guide to juicing and green smoothies
One of the easiest and fastest way to increase your skin-loving fruit and veggie intake is by consuming freshly made juices or smoothies. Simple. Would you be able to eat all of this one sitting: a handful of raw whole kale leaves, 1 large cucumber, 1 stick of celery, 2 apples, a lemon and a large handful of spinach. Probably not, and especially not for breakfast but you can drink it with ease as part of your morning beauty routine. It’s also easy and barely detectable to add other ingredients such as protein (an egg is an excellent choice) and a dash of healthy skin moisturising oils such as flax seed or walnut oil, rich in those hard to get omega 3 fatty acids or even chia seeds, avocado or nut meal.
1 in 2 Australians get TWO OR LESS serves of fruit and vegetables in a day (Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend 7, as you know). More startling, almost one million Australian adults (3.8%) have absolutely NO fruits or vegetables each day. Gen Y is four times more likely than Baby Boomers to eat no veggies a day. And most Australians eat sugar-laden cereal for breakfast, with 1 in 4 choosing white toast. Source: Vitamix [email protected] Breakfast Survey Findings. Download the report: Vitamix [email protected] Breakfast Survey Findings
Each colour-family of fruit and vegetables are rich in unique and important micronutrients that help provide varying enzymes, vitamins, minerals antioxidants, anti-inflammatories to feed your skin, hair, nails, eyes as well as protecting your immune systems and keeping your body energised and strong and your mind focused.
Juicing is a faster, more efficient way to absorb nutrients naturally as when in a liquid form and drunk on an empty stomach they are said to be more easily digested. It also provides a more efficient way to access digestive enzymes and nutrients typically locked away in the fibre matrix of whole fruits and vegetables. And because they are RAW, they are LIVE.
I recommend that the majority of juices be veggie based, especially leafy greens, like kale, spinach, and celery or with deep reds such as beetroot, carrots or blueberries. It doesn’t hurt to add an apple or orange for a touch of sweetness, and lemons are fantastic for alkalizing the body.
If your eyes are rolling with how on earth will I be able to fit this into my morning routine then 1) get organised 2) mix it up and grab one out or take a look at these alternatives.
The concept of living juice was first introduced by Dr. Norman Walker (1886-1985). Dr Walker declared that the enzymes in fruit and vegetables die at temperatures which exceed 50 degrees Celsius. He explained that any juice extractor that used a high-speed blade or centrifuge created friction heat leading to the destruction of enzymes. See more
Getting Ready to Juice:
- Select your juicer or blender. See which juicer is right for you. As a rule of thumb very fibrous vegetable and harder fruits can’t go in a blender and firmer fruits such as banana and avocado can’t go thru a juicer.
- Prepare your juicing shopping list. Before shopping, make your list so you know how much fruit and vegie to purchase. The veggies need to be kept in the fridge so you may find yourself buying them every few days or so. Green smoothies tend to be made with avocados or bananas and ice so make sure you have ice on-hand as it gives the juice a fabulous mouth feel – chia seeds also give a smooth mouth feel as they absorb upto 100 times their weight. Organic is best but if it’s restricted for accessibility and price don’t stress.
- Save time. Prepare your fruits and veggies the night before if you plan on making a morning juice by selecting the ingredients for your juice, washing the produce, placing them in a storage container in the fridge and assembling the juicer in your kitchen so it’s ready to go. Some people have found it a good idea to prep ahead ‘juicing bags’ for several days of the week. I am going to see if there are suppliers available in Sydney that do this already – I’ll let you know or please let me know.
- To juice: Wash, cut and juice! Follow the following steps to make your juice(s) and or smoothies.
How to Make a Juice:
- Wash produce thoroughly. Unwashed produce (if you don’t have organic) can be contaminated with pesticides so this is an important step in the juicing process.
- Cut to fit through the juicer or into the blender jug. Just before juicing, cut any produce that might be too large to fit through the juicer whole. Large pits and tough skins of fruits and vegetables should be removed, but stems, peels and even some seeds can go through a juicer with no problem.
