Make the best fruit and vegetable juice and choose the right juicer.
Juicing fruits and vegetables can form an essential part of a raw vegan diet, or simply make a regular diet healthier. These tips will help you get the very best of fruit and vegetable juice.
Safe Vegetable Juicing Quantities
It is important not to drink too much juice, as many vegetables contain potent substances. Certain ingredients cause an upset stomach when taken in excess. Others, such as herbs, can actually be dangerous if consumed in high quantities. Mix stronger ingredients with large quantities of watery base vegetables and fruits for a safe, balanced and tasty juice:
- Ingredients that should be juiced only in moderation include beetroot, celery, all herbs and anything you suspect may have detoxifying properties.
- Watery fruits and vegetables that make great bases include melon, cucumber, apples, pears, oranges and carrots.
Green juice is a staple of many vegan and raw diets. It is a way to get a big boost of nutrients while taking in less sugar, so it’s also excellent for anyone on a weight loss diet. Green juice can be an acquired taste. Try starting with beginner’s juices that contain less of the very pungent, leafy greens and are diluted with ingredients like apples, melon and cucumber.
Choosing a Good Juicer – Different Types of Juice Extraction
If juicing becomes a regular part of life, it will pay you to choose a juicer carefully. Long term value is an important consideration. Is the juicer made from hard wearing components and run with a strong motor that will stand up to years of work?
- An easily cleanable machine will probably encourage you to use it more often.
- Efficient juicers extract the maximum amount of liquid from the produce and yield a dry pulp that is easy to dispose of. This saves money on buying fruit and vegetables.
Most cheap, easily available juicers on the market use a centrifugal juicing system that forces the fruits or vegetables though a metal sieve at high speed. These offer an affordable way to introduce healthy juicing into a diet, before making an expensive investment. However, there are disadvantages: The method of extraction can lead to a frothy foam on top of the drink. This is not harmful but it has an unpleasant texture. Very cheap, poor quality juicers often do not extract juice efficiently. This leads to mushy waste, as well as more money spent on fruits and vegetables.
One of the most popular, high quality, centrifugal machines is the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer. This is efficient at extracting juice and the wide feeding chute enables a whole fruit to be dropped in to the machine, saving on preparation time.
According to Juiceland’s Juicer Buying Guide (juiceland.co.uk), centrifugal juicers “whip in oxygen at high speed thus oxidising the juice; this accelerates the deterioration in the appearance of the juice and reduces its shelf-life.” It means that they are not a good choice for raw foodists, interested in the preserving of vitamins and enzymes, or for anyone making juice to drink over a couple of days.
High-end machines for regular juice drinkers include masticating juicers and single auger juicers. These are slower working and the produce needs more preparation, but the resulting product is considered to be the best quality.
The Samson 6 in 1 juicer is a top quality, affordable single auger machine that is an ideal investment for someone juicing several times a week. Juicers like this can also make nectar from soft fruits such as bananas or apricots. The Samson 6 in 1 can be seen in juice bars both sides of the Atlantic and is small enough to fit in even tiny kitchens easily.
For those wanting a serious investment piece, the famous Champion 2000 masticating juicer is at the top end of the prestige kitchen appliance scale.
General Tips for Healthy Juicing
The taste of juice relies heavily on the natural taste of the fruits and vegetables used and this can vary each time. These changing flavors are great for anyone interested in seasonal eating.
- Spice up juices or add a little extra kick with small quantities of lemon, ginger or chilli.
- Dilute strong juices such as beetroot and celery with several parts water. This will give a more refreshing drink that is gentler on the system.
- Dilute all juices when giving them to children.
- Regular juicers should try to make mainly vegetable or green juices as this cuts down on sugar.
- Carrot juice contains calcium so it’s great for non-milk drinkers.
Experiment by making your own juice blends which not only taste great but are also full of nutrients. Sweet juices tend to be enjoyed by everyone. So when introducing juice into your life, it is a good idea to mix more common juicing fruits, such as apples, with the more potent flavored vegetables.