We were once juicing virgins too, and it was a bit overwhelming to know where to start. Still, underneath that juicing newbie anxiety, there was some serious excitement brewing! We were ready to take that step to see what all the fuss was about, knowing we would be doing something amazing for our health. It’s kind of like going into a health food store or visiting a farmer’s market for the first time. It’s unknown territory, but also a bit of a thrill to be exposed so much healthy food and healthy living practices.
If you’re new to juicing, we want to help get you started, so you can begin your raw juice adventures with a little more security. Then, when you’re ready, you can take on our 7 Day Juicing Jumpstart Challenge!
Step #1: Get an Electric Juicer. You may want to borrow one from a friend or be tempted to buy a very inexpensive one for under $50. Borrowing is great. Buying a cheap juicer is usually not so great. You definitely want to make sure you have a juicer that will last, can juice leafy greens and wheatgrass, and cleans fairly easily. It’s likely you’ll need to spend over $100 for a decent juicer. There are three main types of juicers (in order of expense, low to high): centrifugal, masticating, twin-gear. We both own a masticating Omega juicer (Kendall upgraded from the Jack Lalanne centrifugal style, which worked well, but didn’t juice leafy greens as well and was a pain to clean!). We love the Omega 2006! Be sure to give your new juicer a good wash before using it (soap and hot water).
Step #2: Buy some vegetables and fruit. Keep in mind, juicing mostly vegetables will result in lower naturally occurring sugar that is found in most fruit. A good rule of thumb is to stick with a 4:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit. Fruit helps to sweeten, if that makes your juice more enjoyable. Great produce to juice includes: carrots, beets, kale, collards, spinach, lettuces, parsley, celery, fennel, cabbage, cucumber, ginger root, apples, pears, oranges, lemons, limes – just to name a few! Also, it’s best to stick with organic produce, since one of the biggest reasons to juice is to help flush toxins from your body. Using produce that has been sprayed with chemicals defeats that purpose.
Step #3: Decide on your juice combo. Which veggies/fruits are you juicing first? There really aren’t any rules – just juice what appeals to you. Two easy combinations to try are 1) carrot, spinach, cucumber; 2) kale, lemon, apple, celery, ginger root.
Step #4: Prepare your produce. Wash your fruit/veggies – scrub with a produce brush. Use a natural produce cleaner if you prefer. Get out your knife and cutting board and chop up your fruit and veggies small enough to fit down the juicer chute. Don’t worry about seeds, apple stems, skin – for the most part these can stay on. Cut off any “bad” or browned areas/stems/roots. With citrus fruits, remove the bitter peel, but leave most of the white pith on. How much to prepare? It’s really up to you! The amount of juice you get will vary by juicer and fruit/veggie, so start with a smaller amount and add more if you wish. A good goal would be to produce 12 ounces of juice.
Step #5: Start your engine! Power up your juicer, and add your fruit and vegetables a little at a time. The juice will be caught in one container (some juicers include this containers, some don’t – use a glass or bowl to catch juicer if needed), and all of the fibrous parts in another.
Step #6: Clean your juicer. Ok, you don’t HAVE to do this now, but we recommend quickly cleaning your juicer before drinking your juice. Otherwise, you might procrastinate like we tend to do. Then you have a mess.
Step #7: Drink your juice! Enjoy your juice and all it’s nutritious goodness soon after juicing. Juice can be stored in an airtight container for a day or two, but keep in mind that the longer it sits, the more nutrients it loses, and of course, it will spoil. Still, a fresh juice made from home that is a day or two old is most likely better than a bottled juice you buy at the store!
So…what’s your first juice gonna be?!
If you’re ready for a week of juicing, along with some healthy whole food recipes, try our 7 Day Juicing Jumpstart Challenge!