It’s what you drink in the morning instead of coffee; at a party instead of alcoholic drinks; at lunch instead of soda or pop. Yet in its own right, juicing is a simple, tasty way to boost your health and energy, get vitamins and minerals missing from your diet, improve digestion, lose weight and get your daily servings of fruit and vegetables.
Your Daily Fruits and Vegetables – Plus!
The Canada Food Guide recommends seven to ten servings daily of fruit and vegetables for adults. In reality, few are consuming anything like that amount. The recommended daily intake of most vitamins and minerals requires even more.
Juicing enables you to get the necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more from your fruits and veggies without having to eat a bushel of carrots or three heads of broccoli at a meal. (With some exceptions: iron in spinach, for instance, may bind to the fiber, so in most cases juicing is not the best way to use spinach.)
One concern about vitamins and other micronutrients is that many are difficult to adsorb from foods or supplements. Juices provide nutrients in a form from which they are readily absorbed by the body.
Juices are also a healthy way to get the water your body needs. Vegetable juice counts toward your daily water needs.
Enzymes and Digestion
Virtually any uncooked food is rich in enzymes. Enzymes aid in metabolic processes in every living cell. We use them for dozens of functions, but they are most notable in digestion, and for their help with cleansing and weight loss.
Getting extra enzymes from your diet is like feeding your car high-octane gas. Our bodies produce hundreds of enzymes naturally; when these are supplemented through diet, it makes the digestive process easier and keeps your body eliminating more cleanly and using food more efficiently – leaving you feeling great and, probably, looking a few pounds lighter.
Fresh vs. Bottled Juices
There is no comparison: fresh juices beat out packaged or bottled juices every time. Many of the nutrients, including the enzymes, in vegetable juice break down or lose their potency within minutes after juicing.
If you can afford to buy a good juicer (one that will juice lettuce, wheatgrass, and other leafy greens), fresh homemade juice makes a great start to the day. Juices should ideally be consumed within ten minutes; if you must take them with you, make sure to use glass or high-quality plastic bottles, keep it cool, and drink the juice on the same day it was made.
Vegetables vs. Fruits
Health pros tend to recommend vegetable over fruit juices. That’s because fruits are so high in (natural) sugars. But many vegetables are equally high in sugar – root vegetables (carrots, beets, turnip, parsnip), for instance, are loaded with carbohydrates and starches. A good balance in a juice is one that is rich in nutrients and low in sugary veggies and fruits, but still tastes great.
A great juicing staple recipe starts with half a lemon, half an apple (a low-glycemic sweet), and a celery stalk, per person.
As desired, add greens like kale, chard or lettuce; additional celery; a carrot or two; a beet; or anything else.
Try it without the apple if you like your juice less sweet.
Fruit Juice Recipes from Brazil: Quick and Easy Juices from Rio de Janeiro
Goodness knows how many juice bars there are in Rio de Janeiro, such is the popularity of a glass of fresh fruit juice.
Always fresco, bemgelo (fresh, good and cold), com acucarousemacucar (with or without sugar).
Here are some of our favorites which you can enjoy at home.
Orange, Tangerine, Watercress and Wheat Germ Booster
1/2 an Orange without the skin or seeds, 250 mls tangerine juice, 1 tbsp of wheat germ, 40 leaves of watercress, 1 tbsp of brown sugar.
Cut the orange into cubes and liquefy, add the rest of the ingredients and liquefy for 1 minute.
Pineapple Juice with cream
A quarter of a medium sized pineapple, 100 mls cream, 100 mls of condensed milk, 3 or 4 ice cubes, garnished with mint.
Chop the pineapple into cubes, liquefy, add the remaining ingredients, garnish with mint leaves.
Pineapple and Ginger Juice
1 Pineapple, 1 tbsp of fresh ginger, 4 cups of water, mint to garnish.
Wash the pineapple. Cut the top and tail, and place on a chopping board. Cut off the skin, in large strips. Place the strips of skin, into a pan with the ginger and water, and boil for 15 minutes. Strain, and refridgerate. Serve cold with fresh pineapple pieces, and a garnish of mint.
2 Papaya, 1 tbsp of your favorite honey, 1 cup of orange juice, 1 tbsp of lime juice, and 4 ice cubes.
Cut the papaya in half, remove the seeds, and scoop out the flesh. Place in a liquefier with other ingredients, liquefy well, and serve.
2 tbsp of tamarind pulp, 2 tbsp of castor sugar, 200 mls of water, 4 ice cubes.
To Make the Pulp
1 kg of tamarind, water to cover. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Leave to cool, push the pulp and juice through a sieve.
Liquefy all the ingredients, and serve.
2 mangos, 1 tbsp of lime juice, 4 ice cubes, 200 mls of water.
Cut the mangos in half, remove the seeds, scoop out the flesh, liquefy all the ingredients and serve.
6 peaches, 4 ice cubes, 150 mls of water, 1 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp sugar.
Cut the peaches in half, scoop out the flesh, liquefy with remaining ingredients, and serve.
