Jan. 14. 2014
Nutrition Articles
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder

A juicing 101 guide: how to, what to juice and reasons why to start juicing at home.

Today, I want to focus on a topic I have readers, clients, family, and friends ask me about all the time… juicing. This Juicing 101 guide is all about how to’s, what to juice, and reasons why to juice! You may want to bookmark this in depth post for later referencing or to share it with your loved ones who are interested in juicing. Also, stay tuned for my favorite classic green juice recipe early next week.

What is juicing?

Let’s start by breaking it down to basics first. What is juicing? Juicing involves a process where the natural liquid, vitamins, and minerals are extracted from raw fruits and vegetables. This process strips away any solid matter from the fruits and vegetables and you’re left with liquid only. This liquid isn’t just any liquid, it’s loaded with the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and phytonutrients all in one easy-to-sip hydrating drink.

I love juicing for obtaining quick energy, whereas many of you may think coffee or caffeine is a quick fix, an even quicker way to fuel your body with all natural and in turn, long-lasting energy from raw fruit and vegetable juices. Once you start incorporating my Stripped Green Smoothie and even the Stripped Green Juice, you’ll be in LOVE with your newfound energy and radiance. Yes, the juicer clean up can be a pain in the booty sometimes; but having long lasting energy, radiant skin, digestive efficiency, and mental clarity and focus to allow be to carry out my good work throughout the day… that’s priceless in my opinion.

Juice fasts and cleanses. You don’t have to engage in “juice fasts” where you only drink juice days on end, which I don’t recommend, to get the full benefits of juicing. You can simply incorporate into your daily breakfast or have it first thing when you wake up. Juice fasts can be helpful for some individuals and harmful for others– play it smart and meet with a trusted practitioner or myself before you start a “cleansing” or juicing program. 

JUICES VS. SMOOTHIES

Juices

  • lack fiber
  • only contain liquid extracted from the raw fruits and vegetables
  • extremely easy and quick for the body to digest and assimilate nutrients
  • contains the same amount of nutrient density as smoothies
  • best consumed immediately after making, only stores for up to 48 hours maximum
  • flavors of fruits and vegetables (especially greens) will be more pronounced and stronger
  • aids in the bodies natural detoxification properties with the high amount of nutrients in a small volume

Smoothies

  • contains great amount of fiber, it’s completely intact
  • provides satiety with the volume
  • can be used as a meal by adding in proteins, superfood add-in’s, etc.
  • very easy for the body to digest and assimilate nutrients, not as quick as juices
  • contains the same amount of nutrient density as juices
  • lasts a bit longer with storage, up to 4 days maximum
  • easy to hide the flavor of “greens” when mixing with other fruits and add-ins a bit easier than juices
  • supports the bodies natural detoxification channels, especially digestive with the high amounts of fiber

As you can see, juices don’t contain any fiber in comparison to smoothies which contain a great amount of fiber. For the purpose of juicing, the lack of fiber is a good thing- it allows the body to rapidly digest and assimilate the nutrients found in the juice in comparison of having a lot of fiber contained which would slow the entire process down a bit.

NOTE…

As I’m referencing juices, there obviously is a good fit and recipe for each and every one of you. Someone with diabetes will need a different juice than an endurance athlete, etc. Typically if you’re watching your blood sugars for diabetes, fat loss, or general weight maintenance I would recommend not going too crazy with the fruits and upping the veggies in your juices. Be sure you’re playing it smart with your juices and smoothies and feel free to get a one-on-one nutrition consult with me to figure out your unique recipes and plan to meet your lifestyle and health goals.

Juicing is a big part (notice I said part of, not solely used) of one of my programs I use with clients for healing digestive issues, transitioning to a whole foods diet, weight loss, hair/skin/nail healthy, sports performance, amongst other things. I personally incorporate whole-food juices into my diet along with my Stripped Green Smoothie to support daily, ongoing, continued detoxification in the body. Not only do they taste amazing, but the health benefits alone warrant the use of them.

DIFFERENT JUICING METHODS

Cold-pressed:

The king of juicers! Such as the Norwalk juicer.

  • Cold-pressed juice means the fruits/vegetables juices have been extracted using a pressing method hydraulically which yields not only the most juice but also the most nutrition
  • There is absolutely no heat or chopping done to the raw fruits/vegetables
  • Does the BEST job at retaining the most nutrients during the juicing process in comparison to other juicing techniques
  • Expensive piece of equipment

Centrifugal:

Most brands you see in stores are this type of juicer.

  • Spins at high speed
  • The fruits/vegetables that you put down the chute + the high spinning speed separates the juice from the pulp leaving the juice in a bowl and pulp in the container
  • Typically will be heated to some degree due to the high-speed nature
  • The cell walls of the fruits and vegetables are not as easily broken down and may be wasted if you don’t “re-juice” again to yield the most you can
  • Fairly inexpensive juicer, which can be purchased in many stores

Masticating:

Omega, Green Star, and Champion are popular juicers with this quality.

  • Just as the word says, this juicer masticates just like your teeth grind and chew food
  • Grinds fruits/vegetables and literally squishes out the juice
  • It’s done at very low speeds and with no spinning action, so, therefore, you’re retaining a bit more nutrition than you were if using a centrifugal
  • Works great with dark leafy greens especially wheatgrass
  • Clean up requires a bit of time, but it’s well worth it (as all of these are!)

High-speed blenders + nut milk bag:  

Vitamix, Blendtec, etc.

  • Uses high speeds to spin which may heat the product for the amount of time you’d need to completely juice.
  • Longer process with filtering out the pulp and using a nut milk bag
  • Won’t contain as many nutrients as a cold-pressed juice, but still contains a great amount!

WHAT TO JUICE

Choose organic all the time with juicing and making smoothies, if you’re not able to at least purchase the dirty dozen organic

Fruits //

  • Citrus such as grapefruit, lime, lemon, orange, Meyer lemon
  • Kiwi, apples, green apples, pear, tomatoes, pineapple, pomegranate, grapes, berries galore, etc.

Vegetables //

  • Dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, romaine, mustard greens, dandelion greens, swiss chard, etc.
  • Herbs such as mint, basil, parsley, cilantro
  • Carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, beets, celery, etc.

Special add-ins //

  • ginger root, turmeric, cayenne, spirulina or chlorella, aloe, sea salt, black pepper

   

HOW TO JUICE

Prep // all fruits and vegetables with inedible rinds, remove! This includes oranges, lemons, grapefruits, ginger skin, etc. Be sure to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables as best as possible.

Equipment // You can use a high-speed blender if you do not have a juicer. I really enjoy the Breville juicer and the Vitamix and Blendtec high-speed blenders.

Instructions // 

  1. Wash fruit or vegetables
  2. Remove peel or outer rhine if needed
  3. Pop in the juicer
    1. If using a blender- blend fruits and vegetables, strain using a nut milk bag, squeeze all the juice you can out of the fruits/vegetables, repeat until the pulp is dry and you’ve gotten all the juice out.
  4. Let the juicer do the work!
  5. Depending on how wet your fruit/vegetable pulp is after juicing, you can “re-juice” the pulp to squeeze out the very last bit of juice and water within the fruits/vegetables.
  6. Store in an airtight mason jar for up to 48 hours maximum. Fresh and drinking immediately is absolutely best!
    1. You can make a couple large batches for yourself to lessen the amount of time juicing, just be sure to consume in 2 days and store in an airtight mason jar (my favorite way to store).

I hope this blog post gave you a little more information and background on what juicing is and how to do it! Stay tuned for future juice recipes that I personally love and think you will too.

xx McKel