While the thought of sipping on a cold glass of nutritionally rich and vitamin-dense fresh juice sounds incredibly enticing, especially with the summer months rapidly approaching, prior to diving head first into the juicing world, one should take a few considerations into account.
As a newbie juicer who plans to get on board as things heat up in the coming weeks, I’ve compiled the following tidbits I plan on abiding by. These beginner tips and preliminary considerations will hopefully offer some assistance to anyone looking to dabble in the fresh juice world.
Granted it comes as a given, before beginning juicing, you will need a juicing device. Justjuice.org offers a look at the different types of juicing devices available, including how they measure up in the juicing world.
Although juice purists may not agree, for a smoothie enthusiast (like myself) who already has a high-powered blender at home and wants to do some test runs before deciding if an investment in a juicer is the way to go, it should be noted that this device can in fact be used to blend, then strain, resulting in a smooth juice.
Choosing Fruits & Veggies Wisely
While whole fruit in certain doses is beneficial to one’s health, in juicing, fruit consumption should be moderated. Since you are largely increasing the amount of fruit consumed, you may end up packing high amounts of fructose without even realizing, shifting the effects of juicing from positive to potentially negative. In order to reap the health benefits of juicing, the focus should be vegetables, with low doses of fruit included in the mix. Think one apple as opposed to ten oranges. Diversify your juicing recipes to include a root vegetable, a watery vegetable, and a leafy green in order to balance both consistency and flavor.
Keep in mind, juicing should not be replacing the whole vegetables you are eating on a regular basis. Although some may opt for a short term juice fast, juicing as a routine practice should be used to supplement your vegetable intake, opposed to acting as a long-term replacement.
When it comes to freshly made juice, ideally one should drink said juice immediately after juicing, since the nutritional value declines once the juice sits, exposed to elements. That said, if you are unable to do so or due to time constraints find yourself desperately needing to prepare in bulk and store some for later, consider the following tips to keep your juice safe for consumption and lower the level of degradation that has the potential to occur when left sitting.
- Aim for Airtight. To avoid oxidation, juice should be stored in an airtight container. Avoid plastic and lean toward a glass jar or stainless steel vessel.
- Consider Tools and Ingredients. The duration your juice will keep is determined to some degree by the equipment that you are using. Juicers running at lower RPMs could produce juice that can last up to a full day, depending on storage and taking into account your selected ingredients, whereas for higher RPM juicers, the amount of time your juice is drinkable is reduced. When it comes to the ingredients, some fruits and veggies turn brown quickly while others, such as those of the citrus variety, can hold up a bit longer.
- Keep Cool. Starting out with cold produce ensures your finished juice is cold. Place your airtight vessel of juice in the refrigerator and don’t take it back out until you are ready to drink. Freeze if you are unable to drink within the recommend time frame. If you do freeze, aim for juice cubes (in an ice tray), or consider juice pops for a fun twist.
Ready, Set, Juice!
Here are five recipes to help you get started with fruit and vegetable juicing. For more insider tips on juicing, check out justjuice.org.
If you are already a smoothie fanatic and find yourself sitting on the fence when it comes to giving juicing a go, check out this side-by-side look at juicing vs. smoothies.
Image source: Bertholf / Flickr