Juicing is a quick and delicious way to get the recommended daily dose of fruits and vegetables—and it’s not just a health-food trend. Juicing has caught on in the culinary world, with juice bars popping up in cities across the country, and pre-packaged options available at many major food retailers.
But it can be easy, fun and more economical to make your own juice at home. Plus, you can get creative and experiment with different ingredient pairings and combinations. From set up to clean up, here are a few tips on how to juice that will help keep the process simple and stress-free.
When choosing a juicer to purchase, consider the type of juice you’ll be making most often as well as the amount of space in your kitchen.
If orange juice, lemonade and other citrus-based beverages are your preference, invest in a citrus press instead. They’re smaller — taking up less counter space — and many have citrus-specific fruits such as pulp control.
For a wider variety of fruits and vegetables, opt for a centrifugal juicer, which uses metal teeth, a centrifugal motion and a filter to separate pulp, skin and other elements from the liquid to create smooth, super-fresh juice. Many centrifugal juicers can handle whole produce, meaning there’s no cutting board required.
Whole-fruit juicing reaps health benefits from every part of the produce in a thicker, more filling, smoothie-like beverage. For a fully mixed smoothie that’s super-smooth, look for a powerful blender. This multi-purpose appliance is ideal for the home chef, as it goes beyond juice and can be used for a wide range of recipes, such as soups, butters, sauces and more.
Pro tip: Keep clean-up in mind when selecting a juicer. Washing requirements can vary, though most modern juicers are designed for quick and easy cleaning. Some are dishwasher-safe, provided it’s placed on the top rack, while others require washing by hand.
Easy does it:
To help incorporate juicing seamlessly into your daily routine, prepare as much as possible beforehand. Cut up fruits and vegetables in advance, and place pre-measured combinations into bags or containers and store in the freezer so they’ll be ready to put right in to the machine. (If you’re whole-fruit juicing, storing produce in the freezer also means you won’t have to add any ice to the mixture.) Also measure out yogurt, juices and other mix-ins. While learning how to juice, remember that a little prep equals a lot of time saved—which can make all the difference on a busy morning.
A well-made juice requires a worthy vessel, as it will likely be consumed on the way to work, school, sports practice or other event. Find one that fits your needs, whether it’s keeping the drink cold, fitting in the car cup holder, showcasing your personal style, or all of the above. Because knowing how to juice means you can fill your to-go cup with a healthy concoction, instead of that third cup of coffee.
Ready to Juice?
Feed leaves and herbs into the juicer with more solid/juicy ingredients—such as celery, apple and cucumber. This helps to extract the most juice possible from the leaves and herbs.
Play with different varietals of apples. They really change the tone of the juice. A Granny Smith is going to be very low gylcemic and tart, bringing a brightness to your juice, while a red delicious is going to be sweet and earthy.
Go to your local farmers’ markets and have fun shopping. You can juice just about anything—even potatoes. Everything has a unique flavor and medicinal quality.
Organic is best
It’s so beneficial to use 100% organic ingredients when juicing and to stay with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Not only is this better for your body, it’s also better for our world.
Don’t get rid of the rind
Lemon and lime rind bring more of the fruit’s essential flavor to juice as well as additional health benefits.
Think outside the juice glass
Get inspired by favorite dishes, salads and desserts and see if you can capture those flavors in a juice.
The greener the better
Greens are so good for the body and mind. If you don’t do straight-up green juice yet, try tempering a green juice by adding apples, lemon and ginger.
Let the party begin
Juice is great for you health, and it can also be great for entertaining. Consider fresh juice cocktails on the spot for your next party. Just prep your ingredients and have the juicer set up and ready to go.
Ripe is right
Make sure your fruits and veggies are ripe. If it doesn’t taste good to bite, it won’t taste good to juice.
Replace a morning or afternoon coffee with a juice. It may seem counter-intuitive at first, but watch the miracles unfold—glowing skin, a clear mood, better digestion, alkalinity and weight loss.