HEALTH & WELLNESS Nutrition  >  Joys of Juicing

Joys of Juicing

Joys of Juicing
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By Steve Nubie

How many of us who are 50 or older really eat “5-a-Day?” Juicing can make that a cinch.

The CDC says we should eat, “5-a-day.” That means we should all eat a combination of at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day. And we try. We all have some beans or corn on our plate at dinner, try to have some fruit at breakfast and sometimes squeeze in an apple or some lettuce at lunch. But do we always hit the “5-a-day mark?’ Probably not. In fact, when we get into our 50’s we’re probably more concerned about our kids and grandkids when it comes to a daily dose of fruits and vegetables.   For that matter, we probably have some days where we’re lucky to put down one-a-day. What’s a person to do?

Try juicing.

Juicing involves taking fruits or vegetables or both and reducing them to a juice. There are machines called “juicers” that do this quite nicely, but you can also have some success with a blender. However, we’re going to focus on the juicing machines because they’re simpler and deliver better results.

Juicing concentrates the nutrition and the essence of fruits and vegetables and makes it easier to metabolize. It’s great for everyone and has significant value for people who have any issues with eating or swallowing due to a medical condition or age. The fact of the matter is that juicing is good for all of us simply because it concentrates the value of fruits and vegetables in a form that’s easy to consume and enjoy.

Better than the juice you buy?

We all have options. You can drink carbonated beverages or juice that you buy at the store. Carbonated beverages tend to be high in sugar with little or no nutritional value, and some processed fruit and vegetable juices aren’t much better. In fact, many fruit and vegetable juices are either reconstituted with added sugar or significant salt added, or have more artificial flavors than actual fruit or vegetable juice. If you’re tired of paying a premium for juices that deliver little of what they promise, juicing can help you beat the system.

How Does Juicing Work?

The process is fairly simple. You select the fruits and or vegetables you want to juice, wash them, peel them and cut them into pieces and drop them into the top of the juicer. Most have an insert or handle that allows you to push the pieces into the turning discs where they enter a centrifuge to extract the juice. The juice comes out of the spout, into a glass or bowl and you’re done.

Clean up involves taking the pulp out of the machine, but many people have found uses for this pulp from making stuffing to other recipe ingredients. That’s up to you. The pulp also makes great garden compost if you’re so inclined.

What Can You Do?

Just about anything you want. How many of us have looked at tomato based vegetable juices on the shelf and said “No” because of the high amounts of sodium? How many of us have also said, “No” to fruit juices that seemed to be more sugar then juice? With juicing you can extract the natural juices and you determine what to add or not to add to get the flavor you like. Many people love to experiment with combinations of vegetables, fruits and herbs. Some keep it simple. Here are a few recipes you can try to get started. You don’t have to use all of these ingredients, but all of them go together quite well if you have them on hand.

1. Cornucopia Juice (Makes 2 – 8oz. servings)

This is actually simple. You combine multiple fruits or vegetables to make a blended juice from what have been traditionally defined as “super-foods.” If you drink one glass of something a day – this should be it.

Fruit Variation Ingredients:

1 cup blueberries

1 cup strawberries

2 mangos

3 apples

1 banana

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

or

Vegetable Variation Ingredients:

2 peeled sweet potatoes

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup kale

1 cup spinach

3 apples

2. Midnight Juice (Makes 2 – 8oz. servings)

Forget that fattening midnight snack. If you have a craving for something to eat late at night this blend will not only help you sleep well, but restore energy, cells and your immune system while you sleep.

Ingredients:

3 cups pineapple

2 apples

1 pear

1 cup strawberries

1 tsp. maple syrup

1/4 cup chamomile flowers

3. Hydration Sensation Juice (Makes 2 – 8oz. servings)

This recipe is loaded with the things that will help you rehydrate after a long day in the garden or an exhausting day at the zoo with the Grandkids. It’s also good if you’re just feeling a little down for no particular reason.

Ingredients:

1 large beet

1 medium, peeled sweet potato

4 carrots

2 tomatoes skinned and de-seeded

1/4 cup fresh dill

3-4 broccoli florets

1/2 cup lemon balm leaves or mint leaves

1 tbsp ginger

4. Burn it up Juice (Makes 2 – 8oz. servings)

This combination will put your metabolism in overdrive and burn calories. Great in the morning before a holiday meal or just to keep things going from day to day.

Ingredients:

2 cups kale

3 cups spinach

1/2 cup mint leaves

3 green apples

1 lemon

1/2 jalapeño

1 lime

1 tbsp ginger

1 tbsp honey

5. Marathon Juice (Makes 2 – 8oz. servings)

The ultimate rehydrater with natural electrolytes and everything you or your family need to stay hydrated. Great before and after an exercise or activity and for someone who has any issue with hydration in general.

Ingredients:

1 head of lettuce

2 cups watermelon cubed

2 green apples

1 lemon

1 lime

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup fresh basil

2 celery stalks

2 medium cucumbers peeled

1 tsp honey

6. Antioxidant Cocktail (Makes 2 – 8oz. servings)

If you’re feeling like you have a cold coming on or someone in the family is sniffling and coughing, you should all think about whipping up a bit of this. It has natural antioxidants to boost the immune system and provides topical relief for sore throats. You can heat it up if you like or drink it cold.

Ingredients:

2 oranges

2 apples

1 grapefruit

1 lemon

1 lime

1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

1 tbsp. ginger

2 tbsp honey

The list goes on and over time you’ll probably find many of your own combinations and favorites. Juicing is a growing trend and it’s fun to share your recipes with family and friends. It’s also fun to do and kids will love making juice with you. You can find a variety of juicers at Amazon.com. Make sure you read the reviews to find the one that fits your price range and has a good rating. Once you get started you’ll probably wonder why you didn’t start juicing sooner.

 

 

 

 

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