How to Create Delicious Vegetable Juice Recipes By Matt B. Hawkins
There is perhaps nothing healthier than drinking fresh vegetable juices on a regular basis. Fresh vegetables contain a variety of essential nutrients, notably vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients. While fruits contain many of these nutrients as well, they tend to contain more sugar, too much of which can lead to diabetes, weight gain, heart disease, and other health conditions. Leafy and other green vegetables, unlike fruits, also contain chlorophyll, which gives plants their characteristic green color and is responsible for converting sunlight into food for the plant. Chlorophyll has several powerful blood building and detoxification effects, which underscores the importance of incorporating green vegetables into your juice recipes.
Before getting started creating your own vegetable juice recipes with your juicer, there are a couple key points to keep in mind in order to ensure your juices are as healthy as possible. First, it makes a difference where you get your produce from and how it was grown. Recently picked fresh produce will retain more of its nutrients and will probably taste better as well. While the freshest produce would ideally be grown in your own garden, not everyone has the time, space, or interest to do this. The next best option is probably local, organic produce purchased from a farmer's market or community supported agriculture (CSA) program. If you are purchasing your produce at the supermarket, you will want to choose organic when possible to ensure a higher nutrient content and minimize the pesticide load.
Second, you will want to prepare your produce properly before juicing it. That means washing all produce prior to tossing it in the juicer, and preferably using a special vegetable wash (available at many supermarkets and health food stores) to remove any pesticides. It is also a good idea to chop up your vegetables into somewhat smaller pieces before juicing them to make it easier on your juicer and increase the amount of juice extracted. Be sure to remove any large seeds or pits, and juice the softer veggies before the tougher ones, since the tougher ones will push out the softer ones as they pass through the juicer.
When creating vegetable juice recipes for juicers, a good rule of thumb is to think about the tastes of the individual ingredients and how they might work together. For example, bitter greens such as kale, swiss chard, and collard greens are best paired with stronger fruits such as berries and citrus, or more mild veggies like celery and cucumber. You also have the option of adding herbs such as parsely, cilantro, and
many others as well as other flavor enhancers like honey, ginger, and stevia. These will help neutralize the tastes of the stronger vegetables and either add more sweetness or a little zing to your juices.
Here are some other simple vegetable recipes that work well:
Carrot Juice: Combine a pound of carrots (peeled) with a few leaves of lettuce, 1 apple, and half a lemon (peeled)
This juice is high in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and the B Vitamins as well as calcium. It's a great way to start off the morning and will benefit your skin and hair, bones, liver, and eyes. It's also a great choice for women who are pregnant and nursing.
Spinach Juice: Combine a bunch of spinach, 2 apples, and half a lemon (peeled) This is a way to get some dark leafy greens into your diet without the associated bitter flavor. A good simple, standby recipe. Tomato Juice: Combine 3 cups of tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 1 celery stalk, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper If you are looking to make a delicious juice similar to fresh, home-made V8, this is your solution. Feel free to make the flavor more complex by adding some oregano, basil, onion, or bell pepper. Keep in mind that these are just a small sample of all the wonderful juices you can make. Feel free to experiment with different fruit and vegetable combinations as well as flavor enhancers like herbs and spices. Sweeteners like honey and stevia will help to make more disagreeable vegetables palatable. Before long, you will have a good sense of what fruits and vegetables taste good together and be able to make vegetable juice recipes with your juicer that are both highly nutrient dense and delicious, the ultimate combination! Just be sure to use a variety of recipes to keep things fresh and interesting. This will allow you to enjoy the juicing process more and make it easier to stick with the habit for a lifetime.
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