Juicing vegetables

Eating your vegetables takes on a whole new meaning when you begin juicing.

Carrots are popular in juices because of their natural sweetness

The brilliant colors alone are fascinating to watch as they come through the spout of your juicer.

Health benefits of popular vegetables in juicing

Here are some health benefits that have been attributed to vegetables you are probably familiar with. These all make for great juice ingredients—how many have you juiced lately?

All rich green vegetables contain some chlorophyll. (Do you remember that term from high school Biology??). This can help clean our elimination systems, which can then clean our blood and lymph systems.

Chlorophyll can have other positive effects on our bodies as it helps to improve our circulation, relieve inflammatory pain, destroy bacteria and purify our livers.

Because chlorophyll, via green juices, is such a powerful benefactor to our bodies, you should strive to get some green juicing in on a regular basis. Starting out with greens combined with other juices (fruits, milder vegetables) may make it more palatable for you if you are a beginning juicer.

The nice thing about juicing is that by combining fruits and vegetables that contain specific nutrients, you can target certain concerns, like belly fat, urinary tract infections, or high blood pressure.

So unless you are dealing with a specific medical problem, and are seeking a remedy through juicing and/or raw foods, enjoying a wide variety of these foods through juicing could provide you with vitality and natural protection from serious illness.

The best vegetables for beginner juicing and how to prepare them

Part of the excitement of juicing is getting to try new vegetables. Since you don’t have to learn special cooking techniques, or worry about timing your veggies, there is a lot more freedom, too.

All vegetables (and leafy greens and fruits, for that matter) have phytonutrients that are good for your body’s health. It makes sense that the more variety you can add to your daily diet, the more you will benefit from these riches that Mother Nature has hidden for us in raw produce.

That said, some vegetables are simply easier to juice than others. A more accurate statement would be, “some vegetables are simply easier to PREPARE than others.”

So in the interest of getting you to start juicing and experiencing the delicious, fresh tastes of juicing, let’s look at vegetables that are easy for beginning juicers.

Keep yer shirt on!

This collection can be juiced without peeling.

Asparagus – just trim off the raw edge on the bottom of each stalk

Carrots -- be sure to rub when you rinse; remove the green tops, which contain toxic substances

Celery -- so easy, even the leafy tops can go through your juicer. Celery strings can get wrapped up in the mechanism, so cut them into two- or three-inch lengths before juicing.

Parsnips – after rinsing, cut the larger ones in half lengthwise; run these through the juicer just like carrots

Summer squash (yellow) and zucchini – just remove the stems

Sweet potatoes – scrub well and cut into chunks

Turnips – scrub and chop to fit, but rutabagas are usually protected by a waxy coating, so it is best to peel those

Seedy characters

These safe seeds will not hurt the juicer.

Bell peppers, all colors – remove the stem and cut the peppers to fit into your juicer chute, but keep the seeds

Cucumbers - keep the seeds! You don’t have to peel cucumbers, unless they are waxed

Butternut squash – it’s okay to keep the skin on if you wish, but peel it if it is very tough. Slice to fit, keeping the seeds.

Tomatoes – take off the stem and any leaves; slice to fit but definitely keep the seeds

Slice and dice

Slice and chunk just enough to fit into the chute.

Broccoli – the stalks and the head are all fine to juice; if you insert the bottom of the stalk first, that can help move the previous additions if needed. Make sure your chute is covered, those tiny florets can fly!

Cabbage – red cabbage and green cabbage – remove the outside leaves, and cut it into wedges to fit your juicer

Radishes – remove the leaves if there are any

Very appealing

Wash and scrub then peel these vegetables.

Beets, also called beetroot – you may also send the leaves through the juicer

Jicama – this is usually peeled, though some people leave the skin on

Git rid of the grit

‘Nuff said.

Leeks – you can juice both the white root/bulb and most of the green leaves; since they grow in sandy mounds, slice them lengthwise, separate the layers, and rinse carefully.

Chard (aka Swiss chard or silver beet) – the leaves and the stems can all be juiced. Rinse carefully and pat dry for best results.

Collard greens, kale, spinach, Romaine lettuce – prepare and juice the same way as chard

It is critical to wash all of your produce before juicing. Even organic produce comes into contact with all kinds of dirt and external bacteria before it gets to your kitchen.

(Plus, you don’t want any grit to damage your juicer!)