Growing up in a warm country, a prerequisite for a blistering hot day - about 10 months out of the year -was to pay a visit to the juice bar around the corner from our flat. The proprietor would stack the counters up with colorful pyramids of oranges, beets, mangoes, guavas and pomegranates, depending on what was in season. Vases filled with rods of sugar cane and long carrots anchored the artful arrangements to create an edible landscape. Once the juicers started to whir, the sweet scent of freshness would dance through the steamy streets, luring customers in like a pied piper. He'd create his own signature fruit and veggie 'cocktails', mixing beet with orange, carrot and mango, a soulful blend of sweet and savory. At a time when soda made it to our side of the globe, juicing was just pure refreshment.
Now, we know that fresh juice provides us with pure goodness in a glass. Some even believe it can transform your health, with celebrities and medical experts like Dr. Oz extolling the virtues of green drinks. Packed with live enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, fresh juice also helps boost metabolism, fight infection, build tissue and strong bonesand help everything move along the way it's supposed to, if you know what I mean.
Here's 5 Reasons Why Juicing At Home Is a Savvy Thing.
-It's alive! Most of the juice you purchase at the store has been heat pasteurized, which destroys bacteria along with many of the beneficial nutrients. Making it at home, you get the benefit of live enzymes that activate your digestion.
-The cleaner way to leaner. You get the best of F+V, including fiber and concentrated nutrients, while reaping the benefits of quick-release energy in a flash. This can make you feel fuller faster with few calories.
-You get your daily dose. Squeezing in your 5-9 a day in a glass is a cinch when you sip it.
-Kids love the action. Get them involved and introduce them to healthy eating habits.
-Saves you dough. At only about $.40 a glass, you can't beat that at any juice bar.
You'll get your money's worth out of a good quality juicer, or you can put your blender to work on easy-to-mix matchups, including fresh berries, citrus fruit, melons, tomatoes, cucumber, spinach and herbs. Apple, beet and celery with a dash of ginger are the perfect cool weather warmer while watermelon and carrot with a splash of mint makes a sweet, refreshing chiller on a hot day. If you're diabetic or watching your sugar intake, kick up the veggie content. Strive for two 8-oz glasses each day and let your inner gourmet shine with countless combinations. Follow our chef's tip and drink seasonal fruit and vegetable combinations to take advantage of the freshest produce at your local farmer's market.
Your waistline and your bottom line will thank you.
Eat Cleaner Juicy Concoctions.
Important Tip: Make sure to clean all fruit and vegetables with Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash and Wipes before you juice to enhance safety and flavor. If you're washing a lot at once, pick up our Fruit + Vegetable Wash Concentrate, add 2-3 capfuls to water and let them soak for 2 minutes. Scrub with a veggie brush and you're in business.
The ABC Mocktail
Eat Cleaner Insight. Beets are an incredible blood tonic and natural cleanser for the liver. This combo is rich in vitamins beta carotene, zinc, vitamin C, and chromium, excellent for boosting carbohydrate metabolism.
Makes approx. 14 ounces
1 green or golden apple cut into slices
1/2 small uncooked beet
5 celery stalks, ends trimmed
1/2 lemon, peeled
1/2- to 1-inch piece ginger root, peeled
In a juicer, push through apple, beet, celery, lemon, and ginger. Stir the juice and pour into a glass. Serve at room temperature or chilled, as desired.
Watermelon Carrot Chiller
Eat Cleaner Insight. Watermelon contains even more Lycopene than tomatoes, which has been linked with cancer prevention. The added benefits of beta carotene from carrots rounds out this tasty warm weather welcome.
Makes approx. 12 ounces
8 Large Carrots
3 Large Rindless Watermelon Wedges
1 Large Fresh Mint Sprig
In a juicer, push through carrots and watermelon wedges. Chill for at least one hour. Garnish with fresh mint sprig.
Cool Cuke and Honeydew Fizz
Eat Cleaner Insight. Cucumber is a good source of folic acid, potassium, vitamins A and C and is a natural anti-inflammatory, maintaining overall health and wellness. Honeydew melons are also chock full of vitamin C and are naturally low in calories. Combined with sparkling water to give it a fun fizz, Cukes and Honeydews are the perfect mates.
Makes approx. 16 ounces 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped 2 cups cubed honeydew melon 1 cup sparkling water 1 Fresh lime
In a blender, pulse cucumber and honeydew until smooth. Add sparkling water and blend thoroughly. Pour over ice or chill and finish with a squeeze of lime.