This post was updated on April 3rd, 2020.
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WHERE DO YOU BUY YOUR JUICING INGREDIENTS?
We love to shop at Costco (link for $10 off your order) for our juicing ingredients. When I’m short on time, or have sick kids I must admit I have used Instacart (link for $10 off your order) to get my juicing ingredients and other Costco (link for $10 off your order) staples I love.
If you don’t have a Costco, don’t lose heart. There’s still a chance for later. I only got a Costco in my town starting in May 2017. Before that I had one an hour away for 6 years and before that I didn’t have one within three hours. There is hope.
I do love Costco because I can buy organic produce easy and in bulk. It’s not weird at Costco. Going to the regular grocery store, or worse, Walmart and buying 10 pounds of carrots. 50 pounds of apples. 2 pounds of organic spinach. People look at you like you have 3 heads. It’s a great conversation starter though!
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX FOR ORGANIC PRODUCE.
Before May 2017 we lived in a pretty small town. Organic produce was laughable until I started shaking things up. I went to the local grocery store and talked to the store manager and the produce manager and asked them how to get these products in. I told them I would spread the word to all the other moms in town. I told them to get the organic product on the Dirty Dozen List and the ingredients I needed for juicing. I asked them to let me know when the shipments arrived and I would blast it out to my mommy network and we would be in there to buy it. Sure enough throughout the 6 years I lived there, word got out. They began ordering more organics and we had options! Woohooo!
Another way is to check with local farms and see if you can work something out to get the amount of ingredients you need from a local farm store when you need them.
MY BASIC GREEN JUICING RECIPE
Recipes are hard because sizes of produce vary greatly. Juice to taste and find the ratios your family enjoys.
The below recipe makes approximately 56-ounce juice jar and a half….usually. That lasts us about 3 days [for 3 of us], as long as we are all drinking it. Will your juice last for 3 days? Read Post #2: Juicer Buying Guide!
- 2 pounds of organic carrots
- 5-10 apples
- 2-3 bunches organic kale
- ginger to taste
When trying to decide proportions…
- try for MORE VEGGIES than fruits.
- try for MORE greens than sweet veggies like carrots
- we are working towards fewer fruits, fewer sweet carrots and more greens.
HOW GREEN SHOULD YOU MAKE YOUR GREEN JUICE RECIPE?
We built up the amount of kale we could tolerate.
We started with a handful and have reached 2-3 bunches per “batch.”
Spinach doesn’t have as much “flavor” so it tastes less green!
We just spinach now a lot more than kale because it tastes less green.
SAFE JUICING RECIPE FOR MY FIRST TIME?
When trying this for the first time, try buying some apples, carrots & spinach. Or pick your own mix of a few fruits and veggies. Try some different combinations. Stick in a straw and try it. Add more and more green until you can’t stand it 🙂 Then add another carrot or apple. Try it! Just experiment! If I add a new ingredient I will often juice it separately and mix a tiny cup first to see how it tastes before I ruin an entire batch! Experiment! I’ts fun!
MY ADVICE FOR YOUR FIRST JUICING RECIPE.
Don’t get too courageous. Just stick with something normal at first. And make a small batch if you are going to experiment…in case you hate it. Just my advice. But I’m not as adventurous as some…like my husband.
WHAT IF YOUR JUICING RECIPE TASTES AWFUL?
Add more carrots or apples to sweeten it. Just like any new taste you might need to ease your tastebuds into it. Or use it in a smoothie and try again next time.
HOW DO I MAKE MY KIDS DRINK MY HOMEMADE JUICE?
I recommend starting with a sweeter juice at first so you don’t scare them off. You want to be sure they will try it next time as it gets greener. Also, you could hide the color of the juice in a darker cup at first if you think they’ll automatically hate it simply because it looks greener than the juice they are used to.
My kids LOVE their “daddy juice” they call it. They are used to the flavor and the color. But we have had friends come over and offered them some and we had a toddler friend of ours actually gag when we offered it to him. So, sometimes parenting requires a little trickery to make sure they accept the good foods we want them to eat. Sigh. Parenting is exhausting!
WHAT CAN I JUICE TOGETHER IN A JUICING RECIPE?
The point of juicing is to get nutrients into your body as fast as possible, without fiber and other bulk slowing down digestion. Different digestive enzymes are required for fruits vs veggies so by combining them you will get fewer nutrients from your juice! Gasp!
