Happy New Year everyone!
I hope you’ve all had a wonderful time with family and friends over Christmas. It’s always such a lovely period of celebration and socialising. Of course, along with the gift giving, another source of joy is Christmas food! It’s a time of indulgence, and for many (like me!) over-indulgence!
Some of you might therefore be considering New Year Resolutions, healthy eating plans, fitness kicks or out and out diets.
Many of us could do with eating more healthily. One way of achieving an overall healthier diet is through juicing. Eating more fruit and vegetables will always be the best way of obtaining vital nutrients, rather than taking supplements. Cooked vegetables are great, but often the cooking process means that the nutrient content is reduced. Juicing means that you preserve the nutrients, all those precious vitamins and minerals, whilst giving yourself something palatable and easy to consume. Some people just can’t get along with eating raw, chopped fruits or vegetables. Personally, I can’t imagine doing anything like the raw food diet
Many people use juicing as a method for achieving weight loss. Personally, I would advise caution. Whatever diet you use, you must ensure your overall food and drink intake is balanced. Juice can count for one of your “five a day”, but not more. The reason for this is that the dietary fibre is left behind in the juice machine.
I’m not a juicing expert, so I am delighted that one of my former students, Jennifer Dean (or Jen as she likes to be called) has written you a short guide to her juicer, how she uses it and some hints and tips for newbies.
Jen Dean is a qualified Barrister who has worked on various Government agencies, and currently has a term of office on a advisory committee on environmental issues. This post involves advising on the making and implementation of environmental legislation. In addition, she is a legal advisory consultant for a major trade union, working on employment law cases including disciplinary hearings and mediations. She is also the Chair of the Law Specialist Group at the British Computer Society for the 3rd year running. She was one of my very best advocacy students, and is a passionate foodie.
So, without further ado, over to Jen!
My Juicer is a 960 watt centrifugal one bought new on Ebay for £49, approximately. It is unbranded. It’s my 3rd juicer.
|Jen's current juicing machine - a centrifugal juicer|
I juice carrots and other ‘hard’ items like beetroot. The 960 watts is good power and makes light work of everything.
I do not juice frozen ginger as that is too hard. Frozen ginger is like rock for my juicer and reduces the life span. This is my 3rd Juicer of this centrifugal type. I have a small kitchen and I am watching my budget. These are considerations to take into account when selecting a juicer. Some of the ‘cold press’ juicers eg the ’Vitamix’ have a bigger footprint and are more costly. You will need to think about your priorities.
Juice from my type of machine lasts about 2 days. The centrifugal type is not as efficient as the cold press juicers which extract more juice and the juice can last up to 3 days in the fridge. Another consideration is that you can get attachments for the cold press juicer to do other things.
My friend has a cold press but she bought hers in the US and brought it over. It looks a bit like this:
|A typical cold press juicer|
I juice carrots, apples and celery mostly. I wash my carrots, apple and celery (especially the celery as it can have lots of dirt). I cut the heads off my carrots, and core the apples.
|Your root veggies need thorough washing|
|All the hard and inedible bits need to be trimmed off|
|Apple cores need removing and celery needs thorough washing|
So that was 20 carrots, 1 stick of celery (you don’t need much, it gives a lot of aroma and taste to the juice, which you don’t want to be overpowering) and 2 apples. All should be prepared as much as you can bother to do, to prevent the dreaded sticking!
Then I put them in the juicer, a few at a time, otherwise it gets stuck. It’s a bit messy to get unstuck. And also you have to remember to switch off the machine or you could lose a finger!
|Jen's juicer - in action!|
The carrot and apple pith (even the celery pith) left over can be made into a cake or in the West indies where I come from we make thick ‘pone’ (eg cassava pone, which is a bit like bread pudding).
|The finished product!|
The above quantity gave me this amount of juice. That is the green 750 mls plastic container and the 500ml silver top bottle. It’s a good amount of fresh juice, without any artificial colour, preservatives or other unexpected nasties.
Then comes the task of the clearup. You need to switch off the power, disassemble the machine, scoop out all the pith before washing. Well designed machines will be easy to take apart and put back together.
|Disassembling the machine|
This is what it looks like all washed up which, thankfully, is easy to do.
All washed! Phew!
I hope that this helps anyone who is thinking about starting to do their own juicing. It's easy and convenient, and tastes much nicer than anything you buy.
My thanks to Jen for providing this post, which she did completely out of the goodness of her heart. We aren't promoting any type or brand of juicer.