August 22, 2012

Drink your daily dose of veggies!

Ever notice people walking around sipping on green juice? It always looks so unappealing, but they are getting so many health benefits from drinking their greens. If you use the right combination of vegetables/fruit, the juice actually tastes really good!

Some benefits to juicing:
Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables
Juicing allows you to consume large amounts of vegetables in an efficient manner
You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet

I always have the best intentions...I buy lots of vegetables, and plan to cook them, but somehow they always end up moldy in my fridge. I have a hard time committing to veggies. A couple of years ago, I was able to snag my mom's juicer, they can be a bit pricey, so I was glad that she didn't protest as I packed up her juicer and took it home with me (thanks mom!)

My favorite juice combination is kale, carrots, and apples...sometimes with a little fresh ginger thrown in. Today, I am going to try out some spinach instead of the kale. I like to add the carrots and apples to offset some of the bitterness of the greens, and also to add a bit of sweetness to the juice.

The great part about juicing in the summertime is all of the fresh produce! When I have time, I like to go to the farmer's market to get some really great produce straight from the farm.

You can juice just about any vegetable, but popular choices are kale, carrots, celery, spinach, lettuce, beets, cucumbers, collard greens, mustard greens, and you can throw in herbs like cilantro, parsley, or ginger to spice things up a bit.

Some important things to consider before juicing:
You really have to clean the juicer right away...scrubbing dried up pulp hours later is no fun!
Ideally, you should drink the juice immediately. As the juice is exposed to air, it oxidizes and the benefits start to diminish.
If you don't have a juicer, you can puree the vegetables in a blender and strain. This is a bit more time-consuming, but it works fine.

So, I have to say, I may prefer the spinach to the kale! In any case, I feel better getting a good dose of veggies first thing in the morning. And enough spinach left over for a nice salad later on. Even with juicing, it is still a good idea to try and eat some vegetables can never have too many vegetables!


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