Over the last few weeks my inbox has been overflowing with messages related to all things juicing. From the most popular question, “What type of juicer do you use?” To questions asking for recipes, how to, affordable purchases, tips for picky eaters, suggestions for specific health issues, you’ve been asking away! And I am overjoyed with every message.
I have never claimed to be a health professional. My blog, instagram, & podcast are not a substitute for your doctor/naturopath, etc. But I’m delighted each time somebody trusts me to help guide them in their dietary choices. I’m here to help in any way that I can.
Today, I present you with my beginner’s guide to juicing… keep reading to learn everything you need to know in order to start juicing!
It’s no secret I am obsessed with juicing. To address my specific health problems, I’ve found that celery juice is the most powerful healing medicine I have yet to try. Better than any drug I’ve been given to deal with gastroparesis, chronic constipation or bowel dysmotility, celery juice CONSISTENTLY pushes my paralyzed intestines into some sort of action. If I could make enough celery juice for all of you to enjoy 16-32 ounces with me each morning… I WOULD. Instead, I’m here to equip you with the tools & knowledge needed to make juicing a part of your life. The combinations of delicious, nourishing juices are absolutely endless. (Read more about celery juice here.)
Never heard of juicing? Curious about the benefits? Read more here.
What type of juicer do you use?
Personally, I use a Jack Lalane Power Juicer. This one is a basic centrifugal juicer that was graciously gifted to me a few years back by my best friend’s mom. (Love ya, Sonya!) I didn’t use it a ton in the beginning because I was so weak and so sick that it took literally all of my energy just to make one juice. I made juices in my blender (strained) in those days because it was less work. I also was not an avid juicer though I wish I had the knowledge I have now about juicing!
For the last 3 months I have become a constant juice-maker. My Jack Lalane juicer has been great though it seems to be on its last leg. I highly recommend this one for people who are not juicing multiple times a day. I find that this model pushes out a lot of wet pulp, meaning extra juice that is getting wasted. I’ve started to run the pulp through the juicer 2-3 times in order to yield as much juice as possible.
Once I have enough money saved, I plan to invest in a cold-pressed juicer. This type of machine runs slower at a lower heat, extracting more nutrients & pushing out a dry pulp. For someone like me, this is an investment well worth the cost!
Sometimes I pour my fresh juice through a fine mesh strainer to get the smoothest texture possible. Consider doing this if you’re using a basic juicer or if you have texture issues.
Where can I find an affordable juicer?
You might be surprised at how inexpensive basic juicers are…starting around $50 Amazon is loaded with juicers that not only have great reviews but are also affordable.
Here are some good options:
Can I just use my blender?
Absolutely! I think that using a blender is a wonderful starting point. If you want to start juicing but feel like you can’t because you don’t have the proper machine… now you have no excuse not to try it out!
The most important thing to remember about using your blender is YOU MUST STRAIN IT. I can’t emphasize that enough.
Juice is smooth with the roughage removed. Green juices, especially, are magical for your body because they are a tonic made up of powerful vitamins, minerals, & phytochemicals that are immediately used & absorbed by your cells. Yes, fiber is awesome & SUPER IMPORTANT. But if I tried to drink celery juice with all the fiber blended into it, my body would not respond so well attempting to digest it all. When you drink juice it’s like getting a nutritious I.V. — your body benefits without the burden of digestion, thus leaving you with more energy for healing, feeling alive, & powering through your day.
If you’re using the blender method, PLEASE watch this helpful video. Pamela explains the process much better than me. I think her idea of using a paint strainer to strain & squeeze out the juice is absolutely genius!
Can’t I just eat the veggies?
Juicing is NOT A REPLACEMENT for eating… I do not recommend living on juices & skipping out on meals as a lifestyle. I do not only drink juice. NO way! Juices are incredible but they do not provide out bodies with the vital calories & carbohydrates that we need to thrive. Personally, I encourage eating at least 1,800-2,000 calories from the RIGHT sources rather than restricting & eating little calories from bad foods.
Anyway, I want you to eat your veggies. If you would rather eat your celery than drink it, go for it. But hear me out… How many of you will actually munch your way through an entire large bunch of raw celery? How many of you will actually chew up 2 pounds of leafy greens in a day? Most of the time when I see people eat celery its 3-4 cut pieces which are probably being dipped in ranch. When I see people eat salads they are TINY with a few pieces of lettuce which are drenched in cheese, croutons & oily/dairy based dressings.
