Friday, December 28, 2012

Just Juice: Beginner Basics

Yesterday I was trying to explain to my sister and a couple friends the difference between green juice and smoothies. I'm still a beginner at the whole juicing thing. My Omega juicer is a baby (so shiny and pretty) but I've figured out the basics. My sister is a very (very) busy mom who's experience with juicing in the past was one of a lot more work and mess than it was really worth. 

It can seem overwhelming at first. How do you put the juicer together? How should you cut the produce? Is there a special order to put them in? Won't it be a pain to clean up? This afternoon I photographed my daily juice making session. Hopefully this shows how easy it can be!

Today's juice was very simple. I used Cucumber and Celery as my base. You want to use a larger amount of those because they give the most juice. Spinach, Carrot and Ginger were added. I figured out with my juicer that I have to save some pieces of Carrot or Celery to put through after the Spinach to get the last of the leaves through.  It's little things like this that you figure out pretty quickly. 
The pulp comes out the end into it's designated container and the juice fills the other container. These came with the juicer so you don't need anything extra other than a glass to drink the deliciousness out of.
Eventually I may get a dehydrator so I can make crackers out of the pulp. Don't laugh. Over at Choosing Raw I see the amazing things that can happen with the leftover pulp(Juice Pulp Crackers). I've found some recipes for vegeburgers that use the pulp as well depending on which vegetables were used. You probably don't want Ginger pulp in your burger. Or maybe you do...I won't judge.

I put the five parts into a bowl to soak in the sink while I drink my juice. The cleanup is really not time consuming at all. I admit I was worried about it after seeing the huge mess and cleanup from juicers in the past.
 I like to add my chlorella powder for extra green nutrition, lemon juice and a little stevia.

Everything is a little better out of a wine glass don't you think?

Lest you think I've got this all down to an art form: behold the big green spill! It can be tricky to pour from the plastic bowl into the drinking glass when it's nearly overflowing with juice.  

So there you have it! Juicing doesn't have to involve a ton of scary vegetables. It doesn't have to take up a huge portion of your day to make and clean up. If I wash and cut my ingredients ahead of time it's even faster. I've found a lot of resources online for juicing ideas and facts. Explore on your own or check out a few I've enjoyed:

Choosing Raw : Gena maintains a beautiful website full of recipes and nutritional advice. Check out her Recipage for lots of great ideas.

Kris Carr : You may have heard of her Crazy Sexy Cancer documentary or seen her book Crazy Sexy Diet. This is one energetic woman who took control of her health and now inspires others to do the same.

The Wellness Warrior : Jessica is another woman who leads by example and is a source of continual inspiration and advice. She too had a cancer diagnosis that turned her life around. 

The Juice Nut : This site is more informational about juicing in general. A good extra site to bookmark.

Do you have any good recipes or general juicing advice for me? I'm still such a beginner! I'd love other tips to help me on my way. Please share!

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