WHAT ABOUT APPLES? You’re in luck! Apples are neutral and you can add apples to your veggie juice to “sweeten” it a bit….but of course, keep in mind, sugar is bad and sweet sweet drinks are also bad. So, watch your sugar but….you have to start somewhere. If you can’t tolerate the taste you won’t drink it.
EAT FRUITS. DON’T JUICE FRUITS. (As a general rule.) It’s better to eat fruits rather than juice them because most of the fruit’s ability to cleanse the body comes from eating them whole and the fiber included.
MY ADVICE? Start with a juice you can drink, your family can drink. And work toward adding more greens, more vegetables and lowering the amount of fruit! Don’t stress. Try it.
HOW TO JUICING PREP.
I learned early on that it’s important to prep all at once BEFORE starting the juicer. The juicer should be on for only 30 min at a time so it’s important to prep all the veggies at once. I have also read that having your veggies room temp means they contain more nutrients. Not sure if that’s true or not, but it makes me feel better about taking forever to complete this prep process….because as a mom, sometimes in the middle of the process…something comes up…and juicing takes a back seat for a while. I just get back to it when I can.
- While I’m getting the ingredients out, I put the apples, carrots & greens in the colander & start running their “shower” in the sink.
- Once those are clean and scrubbed (I haven’t been using a veggie wash, but if you guys have a recommendation for one and reasons to use one, please share! I’d love your knowledge!), I chop the apples into 5 pieces each apple. Just small enough to fit into the juicer and also to cut the seeds out. I cut around the core.
- My husband has started using this apple slicer and he loves it! I prefer cutting. I like that apple slicer over others because it has a cover and I’m always cutting myself on things. By the way….these cutting gloves have saved me from many shaved knuckles when I grate cheese and chop ingredients. I buy smalls for myself and the kids and my husband has an XL pair.
- DO NOT JUICE APPLE SEEDS. See info in the cautions below.
- I chop off the ends of the carrots and then chop them small enough to feed through the juicer.
5 LESSONS LEARNED FROM HEALTHY JUICE RECIPES
- Kale and leafy greens tend to get jammed in the juicer and have a hard time coming out. So, I’ve learned to add the kale/spinach closer to the beginning and use the carrots and apples to help work the greens through the juicer. This helps me waste less kale/leafy greens & the juicer is easier to clean in the end.
- I’ve also found it’s good to save some of the green juice on the side to add in later if one member of the house has a harder time drinking the green stuff. The greener juice is sometimes better hidden in a smoothie.
- My hubby is more adventurous than I am. He found a “recipe” in the book Super Juice including horseradish. Wow. I mean wow. It HURT him. So….start out small. No horseradish to start. Start with SAFE fruits and veggies! 🙂
- I didn’t have any issues with gastrointestinal discomfort but there are warnings to take it slow so you don’t end up in the bathroom all day. Just beware.
- CHOOSE HARDER APPLES. I’ve found certain apples don’t juice well….the mushier the apple the mushier the juice that comes out. So, I try to buy crisper apples for more juice and less mushy pulp. We prefer organic honeycrisp from Costco.
CAUTIONS & WARNINGS FOR HOMEMADE JUICE
- APPLE SEEDS. I learned this warning after feeding us juice with apple seeds for a couple weeks! Yikes! Here’s the “skinny” on juicing apple seeds on snopes if you want more info. Apple seeds contain cyanide compound. Remove apple seeds before juicing!
- BEET LEAVES. Beets can help to breakdown excessive fats in the diet and stimulate the gall bladder to inject bile into the liver. Start with just a few beet leaves, especially if you limit the amount of fat in your diet. You can overdose causing you to feel queasy or make you throw up!
As I mentioned in Juicing Post #1 I do recommend certain fruits and veggies should be organic. I use organic whenever I can for all the ingredients I juice.
WHAT DO WE DRINK WHEN WE DON’T HAVE ANY HOMEMADE JUICE?
We drink Ningxia Red juice.
ONE OUNCE of Ningxia Red has an antioxidant equivalent of 100 oranges, 814 blueberries, 22 carrots, 10.85 lbs of spinach, 59 broccoli florets, 73 strawberries, and 93 apples! READ MORE HERE!
I freeze the little 2 oz packets and the kids eat those as popsicles. The adults in my house drink 2 oz a day of Ningxia Red juice.