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We all know the importance of healthy eating, and packing as many fruits and veggies into our diets as we can. But you may not like the texture of some fresh fruits, even if you like their flavor. Or you might enjoy certain veggies, like beets, but struggle to include them in your dinners. You may simply reach your limits – after all, fruits and vegetables are fibrous and filling, and you can only eat so many in one day.
But what if there was a solution to all of these healthy eating setbacks? Enter: juicing.
Juicing will give you the delicious flavors and nutritional content of a variety of fresh produce, without filling you up with fiber. Juicing is quick and convenient, and is an easy way to enjoy fruits and veggies that you might not otherwise include in your diet.
If you’re a newbie to juicing but you like the idea of improving your health with a delicious hobby, you’ve come to the right place. In this juicing how-to guide, I’ll be discussing everything you need to know as a juicing beginner. I’ll break down the juicing process, get you clued up on the different types of juicers, teach you how to juice properly, and much more.
🧃 What is Juicing?
When you process fruits and vegetables in a juicer, this is known as juicing. Juicers have a feed chute, a chamber where the produce is processed, and two exit spouts: one for the juice, and one for the pulp.
Juicing involves pushing produce into the juicer via the feed chute. Once inside the juicer, the produce will be squeezed or shredded to extract its juice content. The juice will be expelled from the juice spout, and the pulp will travel out of the pulp spout.
At the end of a juicing session, you’ll be left with a batch of fresh juice made from your favorite fruits and vegetables.
💪 What Are the Benefits of Juicing?
Juicing is beneficial for people of all ages. Some of the biggest benefits of juicing are as follows:
A Solution for Picky Eaters
If you have children, you know the struggle of introducing new, healthy foods into your family’s diet. But your picky eaters are much more likely to drink a sweet fruit juice than they are to bite into a mango or a kiwifruit. Juicing can also be beneficial to elderly people who don’t eat many fruits or vegetables because of chewing difficulty.
More Affordable than Store-Bought Juice
Buying store-bought juice can get expensive, fast, especially if you need enough juice in your refrigerator to supply your whole family until your next shopping trip. Typically, the healthier the juice, the more money it costs, too – so you’re better off making your own. Homemade juice is much more affordable if you bulk-buy cheaper ingredients, like apples, carrots, oranges, tomatoes, and spinach.
Makes you Feel Great
I’ve been juicing for nearly a decade now, and I definitely notice differences – both mental and physical – if I take a break from drinking fresh juice. Juicing has improved my energy, reduced my stress, helped me to sleep better, and improved my skin. I have friends who have successfully introduced juicing as a means of achieving their weight loss goals, swapping their unhealthy snacking habits for a healthy glass of fresh juice.
Increases your Fruit and Veg Consumption
We grew up thinking that 5 fruits and vegetables a day was the goal to aim for, but scientists and nutritionists now say we should eat up to 9 fruits and veggies per day to stay healthy. Most of us would struggle to include that many 5-a-day foods in our diet, and juicing makes it much easier. Drinking only the juice from fruits and veggies means you can consume a range of fruits and vegetables at once, without being filled up on fiber.
A Fun, Rewarding Hobby
Many long-time juicing enthusiasts will say that they don’t only juice for the health benefits – they do it for the enjoyment of experimenting with different flavor combinations and drinking a delicious, freshly-squeezed juice from their own kitchen, whenever they want. Even if you’re not an avid home chef, you should enjoy juicing, because it’s simple: all you need to do is chop your produce and add it straight to your juicer.
🍊 What Can I Juice?
There are several categories of ingredients you can process in a juicer:
Hard and Soft Fruits
Hard fruits like apples, peaches, plums, nectarines, mangoes, apricots, and pears can all be processed in a juicer. You can also juice soft raw fruits, like berries, pineapples, watermelons, kiwis, and currants.
Most types of vegetables can be processed in a juicer, including beets, fresh ginger, carrots, broccoli, and cucumbers. Keep in mind that some vegetables might contain a lot of juice, but won’t taste good, such as onions and potatoes.
Leafy greens are a good choice for making healthy, chlorophyll-rich green juices. Kale, swiss chard, spinach, wheatgrass, celery, and cabbage can all be used in a juicer. However, you’ll need a slow juicer if you want to obtain enough juice from these ingredients – more on that later.
Citrus fruits, like oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and tangerines, are great for adding a bit of zing to your juices. Most citrus fruits are too sour to juice on their own. A citrus juicer yields the most juice from these fruits.
💭 What Are the Different Types of Juicers?