- Feed produce through the juicer. If your juicer has more than one speed, don’t forget to lower it from high to low for softer fruits to maximize extraction. Usually hard produce like apples and beets are on High and soft ones like spinach or cabbage are set to Low. For blenders it does not matter, use your tamper stick or add more water to get it blending.
- Drink asap. Drink it as soon as possible because once it’s juiced it starts to lose nutritional value overtime thru oxidation. Store it in mason jars with lids tightly sealed. If stored properly, it can last for a day or so. If you prefer it cold, add over ice.
- Clean your juicer. Pull apart and carefully scrub your machine with warm water and and leave to dry. If you have a blender fill it with water and pop back on the unit and turn on to ‘self’ clean’. They are so simple a definite reason to make green ‘smoothies’ over juices in the morning.
- Waste not. Use the leftover pulp from juicing fruits and vegetables for compost, which will enhance the next harvest from your home gardens. Alternatively, the pulp can also be incorporated into a variety of dishes such as vegetable soups, veggie patties, muffins or even meatballs.
- Additional tips for smoothies made in a blender or cold press juicer.
You can use frozen fruit to give smoothies a wonderful texture. It also eliminates the need for ice, so the flavour of the smoothie isn’t diluted. Buy organic frozen berries or mango cheeks (or IQF – individually quick freeze on baking trays ahead of time and when at peak of season, store in zip lock bags). Conventionally grown berries tend to have high pesticide residues. If your juice lacks flavour, you can always add a little bit of fresh citrus juice to liven it up.
Consider dairy or alternatives. Nut or coconut milk and natural yogurt or kefir give smoothies added flavour and nutrients and or a creamy texture.
Here’s one of my favourite juices to start your day with.
Skin Food Juice or Smoothie
Packed with skin essential food actives to feed your skin at a cellular level to create an inner glow.
Vitamin A&C helps make collagen, vitamin A and potassium prevent dryness, iron oxygenates your cells and boosts your immune system for health and radiance, silica promotes tissue firmness and elasticity and omega 3 moisturises and helps reduce inflammation – skin puffiness, redness and disorders such as psoriasis.
4-6 Kale (Vit A, C and K, manganese, iron, calcium)
2 sticks Celery (silica, vitamin C, potassium)
1 Cucumber (silica, Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium)
2 Apples (fibre, quercetin antioxidant)
½ Lemon (vitamins C, alkalizing) (remove skin except for a 1/4)
2 tblspns Flax seed oil (omega 3)
Water – may need between 1/2 – 1 cup depending on which method you use and your desired consistency.
If you have mint growing in your garden …go grab some, it adds a refreshing taste.
Into your Vitamix add all ingredients. Turn to high and blend for at least a minute til creamy smooth. Adding some ice is fabulous too – creates a melt in your mouth sensation.
Into a juicer at ingredients one by one, whisk in flax seed booster at end.
Serve & store in jars in the fridge. Makes enough for 2 days
Which juicer is right for you?
If you are new to juicing, it can be overwhelming but don’t let that stop you. You’ll find over time you’ll end up with more than one device – a centrifuge or pressed style and a powerful blender.
It’s best to start the process with a wish list of what you want. Here’s mine
- Can keep it on my bench top all the time – small footprint
- Easy to clean – time poor and I hate washing up
- Not too noisy so I don’t wake up the house
- Quick to prep and juice
- Able to easily juice whatever I put in it. Ie green leaves, avocado, tough vegies eg purple cabbage. I can add oils + eggs for example and know they will be end up in the juice not pulp bin.
- High yield.
- Cold pressed to retain enzymes and nutrients and can keep the juice for at least 24hrs with out deterioration.
- Can make nut milks or add nuts and sprouts to the juice.
- Makes nut milks in 2 minutes without sieving / straining.
Here’s quick look at the different types with some suggested brands.
1. Centrifugal Juicers
How they work
A spinning basket shreds the fruits and vegetables using a sharp disc, pushing the juice through a fine strainer by centrifugal force and expelling the roughage.
- Your first machine (if someone gives it to you!!)
- Making juices quickly
- Budget shoppers
- Easy to use
- Juices quickly
- Oxygenates the juice – which means it starts to turn brown, looses it nutritional value and does not keep as long.
