Plant-based diets are becoming increasing popular as a means to prevent (and sometimes reverse) diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. They can help you lose weight, while having a significantly positive impact on your vision, skin quality, and digestive system. You don’t have to completely give up meat though to reap the benefits of a more plant based diet. The USDA recommends 2 ½-3 cups of fruits and vegetables for adults on a daily basis. If that seems daunting, you may want to consider juicing.
It’s important to note that juices are different from smoothies. In a smoothie, you keep the fiber and pulp. The result is a more filling drink, that is also higher in calories, but can serve as a meal replacement. Juicing is not meant to be a substitute for meals, but a way to supplement your diet to ensure you are getting your daily dose of vitamins.
Save yourself the high cost of pre-packaged juices by learning to juice at home. This article will provide you with the basics. With a little practice, you’ll have your own signature blend of detoxifying green juice soon enough!
First, Choose Your Equipment
There are some amazing juicers on the market, but they can cost anywhere from $50-$900. The most expensive juicers are hydraulic presses. These are used to create cold pressed juices and are typically only used by professionals. Masticating juicers are more popular for home juicing. They crush the fruit and vegetables first and then press them, ultimately yielding more juice. Masticating juicers are easy to clean, too. Just keep in mind that your juices won’t last very long (as opposed to cold pressed), so you’ll want to drink them within 1-2 days.
If you’re just venturing into juicing, or looking to save money, you can achieve the same effect with a simple blender. You may have to do a little more work to remove seeds or rinds, but you can save those goodies for later! The pulp is the primary source of fiber in your fruits and vegetables. Incorporate it into your cooking (great in rice, soup, or pasta) to get the maximum health benefits.
You will also need a sharp knife for chopping fruits and vegetables. This will make the juicing process go faster. A stiff brush is also helpful for cleaning your juicer.
Shop for Ingredients
If you plan on juicing everyday, you’ll need a lot produce. Hit up a farmer’s markets for great deals on large bunches of produce like kale, cucumber, celery, parsley, collard greens, spinach, ginger, lemon, apple, lime and pears. The more you have on hand, the more you can experiment to create different flavor profiles.
If you really get into juicing, you may want to consider joining a produce delivery network. Local farmers will deliver fruits and vegetables that are in-season and at the peak of freshness to help you create the most delicious juices.
Watch the Calories
Fruit juices are delicious, but it you’re using more than 4 fruits, the calories and sugar content will add up fast. Think about using vegetables primarily and then adding an apple, pineapple chunks, or a kiwi to sweeten the juice. This is especially helpful for green juice, which is so good for you, but can have a bitter taste because of all of the greens.
Finally, Keep Your Recipes Fresh
Don’t fall into a juicing rut.If you’re making the same juice day after day, you’ll quickly lose interest. Try out a new recipe at least once a week. If you’re not comfortable experimenting on your own, there are a treasure trove of recipes for delicious juices online. Pinterest is a great source. I also really like Deliciously Ella.
Take some time to get your juicing routine down to get a super doseof nutrients. Your body will thank you!
By Danielle Hegedus (For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.)
Photo Via Modernize