Browsing Tag:

juicer

Great vegetable juice recipes

The vast majority of us fall way short of the recommended 5-a-day intake of fruits and vegetables. And juicing (or blending) seems like a convenient and easy way of increasing our daily intake of raw vegetables. To help you along, I have compiled a few great vegetable juice recipes, as well as tips on how to create your own.

Of the health benefits of vegetables

First, a quick recap of the reasons why we should eat (or drink) more fresh produce, and in particular vegetables. Although the recommended intake is 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day for adults (that’s 400g/day), their benefits really start kicking in when you hit a 10-a-day target (800g/day). According to a research published in the International Journal of Epidemiology on February 22, 2017, this quantity is linked with a 28% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 31% lower risk of premature death.

I have listed below the most beneficial fruits and vegetables highlighted in the study, as well as their health benefits:

Green leafy vegetables and salads

Leafy greens and saladKale is high in iron, vitamin K, and vitamin A, and is loaded with antioxidants.

Spinach is loaded with vitamins (especially vitamin A and C) and minerals, as well as antioxidants.

Lettuce, preferably the Romaine or cos type, is rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene, as well as omega 3 and potassium

Wheatgrass is a powerhouse of nutrients and antioxidants and is particularly rich in proteins and amino-acids

Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A, C, K, and potassium, as well as the prostate-cancer fighting antioxidant lycopene.

Cucumber is rich in vitamin K and polyphenols, and thanks to its 95% water, is a good way to increase the volume of your juice without the flavors too much.

Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetablesCabbage is packed with some of the most powerful antioxidants among cruciferous vegetables, as well as vitamin K and C.

Broccoli contains twice as much vitamin C as an orange, almost as much calcium as whole milk (whilst being better absorbed) and is rich in selenium and folic acid.

Cauliflower is packed with vitamin C, as well as a lot of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

Yellow and green vegetables

Yellow and green vegetablesPeppers are very high in vitamin C, as well as vitamins and minerals such as thiamin, niacin, folate, magnesium, and copper

Carrots, which gave their name to beta-carotene, are extremely rich in vitamin A and contain also other useful nutrients, such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Green beans contain large amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids, as well as vitamins A, C, and B, among other healthy nutrients.

Sweet potato is extremely rich in vitamin A, as well as vitamin K and B6. They also help regulate blood sugar.

A few beneficial fruits

Beneficial fruits for juicingApples are loaded with natural fiber, as well as vitamins C, A, B vitamins and other minerals.

Pears are beneficial all-rounders and contain a fair amount of all the nutrients your body needs, as well as loads of fibers. Most of those are in the skin though, so refrain from peeling them.

Berries are effective immune boosters and are rich in antioxidants, offering a good variety of nutrients. Try and pick different varieties when in season to make the most of them.

Citrus fruits, like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits are renowned to be rich in vitamin C, as well as other nutrients.

On a side note, tinned fruits were associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and premature mortality, whereas cooked vegetables and potatoes were linked to lower risks.

How to create healthy fruit and vegetable juices?

Fruits, even beneficial, have a higher sugar content, so the idea is to create delicious juice recipes that include at least two of the above beneficial vegetables, plus one of the beneficial fruit. I use a slow juicer and can’t really handle the amount of fiber in smoothies. But feel free to compare both options and try blending and juicing.

Feel free to pick some of the fruits and vegetables listed above to create your own tasty juices or read on for a bit more inspiration. I have grouped a few recipes by color, to stimulate all the senses.

If you want to find out a bit more about the benefits of a specific fruit or vegetable, feel free to check the Mercola Food Facts here.

Most juicers have a fairly narrow chute and you’ll need to chop your fruits and vegetables roughly before loading them in. This is especially important for stringy vegetables, like leafy greens or celery. The easiest way to juice leafy greens is to mix them up with the rest of your ingredients.

When trying a new recipe, you can tweak it as you go along, by leaving the juice in the juicer chamber to mix all the ingredients well, and tasting your juice now and then. The juice yield will vary depending on the size of your fruits and vegetables and their freshness, so the quantities below are a guide only.

Green juices

Perhaps the most famous of healthy juices due to their high vegetable and high nutrient content. They usually involve some leafy green vegetables, and apples or some other sweet fruit, like grapes or pear, to take the bitterness away.

