So you keep hearing about the health benefits of juice. You have heard people claim they have found renewed energy and dropped to half their original larger self. It seems to be the Fountain of Youth delivered at your doorstep! Where do you begin? Well a quick Google search will present you with more information, recipes and testimonies then you may need. You can, if you have the time, patience and perseverance necessary, rifle and sift through all that information or I can just tell you what I did. Some of it worked, some not so much.
The very first step is to get your hands on a juicer. Again, let's not reinvent the wheel here. There are juicers in every make, model and price range but before we even discuss that, you need to see if juicing is for you. It is true, I know a very few who for one reason or another did not stick with it and are now in possession of an unwanted juicer. This concept blows my mind, but it is what it is. What that meant to me and likewise means to you is that there are unwanted juicers sitting on shelves and in pantries of people you know.
What I did when I was first introduced to the idea of juicing was to put the word out there that I was in search of a juicer. A simple Facebook post on my wall (or timeline?! I don't know!) led me to several friends who were more than happy to lend me their machines. Viola! Step one taken care of! It may be worth it to you to try Craigslist or other local bulletin boards to see what you can find.
I did borrow my friends Jack LaLanne and was off and running to the produce department of my supermarket. I didn't especially love that machine and I most certainly do not recommend it, but I will always be grateful for having access to it for those few days and falling in love with the Juice. I had intended on using it for several weeks, but within 3 days I was researching what and where to get the machine I really wanted.
So now you are in the produce department and there are fruits and veggies everywhere. What the heck are you supposed to buy?! Before buying one leaf of kale or a stalk of celery, find a spray bottle (or refill bottle) of a vegetable wash. If your search leaves you empty handed grab a bottle of white vinegar and add it to your cart. Before you use any of those delicious greens you are going to have to clean them and clean them well. Even the organic veggies have been transported and stored and because you are getting such a condensed and rich portion of vegetables via the juicer you need to make sure you are not getting any of the toxicities, waxes and dirt that accompanies them. The non-organic vegetables can, unfortunately, be as rich in pesticides as they are nutrients and chlorophyll and you do not want you or your family ingesting them. The various vegetable washes have directions on the container and if you use the vinegar method you are soaking your produce in 1:4 solution of vinegar to water for about an hour or so. This also has the added bonus of helping many fruits, especially berries, last longer!
Okay, now off to get that produce! Let's start simple. If you are not someone inclined to like strong tastes you will need time to "acquire" a taste for a lot of this. My staples are Kale, baby spinach, celery, cucumbers, carrots, sweet potatoes (higher in calories so no more than 1/2 per juice), granny smith apples, ginger and lemon. I love beets and fennel but again, beware of strong tastes at the beginning. Many people like to measure and follow strict recipes and if that's your preference I will post some here and on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/JuicyBitts. The simplest and most palatable of the green juices is a combination of things you know you like or that you are willing to try. FYI, Kale is the most nutritionally dense of the green leafy vegetables but if you are not up for that yet, spinach is a close second. Try this "beginner" green juice and let me know what you think:
1 cup of Kale (or spinach)
1 cucumber (always peeled if not organic!)
3 celery stalks
3 cups of romaine
1 apple (I prefer Granny Smith)
Just look at those ingredients and tell me that you can't do this!
Remember, you are here at this point for a reason and
IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE, YOU HAVE TO CHANGE!
I look forward to hearing from you and all your attempts, whether successful or otherwise, at juice recipes. I have to say I have only made two juices that I have not been able to drink and both were due to the same mistake. I added too much of one ingredient that over powered the rest. So my parting words of wisdom to you today are: A little bit of ginger and parsley go a looooooong way!