Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Beloved Juicer

I must thank my childhood friend, Heather, for giving us our Champion Juicer last year as our wedding gift. I'm happy to say that it has gotten a lot of use! I have had a great time trying out different combinations. The more reading I do, the more convinced I become that juicing is essential for good health - especially for those of us whose immune systems are compromised (in my case, due to celiac disease) and/or those of us with an imbalance of gut flora (me included).

Why juice? There are many, many reasons - to name but a few...

* Fresh juices are a tremendous source of enzymes that the body needs. In fact, the "freshness" of juice is one of their key features, because enzymes are destroyed by heat. When you eat cooked foods, whether meat, grains, fruits, or vegetables, if the food is cooked at temperatures above 114 degrees, the enzymes have been destroyed by the heat. Since fruits and vegetables are juiced raw, the enzymes are still viable when you drink the juice.

* Store bought juices, in addition to having been pasteurized & processed to the point of killing their enzymes, often contain a lot of sugar. Processed juices also are usually made from old fruit, which contains high levels of mold.

* If your child does not eat fruits and vegetables due to their texture or a general dislike of them, fresh juice can be a tasty way to get in the recommended daily servings.

* Fruit and vegetable juices are good sources of the traditional nutrients. Citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, etc.) provide healthy portions of vitamin C. Carrot juice contains large quantities of vitamin A, in the form of beta carotene. A number of green juices are a good source of vitamin E. Fruit juices are a good source of essential minerals like iron, copper, potassium, sodium, iodine, and magnesium, which are bound by the plant in a form that is most easily assimilated during digestion. Plus, juicing removes the indigestible fiber, so these nutrients are available to the body in much larger quantities than if the piece of fruit or vegetable was eaten whole.

* There is a lot of research pointing to the detoxifying properties of fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Depending on what your ingredients are, juicing can be a powerful way to cleanse the liver and/or kidneys.

Although I like to experiment, I have two "go-to" juice combinations. When I want something slightly sweet, I juice
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 4-6 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • 2-3 c spinach or 1 c of parsley
Today, I was in the mood for something a little more savory - my version of V-8 Juice:
  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 c parsley
  • add a dash of salt & pepper
In a future post, I will include ideas for things to do with all that juicer pulp!


  1. I've heard that it is better to eat the fruit or veggie & get all of the nutrients, rather than juice which removes much of the fibre. ???

    I do know folks who juice & turn the pulp into crackers.

    Please comment. I'd love to hear your take on this debate. Thanks. :)

  2. Hi Kathryn,

    Thanks for the great question!

    I think, on the whole, it is better to eat the whole fruit or veggie than just the juice. However, juicing allows you to get a large "dose" of the nutrients and vitamins that fruits and veggies contain - in her book "Gut & Psychology Syndrome," Dr. Campbell-McBride points out that, to make a cup of carrot juice, you need a pound of carrots. Juicing allows you to get the nutrients of the pound of carrots (minus the fiber) without have to nosh all those carrots! The savory juice recipe in this post contained about all of the veggies I would eat in a day - and I had them in one sitting!

    I still do eat my 5 daily servings and then-some, half cooked and half raw, in addition to my juices. I've also noticed that drinking just the juice in the AM helps my body to cleanse/detoxify itself, which I need help with!

    Not having the fiber also allows us to absorb the nutrients much easier. Folks with intestinal health issues, such as bacteria imbalance, benefit from things that are easily digestible.

    A great debate indeed!

    I've got a recipe for turning the pulp into crackers as well as some other ideas - will post them soon!

  3. I like to know I'm eating healthy but love it to taste like I'm not...I must say that jucing veggies is one way to do that! It makes a delicious drink and it's also so refreshing. If I've been outside in the heat for too long a cold glass of juiced veggies will do the trick.

    Looking forward to seeing what you do with the pulp - I toss it. :) If there's a good way to use it, I'd love to know.