Green juice recipeTry this:

  • 1 cup of spinach or kale
  • 1 apple, cored

Use this as a base, then add another vegetable to taste:

  • ¼ cucumber, for a refreshing drink
  • ½ stalk of celery
  • ½ cup of sweet potatoes (the white type), for a more filling juice
  • lemon juice or a few pieces of ginger, peeled, to taste

Or check out those awesome juice recipes using wheatgrass as a base.

Yellow juices

Pineapple is a great way to sweeten your vegetables, while still adding plenty of nutrients to your juice. Try this:

  • 1 cup pineapple pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger

Or check the After-workout Hunger Buster from Health Ambition.

Orange juices

Carrot juiceI love carrot juice. By themselves or combined with other fruits and vegetables, carrots just hit the spot for me, with the right level of sweetness.

Try this:

  • 3 carrots, peeled or scrubbed
  • 1 apple, cored
  • 1 thumb-size piece of ginger, peeled

Or this one:

  • 2 carrots, peeled or scrubbed
  • 2 cups of pumpkin
  • 1 apple, cored
  • cinnamon, ground
Red juices
  • 1 beet*
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 red apple, cored

* Juicing beets with their skin on will give a slight earthy taste. If you don’t care much for it, peel it first.

Or the old favorite, for a sober Bloody Mary:

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • ½ celery
  • salt and Tabasco, to taste
Pink juices

Pink smoothieThose are firm favorites with kids, although you might have to add fruits to disguise the vegetable taste a bit more.

  • 1 beet
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 orange

Or this one:

  • 1 beet
  • 1 medium-size sweet potato
  • 1 pear, cored
Purple juices
  • ½ cucumber
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ pomegranate arils
  • ¼ lemon juice

Or check this Super Purple Juice from Nosh and Nourish

Found your perfect vegetable juice yet?

vegetable-juicesThere are loads (and I mean, loads) of juice and smoothie recipes on the Interweb, but I’ve found this website quite useful: https://juicerecipes.com/. You can create your own recipes and check out their nutrient content or look up specific recipes using ingredients you have at hand, and even save your creations to make sure you can enjoy them again.

In the meantime, feel free to check out my basic juice recipe (as recommended by my doctor, when I got started with juicing).

And please do share your favorite recipes in the comments below!

Great vegetable juice recipes
Great vegetable juice recipes

Hurom slow juicer review – Is the Hurom HH Elite right you?

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please check my Affiliate Disclosure page.

Juicing is a great way to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables with minimal effort. You basically load your 5-a-day in your juicer, and out comes your vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, in a ready-to-drink format. Sorted. I can even juice beetroot and carrots to make a pink juice that my kids actually drink [smug mummy smile here].

I actually own the Hurom HE but bought it a while back and it doesn’t seem to be sold anymore. So this Hurom slow juicer review will focus on my experience and will give you a more detailed review of a similar Hurom model, the Hurom HH Elite.

What are the benefits of a slow juicer?

Freshly prepared fruits and vegetablesIn the US, over 90% of adults don’t eat enough vegetables. That is, they don’t eat their 5 servings of vegetables per day. According to the Harvard School of Health:

A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower the risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check.

However, if we were to hit our 10-a-day target, we might lower our risk of cardiovascular disease by 28% and our risk of premature death by 31%. This is according to a research published in the International Journal of Epidemiology on February 22, 2017.

According to that research, not all fruits and vegetables are beneficial to our health in the same way, and, because *every body* is different, every single one of us has got different needs. The most beneficial fruits and vegetables include:

  • green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, lettuce etc.),
  • cruciferous vegetables (that’s your cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower),
  • yellow and green vegetables (including peppers, carrots, and green beans), and
  • apples, pears, as well as oranges and the citrus fruit family.
These are the facts…

…but in reality, how many of us actually get around eating that much fruits and vegetables? This is around 5-6 cups of the stuff per day, 2 cups per meal. I can easily fit in my 3 cups of vegetables per day, but 6?

Healthy freshly pressed juicesThis is where juicing comes in. A juicer will allow you to take 3 cups of fruits and vegetables, extract their vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, and cram them in a large glass of delicious juice. Like that.

You can also choose to blend them in. The resulting smoothie will be a lot more filling, but you’ll get all the fibers in, which play an essential part to stay healthy. If you’re not sure which method would suit you best, check my post regarding blending and juicing.

