Juicing Tips for Beginners
You aren’t here by accident, the fact that you are searching for juicing tips tells me that you are serious about your overall health.
Thank you for doing your due diligence and researching before you start.
You may have heard a lot of stuff that people have said about juicing, how bad it is to your health but I’m here to tell you nothing could be further from the truth only if you do it right.
If you follow these tips, you will be on your way to a healthier lifestyle with more energy than you had before. Remember that while juicing takes time, it is an investment to your health and health is wealth.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is juicing?
At its core juicing is the process of separating the liquid contents of fruits and vegetables using a tool called a juicer.
Now, there are many types of juicers that you can choose from but all these machines have the same function – it takes produce then separate the pulp from the liquid and the process will be different depending on the type of juicer.
Not everything can be juiced, for example avocado and banana does not contain any liquid inside so don’t bother putting these in a juicer because it will not extract a drop of liquid.
If you want to add these ingredients to your recipe then you’ll have to use a blender to chop up these fruits into a smooth consistency and then mix in the ingredients you’ve prepared with a juicer.
Juicing and blending are different
A lot of people get these two mixed up juicing and blending are different.
For example when celery goes through a juicer it separates the fiber and liquid and what you’ll get is celery juice and none of the fiber.
When celery is blended, it gets chop so finely that it resembles juice but when you look closely the fibers and liquid are intact. Think of blending as a process of pureeing fruits and vegetables and whatever other ingredient you put in.
And the beauty of this is that you can add other ingredients like cereal, protein shakes, oatmeal and stuff that cannot be juiced like avocado or banana. The options are limitless.
To summarize, blending retains all the fiber and gives you a much fuller drink and you are not just limited to fruits and veggies. It is in a way is better for your gut because the fiber has to be digested.
When you drink juice, it does not have any fiber in it so it gets absorbed by the bloodstream faster. This is great if you want to drink juice for specific conditions like diabetes.
Which is better?
It all boils down to personal preference, for me I like both.
If I want a quick breakfast without having to chew down my food – I’d go with a smoothie because it leaves me with a fuller feeling and if you like berries blending them up is better than juicing because you’ll be able to benefit from the pulp and enjoy the contrasting flavors of the different berries you put in.
But if I want to treat something specific, let’s say high blood sugar, I’d go with juicing because I could easily consume the specific ingredients like bitter melon or ginger and have it absorb directly into the blood stream.
What fruits and vegetables are the best to juice?
All fruits and vegetables are good to your health. What you want to do is add different colors into your juice – the rainbow principle so that you’ll get all the nutrients that each color brings to the table.
There are actually no set rules to follow in the ingredients to add in a juice recipe but you will have to follow these guidelines:
1. More greens than fruit – One of the biggest mistakes any newbie can make is adding to much fruit so follow the 80/20 principle of juicing, that means 80% of the ingredients you put in is vegetable while the other 20% is fruit.
Here’s is an infographic I created that gives you a guide on how to make your own recipes – it shows you which fruits and vegetables work together and the exact amount you should put in to take out the guess work and headaches in coming up with your own recipes.
2. Organic is better than conventional produce – Granted that conventional produce is cheaper it has pesticide residue on it. Organic produce is more expensive but you have the peace of mind that it does not have any pesticide residue.
What if you can’t afford to go all-organic?
The solution is to know which produce contains the most amount of pesticide and a great tool for determining that is the EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. You can refer to this list every time you to go your local grocery or farmer’s market and buy only the top 3 or top 5 “dirtiest” produce organic so you don’t burn your wallet.
3. Rotate the ingredients – Too much of a good thing is bad as they say and yes that’s true with vegetables, well at least some of them particularly cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and kale so it’s important for you to eat a different type of vegetable each day of the week.
Let’s say use kale as your main ingredient on Monday, celery on Tuesday, wild greens and Wednesday and so on. Doing this not only diversifies the flavor but it ensures you that you get the most amount of nutrients from the fruit and vegetable food pyramid.
So now you’ve got me convinced to juice, what is the best juicer to buy?
The best juicer is the one that you’ll actually use and to get that type of juicer you’ll to answer these questions to narrow down which one that will best fit your needs.
