Juicing is a great way to get high levels of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients from your fruits and vegetables. Vegetable juices can help to alkalinize the body, support kidney filtration and reduce congestion within the body. Generally I like to use more vegetable than fruit, as fruit juices tend to be more acidic and have higher sugar content. I often save the leftover pulp and use it to make nutritious juice pulp muffins or crackers in the dehydrator….check out the next blog posts for those recipes.
Some of the benefits of green juicing include:
- Chlorophyll: Chlorophyll is the phytochemical that makes plants green. It is similar to the haemoglobin in your blood that carries oxygen. As a powerful detoxifier and rejuvenator, chlorophyll forms the basis of the entire food chain.
- Easy to digest: Juicing removes most of the cellulose, making it very easy to digest. These days many people have an overburdened digestive system from processed foods. Replacing the occasional meal with juice gives the digestive system a break.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants are the basis for most anti-aging programs. Green juices contain a wide range of powerful antioxidants which help fight free radicals that lead to disease processes such as heart disease, aging and cancer.
- Alkalinize: Green juices are enzyme rich and have a high mineral content. This creates an oxygen-rich environment so your body is a less habitable terrain for diseases and excess weight.
I find the fall the perfect time to get juicing. Living on a hobby farm with a huge garden means that there are loads of fall vegetables to be harvested. Fall time is when there is an abundant harvest of apples, carrots, kale, chard, parsley, cilantro and mint….some of my favourite things to throw through the juicer. As I am digging up my carrots in October, I put all the deformed ones in a separate box and save those for the juicer….the produce doesn’t have to look perfect to be good for juice! Its always sad cleaning up the herb garden in the fall, but it is great if the mint, parsley and cilantro can be used to make tasty detoxifying juice before the frost kills them. Some greens such as swiss chard and kale can survive frost and be plentiful until the snow hits. Me and my son love to go apple picking and need to find a use for all those extra apples. Juicing is a great way to get added nutrients into a kids diet. I find that involving them in the process of making the juice, makes it that much more appealing. My son loves cleaning the vegetables and helping put them in the juicer. It is best to drink the juice right away, but if you do store some for later then I recommend putting it in a mason jar and wrapping it in aluminum foil to prevent the light from oxidizing the nutrients. Generally I don’t worry too much about following any particular recipe and just throw whatever I have through the juicer. If you are just starting out or have kids who are picker, include fruit and sweeter vegetables like carrots and beets. As you and your family become more accustomed to fresh juice, rely more on greens and detoxifying herbs such as cilantro and parsley.
- 4 kale leaves
- 3 swiss chard leaves
- 1 carrot
- 1 beet
- 2 apples
- ½ cucumber
- 5 sprigs of mint
- ½ lemon
I start by washing all the vegetables really well (remember that you don’t want to be getting pesticides in the juice). Next, I chop all the vegetables to the appropriate size. Then I put the herbs through first to make sure they make it into the juice.