For me, it was a bit of a no-brainer. There was no way I could possibly eat that many fruits and vegetables per day, let alone get my kids to eat them. So, in came the Hurom slow juicer, which came recommended by my doctor.

How I use it

I don’t always have time to juice every day, and I admit to not always having the right fresh produce at hand to juice. But we try and fit in a juicing session whenever we can.

What I like about it
Hurom HE slow juicer

The fact that there are only 4 mobile parts is a big plus for me. Easy to assemble, easy to wash, easy to put back together.

I like the fact that I can just scrub the fruits and vegetables clean, chop them roughly (down to a quarter of an apple), and just pop them in.

If you add leafy greens, like spinach or wheatgrass, make sure you mix them with the rest of the fruits and vegetables. This dislodges the fibrous matter and makes the juicing easier. The reverse button comes in super-handy when some of the fibers get stuck. Just pop the juicer in reverse for a bit et voilà.

I also like the fact that it’s easy to clean (by my standards, compared with my old centrifugal juicer). When I’m done, I run a glass of water in the juicer, closing the juice cap, to remove any bits of fruits and vegetables left in the auger. Then I drop the washable parts in a bowl of water. No need for soap. The chute only needs rinsing, so only the auger, the strainer, and the bowl need a little wash down to remove any fibers still stuck there.

What I don’t like about it

The pulp it creates. It does create very little pulp, I must admit, but still. I do try to reuse most of it: vegetable pulp gets seasoned and covered with beaten eggs and cheese for an impromptu crust-less quiche. And the fruit pulp usually ends up in the worm farm or the chicken coop.

Now and then, I also have to give the washable parts a good scrub (with the brushes provided), to make sure all the residues are gone. Although apparently, you can use a baby-bottle cleaning solution to do that for you.

The price tag. It is a bit of an investment. The HH Elite model sells for around $300 on Amazon. Admittedly, this newer model is more versatile and combines juicer and blender in one. They have proven their reliability over the years and are juicing workhorses, but it is an investment in your health. On the plus side, it forces you to use it as often as possible to get the maximum ROI.

Hurom HE features, and new features in the HH model

Hurom HE juicer partsAccording to the Hurom website, both models offer the same basic features:

  1. Slow rotational speed -The HE turns at 80 rpm. This means that although the cells are broken down to release all the nutrients, there is no heat generated, and no subsequent loss of nutrients.
  2. 350-milliliter chamber capacity – That’s a beer glass, basically. But thanks to the juice cap, you can just empty your juice in the provided jug and carry on juicing.
  3. High-strength auger – Made of heavy-duty Ultem® resin. I wouldn’t try to pop frozen food in there, but it crushes through carrots like a breeze.
  4. Versatile juice cap for convenience
  5. Two types of fine and coarse strainers – You can change the strainer depending on the pulp content of your fruits. I hardly ever use the coarse strainer, which is more for pulpy fruits like mangoes, papaya or guava, or if you just want more fibers in your juice.
  6. Convenient handle – The HE doesn’t have a handle, but since it weighs around 6kg, it usually just sits nicely on my counter.
  7. Low-noise, low-vibration AC motor – The motor holds a 10-year warranty and is definitely very quiet compared to my old centrifugal juicer. It also only uses 150 Watts of energy.
Added HH features:

  1. A slow rotational speed of 43 rpm – Instead of the 80 rpm of the HE. Which means even less loss of nutrients. The slower speed is balanced by the improved auger.
  2. 500-milliliter chamber capacity – Meaning that you can really add all your ingredients before pouring the juice. Particularly useful since this model boasts being able to do smoothies and juices.
  3. Double-edged, high-strength auger
  4. Adjustable Control Lever to accommodate different ingredients – This is to allow more fibers to be left in your juice, thereby turning your juicer into a smoothie maker. The best of both world, if you ask me.

The Hurom website also states that the Hurom HH Elite juicer will juice soft and hard fruits, vegetables, leafy greens and wheatgrass, but also nuts and soy to make non-dairy milk or tofu.

Is this product right for you?

