Juicing provides the body with a wide range of essential nutrients in a concentrated form that the body can readily use. No doubt you will have seen juice bars springing up everywhere, but you can easily live a juicing lifestyle at home, with the right blender and some fresh ingredients.
- 1 How to juice
- 1.1 Is juicing really that good for you?
- 1.2 You might miss out on fibre
- 1.3 A juicer can be expensive
- 1.4 Mind the calories
- 1.5 Juicing in not necessarily the key to weight loss
- 1.6 Juicing: are the health claims to be believed?
- 1.7 The benefits of blenders
- 1.8 The best blenders
- 1.9 Best for juicing
- 1.10 Vitamix TurboBlend 2 Speed
- 1.11 Best for frozen fruit
- 1.12 Breville BBL605XL Hemisphere Control Blender
- 1.13 Best for vegetables
- 1.14 Mr. Magic 00920 Professional Nutrition Blender
- 1.15 Final thoughts
How to juice
Always wash your produce and chop it into bits that will fit into your blender. You don’t need to peel the produce, as long as you have washed it, except for oranges, as the peel contains bitter oils. The juicer will separate the juice and the pulp from the produce. Often, consuming a fruit or vegetable in its raw form is the best way to enjoy it, as once it is cooked, the nutrients are often destroyed.
Advocates of juicing say that it helps the body to get rid of toxins, and helps the body to fight free radicals which can cause premature ageing and disease. The juice is a concentrated hit of nutrients. It is far easier to drink a glass of carrot juice, than to munch your way through a pile of carrots for example.
Is juicing really that good for you?
It is one of the best ways to get your 5 a day
It’s easier to get your fruit and vegetables in juice form, especially if you’re not hugely keen on eating them. Don’t skip eating them as well though. Eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, and include a rainbow of fruit and vegetables in your juices and you are sure to get the nutrients your body needs.
You might miss out on fibre
When you juice, you don’t get the fibre that’s in whole fruits and vegetables, because juicers extract the juice and leave behind the pulp, which is what contains the fibre.
To get your quota of fibre, add some of the pulp back into your juice, or use when cooking rice, soup, or pasta.
A juicer can be expensive
The price of a juicer can be anything from £50 to £400 for a top of the range model. If you are going to adopt juicing as part of your lifestyle, it might be worth spending a little more on a decent machine, as a cheaper one might not be able to handle the constant grinding of fruit, vegetables, and ice.
You can use a blender for most fruits and vegetables however. Just add water if the blend becomes too thick.
Mind the calories
If you pack a lot of fruit into your juices, you are getting your nutrients, but you’re also taking in a lot of calories too. In vegetables juices, there are a lot less calories. This is because fruit is very high in natural sugar.
To make a balanced juice that will fill you up and that won’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike, add a source of protein such as Greek yoghurt, peanut butter, or almond milk.
Juicing in not necessarily the key to weight loss
If you go on a diet where you only drink juices, you might not be getting the necessary protein or fibre to make you feel full, then you will be more likely to snack. You also risk losing muscle mass if you don’t take in enough protein.
Juicing: are the health claims to be believed?
The evidence doesn’t seem to back up the claims that juicing detoxes the body, and critics say that the liver and kidneys do that job just fine.
While eating a plant-based diet is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, there is not much evidence to link juicing to this in particular.
There is evidence to suggest that a high intake of fruit and vegetables can boost the immune system, but the benefits most likely come from having them in any form, not necessarily as juice.
Juicing is not safe for everyone, for example, kale and spinach are high in vitamin K which can thin the blood. So, if you are on drugs to thin the blood, such as warfarin, this can cause an interaction. Check with your doctor before embarking on any lifestyle change.
The benefits of blenders
You can make a lot in a blender. A high- quality model will chop up just about anything. They are excellent for making smoothies, which are more filling than juices, so they are a better option for meal replacement. A smoothie contains more fibre than juice, so the sugar will be absorbed more slowly into your bloodstream, and you won’t get a spike in your blood sugar levels which can spark cravings for naughty treats.
