One of my goals for June is to do more juicing. I bought a juicer a few years ago, and for a while I would juice religiously every weekend. I loved juicing and it was great fun coming up with different flavour combinations.
As the weather got cooler I fell out of the habit and never got back into it again once the spring arrived. Until now that is!
I am a fan of juicing, but I do think there are some distinct pros and cons that come with it.
Cleaning the juicer can be a right pain in the back side. I think that is really what has put me off getting back into juicing for so long!
It can also be expensive. You need to use a fair amount of fruit and veggies to get one glass of juice, and if you don’t make use of the pulp by making crackers or adding to a compost maker, then it can feel a bit wasteful.
When you juice fruit and vegetables you are removing the fibre from them (the pulp left in the juicer at the end). What you are left with is pure carbohydrate and water (plus a whole lot of vitamins, minerals and enzymes of course!). If you make your juice with a high amount of fruit or root vegetables such as carrots and beetroot, then this can amount to quite a lot of ‘sugar’. Of course these are all natural ‘good for you’ sugars, but if you have any blood sugar regulation issues, then drinking a lot of juice may not be best for you. Eating fruit and vegetables whole tends to avoid this issue as the fibre slows the release of the natural sugars into the blood stream.
But what about all the good points?
When you juice your body can assimilate a huge amount of phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll and enzymes than if you were eating whole fruit and vegetables. For example, you can make a tall glass of juice with 1 whole cucumber, head of celery and 2 apples – eating that much would be a challenge!
Juicing can also give your digestion a rest. When you eat whole fruit and vegetables with the fibre in tact, it is harder for your body to digest than just drinking the juice straight up. This is why many people will ‘cleanse’ or ‘detox’ with juices. Some people believe that when your stomach isn’t digesting solid food, this means that the excess energy can be used elsewhere in the body for healing and repair.
They taste amazing! There’s nothing like the taste of a clean fresh juice on a warm day.
How I intend to approach juicing
Kris Carr (you can find one of my green smoothie recipes in her Crazy Sexy Juices & Succulent Smoothies e book!) suggests going for a 3:1 ratio of veggies to fruit so that you don’t end up over loading on the sugar as I mention above.
In the past I have made a ‘hard core’ green juice which just included cucumber, celery, lemon juice and ginger root. It was pretty ‘green’ tasting I can tell you! But as it was almost pure vegetables, it was kinder to my sugar levels.
For a no fail tasty juice, I would go for a mix of 1 apple, several stalks of celery, 1 whole cucumber and a handful of spinach. This makes a pleasantly sweet green juice.
You can also add coconut water to your juice to give it some natural sweetness.
Juices will never quite replace green smoothies for me, but they are fun to have in the warm weather and when you need that dose of pure goodness in your body!
Have you tried juicing before? What is your favourite juice combination?