Juicing is a healthy, beneficial way to augment your diet with excellent nutrition. Just about any type of fruit or vegetable can be juiced and many can be combined to optimize flavor and benefit. To begin juicing, you’ll need the right equipment and the best materials (fruits, veggies) for juicing.
Types of Juicers
The equipment is where you’ll start with your juicing program. There are three basic types of vegetable juicers, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. These include centrifugal, masticating, and twin gear juicers.
Centrifugal juicers are the most common and least expensive of the choices. These are versatile enough to handle both fruits and vegetables, but are not the most efficient for drawing the maximum amount of juice from the pulp. They work by grinding the food to a pulp and then spinning it through a centrifuge, which draws the juice through a sieve, leaving the pulp behind.
Masticating juicers are mid-priced machines that give much higher yields of juice than their centrifuge counterparts. They are also capable of juicing things the centrifuge cannot, such as wheat grass and leafy grains. They masticate (grind) the food into a thick pulp, pulling the juice by gravity. They are often capable of making butters (such as nut butter), fruit jellies, and even of grinding coffee and making baby food pastes.
Twin Gear Juicers
The twin gear juicer is the most expensive and most efficient of the machines. These use lower RPMs, which means less foam and oxidation, maximizing nutrition while also giving the highest juice yield of any of the three options. These can juice just about anything and can do everything that a masticator can do. These work in a way similar to a masticating juicer, but use more gears (grinders) to achieve thinner pulp.
What to Juice
Next comes choosing what will work best in your juicer and give you the most nutritional benefit. Nearly all vegetables and most fruits can be juiced as well as many other foods that are normally on the plate. In fact, about the only thing that can’t be effectively juiced is meat.
Most people just starting out juicing will have a centrifugal juicer and will juice simple and well-known items such as carrots, apples, berries, celery, tomatoes, and so forth. Any good, wholesome, organic vegetable or fruit is likely a good candidate for juicing.
How to Juice
To get the most benefit, you should juice at the time you plan to drink the juice. Of course, that’s not always possible. Juice can be stored in the refrigerator if consumed within a day or so. Vegetable juice, especially, loses nutritional value quickly and spoils very fast. Juicing in the morning for a mid-day meal is common and accepted.
Find the recipes that match your lifestyle and tastes, but be sure to mix and match your juicing so that you aren’t eating the same thing all of the time. Variety has both nutritional and psychological benefits, so don’t be afraid to try something new.
What to Grow in Your Garden for Juicing
Just about any common vegetable can be juiced. Common juicing items grown in the family garden include: carrots, beets, lettuce, onions, chives, tomatoes, green or snap beans, watermelons and cantaloupe, and many varieties of squash. You can also add many types of fresh herbs to juice to add flavor and essential oils.
Want to learn more about juicing?
Check out these helpful websites:
Juicing for Better Health
Vegetable and Fruit Nutrition Questions from Harvard School of Public Health
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