Store-bought smoothies are usually marketed as being healthy but sometimes they are anything but. Commercial smoothies are usually made with the cheapest ingredients like frozen fruit, sugary juices and liquors to give them a particular taste. They will also contain preservatives to give them a longer shelf life. Even in a juice bar, it’s impossible to know whether the produce is organic, and whether it has been washed thoroughly, so you could still be taking in some chemical residues!
Blenders are easy to clean, you just need to run it under hot tap water most of the time. If the pulp won’t rinse off easily, add a bit of water and dish soap to the blender and push the Pulse button for a few seconds. They are also easy to use. Easy to use and easy to clean makes a blender a good choice, because using it won’t seem so laborious, and you are more likely to stick to your healthy lifestyle.
Smoothies will be popular with the family, especially kids. They are a great replacement for the processed, sugary drinks they might otherwise have. You can also play around with ingredients to see what they enjoy the most. Natural sweetness is always better than added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
You can make a lot more than just smoothies with a modern, high-power blender, however. It’s so easy to make anything from soups and sauces to salsas, salad dressings and dips.
You can also add food-based supplements and superfoods to your smoothies. A spoonful of hemp protein powder or flaxseed adds plentiful nutrition to your smoothies. You probably wouldn’t add supplements to a glass of fresh juice.
The best blenders
Best for juicing
The Vitamix company has been operating since 1921, and they are industry leaders in the high-performance blender market. They provide equipment to individual consumers and the foodservice industry in more than 80 countries across the world.
This brand is used by professional chefs and chain restaurants because it is very effective when creating fresh dishes from natural ingredients. Their blenders make light work of preparing frozen drinks, smoothies, nut butters, frozen desserts, dips, and salsas.
Their quality is reflected in a hefty price tag, but the company offers a 5- year warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee in the case of a defective machine or if you aren’t satisfied.
This model has a very powerful motor, intuitive High/Low control, and a hardened, stainless-steel blade. This means that it can cut through the toughest of whole fruits and vegetables with ease. With this model, you get a booklet full of recipes to try, which are easy to incorporate into your daily diet, including soups, smoothies, and frozen desserts. The blender has a 64 ounce container, which means that it’s big enough for use when you are cooking for the family, or for when you’re entertaining.
The technical stuff
This blender package includes:
A Commercial standard, very powerful, 2 horsepower motor that propels the blades up to 240 mph to blend even the toughest ingredients.
The blender might look very technical, but it’s easy to use, and can be used for a wide variety of dishes.
No technique is out of bounds. This blender can chop, cream, blend, heat, grind, churn and much more. This may be pricey, but add up what you would spend on the equipment you won’t need now that you have this!
This blender is even self-cleaning. Just add a drop of dish soap and warm water and then run it on High power for 30 seconds to blitz away any debris or residue.
The company offers a 5-year warranty, endless recipe ideas, and community support.
Ongoing recipe ideas and community support
The blender has a spill-proof vented lid with a plug so you can safely add ingredients while the machine is running.
Best for frozen fruit
Breville juicers are easy to use and they allow you to make super healthy juices in minutes, so they fit well into the busiest lifestyles. Talking about easy to use, Breville juicers don’t even need to be pressed or pushed, you simply turn them on and let them work their magic. They are designed to have as few complicated parts as possible, which makes them easier to clean as well.
All Breville juicers have large tubes, so you can easily use big chunks of fruit and vegetables without a problem.
The juicers are so easy to clean because the jug attaches to the main appliance and it can be easily removed for cleaning, or topping up everyone’s juice at the breakfast table.
Plus, the Breville models will look very pretty in your kitchen, because they are so sleek-looking. Breville give you a recipe booklet with every juicer too.
