Fresh homemade juices make a healthy start to the day or a great meal replacement for dieters. There are plenty of recipes available online, but why be a slave to someone else’s tastes? Here’s your easy four step guide to healthy juicing.
Once you understand the basics of juicing, you can make your own delicious combinations using the ingredients you have in your fridge. Furthermore, once you know a few basics of healthy juicing, you’ll be creating your own fantastic juices in no time. Here’s what to do.
1) Start with the Base
A good juice starts with strong foundations. You should be looking for fairly neutral-tasting, water-rich ingredients to provide a backdrop without dominating. Try any of these alone or in a mix.
Cucumber – Cucumber creates a smooth, light juice. It’s easy to buy at any time of year, so it makes a solid fall-back option. Cucumber is a great for hydration, and it provides a generous amount of vitamins and minerals. Most importantly, use the whole fruit including the peel and seeds in your juice to get the full benefit.
Celery – High in dietary fiber, celery is good for easing digestion and stabilizing blood sugar. Celery is also mildly diuretic, making it a good base for a cleansing detox juice.
Apples and Lemons – For those with a real sweet tooth, unpeeled apples make a refreshing juice to provide a burst of healthy energy. However, adding lemon juice is best to prevent the mixture from turning brown. The combination provides vitamins C and K, fiber, and a wide spectrum of other important nutrients.
2) Add Leafy Greens for Healthy Juicing
No matter which health benefits your base offers, leafy greens are the vitamin and mineral powerhouses of a great juice. You only need a small handful to get the benefit without the taste becoming too bitter or overpowering. Good greens to try include:
Spinach – Either baby spinach or mature large leaves provide excellent amounts of iron, calcium, and magnesium. However, the younger leaves are more palatable to most people, while the older ones provide more fiber.
Watercress – Watercress offers a great peppery hit to mask bitterness, while still providing most of the iron and other mineral benefits of spinach.
Kale – For a step up in both the health and bitterness stakes, it’s worth acquiring a taste for kale in your juice. It’s rich in vitamins C, A, and K as well as iron and other minerals. However, too much kale can cause digestive problems, so go easy if you’re not used to eating this vegetable.
3) Lighten with a Sweetener For Extra Variety
Green leafy juices are certainly healthy, but they’re not exactly a gourmet delight. However, you can fix that with a natural sweetener made from fruit, herbs, or vegetables.
These not only improve the taste, but they also give you a natural energy boost to get you moving in the mornings or help you through the afternoon lull.
– Add a small apple, cored but not peeled, or a similar volume of pear or grapes.
– Add a peeled orange or very ripe grapefruit to add a sweet and sour bite.
– For a slightly less sugary juice, add a small bulb of fennel to give an arresting aniseed flavor.
– Baby carrots will sweeten up a juice that uses other more neutral ingredients as a base.
– Pineapple is sweet and sharp enough to cut through the bitterness of kale or spinach but can be a little sickly sweet if overused.
4) The Final Steps to Healthy Juicing
Your juice is ready to make once you’ve added ingredients from the first three stages. Above all, there’s always room for some finishing touches to make it more interesting from day to day. Finally, use whatever you have available to suit your tastes, using these ideas as starting points.
– A small peeled lemon or lime will add a vibrant sour note to even the sweetest of juices, which is great as an afternoon refresher.
– A small chunk of fresh ginger will help solve any problems a strong juice causes for your stomach or digestive system.
– Cilantro adds a fresh, spicy flavor while also helping to balance blood sugar.
– Fresh parsley takes your juice in a more savory direction while also adding to the detox effects.
– A small piece of fresh beet adds dramatic color as well as an earthy taste.
Juicing is undeniably healthy, while it’s often less fun than it should be. Making your own juices to your own recipes lets you design the perfect combination of health benefits and taste.
In conclusion, it opens the door to enjoyable juicing experimentation for years to come.