Katie's Healthy Bites: Juice Up Your Diet

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Person holding a glass of thick green vegetable juice

Photo by: Stockbyte ©(c) Stockbyte

Stockbyte, (c) Stockbyte

This year, spring into a healthy summer by adding a juicer to your collection of healthy kitchen tools. Using a juicer to create your own fruit and vegetable concoctions is a fabulous way to quench your thirst, satisfy your appetite and increase your fruit and veggie intake without all the added sugar and processing of store-bought juices.  Here are the basics.

Choosing a Juicer

When going about choosing a juicer, begin by deciding how tough your ingredients will be and in what setting you will be using your juicer.  There are three main types of juicers:

  • A centrifugal juicer works by grinding up the fruit or vegetable and then pushing them through a strainer at a very high speed to catch any pulp or leftover fibers.  This method usually yields more juice.
  • A masticating juicer operates at a slower speed as it chews up the fruit/vegetable to breakdown tough fibers and then extracts the juice from the pulp.  This juicer tends to be more efficient in releasing nutrients from the fiber and enzyme breakdown.
  • A twin gear juicer works differently from the others, in that it uses a crush-and-press system for enzyme breakdown.  It works at a much slower speed but is successful in providing a higher quality, more nutrient-rich beverage.  Many twin gear juicers are also able to slow down the oxidation process, which allows for a longer storage time.
Make Your Own Juices

The best part of juicing at home is experimenting with different ingredients to create a plethora of nutritious and delicious, nutrient packed beverages. Try the recipes below, or get creative with unique ingredients or clean out the fridge. Add flaxseed or wheatgrass for an extra burst of nutrition.

Green Machine:
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 apple
Berry Blast:
  • 2 cups each, strawberries and raspberries
  • 1 peach
Glass O’ Gazpacho
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 cup of parsley
Calorie Questions

A lot of people ask how many calories are in a glass of homemade juice and the answer is the juice will have around the same amount of calories the actual ingredients in the recipe have.  That being said, veggie juices are less caloric then fruit juices.  Be mindful of caloric intake, but also note that juicing is a way to consume a concentrated number of nutrients that do a body good—think multivitamin in a glass!

How to Use The Leftover Pulp

Don’t fret about left over juice fiber/pulp…you can use that too!  Here are some tips for using leftover pulp because all that fiber is good for you!

  • Add fiber and zest to bran muffin mixes.
  • Add color and flavor to mashed potatoes or pancakes.
  • Thicken soups, stews and sauces.
  • Enhance dressings, marmalades or marinades with fresh flavor.
TELL US: What are you favorite ingredients to juice?

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, personal chef and owner of HealthyBites, LLC. See Katie's full bio »

Domenica Toscani also contributed to this article
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