition and help you meet your quota for daily fruits and veggies. Juicing is like a multivitamin, but in natural, drinkable form. I find that fresh juice gives me a ton of natural energy (very helpful since I just decided to quit caffeine). It's not quite the same as drinking smoothies, but it's not better or worse– smoothies and juices offer different benefits. By removing the fiber from the plants, juicing allows the body to divert energy from digestion to cleansing, and the raw, live nutrients are absorbed quickly into the body. Smoothies, which contain all the natural fiber of the fruits and vegetables, slows digestion and can function as a small meal or snack. Some words of caution: as juicing removes the fiber from the fruits and vegetables, it allows the natural sugars to be absorbed rapidly into our system. Use fruits and sweet vegetables (carrots and beets) in small proportions to keep blood sugar balanced. Focus more on vegetable based juices rather than fruit based juices. Celery and cucumbers are my favorite, but tomatoes also red peppers are water-rich. And don't forget herbs like parsley, cilantro and wheatgrass, which will work if you have an auger juicer. My favorite greens are dandelion, spinach and kale.
There are lots of juicers on the market; we purchased an auger juicer, which is best for greens. Centrifugal juicers are quicker and easy to juice, but some reviews say that not as much nutrition is juiced out of the individual fruits and juices. But, the auger juicers are more expensive. We're super happy with our Omega juicer, but the downside is the small feed tube (I have to cut all vegetables before juicing). Otherwise, it's easy to use and easy to clean. I timed myself a few weeks ago: it took just 15 minutes to wash, slice and juice my veggies and then clean up. Everyone can find 15 minutes each day to boost their health!
Here are my favorite green juice recipes, featuring mostly vegetables and just a bit of fruit to sweeten it up! Also, start simple: try mixing just one or two types of produce. I find that if I try to mix all the veggies in the fridge then I end up with an odd-tasting and odd-colored juice that is not as lovable. Read more insight and helpful juicing tips here on Foodbabe. Hope you like these new recipes here!
Dandelion Orange Juice
A few dandelion greens
1 medium-sized orange, skin removed
1 lemon, skin removed
- Wash and trim ends from greens. Juice all produce, alternating between greens and citrus. Enjoy immediately. Makes two small servings.
Spicy Green Juice
4 stalks celery
1 green apple
Two big handfuls parsley
1-inch piece ginger
- Juice all produce, alternating between celery and other produce. Stir to combine. Enjoy immediately. Makes two small servings.