What’s your budget?
Prices vary, the very top of the line press juicers can set you back a couple gran but there are good ones available for less than $200.
Are you going to juice a lot of leafy green vegetables? Or juice fruit? Or a mix of both
If you’re juicing leafy greens, then you’ll definitely have to get a juicer like this, if you’re just juicing fruit then a centrifugal juicer may work well for you. If you like a mixture of both, then go for any of these masticating juicers.
Do you want the highest quality juice or you’re not really particular with that?
If you want the maximum amount of nutrition inside every ounce of juice you make, then go with a slow juicer or a twin gear juicer.
Unlike centrifugal juicers that spin at several thousand rpm, these machines only need a few hundred rpm to extract juice from fruits and veggies of course the process will take a little bit longer.
Are you always in a hurry?
If you just want to grab a cup of fresh juice morning and only have a few minutes to spare then a centrifugal juicer may be the best choice for you. These extractors are capable of going through any fruit and vegetable in less than a minute. Just make sure to rinse off the excess pulp ASAP or it will be a pain to clean up.
How much space do you have at home? Do you mind having a big juicer?
Horizontal auger juicers are notoriously bulky and take up a lot of space, manufacturers solved this issue by redesigning the auger to sit on a vertical pane thus reducing the foot print and making it more storage friendly.
Do you have kids or pets at home?
Centrifugal juicers are notoriously loud and turning it one will certainly scare away your toddler or pet dog. Certain brands like Jack Lallane have successfully toned down the amount of noise their machines produce at the expense of power. If you want something really quite then buying a slow juicer is the way to go.
The truth is there is no juicer that does not have any drawbacks, every type has its limitations and you will have to weigh your options carefully by prioritizing what’s most important to you. Is it the speed, quality of juice, price or something else that way you are able to maximize the juicer and use it more often.
What if I don’t want to invest in a juicer? Can I still enjoy fresh juice?
Yes, it is possible but there is an extra step in the process which I explain in this article.
You can also buy a blender that enough power to blend even leafy greens and turn them into a smooth juice – you just have to add water to it to give it a more juice like consistency. If you don’t mind the added pulp, this is a good alternative.
Whether you’re buying organic or conventional, washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly is probably the most important step your juice preparation. Washing removes any soil and pesticide that can be trapped on the stems or leaves.
This is particularly important if you add root crops like beet or veggies that grow in the soil like celery. Even if it’s organic, you still have to wash it because it may not have any pesticides but it will have some soil or even worms on it! Trust me I’ve seen small worms inside an organic celery.
Add ingredients with high water content
Ingredients like celery, cucumber and zucchini have a lot of water content in them with almost zero sugar content so if you want to add to the content of your juice, make sure to add these as a base ingredient in any juice recipe.
Another benefit these have is that they are diuretic, which means it will help your liver and kidneys flush out excess water and detoxify your system. Just make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day to prevent any dehydration.
Have a grocery list
When buying produce, make sure to buy only the ingredients you’ll use within the week. If you buy too much, you’ll risk spoilage and just waste money on unused ingredients. I did that several times when I was just starting out.
You can base this grocery list on the infographic I shared earlier or use a paid app created by Joe Cross.
Regardless, the important thing is to plan your recipes ahead of time and make a shopping list.
Drink it as soon as you can
To get the most out of every cup of juice you make, you will have to drink it as soon as you can to enjoy the nutritional benefits that juicing brings to the table – drink it no later than 20 minutes after it comes out of a juicer.
Chop fibrous greens
This only applies when you are using a horizontal masticating juicer like a Hurom HU-100 or Omega VRT. I’ve read countless complaints of consumers saying that their vertical juicer getting clogged up when they juice something like celery or spinach.
A simple workaround to this limitation is to chop them into smaller bit sized pieces because the area where the pulp goes through in these types of juicers turns at a 90 degree angle so there isn’t much space so it’s easily clogged up.
Now back to you
These are just some of the practical tips that I’ve learned from my own juicing journey that hopefully can apply to yours so that you’ll avoid these mistakes that could possibly leave you frustrated or worst affect your health. If you have any more tips to add, fell free to share it in the comments section below.