The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
What I can have is vegetables…the more the merrier. And I am supposed to have fresh vegetable juice every day (without carrots or fruit). After a week of spending 6 dollars a glass at my local organic grocery store, I bought myself a juicer. I figure it will pay for itself in a few weeks. And I actually look forward to my juice—it’s the sweetest thing I am allowed to eat all day!
There is a lot of information out there about the benefits of juicing vs. blending. When you blend, you get all of the fiber, which is great for you, but it also fills you up so you don’t get as many vegetable vitamins as you do with juicing (it takes longer to digest the fiber). Also, a smoothie made from 100% vegetables is not that tasty. All the smoothie recipes I have found call for either fruit juice or fruit as the base with a few vegetables slipped in for more vitamins. Fruit smoothies are yummy but they are high in sugar so they’re banned from my diet, at least for now.
Vegetable juice, on the other hand, can be delicious without any added fruits. I like to start with some cucumber or a couple of stalks of celery as the base (an apple works great, too). These are high in water content so they add volume to your juice. You can add any vegetable you want. I can’t add carrots or beets because of their high sugar content but they are delicious in veggie juice. Remember that gigantic cabbage I had last week? It’s almost gone because I have been juicing it! It turns out that cabbage is fabulous to juice. It’s sweet and flavorful and amazingly good for you (it can cure a lot of gastric diseases including ulcers, colitis, IBS and even help people with Crohns disease). Parsley is great for your liver and adds a lovely flavor. Other veggies I like to juice are kale, spinach, Swiss chard, and dandelion greens (these are a little bitter but are great for you, especially if you are detoxing). And I always add a slice of ginger or a ½ a lime to my juice. They give it a kick and add more flavor. It’s fun to experiment every day with a new blend. What is great about juicing is that you get the vitamins immediately into your system…no digestion required. And vegetable juices cleanse and detox your body.
If you want to make your own juice at home, buy a juicer with a wide chute. I bought the Breville Juice Fountain Plus and I love it. It’s easy to use and clean. You can use the leftover fiber to put in soups or to thicken sauces, or add it to ground nuts or beans for a meatless loaf. (If you eat meat, you can add it to your meat loaf.). You can also add it to cakes and muffins. Or, you can compost it in the garden. I have a composter but if you don’t, just dig it into the ground. The fiber is so fine that it will decompose quickly and add nutrients to your soil.
Juicing requires a lot of vegetables, so if you have a garden, it’s an ideal way to use your bounty. If you are buying, it’s best to use organic vegetables since you are juicing the entire vegetable. Make sure all produce is washed well, and in the case of root vegetables, scrubbed. Only make enough juice for one day. Vegetable juice doesn’t keep well.
Wendy’s Favorite Vegetable Juice blend
2 stalks celery
1/3 of a cucumber
1 hunk of cabbage (2-3 cups)
½ apple (more if sugar isn’t an issue)
½-1 inch hunk of fresh ginger (or ½ a peeled lime)
½ bunch parsley
2-4 kale leaves (or mix and match with chard and spinach)
(optional: 1 beet or 2 carrots (or both))
Makes about 16 oz of juice.