The three most common types of juicers are centrifugal juicers, masticating juicers, and citrus press juicers. I’ve briefly summarized each of these juicers below, but I’ve written a full guide on the different juicer types if you’re looking for more information.
Centrifugal juicers, otherwise known as fast juicers, process fruits and vegetables quickly, shredding the produce and forcing it against a fine-mesh screen to extract juice through the tiny holes. Most centrifugal juicers operate at 1,000 RPMs or more. A centrifugal juicer can be used to create juice from soft and hard produce, but it doesn’t work well with leafy greens, and yields less juice overall.
Masticating juicers, otherwise known as slow juicers or cold-press juicers, use a slow, methodical juicing process to gradually squeeze juice from vegetables and fruits. Masticating juicers are better at juicing a range of ingredients, and are the best choice for juicing leafy greens. A masticating juicer operates at speeds of around 50-80 RPM, and gives a higher juice yield with a greater retention of nutrients.
A citrus press is a juicer specifically designed for juicing citrus, like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit. Citrus presses can be manual or automatic, meaning you might have to do the squeezing yourself, or the machine will do it for you. A citrus press can’t be used to process other non-citrus ingredients.
👆 How to Choose the Best Juicer
To make sure you choose the best juicer for you, it’s worth considering which features and benefits you value most in a juicer. This can be difficult if you don’t know much about juicers, and you’re not even sure what features and benefits there are, let alone which you like the sound of.
If this is true for you, I’m here to help. Below, I’ve listed the considerations you should make to choose the best juicer for your intentions.
How much time do you plan to put aside for juicing? Do you want to quickly make a glass of juice before work or the school run? Or do you plan to juice on the weekends, when you have more time to take things slowly? If you don’t think you’ll have a lot of time for juicing, a centrifugal juicer is the better option.
When you imagine yourself drinking a glass of fresh juice, what does it contain? Which ingredients are you most excited to put into a juicer? This will determine which juicer is best for you. If you have specific plans to make orange juice or green juice, a citrus press or masticating juicer will be better for you. But if you plan to juice a bit of everything, and you’re not that bothered about green juices, a fast juicer will work well.
The juice from any kind of juicer is healthy, but slow juicers yield better-quality, more nutritious juice. You might not be bothered about drinking the most highly nutritious juice, but if you are, look at masticating juicers, not centrifugal juicers.
As somebody who is new to juicing, you should be aware of the best juicer manufacturers to avoid wasting your money on a juicer that isn’t worth the investment. Hurom, Kuvings, Breville, Ninja, Omega, Cuisinart, and Champion are all some of the best juicing brands in the US, with the longest-standing reputations. Buying from one of these brands will ensure you receive a reliable product.
It’s worth setting a budget before you even begin looking for a juicer. I recommend saving at least $100 for a juicer, but there’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a machine if you don’t know whether your juicing hobby will stick. Centrifugal juicers are cheaper than masticating juicers, so these are a good choice if you’re brand-new to juicing.
When you plan to drink your juice is another important consideration. No matter which juicing recipes you follow, your raw juice will have a longer shelf life if it comes from a slow juicer than if it comes from a fast juicer. This is because slow juicers preserve enzymes and nutrients, while high-speed juicers introduce heat and oxidation, causing juice to lose its nutrients faster. In either case, I’d recommend drinking your juices immediately. If you do want to store your juices before drinking, a masticating juicer is better.
Your available side space will be a deciding factor in whether you buy a horizontal or vertical juicer. Vertical juicers have smaller footprints, so they’re better for kitchens with limited side space. All centrifugal juicers are vertical, as well as some masticating juicers. If you have the available space for a horizontal juicer, it’s worth considering the benefits of this kind of juicer, including a slower juicing speed and a more affordable upfront cost. If space is really limited, you can get portable versions of full-sized juicers, like the Breville Juice Fountain Compact.
Think about how often you plan to use your juicer. A juicer that you pull out every day needs to have stronger parts and a more durable motor than juicers you only use every so often. Generally, the more expensive a juicer, the longer you can expect it to last. Customer reviews can also be a telling sign of a juicer’s durability. Look for reviews from customers who provide updates on how well the juicer continues to perform over the years.
📝 How to Juice Properly
There’s a lot of information online about how to properly juice, and some of it can get confusing. Below, I’ve shared a simple step-by-step guide for juicing, so that you can get the most out of every juicing session.
- Assemble your juicer. Make sure all the parts are slotted correctly in place.