40 grapes, 2 tbsp of your favorite honey, 4 ice cubes, 150 mls of water.
Liquefy all the ingredients, strain, and serve.
20 white grapes, 10 red grapes, 1 tbsp of lime juice, 20 strawberries, 1 tbsp of castor sugar, 4 ice cubes.
Liquefy all of the ingredients, strain and serve.
Orange and Carrot Juice
2 carrots, 4 oranges, 2 tbsp of castor sugar
Refridgerate carrots and oranges so they are nice and cold. Peel the carrots, and cut into bite size pieces. Peel the orange, and remove the pith. Liquefy ingredients, and serve.
2 carrots, 2 slices of pineapple, 1 bite size piece of ginger, 300 mls of orange juice, 4 ice cubes.
Peel the carrots, cut into bite size pieces, peel the ginger, liquefy all the ingredients together and serve.
Fresh Mint Juice
1/2 a pineapple (prepared without the skin), juice of 1 lime, 30 mint leaves, 6 ice cubes, 100 mls of water, and 2 tbsp castor sugar
Cut the pineapple into pieces, wash the mint leaves, and liquefy all ingredients together. Serve with a garnish of mint.
Give Carrot Juice a Try: Try These Carrot Juice Recipes To Enjoy This Nutritious Drink
Carrot juice is particularly noted for it’s very high beta carotene levels, which can aid in maintaining good eyesite, as well as strong bones and teeth. Though carrots are often said to have high levels of vitamin A, it’s more technically correct that they have high levels of beta carotene. Your liver converts the beta carotene into vitamin A for your body to use.
If you are juicing your own carrots, choose those that are darker orange and firm. Pale or bendy carrots are past their prime. You’ll get the most nutrition of you don’t peel your carrots, but if you are worried about agricultural chemicals, then you might want to peel them.
Maybe I’ve convinced you to try some carrot juice in your daily drink routine. Here are a few juice blends to try if you want to get creative. These recipes are really best for those with their own juicers. Not all of these ingredients are available on the market in juice form.
I’m not including instructions because they are the same for all the recipes. Basically, prepare the fruits/vegetables as per your juicer requirements and juice away.
Cool Carrot Quencher
This is a good recipe for anyone new to carrot juice, since it is heavy on the apple juice for flavour. The cucumber makes if very fresh tasting.
- 5 apples
- 2 large carrots
- 1 stick of celery
- 4 inches of seedless cucumber
Sweet Veggie Blast
The beet makes this juice a nice shade of pink, but without overpowering the taste. Both vegetable and fruit juices in this recipe.
- ½ fresh beet root
- 1 apple
- 1 pear
- 2 carrots
2 sticks of celery
Broccoli Florets with Orange Juice Sauce: A Refreshing Side Dish
Broccoli is touted to be one of the “super vegetables.” But even superheroes need a new way of presentation once in while. This recipe achieves that. If you’re tired of broccoli soup with cheese, broccoli with cheese sauce, beef with broccoli etc, try this side dish for a change.
Broccoli with Orange Sauce
Yield: 4 Serving Portions
- 1 pound broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Wash fresh broccoli under cold running water. Cut florets leaving about an inch of the stalk. Save the rest of the larger stalks for broccoli soup. Place washed broccoli florets in a collander and allow excess water to drain off.
- In a saucepan, combine the chicken stock, orange juice. salt, pepper, and fennel seeds. Boil for about 5 -10 minutes..
- In a separate saucepan, melt butter over low heat. When melted, remove from heat and add the flour. Whisk them together.
- Add the stock/orange juice mixture into the butter/flour combination. Whisk the sauce to make sure there are no lumps.
- Boil the broccoli in a small amount of water. When fork-tender, Remove from the cooking liquid and transfer to a platter. Drain any excess liquid that have accumulated at the bottom of the platter.
- Add broccoli florets to the orange sauce. Serve with Smoked Salmon Nantua with Capers-Truffle Sauce.
Nutrition Information Per Serving Portion
- Calories: 90
- Protein: 7 grams
- Total Fat: 3 milligrams
- Saturated Fat: 2 milligrams
- Cholesterol: 8 milligrams
- Sodium: 160 milligrams
Note: This original recipe was developed and analyzed for nutritional content by Alicia Richardson – the author.
A Note About Broccoli
Broccoli (Brassica oleraceae var. botrytis-italica) is a plant that stores its food reserves in its stem-like tissue or “stalks.” Both inflorescence (green head) and stalks are edible. Thicker stalks can be eaten if the outer thick covering or membrane are peeled first.
As a vegetable, broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin A and potassium. It is a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, calcium and folic acid. It contains measurable amounts of B vitamins, carbohydrates, and minerals.
Broccoli can be eaten cooked or raw, steamed, or boiled, although the best cooking method is steaming as the short cooking period minimizes vitamin C losses and losses of vitamins and minerals through the cooking liquid. Broccoli should never be microwaved as this process destroys about 80 % or 92% of sulforaphanes and glucosinolates (cancer-fighting plant chemicals).