My point is, it is much easier & actually more practical for many people to drink their greens. 1 large bunch of celery (depending on the size) will make about 13-16 ounces of juice. Imagine drinking down 7-8 ounces of celery juice each day, knowing you’ve filled your body with the minerals from half of that large bunch! If you don’t like the taste, chug it down as fast as you can & enjoy the energy that starts to flow through your veins. Or blend it with lemon, apple, &/or cucumber 🙂
In terms of ALL the things you eat & drink in one day, 8 ounces of juice is seriously such a small portion. I may sound a bit rude here but if you think plants taste gross you need to suck it up, keep exposing yourself to them, get creative, & EAT/DRINK them anyway. Drinking one green juice is not hard… Fighting for your life is… Being sick is…. losing loved ones is… fill your mind with perspective & maybe you will find that you enjoy new foods.
How about we drink our greens AND eat them too!
**You can juice so much more than celery, I’m just using it as an example.
Can I meal prep my juices?
While drinking your pressed juice within 30 minutes is the most beneficial, for many people it is necessary to prepare more than one juice at a time. I recommend making 2 days worth at time being sure to drink your freshly made juice within 72 hours of preparation. To prevent oxidation, fill glass jars all the way to the top & store in your fridge. Less air = less nutrient loss.
Okay, I’m ready to juice but I need recipes?!
My advice here is to keep it simple. It gets complicated, expensive, & begins to feel like a chore when you make juices with more than 4-5 ingredients. I believe it is best to keep your juices basic, simple, & pure. Recently I heard that some people mix powders & such into their juices. I’m not a fan of that. To me, that is over complicating the simplicity of juice while creating an undesirable texture.
Personally, I drink just celery juice everyday. Occasionally I’ll add some cucumber or part of a green apple. But I love the simplicity of one ingredient & my body feels best that way.
Have some fun with it!! If you want to add everything you have in your kitchen, go for it. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different veggies, fruits, colors, & proportions. Juicing is FUN!
Also, remember to wash & chop your produce before juicing it. You cannot push an entire apple or bunch of celery or beet through your juicer. You can push celery stalks, long carrots & peeled cucumbers through the shoot, but most items will need to be chopped in half or quartered.
So, although the recipes do not say “cut, chopped, or quartered” keep in mind that you will need to do that.
If you’re making juice in a blender, produce needs to be chopped down much more than if you’re using a standard juicing machine.
Finally, juicing organic is best. I personally cannot afford/find enough to do that. Besides giving your items a good wash/scrub if you see visible dirt, another trick is soaking. Nearly 80% of pesticides are removed from cold water alone, according to nutritionfacts.org. A 10% salt solution was proven to remove more pesticides than special “fruit & veggie washes” or a vinegar soak. Simply mix 1 part salt to 9 parts water & wash away. Sometimes I leave my celery to soak anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours. Just make sure to rinse off that excess salt!
Here are some basic ideas to get you started:
Refreshing green juice
4-5 celery stalks (leaves removed, they create bitterness)
1/2 large cucumber, peeled
1 small green apple or green pear
Optional: squeeze of fresh lemon juice added to the juice
All greens juice
4-5 stalks celery
5-6 large kale leaves
3-4 large romaine or collard leaves
Forrest green juice
4 celery stalks
1 cucumber, peeled
6-7 large kale leaves
1/2 cup pineapple
Optional; 1/2 bunch cilantro or parsley, small thumb of ginger
Energizing carrot juice
4-5 medium carrots
1/2 apple of your choice
Optional: 3-4 celery stalks, small thumb of ginger
2 oranges, quartered (remove peel for less bitterness)
1/4 lemon (remove peel for less bitterness)
1 medium apple, cut into eighths
1/2″ fresh ginger
2 cups of purple cabbage
3 ribs of celery
1/2 small lemon (rind and all if organic)
1 small pear
4 celery stalks
3 kale leaves
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds (partially or entirely) removed
1/2 squeezed into the juice at the end
Mal’s bloody mary
3-4 small homegrown tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, stem & seeds removed
6-7 celery stalks
1/4 bunch cilantro
Optional: 1 jalapeno, seed partially or entirely removed
Beautiful beet juice
2-3 beets, tops trimmed off
1 cucumber, peeled
And there ya have it! I hope this beginner’s guide to juicing was the push you needed to dive into the wonderful world of juicing. So, what are you waiting for?
Share your questions, comments, concerns, & juice adventures with me!
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