Goodness in a glass

Juices and smoothies are a healthy option for those who would not eat fruit - or drink milk - other way.

Juices and smoothies

A good part of the goodness in fruits and vegetables is lost when you cook them. The best way to make use of all their food value is eating them raw. Why not in a glass? Try some of these healthy drinks, packed with vitamins and vitality.

Juicing at home is fast and easy. A fruit or vegetable juice is a healthy way to start your day, drinking a fresh vegetable or fruit juice with your snack can make a nourishing meal of it, fresh juice is an ideal way to quench your thirst without piling up the calories.

A tall glass filled with fresh juice, decorated with mint leaves or fruit slices, is an invitation to cheer for energy and high spirits.

Vegetables and fruits to juice

Juicing fruit - Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best to juice, the fresher, the better. You can mix fresh fruit with slightly over ripe, frozen, or canned fruit. Soft summer fruits -strawberries, raspberries, peaches, doughnut peach, melon, watermelon, and more- make an excellent drink. Tropical and exotic fruits - pineapple, papaya, passion fruit, and mango- are utterly refreshing.

Juicing vegetables - Among the vegetables, probably tomatoes and cucumbers are the best to juice. Mix them with fresh herbs - parsley, tarragon, basil, cress, mint, or cucumber - for more flavor.

Utensils and preparation

You will need a juicer, for a liquid drink, or a blender for more texture. With a blender you can also take advantage of the pulp, which ads some fiber.

Wash and dice soft fruit and vegetables. Peeling is not always advised, as most vitamins are close to the skin and you can always pour the juice through a sieve to get a thinner drink. Hard fruit, like carrots, will perform better sliced or shredded. The blender will do the rest.

No blender or juicer? You can always try to prepare your own cocktail based in already processed fruit juices and vegetables.

Liquid

Opposed to drinks based on citrus fruits, drinks based on a thick fruit or vegetable puree will require extra liquid.

Use fruit juice, freshly squeezed orange juice, for instance, goes well with almost any other fruit. Milk or yogurt is an excellent option; yoghurt works with both fruits and vegetables. For vegetable drinks, use also vegetable stock or the liquid left after boiling or steaming other vegetables.

Presentation

Serve ice cold. Chill the glasses in advance, if you have the time. When using the blender, add some ice to the mix -it will be crushed and you will get a chilled drink- or use some frozen fruit. Add crushed ice to the drink afterwards, if using a juicer.

Aromatic herbs or dried fruit make an attractive decoration. Cucumber slices and cress or watercress leaves provide color; so will lemon or orange slices. Small whole fruits, like pitted cherries or strawberries can decorate fruit drinks.