Juicing 101: How-Tos and Recipes for Getting Started Today
When I first started to make juicing part of my daily life, I expected to start feeling better. But I could have never predicted just how much better, and how quickly it would happen. Within the first few weeks of trying out a variety of juicing recipes, my sugar cravings decreased significantly, my complexion appeared brighter and healthier, and I felt like I was generally in a better mood.
Why I Juice
I like juicing because it's a delicious and easy way for me to get a ton of nutrients from fruits and vegetables into my body - far more than I'd ever get by eating. But for a long time, I didn't bother with juicing -- it seemed like a hassle. Between the equipment, the ingredients, and the time it would take, I was intimidated by the idea. But I powered through and came up with a system that made it easy to stick with it.
So if you've been thinking about juicing, now's the time! Below I've listed a few of the things I do to stay organized, a few juicing need-to-knows, and some recipes to get you started.
Getting (and Staying) Organized
Organizational Tip #1: Shop and Chop on Sundays
I don't have time for grocery shopping during the week, and could never stick to a plan to cut up fruits and veggies every morning, so for me, once-a-week prep is key. (It doesn't necessarily have to be Sunday—what day works for you?) Once I have all the produce, it takes me 30-45 minutes to get everything washed and cut, so it's really not a ton of time. I promise, the idea of it is always more daunting than the actual energy it takes.
Organizational Tip #2: Keep Your Juicer on the Kitchen Counter
I know it's big and clunky, and possibly not all that pretty. But think about how often you use appliances that are in your cupboards versus the ones you keep out. It's mostly psychological, but the idea of making your morning juice is going to seem like much less of a task if your juicer is already out, so find a permanent home for it on your counter top (ideally, close to your sink for easy rinsing), and embrace its presence.
Related: Tips on How to Buy a Juicer
Organizational Tip #3: Find a Happy Storage Solution
I like to use large resealable plastic bags, storing one or two servings of juicing ingredients in each, so they're ready to pull from fridge when I'm ready. But sometimes I get tired of the plastic-bag approach, and opt to use large containers with lids instead. Try one of these ideas, or come up with your own storage plan that makes it feel easy.
Organization Tip #4: Juice Once, Drink Once, Twice, or Thrice
I usually knock back one juice first thing in the morning, then will often have another in the afternoon as a snack. But I'll juice them both in the morning. Yes, it's best to drink them right after being juiced, but you can extend their life by storing them correctly (see below), so don't slave over the jucier too often or you'll burn yourself out.
Storage: If you're saving juice for later in the day, pour it into a glass container with an air-tight lid, like a Mason jar. Fill it as close to the brim as you can—air is juice's kryptonite, so less (or actually, none) is more.
Juicing small ingredients: Ball up greens before stuffing them into the feed tube so the juicer has something denser to attack. Also, if you're juicing ginger, put larger ingredients into the tube first (like lemon or apples), then add the ginger before pushing everything down or else it'll be like a little bouncy ball in the tube and it might get thrown into the pulp collector without extracting much good stuff.
Vegetable-to-fruit ratios: For a juice that's packed with vitamin- and nutrient-rich vegetables with just enough sweetness, a 2-to-1 ratio of vegetables to fruit is perfect. I found that once I got used to that, I wanted even less sweetness, so I recommend you just start at a place where the juice tastes good to you. You'll likely want to cut back on the fruit as you get used to the taste.
Slicing and dicing - what stays and what goes: When you're cutting up fruit and vegetables, it's mainly to get them small enough to fit through the juicer's feed tube, but there are a couple parts I do recommend cutting off. The typical juicer should actually be able to handle citrus peels, but I always remove them because I don't love the bitterness they add to the juice. I also slice off the outside of pineapple and kiwi fruit. (They just seem a little tough and furry, respectively, to send through.) But apple cores and unpeeled carrots? In they go!
Go organicas much as possible: I prep a week of fruits and vegetables at a time for juicing, and it would never stay good that long if I didn't use organic produce. But if you can't get organic 100 percent of the time, here's a handy guide that list which produce is most important to get organic.
This mix of greens, apples, lemon, cucumber, and celery is my morning ritual. I drink it every day about 30 to 60 minutes before I have breakfast, and I crave it as much as that latte I sip on an hour later.
More Green Juices:
I alternate between this and my Orangie Beet Juice recipe for an afternoon snack. Carrots, lemon, and apples come together for a flavor that curbs afternoon sugar cravings, and a hit of ginger gives it a nice zing.
If I'm ever feeling a little under the weather, I go straight for this juice. It's packed with lemon and ginger, which are great for taking the edge off any crumminess. Plus, is has a sweet hit of pineapple.
Browse dozens more juice recipes.