The Hurom HH slow juicer might be ideal for you if:

  • You want to eat more fruits and vegetables, but don’t know how to convince your family to eat more of them.
  • You buy high-quality fruits and vegetables and want to make sure you get all the goodness out, without destroying the nutrients through cooking or other methods of juicing.
  • You often buy loads of fruits and vegetables, but don’t always have the time to prepare them and loathe to see them going to waste.
  • Your kids are picky eaters and will not eat vegetables.
  • You just want to increase your health levels by eating more raw fruits and vegetables.
  • You want a steady, reliable juicer, quiet and easy to clean.

So there you are…

I haven’t tried any other juicers and can’t compare. So far though, the upright Hurom slow juicer is doing the job just fine for us. It’s easy to use, extracts a lot of juice, leaving very little pulp, and is quick to clean and pack away. And it’s great for those bowls of fruits or bulk purchases of vegetables that are threatening to go past their prime…

I hope this post answers some of the questions you might have had about this juicer and will have convinced you further of the benefits of juicing (or blending). You can find my basic juice recipe in this post if you need something to get started.

Feel free to ask any questions regarding this juicer, I’ll do my very best to answer. And please share with us which juicer or blender you use, and what you like (or dislike) about them.

Blender vs Juicer – The best way to get your juice in

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please check my Affiliate Disclosure page.

According to recent data from 2017 published by the CDC, over 90% of American adults do not eat enough vegetables, while 87% don’t eat enough fruits. Fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies are a great way to quickly and easily add whole fresh goodness to our bodies. They should definitely be part of your new clean eating diet.

But here comes the dilemma: which one is best: clean juices or creamy smoothies? To help you choose which equipment would suit you and your family best, we’ve compared blender vs juicer and highlighted the pros and cons for each.

Difference between blending and juicing

Basically, a juicer will separate the fibers, while the blender keeps everything.

The preparation is the same, although some vegetables and fruits lend themselves more to one type of juice than the other. But in both cases, you have to wash your produce and chop it into smaller pieces that will fit nicely into your equipment. Preferably right at the last minute, to preserve the freshness.

The benefits of juicingFresh fruit juices
  • You’ll end up with just the water, flavor and nutrients. Without the fibers, and provided you have your juice on an empty stomach, those will be quickly absorbed for a quick health fix.
    You can pack more fruits and vegetables in your glass. So if you just need to cram your 5-a-day quickly, this is an easy option. I find I can more easily “hide” some vegetables in my kids’ juices than in a smoothie.
  • As fibers accelerate gastrointestinal transit, too much of it can cause diarrhea. Which means your body won’t have the time to absorb your precious nutrients. By removing the fibers, the vitamins and minerals stand a chance to be fully absorbed.
    For that reason, I, for one, would not be able to have my basic juice recipe in one sitting if I was blending the ingredients. I would have to spread my intake of raw food over the course of the day.
  • You don’t have to peel every fruit and vegetable you put in, as it will break the cells and extract the nutrients for you. Great for making the most of the vitamins and minerals contained in your fresh produce and saving time in prepping.
  • You can basically juice any hard fruit or vegetable, even leafy ones. Cheaper blenders might battle to give you a smooth texture with hard vegetables or leafy ones.
The benefits of blending
    • Rich berry smoothieFibers play a positive role in your digestive system. By feeding the good bacteria in your gut and keeping you full longer (soluble fibers). And by bulking up, flushing toxins and keeping you regular (insoluble fibers).
    • Even though too many fibers can accelerate your transit, the right amount of it will slow it just enough to ensure the nutrients are absorbed. It helps in particular with the absorption of minerals, like calcium.
    • They have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels.
      You end up with less wasted products at the end, as most of your fruits and vegetables are being used.
    • They keep you full, so if you combine fruits and vegetables with some healthy source of protein or fat, you can turn your juice or smoothie into a full meal.
    • They are easier to clean than juicers, which will require you to dismantle and rinse various parts every time. With blenders, you usually only need to rinse the jug.
    • They take less space. Juicers tend to be bulkier and will take more space on your countertop.
      They are cheaper. You can find some affordable juicers, but a good reliable juicer will set you back $100. Whereas a decent blender costs half that price.


Which juicer to choose?

There are a lot of juicers out there, with prices ranging from $35 to $800. Why such a big difference? While all juicers remove the bulk of the pulp, some do a better job at it than others, meaning that you’ll get more juice for your produce.

Some juicers also do a better job of preserving the nutrients than others. The centrifugal ones will heat the produce up slightly as it works, destroying a fair amount of nutrients in the process, for example.
The higher end juicers are more quiet, more powerful, last longer and are more versatile. You can, for example, use them to make nut milk or nut butter.

