So you’re sold on juicing as an easy way to get healthier by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet but now what. Most beginning juicers don’t know what to do to get started. There is so much information out there that it can be a bit overwhelming. However, it is a lot easier if you know the questions you should ask yourself before you get started. Dr. Allison Stark, MD thinks you should ask:
1. Which kitchen essentials do you need?
1. Juicer (Dr. Stark recommends the Champion Juicer)
2. Sharp knife for chopping produce
3. Reusable grocery bags (for carting those heavy veggies)
4. Cutting board
5. Large bowl for mixing ingredients
6. Mason jars
7. Stiff brush to clean juicer
8. Stainless steel mesh strainer to extract unnecessary pulp
9. Juice Press
2. Where do you get produce and what should I buy?
What are your basic juicing ingredients? Kale, cucumbers, celery, and parsley are my basics, and I sometimes use collard greens, spinach, ginger, lemon, apple, lime, and pears.
Where do you shop? I shop where I get a good deal on key ingredients: bunches of kale and collard greens as well as large cucumbers are a lot cheaper at some local bodega-style shops versus Whole Foods.
How important is organic to you? I'm a big fan of farmer's markets and enjoy buying local produce when I can. I'm not wedded to organic. I personally look for the best-looking produce I can find and make sure to wash it really well.
3. How much does juicing cost per week?
Dr. Stark makes enough juice every week for one 16 oz. drink a day. Compared to Liquiteria's pressed juices, which cost $8.50, Dr. Juicy ends up spending about $3.50 a drink, or $25 a week.
For this price, Dr. Juicy purchases "a BIG batch of kale, a batch of collard greens, a bunch of celery, 5-6 large cucumbers, 5 granny smith apples, 5 lemons, a nice piece of ginger root, and a bunch of curly parsley."
4. How much time does juicing take?
"I'd say about an hour: it's a lot of produce and it just takes time. It's a multi-step process: washing, cutting, setting up the juicers, then putting all the greens through the Champion juicer a few pieces at a time, changing the attachment, and putting the rest of the produce through.
Simultaneously, I use a hydraulic press on the small batches of pulp that come out of the Champion Juicer.
This might sound like overkill, but I extract about 20-30 percent more juice this way.
Also, pressing the juice increases their shelf life. My juices can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days, so I don't have to juice as often.
I probably do about 10 batches in the press, then squeeze the lemons separately, running all the juice through my strainer as I put it into all the jars."
Note: It's not necessary to have a juicer and a press. She's just a little thorough.
5. What's your go-to green juice and where can I get some starter recipes?
Pineapple and Mint
1 large pineapple
Generous handful of mint
Green Juice (makes 100–120 ounces)
1 bunch of green kale
1 bunch of collard greens (or dandelion greens)
1 bunch of celery
1 bunch of parsley (I like to use the curly leaf parsley because it goes through my juicer better)
5 granny smith apples (can replace some or all with pears, if preferred)
5 large cucumbers (or 3 English cucumbers)
2-3 inches of ginger root
Put all ingredients thorough the juicer (except the lemons which I squeeze separately) and put the pulp through the juice press, if available. Note that I use a leafy greens attachment on my Champion juicer for all the greens and then switch to the regular attachment for the rest of the ingredients.
That’s juicing 101 in a nutshell. I promise you, once you start you will find it hard to stop. For more motivational, educational and inspirational information about juicing and the lifestyle delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to our free newsletter at www.rawblisslife.com.
Drink Good…BE Good!