Juicing is the process of extracting the liquids from fresh produce. In the process, the pulp (soluble fibre) is separated from the liquid, that contains most of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants naturally present in the whole fruit or vegetable.
What is the difference between juicing and blending? Juice is made with a juicer. The pulp is extracted from produce to yield a nutrient dense juice. The pulp is discarded. Smoothies are made with a blender. Think milkshake. In a smoothie the pulp is retained which yields a larger content. Its perfect as a breakfast and is a good source of fibre. It could serve as a meal.
Benefits of juicing?
Juicing is a convenient way to increase your nutrient intake from fruits and vegetables that you wouldn’t otherwise consume. Juicing can be a method for cleansing or detox when solid food is eliminated and only juice is consumed as a way to cleanse your body of toxins.
Can juice replace a meal?
Vegetable juice is not a complete food. It has no fat or protein. It really should be used in addition to your regular meals and not instead of them. To balance your juice add protein and good fats such as whey protein, nut milk, avocados, Greek yogurt and nut butter.
Juicing removes the pulp from the juice. Your body needs the insoluble fibre from the pulp to help move food through your digestive system, where nutrients get absorbed along the way. Juice does however contain soluble fibre like gums, pectins, psyllium. Soluble fiber blends with water in the gut, forming a gel-like substance that can reduce blood sugar spikes and absorb cholesterol.
Unless you are undergoing some special fasting or detoxification program, I would not recommend juicing as a meal replacement.
There are different methods of extracting juice, from hand operated items to more commonly used motor driven equipment.
- Centrifugal juicers: these grind fruits and vegetables into pulp through a high-speed spinning action.
- Cold-press juicers: these crush and press fruits and vegetables slowly to get as much juice as possible.
I have invested in a Oscar cold press juicer. Its a versatile machine that can also make nut butters, sorbet and pasta.
Just getting started?
There are many amazing juice recipes online. Try some of them to see which vegetables you like or dislike. It is great to follow a recipe if you are new to juicing and to see what combinations work well together. Vegetables can be bitter, while fruit is sweet. A balanced combination makes a great recipe. I like to see what produce I can find at the market and then I experiment with different combinations. I would recommend choosing a colour or a theme for a juice and then combining 2 vegetables + 1 fruit + herb or leafy green.
Add ginger/ turmeric/ lemon in small amounts to any combination.
Have fun trying different themes and combinations! Its great to freeze juice as ice lollies for summer or to add to smoothies as a base.
Vegetables to start including
- Beetroot: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and supports detoxification of the liver. Antioxidants and natural nitrates helps blood flow and the flow of oxygen.
- Fennel: Crunchy and slightly sweet. It reduces inflammation due to anethole. Protects the liver. Source of vitamin C. It has a licorice-like/ anise flavor.
- Ginger: Natural anti inflammatory. Cleans the liver and detoxes the lymphatic system. It aids digestion.
- Kale: source of iron, calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C and antioxidants. Its a great anti-infmammatory.
- Lemon: Natural diuretic, helps with bloating and indigestion. Citrus is high in vitC thats strengthens the immune system.
- Parsley: Natural diuretic. Increases water flow through kidneys, flushing out germs or bacteria.
How to store my juice
If you can not drink the juice right away. I would recommend storing the juice in the fridge and consuming it within 24 hours. Juice is highly perishable. If your are taking it to work, Store it in a airtight glass container. Fill the container up to the top to avoid the juice coming into contact with any oxygen. The oxygen will start the oxidation process and damage the juice. juice can also be frozen.