I have finally bought myself a juicer! Yes I know I am terrifically late, but the main cause of my almighty dithering was purely down to shopping. Yuk. I really do hate shopping and after reading hundreds of different reviews and searching every juicer under the sun online (£400 will get you the best at-home-juicer. Yes, £400!) Bearing in mind the spinach and kale bill steadily mounting up (In line with my nutritional aptitude of course), I’m glad I wasn’t persuaded to go for this option just yet. In the end, last Sunday morning, I packed the family into the car and we went juicer shopping. I just needed to go out, pick one and buy it. In the end I went for a simple Philips centrifugal model, which is compact, smart and easy to clean. Yes its pretty loud and the pulp isn’t as dry as it could be, but hey, its a juicer and so far, it’s great!
Who knew that the hardest part about juicing was getting set up in the first place?
So why juice? This was another major factor in my procrastination over juicing – I have a good diet which includes plenty of vegetables, so why do I need to juice them too? Well the reality is that we are just not eating enough of the stuff and certainly not enough of the really special stuff. Dark green leafy vegetables are nutritional superheroes packed full of vitamins, minerals and those all important phytonutrients which are associated with protection against the big four: cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. They are also rich in chlorophyll, which alkalises the blood. When was the last time you ate half a bag of raw kale? That is what you get from juicing – all the goodness of the veg minus only the fibre, which you replace by either hiding some of that pulp in your meals (yup!) or if your not that brave, just ensure that the rest of your diet includes plenty proper sources of fibre like legumes, wholegrains and fresh fruit and vegetables. For me, my frothy fresh green juice has become a daily, ‘extra’ which I take first thing in the morning. It is by no means a meal replacement or part of any fad diet to lose weight. This is just about balancing my body and filling it with the goodness it needs to be of optimum health. Do ensure you are prepared to sit down for a moment or two after your first cup, to savour the moment yes, but also to steady the legs – I felt an extraordinary high after drinking mine!
A couple of tips to get you started:
1. This form of ‘juicing’ refers to the extraction of nutritional goodness from beneficial, largely dark leafy greens – not that thick, sweet, fruit smoothie shake you’ve been blending (Although those are of course awesome as a treat!)
2. SOURCE YOUR GREENS RESPONSIBLY! I cannot emphasise enough, how important it is that you use homegrown, local or organic produce in your diet – particularly in your juice which is super concentrated. Go find that farm shop!
3. Kit yourself out! Blenders and food processors are great but do try to pick up a juicer, there are brilliant options available for all budgets. It doesn’t have to be professional standard – a simple model will get you started and won’t blow the budget.
4. Drink your juice right away. Unless you have a really expensive piece of kit, the juice produced from most at-home juicers needs to be consumed within 30 minutes before it starts to spoil.
5. Have fun with it! Try swapping in different fruit and vegetables to enhance the taste and nutrition of your juice. You will find an apple in most green juice recipes – why not try swapping for a pear? Remember, don’t overdo it with the sweet fruits – its all about the greens!
6. Top tip from my lovely local farm shop owner; soak your greens first to hydrate them which will not only flush out those pesky minibeasts (Caterpillar, anyone?) but will optimise the amount of juice you are able to extract.
My fave green juice recipe so far:
- About six kale leaves, soaked
- A large handful of spinach leaves
- 1/3 cucumber
- One medium size carrot, whole
- One apple, whole
- 1/2 a lemon, peeled
- A 1 inch (or less!) chunk of ginger, peeled
- A handful of mint leaves (Or any other flavoursome fresh herb!)
Start by juicing the greens, lemon and the ginger and then finish by pushing in the cucumber, carrot and apple. Give it a stir and pour into a clean glass to enjoy immediately!
So have I convinced you? Are you rushing out the door as we speak on a juice-kit pilgrimage? Or are you a pro with recipes to share? Please do 🙂