- Greens are a little harder to juice – flies thru without extracting everything
- Cannot juice wheatgrass, sprouts, or nuts
- Pulp is not as dry as it could be
- Much of the fibre is removed
- Noisy, big and heavy.
Price Range: $100- $300
Breville Juice Fountain is extremely popular. I’ve had a Sunbeam for at least 10 years – it’s ok, I am not happy with how wet the leftover pulp is and how big, ugly and noisy it is.
2. Cold pressed Juicer
(Slow speed, Vertical, Single Gear, or Single Auger)
How they work
It masticates the small or narrow pieces of fruit and vegetables and slowly pushes the juice through a fine strainer expelling the roughage.
- Your first investment in your health
- Optimum nutrition
- Variety of fruit and vegetables including green leaves and seeded fruits + can make nut milks
- Time poor people (it’s small and pretty easy to clean)
- Stops oxidation and minimise separation of juices and foaming
- Less heat is generated with low (80rpm) speed to retain more enzymes and nutrients.
- Juices can be kept up to 72hrs.
- Cleans up quickly with auto cleaning system
- Seed fruits such as pomegranate and cherries can be juiced
- Easily juices kale, leafy veggies, herbs, sprouts and wheat grass.
- Optimum juice extraction + slightly higher pulp (fibre) in juice.
- Some models can make nut milks and butters and sorbets
- Pressing action is quiet
- Longer food preparation, has a narrow shoot so small pieces are required.
- Price Range: $300- $800
- Omega is a brand worth looking at too.
- Kuving have a Silent juicer ($500). I have this one. 🙂
- Hurom juicers up to $800 for the latest commercial version
- See https://www.vitality4life.com.au/
3. Twin-Gear Juicers (Also called Dual-Gear or Triturating)
How they work
Two interlocking gears press together to extract juice from produce – have a horizontal ‘augmenting’ action
- If have you the funds and are willing to splurge
- People who frequently drink a large quantity of juice
- You’ve got a lot of time on your hands!
- Low oxidation of the juice to preserve optimum nutritional value
- Efficient at juicing greens
- Can be used for other functions besides juice, depending on brand and mode
- More parts to clean and a little trickier to put back together after cleaning
- Requires some strength to juice firmer produce
- Takes up a large footprint on your bench
Price Range: About $300 – $900+
4. Power Blenders
How they work
An all in one powerful blender that finely blends or purees the fruit and vegetable & and other ingredients and in doing so is capable of adding heat to warm up the contents and make soup. Good idea to add ice to the blender.
- If have you the funds and are willing to splurge
- Want a quick, easy and effortless way to make juices and smoothies
- If you want a multi purpose machine that can make sauces, soups, condiments, ice creams, grind grain and nuts etc.
- Drink a large quantity of juice
- Use and consume the whole food – no pulp and little waste
- Efficient at juicing green and soft fruits. Can add ‘booster’ such as oil or egg or chia seeds easily and it incorporates into the drink.
- Simple to use and self cleaning. Robust
- Can be used for other functions
- Small footprint.
- Can make vegetable soups in a couple minutes – it puts so much energy and heat into the slicing action that it heat up the contents 10C every minute.
- Good for grinding nuts, seeds and grains to make your own flours or milks.
- Not ideal for hard raw vegetables like carrots and beetroot.
Price Range: About $300 – $1000
Without doubt Vitamix is the most well known & easy to use but be prepared to pay between $700-1000. There are similar machines at cheaper prices and even more powerful such as the Optimum 9900 or 9400 which many of the cafes use ($470-540 – seems to be on permeant sale). There is also a Biochef Blender at $400 & the Omniblender at $300-400 which have very similar specs and look the same, include tamper, different size jugs, set run times etc etc. There is also the Blendtec commercial (Boost Juice use I think) & the domestic range ($800-900). Note – most / all jugs are BPA free.
Now you know why I have a Vitamix (love the best & love their service) and cold pressed Kuvings juicer on my Kitchen Essentials wish list!
Want some ideas for ingredients to add to your juice or smoothie for healthy glowing skin? Grab yourself a copy of our free Beauty Nutrition Handbook which explains the active nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins and anti-inflammatories that are essential for our skin, body and mind to operate at optimum levels.