Let’s get right to it. Juicing is quite the chore. And when you arrive home you already have to take the trash out, walk the dog, feed the kids, wash the kids (most days), check your work email at home (you know you do), and any number of other daily tasks. Adding washing, chopping, extracting, cleaning, and mopping (it happens) to the list just to drink a juice doesn’t sound like a great idea.
Being healthy should never be a chore. Because you know what? No one likes to do chores.
It should be part of your day that you enjoy. Getting and being healthy for yourself and your family shouldn’t be something added to the bottom of the endless list of daily tasks.
It should never be moved from the top.
(Easy for me to say…I have a total of 0 children.)
Here is what I have learned over the years when it comes to juicing fresh fruits and vegetables. I hope these tips help you keep HEALTH at the top of your list.
1) Buy only what you KNOW you will use this week. I hate hate hate throwing away produce because I was too lazy to juice it, chop it, or cook it.
2) Buy organic (and local) when possible and when it makes economic sense to do so. No one needs to take out a second mortgage to add healthy juices to their diet. I say that whole fruits and veggies (organic or conventional) are ALWAYS better than boxed anything. So make the choice that is right for you. See the Dirty Dozen for information on which fruits and veggies should be organic.
3) Wash everything when you get home from the grocery store. Do I have to? No, but I promise when you wake up tomorrow and want fresh juice you will be glad you did.
4) Keep the produce bags you lugged your loot home in from the store! You can use them to line the bucket that catches all the pulp. Juicing haters call this the “good fiber that goes to waste.” See point number 5.
5) You can re-purpose the pulp from your juice recipes into…wait for it…OTHER RECIPES. Fresh vegetable juices leave behind pulp that is awesome for making stocks and bases for soups and stews. Carrot and apple pulp can be added to treats for your pup. Or you can compost it for your garden…for growing your own veggies next year. Win win!
[Image(s) Cred: Bree Linne Photography]
6) Juice leafy greens (kale, spinach, parsley, cilantro, etc.) with another piece of produce. In centrifugal juicers, these light weight leaves sometimes just get blown around and then caught in the pulp bucket rendering a mere drop or two of precious juice. I noticed that shoving the kale in with the carrots yields a higher amount of kale juice.
7) Peel your citrus. I have found that the oils in oranges, lemons, and limes are quite overpowering in juices. I just slice off the edges quickly and toss in the juicer. Most all of my juice recipes include either a lemon or a lime.
8) Follow at least the 70/30 rule. Juice 70% veggies and 30% fruits in each batch. Want to be an overachiever? 90/10, baby, 90/10. This ensures that you are not drinking straight sugar!
9) Drink your greens within 24 to 48 hours to get the most nutrients. Store juice that you do not drink right away in an airtight container in the fridge.
10) Clean your juicer immediately. Leaving it “until the morning” really means until you get home from work or school or fill in the blank, and you arrive to caked-on (ironic) plant parts on your juicer. Do yourself a favor and rinse it all down right after you take your first healthy sip.
Do you have any tips that you would add to my list? I would LOVE any new ways to make my juicing ‘chore’ less of one.