Winter Juices

If you are one of those people who don’t like vegetables, as a Nutritional Therapist, I’m afraid I haven’t got very good news for you.  Having said that, maybe this particular post will be just the thing you needed to find out in order to reconcile with the goodness from vegetables. 2013-11-21 10.15.23_Veg_Juice_300

In the winter, we tend to be more inclined to eat hot dishes for obvious reasons.  One of the main concerns then is how to get through the same amount of juicy fresh vegetables that might easily be devoured in salads on hot summer days.  Winter is a great time to invest in a vegetable juicer and find out what wonders it can make for your health (not to mention it makes for a perfect healthy Christmas present!). Vegetable juices might seem too far out there if you have never tried them fresh at home but I dare say you should not make up your mind before trying at least ONCE.  The reasons:

  • it is the easiest way to get through a significant amount of fresh healthy vegetables with minimum effort, no cooking skills required
  • it’s amongst the best options for freshness in terms of getting the most out of your fresh ingredients in terms of nutrition
  • it is fast (and if you invest in a GOOD juicer, it can be easy and quick to clean too)
  • it is a way to invest in future health by adding valuable nutrients normally lacking in our Modern diet (especially in the winter when we stir even more towards carb-loaded foods and empty calories)
  • it is cost effective: you can get a lot of juice out of some vegetables that cost little in comparison to dishes that require lots of ingredients to make them taste good and help you get through the taste of the vegetables (that’s for those who dislike vegetables at the moment)
  • It is easy to drink – Skipping the process of chewing through tastes that you are not so keen on will certainly be helpful to get you acquainted with some new healthy ingredients in your kitchen
  • The more you consume vegetables, the more you start to like them.  You’ll never look back.  So in that way, a juicer is a gentle start for beginners.

Our taste buds adjust and the more complex tastes we expose them to, the bigger the variety of tastes we tend to seek.  In no time at all you’ll be completely used to having your daily vegetable juice. Moreover, as you begin to feel the difference in terms of health and vitality, you will simply continue with the practice of something that has clear benefits from a number of different points of view.

I’m not advocating Joe Cross’ full juice detox for everybody here (ref. the video ‘Fat, sick and nearly dead’) but I have to say that a vegetable juice a day is a very good measure to enhance anyone’s health.  A practice that I can safely say won’t hurt you in any way if you do it properly.  Many of my clients are advised to incorporate vegetable juicing into their routines though recipe ingredients will vary according to personal needs and other therapeutic measures that integrate their programmes.  So this particular recipe is amongst the best pieces of free advice you can get from me here.  Make sure you give it a try to find out for yourself what wonders fresh vegetable juices can do for you.

The main rule of the juice is: keep it natural, avoid using more than 2 pieces of fruit and make sure at least 40-50% of it is made from green leafy vegetables.

Another important point to remember: juice only vegetables which you know to be safe to consume in a raw state.  Many starchy vegetables like potatoes are not good for you in a raw state.  Some of these foods contain ‘anti-nutrients’ that need to be neutralised through the process of cooking. A good measure is: stick to salad ingredients – all fresh and raw ingredients. Here’s a suggested combination:

5 leaves of spring greens
a bunch of parsley (curly or flat)
20(ish) mint leaves
1 stick of celery
1 big carrot
½ beetroot
1 apple (deseeded)
1 kiwi
5-10 radishes
1 inch piece of ginger
1 small sweet pepper

You can use a blender here or a juicer although the juicer will make the job quicker, less messy and more efficient.  If you invest in a good juicer, you cut down on time as you won’t have to cut ingredients into small pieces nor will you have to spend a whole hour cleaning the several different parts that go together.  A good juicer should be potent, big enough to take the vegetables whole, easy to clean and quick to put together. I strongly recommend the investment as I have had cheap juicers in the past that have managed to put me off the whole thing. After all, time is an issue for anyone who works, has a family to manage and seeks to eat home-made food from scratch.  So think of the future and buy yourself something that will make life that little bit easier without compromises in health.

2013-11-21 10.32.01_curiosity_300If you stick to a blender (or at least use it for your very first juice before you decide to invest in equipment), cut the vegetables into small parts that you think will be ok for your blender to process, add a little water (about 150ml) and blend well until well processed into a paste. Squeeze it through a muslin cloth over a large bowel and then discard the pulp left behind.  Drink the juice immediately. You’ll get about 2 big glasses depending on how well your blender manages the job.  As always, vary the ingredients to obtain a wider range of nutrients as often as possible.

Don’t just wonder about it. Try it!

(And then of course: make the most out of children’s curiosity! They get easily intriggued 🙂

Bom apetite!

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