My husband drinks fruit and vegetable juices first thing in the morning, before he eats any solid food. He feels this is a good and gentle way to get his digestive system started on a daily basis. The blender or juicer does all the chewing for him so that his body can quickly begin absorbing all the nutrients from the produce. I insist on using organic fruits and vegetables for his juices and make sure everything is washed carefully before it’s blended up.
My blender of choice is a Blendtec, which liquefies anything I put into it. A super-strong blender preserves the fiber from the fruits and vegetables, whereas a juicer separates out most of the fiber from whatever produce is thrown into it. Of course, a juicer is easier to use because it requires no peeling or coring or seeding of the ingredients. To make juices in my juicer, I remove seeds, peels, and rinds (from limes or watermelon), and cores (from apples and pears). So a bit of prep work is necessary. But then I press the “whole juice” button and the blender slowly ramps up its speed until everything is liquefied and smooth in under a minute.
Juicing and blending is very popular with raw food fans. It’s much easier to consume raw foods when they’re whipped into smoothies or tamed into a juice. Plus, salads can get tiring after a while. Raw food adherents don’t like to buy fruit and vegetable juices at the market because those products are pasteurized (heated up to 161 degrees for at least a few minutes). This makes them likely to be bacteria-free, but it also destroys some vitamins in the process. For more information on the benefits of juicing, see the article “Juicing: Your Key to Radiant Health” by Dr. Mercola.
I develop juice and smoothie recipes around the FoodTrients philosophy, focusing first on the benefits I want and then choosing those ingredients that will deliver them. I also keep in mind that many vitamins (A, D, E, K, and the carotenoids) need fat in order to be absorbed.
My Immunity Booster smoothie has yogurt for its probiotic content, carrots for the carotenoids, and goji berries, limes, and strawberries for their high vitamin C content. My Anti-Inflammatory juice is made with apples because they contain quercitin, grapes because they have resveratrol, pears because their skins are anti-inflammatory, flaxseeds for their omega-3s, coconut water for its lauric acid, and cinnamon, a classic anti-inflammatory spice. My Mind & Beauty smoothie blends nutritious green tea in place of water, brain-healthy wheat germ together with collagen-building eggs (making it protein-rich), and carrots and cantaloupe for sweetness and carotenoids, as well as cucumbers, which contain silica.
My Antioxidant juice features prunes, açai pulp, almond milk, blueberries, and pomegranates—all antioxidant powerhouses. My Detox Juice contains wheatgrass and/or watercress because these plants are full of chlorophyll (you can use spirulina powder, too),Brazil nuts for their selenium content, oranges for their vitamin C (which helps cleanse the liver), and chia seeds for their fiber and omega 3s. The Brazil nuts and chia seeds need to be soaked in water overnight so they soften up enough to blend smoothly. You can also substitute mushrooms for Brazil nuts if nuts don’t blend smoothly enough in your blender or juicer. Water is an excellent detox agent, so I use a lot of that, too.
Fresh turmeric root fights inflammation and contains antioxidants, and the best way to enjoy it is to juice it (see my recipe for Fresh Turmeric Juice). Once juiced and strained, it can be stored in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator for up to a week, and it can be used in my Turmeric Rice and Turkey in Turmeric Sauce recipes.
Currently, I’m experimenting with quantities and more recipes. In the meantime, I hope you’ll try the three recipes we have just posted. If you’re ready for some serious juicing, you may want to enter the FoodTrients contest to win a juicer and begin experimenting on your own? Don’t miss out on your chance to win Breville’s Juice Fountain™ Multi-Speed appliance, which retails for between $225 and $250. All you have to do is sign-up for our free newsletter. Good luck! Click here for more details.