- Prepare your fruits and veggies. If your juicer has a smaller feed chute, chop your ingredients to size. Remove any tough skins from produce and cut away any moldy or brown parts.
- Feed the ingredients into your juicer. The juicer will do the work from here, extracting the juice from the juice spout, and the pulp from the pulp spout.
- Some juicers have a cap that can be closed on the juice spout. Close this cap to mix your juices inside the machine, eliminating the need to mix the juice yourself.
- Clean your juicer immediately. If you have a dishwasher-safe juicer, this could be as easy as placing the removable parts on the top shelf of your dishwasher and switching it on. The faster you can clean the juicer, the easier it will be.
- Drink your juice straight away. The longer you leave your juice sitting out on the side, the more nutrients it will lose. Drink your juice within five minutes of juicing for the highest nutritional value.
How to Store Fresh Juice
Fresh juice will oxidize quickly if it isn’t stored properly. Store your juice in the fridge to increase its shelf life. An airtight container will prevent oxygen from getting into the juice and causing it to lose nutrients faster. Make sure to use a container made from glass, rather than metal or plastic, which could leach chemicals or metals into your juice.
Juice from slow juicers usually lasts for up to 48 hours, but only when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Some manufacturers claim that juices in their machines last up to 72 hours, but I wouldn’t recommend storing a juice beyond 48 hours.
Juice from a fast juicer has a shorter lifespan of 24 hours. Again, you should store your juice in an airtight container in the fridge to prevent it from oxidizing more quickly.
📌 Juicing For Beginners: Top Tips
Getting started with juicing can be daunting. There are so many juice recipes to choose from, and you don’t even know how to put your juicer together yet. Don’t panic – juicing isn’t as hard as it seems. These juicing tips should get you off to a good start on your juice journey.
Tip 1: Wash Produce Well
Pesticides and dirt can be found on the skin of most non-organic produce. It’s fine to juice whole foods in your juicer, but if you’re not going to peel the skin, make sure you scrub away the dirt and pesticides before juicing.
Tip 2: Read the User Manual
Most of us will agree that we just don’t have time for reading in today’s world. However, a juicer is not a kitchen appliance to wing it with. You can get more out of your juicing experience if you know exactly how your juicer works, and how to optimize its performance. Find out which ingredients are processed best in your juicer, and which speed settings are best for juicing which foods.
Tip 3: Keep your Sugar Content Low
Vegetable juices offer the same nutrients and enzymes as fruit juices, with the added bonus of containing far fewer sugars. Drinking a veggie-packed juice doesn’t have to be unpleasant, either. If green juice isn’t your thing, you can always combine mild-tasting, sweet vegetables like carrots with fresh citrus or fresh ginger in your juice recipes, so the most powerful flavor is the most enjoyable one.
Tip 4: Drink Juice Immediately
Fresh juices are best consumed immediately, no matter what you make them in. Even a good quality juice will begin to oxidize and lose nutrients during its time in storage. To get the most nutritional value from your juices, you should drink them straight away after juicing.
Juicing Mistakes to Avoid
If you’re brand-new to juicing, you can’t expect to know everything. Some of the mistakes that people often make when they start juicing can be found below.
- Adding too much fruit to juices. Drinking juice purely from fruit will mean you end up ingesting more sugar than is healthy. I recommend simply fruits to your vegetable juice, rather than the other way around.
- Going too hard with a juice cleanse. The internet is a dangerous place when it comes to juice cleanses and diets. If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t do anything your doctor wouldn’t give you the green light on – and would your doctor really tell you to cut out all food and drink juice from dawn till dusk? Your juice recipes should be part of a healthy diet.
- Making the same juice recipe over and over. This won’t provide your body with a variety of nutrients and enzymes.
- Making juicing too expensive. If you tell yourself you’ll only buy organic fruits, or you’ll only juice with exotic ingredients, you may end up hurting your wallet and giving in on juicing altogether. You should make juicing an affordable hobby based on however much you can comfortably spend.
📔 Juicing Recipes For Beginners
Juice recipes don’t have to be complex. Below, you’ll find my top three no-fuss, healthy recipes for beginners to try today.
1. Beginner’s Green Juice
This beginner’s green juice doesn’t contain too many dark leafy greens – you’ll just need celery, cucumbers, and a few other refrigerator staples.
2. Afternoon Pick-Me-Up Juice
You need just four ingredients for this juice, but the combo tastes incredible, so don’t be surprised if you return to this recipe time and time again.
3. Detox Morning Veggie Juice
Combining some of the ingredients from the above two recipes, this detox morning veggie juice will help you to start your day off right.