Centrifugal Juicers
Ideal if you’re just starting with juicing or have a limited budget.

The juice is extracted through centrifugal force. These are among the cheapest on the market, but as the internal blade spins to separate the juice from the fibers, it destroys some of the nutrients.

They’re good level-entry juicers but might not be ideal if you’re aiming at juicing for optimum health benefits.

Masticating Juicers
This is my current type of juicer. Compact, powerful and easy to clean.

Also called slow juicers or cold press juicers. The fruit or vegetable is slowly squeezed to release the juice and separate the pulp, so there’s less loss of nutrients. You end up with almost pure juice, and each glass is guaranteed to be loaded with whatever vitamins and minerals.

They’re the ones to aim for if you need to juice for maximum health benefits. This is the one I have. I bought an Hurom HE series a few years back and have never had any issues with it. It’s a bit of an investment, but I wouldn’t (nor would my kids) be able to stomach the same amount of raw fibers in one go. You can read my review here.

You can also find twin-gear juicers, which are the Rolls Royce of the family. They extract far more produce and release more nutrients that the single gear version.

At the other end of the scale, you have hand crank juicers. They are like a bike. They’re cheap, and they will only take you so far: they’re usually specialized in one type of fruit, like citrus, or vegetable, like wheatgrass. But they can have their place in your kitchen. If you only want to juice that specific fresh produce, or if you need something portable and energy-saving.

Which blender to choose?

The blender’s job is basically to liquidize everything you put in the bowl. If you don’t want to taste some of the peels, like peaches or carrots, you might want to peel them off first.

The price tag for blenders is not as high as for juicers. The most expensive ones will give you a much smoother consistency, last longer, tackle most food and have some nifty features.

Jug Blenders
Whether it be for smoothies, soups, or purees, every kitchen needs a blender.

These are your standard blenders. They’re affordable and a bit of a must in most families, for blending soups and pureeing. An entry model might not be able to tackle harder fruits and vegetables, like carrots, dried fruits or even nuts. They will accommodate soft fruits, yogurt, nut butter without issues.

 

A sturdier model will allow you to blend virtually anything, including seeds and nuts. The larger jug makes it the perfect blender for a family or blending in larger quantities at a time.

 

Single-serving Blenders
The NutriBullet, aka the Superfood Nutrients Extractor

These have appeared in recent years and offer a quick and portable solution.  The Nutribullet is the market leader. The bowl is smaller and will usually only blend one serving at a time. A nifty system of tight lids means you can just blend, add the lids and go. Perfect for a takeaway smoothie.

These are great to turn your smoothies into a whole meal, adding proteins or fats to make them more filling. Some are even battery-operated, so you can blend your smoothie at the last minute at work.

So…?

Which one is best, a blender or a juicer? Which contains the most nutrients, a cold-pressed juice or a smoothie? Which option is best, with the fibers, or without? This could go on forever but is not particularly useful.

Forget the debates, just load up on juices and smoothies

It is far more useful to remember this:

  • If drinking juices or smoothies allow you to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables, in their raw state, just do it. We don’t consume enough of the stuff anyway, and when we do, it’s mostly in processed form, at least for most vegetables. Get some great vegetable juice recipes here.
  • If you do mind creating more waste, and your digestive system can stomach it, blend it. We have to go for juicing and find clever ways to use the leftover pulp. I make mini-quiches with it when juicing vegetables, and the fruit pulp goes straight to our worm farm.
  • If the price is an issue, go for a blender, as expensive as you can afford. They are a useful tool in the kitchen for a variety of other dishes, so you won’t feel like it’s wasted money if you don’t do smoothies for a while.
  • Fruits and vegetables are the only foodstuffs that can be consumed with no or minimal processing. They’re the perfect clean food and allow you to save energy along the way. They also have the lowest water footprint, so any way to increase your intake is good.

Almost forgot, my basic juice recipe is:

My basic juice recipe

This takes care of most of my 5-a-day of raw fruits and vegetables. I don’t need to peel anything, just to wash them and chop them to fit.

If this recipe doesn’t quite tickle your fancy, feel free to check my other vegetable juice recipes.

What’s your favorite juice/smoothie recipe? Please share in the comments below!