By Lauren Parry.
With the New Year in full force one of my many resolutions is to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet. Juicing is a great strategy for this! I love fresh juices, and I regularly make stops to local juice bars on my way to work. Despite my love for juice, I’m embarrassed to say I have had a juicer for two years and NEVER used it! That’s right. It’s been sitting in a cabinet since my wedding day and hasn’t been touched. Part of the reason why I never touched it is because I didn’t want to take the time to figure out how to use it. Well I’m here to tell you that it’s a piece of cake!
I used a Waring Pro Juice Extractor. I had a great experience with my juicer. I loved how easy it was to clean! (Thats another reason why I was weary of juicing. Dishes really aren’t my “thing.”) There are thousands of juicers out there to choose from. If you’re in the market for a juicer, Everything Kitchens has a great comparison chart with all kinds of juicers!
Step 1: Decide What Your Goal Is.
Is your goal to detox? To lose weight? To eat more fruits and veggies? To enhance your skin? It is much easier to get motivated and stick to any healthy habit if there is a desired end result in mind!
Step 2: Make a List.
Do your research and figure out what types of juices you would like to try. It’s much easier to go to the store with a list than to show up unprepared, especially for a beginner juicer. I believe juicing is an acquired taste. I prefer juices with apples, pears, pineapples, kale, and carrots much more than I prefer juices with romaine, celery, and beets. You may be surprised how good some juices taste! The first time I tried carrot juice I was pleasantly surprised with how sweet it was.
Step 3: Clear your local grocery store’s stock of fruits and veggies. (But really)
I learned very quickly that recipes will have to be modified. I cleared my grocery store of beets, parsnips, and vanilla bean, and received some “look at that health nut” looks along the way. I wasn’t able to get the quantity of everything I was hoping for, but I tried not to stress about it. I actually ended up having extra juice with all of the recipes I used anyways, sothe extra veggies weren’t necessarily needed.
Step 4: Clean. Clean. Clean.
Cleaning your produce is a must between the pesticides, dirt, and who knows what else. You can use the “clean as you go” method (which I used) or you can clean everything at once. By the time I got home from the grocery store I was ready to put my juicer to good use and wasn’t about to clean everything I just bought at once.
Step 5: Its Juicing Time!
Cut up the produce according to what your juicer chute will allow. The cores of fruit can go into the juicer, which is so convenient! Simply stem the fruit, cut it, and insert it into the juicer. Many people wonder if lemon juice from a bottle can be substituted for fresh juice from the lemons. I highly suggest using fresh lemons in order to get as much nutrients as possible and to stay away from preservatives. Rinds of fruits can be juiced as well. I chose to peel the rinds of my lemon and limes because I didn’t want my juice to be too bitter. I also completely skinned my pineapple before putting it into the juicer.
Your juicer will come with a tool to push the produce into the chute. Once there is no more produce in the chute, repeat process. If you are making more than one juice don’t forget to clean out the pulp collector. Depending on the size of your juicer, this can fill up quickly!
Step 6: Mix and Taste Test.
Mix your juice together. Fresh juices separate very quickly! Taste test your juice and never be afraid to add additional fruits or vegetables to it. I found myself adding some sweeter fruits to my juices that were bitter. You may find that some of your juices create a foam in the top of your glass. You can either scoop this out or mix it in. I chose to mix it in.
Bottle and Enjoy!
Most people recommend drinking your juice within twelve hours. If you’re unable to do this, no problem! I made mine a day in advance so that I could take them to work. Make sure you fill up your jar as high as possible and seal it shut. This will help keep the oxygen out of your juice, especially if it will be out for more than twelve hours. I suggest using empty water bottles or mason jars. I chose to use mason jars.