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Juicing 101

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My little town is growing up. This week our first co-op opened its doors. It will be wonderful to be able to get a few groceries and some fresh produce downtown when the farmers market isn’t in season. Last year we got a cute little juicing cafe and the local nutrition store moved into the downtown area. With a record store, coffee shop, and pizza place we are moving up in the world!
The nutrition store held a juicing class this last Saturday. I recently bought a juicer, so it was a great opportunity for me to learn more about why, how, and what to juice. As a casual juicer, I have not taken the plunge to do a full juice fast or cleanse. My breakfast recently has been consisting of a juice with some chia seeds thrown in for fiber and protein. It’s a great way to start your day! Especially if you let all those nutrients hit your system before your coffee does. The struggle is real.
The following information is an outline of the class and various books and websites I have read on the subject. Boy, does that sound sound dry? I promise juicing is a fun and colorful way to incorporate lots of fruits and veggies into your diet!

The Benefits:
Juicing fruits and veggies extracts much of the vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrients, which you in turn quickly absorb when consuming.
You can consume a large amount and wide variety of fruits and veggies.
Reduce calories without depriving your body of nutrients.
Promotes weight loss.
Boosts immune system.
Increases energy while giving your digestive system a break.
Supports brain health and function.
Overall health and wellness is increased by feeding your body important vitamins and minerals.

Types of Juicers:
Centrifugal:
Centrifugal juicers are use a high speed blade to break down produce. A spinning basket then separates the pulp from the juice.
These juicers are fast and easy to use.
Less expensive.
Creates more waste because it doesn’t extract juice as well as a masticating juicer.
Does not juice leafy greens well.
Juice needs to be consumed right away because of oxidization.                                Masticating:
Masticating juicers mash produce slowly, extracting the juice and preserving more nutrients.
More pulp, thus more fiber is preserved.
Quieter than a centrifugal juicer.
More expensive.
Juices leafy greens more effectively.
Juices can be stored for at least 24 hours.

Juicing versus Smoothies:
You can consume more nutrients from a juice because you are consuming a larger amount of fruits and veggies. Much of the fiber and pulp is removed.
Smoothies contain all the fiber and tend to be more filling, but contain fewer nutrients.
Both juices and smoothies have different benefits and it is a great idea to incorporate both in your diet.

Quick Tips on Preparing Produce:
Buy organic produce. When juicing you’re using raw fruits and veggies. No matter how long you soak and scrub them you will still be chancing pesticides in your system.
Wash all your produce well before juicing. Rinse any dirt off and soak in a solution of apple cider vinegar and water. I use a capful of apple cider vinegar in a large bowl of water. If you choose to use your sink make sure is clean and use a couple splashes of apple cider vinegar in a sink full of water. Swish around the produce to get clean.
There is no need to peel most vegetables, but do take thick skins from fruits like pineapple and citrus off.
It is a good idea to take the seeds out of apples.

The Recipes:                                                                                                                                       These recipes were inspired after some research on the different benefits that each fruit and veggie offer. They are also pretty tasty combinations!
Each recipe makes about 16 fluid ounces

Orange – Immune Booster
1 grapefruit
1 orange
1 Small sweet potato
3 medium to large carrots
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary (don’t run through juicer)

Red – Digestion Helper
1 large red beet
1/2 large fennel bulb
2 large handfuls spinach
1 large apple
1/2 lime

Green – Energizer
1 small green apple
1/2 pineapple
8 large kale leaves
2 large handfuls spinach
3 celery stalks
1/2 inch piece ginger

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