PhotoRecipe: Juicing for Beginners

Dear Friends and Eaters,

in January I went to a wedding and all people where thinking about (besides how pretty the bride was and how nice the event was) was juicing.  Some of the guests described in details the detox juicing program they were following.  A couple of days later I get a newsletter about juicing and detox plans.  I have never been on a detox cleanse before. I limit and select what I eat to lose wait, but the idea of surviving on juice has always looked a little excessive to me.  After so many friends praised the regimes they were using, I decided to investigate.

For full disclosure I need to tell you that I eat like a trucker and I exercise quite a bit (including the 7 flights of stairs in the morning to get to my office).  I like food too much to give it up, so my attempt at juicing was merely driven by curiosity and the health benefit my friends described: more vitamin intake+more liquids+less coffee/sugar/saturated fat = better digestion, glowing skin, more energy.  If that is not enough for a girl to give juicing a try than what is?

First step was a tricky one: should I buy one of the many cleansing programs or devise one myself? At the price of $400+ a pop I decided to start on my own and see if juicing is right for me first.  But if you make sudden changes the possibility of failure increases exponentially: everyone has fallen off the wagon during a diet and I usually feel guilty about it.  I thought my approach should be different, not a once a year solution to improve my health but a permanent change in my eating habits.

Second step is hardware, a very confusing topic.  My husband’s former boss swears by the Rolls Royce of juicers, the Norwalk. The only problem is I am not ready to spend the price of a Chanel 2.55 in a product that I am not 100% sure about. I am not even sure about whether juicing is for me at all… After some due diligence I discovered that there are 2 types of juicers: centrifugal juicers and masticating juicers. Sounds complicated? It is really not: the centrifugal juicers use centrifugal force, they are no different than a blender or food processor save for the fact that they have a filter. They are cheaper but the downside is that they warm the juice, thus accelerating the oxidation process. If you make apple or pear juice in a centrifugal juicer it will turn brown much faster than a masticating juicer. Masticating juicers contain a 2 step process: the crushing and the filtering process. Since there is no use of centrigular force the juice does not overheat and the juice stays fresh for a lot longer. We are talking 3 days vs the centrifugal juicer’s 1 day. If you are planning to juice for a long time I would suggest you get the masticating juicer as you can keep the juice you make longer and the taste remains consistent.  I bought the OMEGA VRT juicer and I am very happy because it is easy to use and dishwasher safe.

Third step is the recipes.  It is too soon for me to be drinking kale juice and other green juices that I see starlets toting around like trophies on every gossip magazine.  But some experiments can be strangely delicious when it comes to juicing.  Here are 2 recipes I have been alternating in my juicing routine. You will find that they are not as extreme as others you see online but they will make the process easier for you.



Pineapple Mint Ginger Juice:

  • 1 pineapple, pealed and cut in chunks
  • 1 cucumber, pealed and cut in chunks
  • 1/2 cup of mint leaves
  • 3 kiwis, pealed and cut in chunks
  • 1 inch ginger root, pealed

Vitamin A & C Juice:

  • 4 carrots, pealed
  • 2 grapefruits, skin removed, quartered
  • 2 oranges, skin removed, quartered
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (mixed in after you have juiced all the ingredents)

You can enjoy these 2 juices as is or you can dilute them with water or herbal tea.  I love mint tea with the Pineapple Juice and rosebud tea with the Vitamin Juice, the ration should be 3 parts juice and 1 part tea/water.