Did you know for a moderately active adult male, the Center for Disease Control recommends eating two and a half cups of fruit and four cups of vegetables per day? Even though I’m surrounded by fruits and vegetables as a produce manager, I still find it difficult to make sure I’m getting enough of these foods in my diet.
That was until I discovered a simple and fun solution to the problem: juice them! Juicing is a great way to get all of the benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables without having to prepare them. Not only that, but it gives you the opportunity to reap the health benefits of vegetables you may not enjoy eating.
Take kale, for example. There’s no denying kale is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. That being said, I still find it difficult to eat raw. But put some in your juicer (stems and all) with an apple for some sweetness and you’ve got a great tasting drink that’s chock full of vital nutrients! As I’m sure you’ve heard, you can never eat too many leafy green vegetables and juicing is a great way to get more of them into your diet.
Almost any fruit or vegetable can be juiced and most make for a refreshing drink. There are seemingly infinite fresh juice recipes out there, but here are a couple of my personal favorites:
Green Juice Recipe
- 3 stalks of kale
- 1 stalk of celery
- 1 square inch piece of fresh ginger root
- 2 large carrots
- ½ of a lemon
- ¼ of a cucumber
- 1 large or 2 small breaburn apples (or substitute your favorite)
This recipe is great if you need a pick me up in the morning. I’ve found it makes a great substitute for drinking coffee or soda during the day.
Quick tip: If you’re new to juicing ginger, use it sparingly to start and work your way up. Ginger has many health benefits, but it gives the juice a real kick if you use a large piece of it.
Sweet Beet Juice Recipe
- 1 small red beet (start with one and work your way up to two if you choose)
- 2 large carrots
- 1 large or 2 small granny smith apples
- 2 stalks of Swiss chard (or you could use the leftover beet greens)
This one will really get you going as well! I often drink this before working out or playing sports and it really gives me some nice sustained energy. Be careful with this one though, it stains! If you get the beets or finished juice somewhere it’s not welcome, use lemon juice.
I hope you’ll give these a try! Juicing vegetables may sound strange, but with the right fruits you’ll forget any trace of them. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!
Part of the fun of juicing is experimenting with the different produce that’s out there. I have a lot of favorites, but I’ve also made some that left me with a pretty funny look on my face. It’s all part of the fun. I’m always looking for new recipes and I love to share them with friends, family, co-workers and customers! So as always, feel free to comment, or better yet, stop in and look for me at the store. And raise your juice to good health!
Tim Domini, Lunds 50th Street produce manager