Let's Juice!

Freshly made vegetable and fruit juices are terrific sources of energy and nutrients. Plus, they're absolutely delicious!

By FamilyTime


For the uninitiated, the idea of making vegetable and fruit juices at home may seem excessive. Why not just eat the carrots, apples, celery, and tomatoes?

Juicing allows you to consume more of these tasty, good-for-you foods. The nutrients are concentrated, as are the flavors. Even better, you can concoct combinations that defy most home recipes.

For instance, a juice made from carrots, apples, and a little parsley is truly magnificent - but the same three ingredients cooked in a stew might not stand out.

Health Benefits of Juicing
When you juice, you separate the juice from the fiber in a fruit or vegetable. You can squeeze juice straight from soft fruits, such as oranges, but to get the optimum amount and to extract juice from firm vegetables and fruit, you need an automatic juicer.

The juice produced by this efficient extracting machine is loaded with concentrated vitamins and minerals. Drinking a glass of carrot juice, for instance, provides a wallop of beta carotene (which the body converts to vitamin A), as well as vitamins B, C, D, and E.

You can get the same nutrients by eating carrots, but you would have to eat a fistful of carrots to reap the benefits of one eight-ounce glass of juice. And it's far more pleasant to drink a glass of fresh, cold carrot juice than gnaw on half a dozen carrots.

Juice is a fast delivery system. The body absorbs it quickly and the energy boost is practically palatable. And juices contain no fat.

As delicious as they are, don't rely on a diet of juices alone. Your body needs fiber, too!

Choosing Produce for Juicing
The quality of the juice depends on the quality of the produce. For the most healthful juices, choose organic produce. Select firm, ripe, unblemished fruits and vegetables.

Before you juice, wash the produce in cool water, scrubbing it gently with a brush. Peel off waxy coatings, which are most apt to be found on apples, cucumbers, peppers, and citrus fruit; otherwise there is no reason to peel the skin.

Fruits and vegetables need very little preparation other than washing. Chop or pull off tough stems. Cut large specimens into manageable pieces for the feed tube. The powerful machine will do the rest of the work.

Drinking and Storing Juice
It's best to drink juice as soon as you make it. Some nutrients lose potency when the juice sits for any length of time, and the flavor of certain juices may not be as fresh and delicious.

If you must store juice, cover the container and refrigerate it for no more than two days.

Caring for the Juicer
To insure that the juices you and your family consume are as healthful and pristine as can be, keep the juicer clean.

Rinse it with cool water as soon as you use it. Take special care with the strainer, where pulp can stick to the screening. Use a soft but firm brush to scrub it clean.

Keep the care instructions that come with your juicer and follow them closely.

Once you begin juicing, you'll become a convert. You will feel better, look better, and most likely be healthier. What are you waiting for? Start juicing!