Juicing is here to stay, but it is an evolving science. It seems that the louder adherents and advocates of juicing become, the louder the naysayers and critics sound.
Do's and don’ts of juicing
There are some definite things you should—and should not—do if you decide to begin juicing. They will make all the difference in your success, or lack of success.
They are divided here into five sections: general, health, weight control, financial, and social. Take them with a grain of salt and use what you can in your own juicing adventure.
Juicing in general
DO plan for where and when you will make juice.
DO plan for carrying and storing your juice away from home, if applicable.
DO wash all produce.
DO peel all non-organic produce.
DO clean up after yourself every time you clean and prepare fruits and vegetables.
DO dissemble and wash—or at least soak—your juice machine after every production.
DON’T add too many strong/bitter greens to your juices. Get used to how much they can affect the taste and your enjoyment of your juices. Same goes for onion and garlic.
DO aim for a ratio of 4:2 green (vegetable) to pink (fruit) for your juices.
DO keep a notebook of the combinations that you like the best (and least)! This will help when planning your grocery shopping lists.
DO have a plan for your juicing. Study the best practices so you can go into it with a chance for success.
DO know what particular vegetables, fruits and greens will best work with any health issues you may have.
DO plan for balance and variety, both for health as well as to keep yourself interested in your juicing.
DON’T stop taking any prescription medicines.
DO consult with your doctor if you take medications that could be affected by concentrated amounts of foods such as grapefruit or broccoli. (When in doubt, DO ask.)
DO be careful if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Stick with low-sugar fruit like lemon, lime, cranberries and rhubarb.
DO understand what you are getting into, if you decide to do a juice fast.
DO plan your juice fast by taking into consideration your work schedule, family obligations, and travel plans.
DO allow yourself to transition into your juice fast and plan to transition out of it.
DO think about the food/eating plan you will follow once your official juice fast has ended.
DON’T look at your fast as a “once-and-done,” or the weight you lost will come back overnight.
DO use your newly-awakened taste buds’ excitement to propel yourself into a lifestyle that includes enjoying and exploring lots more fruits and vegetables.
DO look at your budget and make an informed decision about the juice machine you will buy.
DO understand that the volume of produce you will buy is much more than you are used to.
DO expect to have larger than normal grocery bills for the short term, at least.
DO plan to shop for smaller size clothing in a few months if you keep to your healthy lifestyle!
DO realize that some people will criticize you for juicing, especially if you are juice fasting.
DON’T try to convert others to your new way of life. Let your results speak for themselves.
DON’T find yourself unprepared for how to eat at business luncheons or travel.
DO offer to let family members try your juice combinations. It’s fun!
DO keep an optimistic attitude. Remember your original goal, whether it was for general health, specific issues, or weight control.
DO applaud yourself for taking positive steps for your life. Congratulations!
Juice recipe mashup: Do create your own
If you peruse book reviews in the “juicing” category, you are likely to come across two types of negative comments:
“It was all theory and I wanted more recipes” and “This was all recipes, what I really wanted to know was more about the theory.”
(Sigh.) What’s an author to do?
That’s their problem. Let’s dissect some popular juicing recipes, and figure out a template to use to create your own recipes.
But first, know that almost all juice recipe directions are identical:
- Peel (optional if organic).
- Seed (optional if organic and if seeds are soft).
- Pour over ice.
Here’s a refreshing green juice made popular by Joe Cross, a movie producer and juicing guru:
- 1 cucumber
- 4 celery stalks
- 2 apples
- 6-8 leaves kale
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon ginger
Traditionally ingredients are listed in order of addition. It looks like the lemon following the kale would be enough to help push the kale through the juicer.
Megan Markey, who blogs at Whole Family Fare, devised this recipe, also green. It’s for two adults:
- 5 or 6 Granny Smith apples
- 1 bunch kale
- about a half bunch of cilantro
- half a lemon
- 2 small pieces of ginger
Torrie Pattillo at MindBodyGreen offers this one, designed to convert skeptics:
- 1 cucumber
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 pears
- 1/3 cantaloupe
- 6-8 kale leaves
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 inch of ginger
Let’s plot them all out together and look for trends. Remember, these are all green juices.
** Joe **Cucumber: 1
Celery: 4 stalks
Kale: 6-8 leaves
Ginger 1 tablespoon
** Megan (2 servings) **Apple: 5-6
Kale: 1 bunch
Cilantro: 1/2 bunch
Ginger: 2 small piece
** Torrie **
Celery: 2 stalks
Kale: 6-8 leaves
Ginger: 1 inch
We see that the ingredients in common are kale, lemon, and ginger.
Joe has 2 apples where Torrie has 2 pears, they both have 1 cucumber and the same volume of kale; it looks like Joe’s extra 2 celery stalks could approximate Torrie’s 1/3 cantaloupe in terms of volume.
Megan’s, which is for 2 adults, is really 2.5 – 3 apples for one serving. You could say that her extra apple is equivalent to Joe’s cucumber and celery; his unjuiced volume would be greater but I suspect her juice had a zingier flavor.
There are a couple of important things to notice here.
The base, or basic flavor, for each recipe was apple/pear with not-powerfully-flavored bulky food (cucumbers, celery, and cantaloupe).
The green was consistently provided by the kale; there must be something to the 6-8 leaves per person, so keep that in mind if you are just starting to experiment with leafy greens. (And know your greens – 6-8 leaves of collard greens could be dramatically stronger or bitterer. Tread carefully!)
Lemon and ginger were used consistently, to provide “zing” and maybe some wake-up effect for morning juice.
Here are some general thoughts on creating your own new juice recipes.
Feel free to experiment. The size, shape and volume of generic foods like “apple” or “cucumber” can vary widely. This is an imprecise science, unlike baking, so the yield (and strength of flavor) will be slightly different each time.
Take a look at recipes online, in magazines or on TV, and then substitute according to what you like, or what you have on hand. Have fun!