The technical stuff
The intelligent bowl and blade system has central blades that draw down what’s on top and wide sweeping blades which hug the bottom of the jug
It has an electronic 5 speed control plus a pulse feature to ensure that blade speed is consistent for consistent blends, free from lumps
It is made from a lightweight, shatter- resistant plastic
It has an LCD timer which counts up on speed settings and down for pre-programmed settings for complete control when blending different kinds of produce
It has illuminated buttons for clarity and ease of reading.
Best for vegetables
Mr. Magic 00920 Professional Nutrition Blender
The company describe their blenders as like magic, and in the blink of an eye, you can whip up healthy smoothies, cocktails, milkshakes, desserts, sauces, and dips as well as many more dishes.
This blender mixes, blends, chops, grinds, minces, whips and purees anything you throw at it, even the toughest produce. The machine has turbo-speed, extra-sharp blades for speeds and efficiency. You can even stay healthy on the go, because this blender comes with a beaker with a secure lid, perfect for that post-gym smoothie. All removable parts, except the blades are dishwasher safe.
The technical stuff
The blender has a powerful 700w motor which makes light work of fruit and vegetable preparation.
You can make smoothies, cocktails, snacks, sauces, and dips in a matter of minutes
The model has 9 functions: juicing, mix, stir, chop, grind, mince, whisk, purée and store
The package includes the blender, 1 large mixing cup (700 ml), 2 small mixing cups (350 ml) and a beaker with a secure lid.
It has a detachable blade and cup, so it’s quick and easy to clean under the tap or in the dishwasher.
Juicing has been in the headlines a lot in recent years. Look in any health magazine on any given day, and you are sure to find an article on a juicing diet, a juicing cleanse, or a juicing detox.
Supporters of juicing will tell you that it’s a great way to get a concentrated hit of nutrients which is readily available to the body. Even people with poor digestion can benefit, as the juicing process does some of the work of the digestive system. The amount of fruit or vegetables, you can fit into a juice would be very difficult to eat.
However, juicing should be considered as a means to add nutrients to an already healthy diet. You should not be juicing instead of having a good diet, as juicing will not make up for eating a tonne of junk food.
Nor will it provide you with everything that your body needs. Juicing extracts the juice from fruit and vegetables, but removes the pulp. This is where all the fibre is. Fibre helps to keep your digestive system healthy, and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. The same is true of protein. Juices don’t provide you with protein, so you may lose muscle mass if you are consuming only juice. This is bad news if you want to stay lean, as the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be, and you will burn more calories, even at rest. Like fibre, protein keeps you feeling full, and a lack of either nutrient might make you reach for the naughty snacks.
Add to this that consuming a lot of fruit in one go will cause a spike in your blood sugar, and you might find that you’re lacking in energy and adding unwanted calories to the mix.
Vegetable juices contain far fewer calories, so make these the basis of your juicing lifestyle.
A juicing lifestyle can be a healthy lifestyle, if you adopt it correctly. But it can be expensive, if you count the cost of a decent blender or juicer, the equipment to chop up the produce, and the vast amount of produce you will no doubt get through (especially as most recipes recommend organic).
It’s worth spending money on a decent juicer or blender if you intend to juice frequently, as a cheaper model will probably break down sooner. The better models tend to be easier to clean too. The easier to use and easier to clean that a machine is, the more likely you are to stick to your healthy lifestyle.
Some of the best models on the market are on the pricey side, but you definitely get what you pay for. With the models that are showcased in this article, you get recipes books, and an efficient, easy to use and easy to clean machine. And what’s more, you can make much more than juices. You will be able to make soups, smoothies, sauces, dips, and more, quickly, and efficiently. The thing that puts a lot of people off preparing healthy food is that time that it can take. Well that won’t be an issue with these fabulous machines. Investing in one of these machines is investing in yourself and in your health, which is surely your most valuable commodity. Try one of these amazing pieces of technology and you will see that living well has never been so easy!