What do I do with this machine?
October 30, 2012 6:04 PM   Subscribe

My boyfriend just got me a juicer from Walmart (GE model I believe) since he occasionally does juice fasts and also uses them as meal replacements. I've never really used one before.

I was wondering where I could find some advice about juicing, get some recipes and figure out how to enjoy this thing. Most of what I found in quick searches was mostly ads.
The bf has had health issues and has found they can make his symptoms less severe. I'm not particularly interested in fasts, but I figure it could make for a good breakfast.
Help me enjoy this new toy.
posted by greatalleycat to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I started juicing myself this month. I found that I'm more of a sweet person and am a fan of any combination of carrots, cucumber, apples, beets and ginger. Go easy on the ginger though! I've been scanning recipes from my local juice bar and ended up on livestrong.com after some googling. Livestrong is great for newbies as it tells you how to prep the fruit/vegetables and which parts should be juiced or discarded.
posted by icaicaer at 6:24 PM on October 30, 2012

I have a juicer as well. I do not know what advice there is to give about owning and using one. I imagine that it came with recipes in the instruction manual. Recipes are also plentiful online. I tend towards tomato and cucumber-based recipes because I tend not to enjoy sweets. However, I will occasionally make juice from apples and ginger.

Think about what produce you think might taste good together. Experiment and make juice out of that. I don't think a glass of juice, by itself, makes for a good breakfast because it is not filling at all. It might be good to drink with breakfast, but be mindful of the calories that juice contains. (another reason I favor tomato/cucumber juice)
posted by Tanizaki at 6:29 PM on October 30, 2012

I love mixed beetroot, orange, carrot, celery, ginger with lemon (good detoxer). Lemon is especially good for you in the mornings but its quite acidic so I wouldn't use a whole lot in whatever you're mixing it in. Also green leafy vegetables like kale, silverbeet, (including the stalks). I find some of those greens bitter and need to add sweeter fruits like watermelon or apples to balance the bitterness out.

Cantaloupe & strawberry is one of my all time favourites (especially good with vodka). Also half apple with half orange juice (a great gin mixer).

You should look around for a cheap 2nd-hand juice book for different recipes and health benefits. I've read that if you drink a fresh juice and don't eat anything with it then you experience a worse sugar high/low. Also, you should drink the juice almost as soon as you've made it as it turns quickly. Cold pressed juice lasts a bit longer. And clean the juicer straight away because they are a nuisance to clean once the leftover fibres dry up!
posted by Under the Sea at 6:38 PM on October 30, 2012

Be wary of those recipes with too much fruit. You can easily rack up a lot of sugary calories when a recipe calls for more than one piece of fruit. Also, make sure you are still getting ample fiber in your diet. Juicing, unfortunately, removes much of the healthy fiber from the fruits and veggies.
posted by cecic at 6:44 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've read that if you drink a fresh juice and don't eat anything with it then you experience a worse sugar high/low.

Get some protein powder and mix into the juice, that's what I do. Just don't use the whole amount on the serving size, because protein powder is extremely vile.

Avoiding too much fruit is really important. Also, green juice is just as tasty. It looks like horror in a glass, but if you get the mixture right it is great! Although once I tried making juice with mustard greens and that was far too ambitious for my palate. Mustard greens burn.

Look into green juicing and ignore the copious woo. I have a masticating juicer (MAGICAL)*, but I take about half my greens and run them in the magic bullet with a little of the other juice so that I get some fiber with the juice.

My favorite juice!

Two cups of mixed greens
quarter cup of pineapple
one beet
one carrot

It tastes like pineapple, mostly, with a little bit of green taste. Yummy!

*magical like it works very well for juicing greens and beets and cold presses the juice, not magical like it cures world hunger and brings about world peace with nutrients. I've not read those specific claims from juicing advocates, but I've read some not so far off from that.
posted by winna at 7:08 PM on October 30, 2012

Here's my general recipe for juice:
- something with a lot of water content (celery, cucumber, tomato)
- something leafy (kale, spinach)
- something sweet (apple, orange, pineapple, carrot)
- something else (ginger, lemon, cilantro, cayenne) --this spicy/flavorful category masks leafy bitterness more than the sweet stuff, IMO!

Obviously sometimes I'll have more than one thing from a category, with the exception of sweet. Every juicer is different, specifically in how it handles leafy greens that don't easily become liquid, so you'll need to experiment to see what ratios result in the best juice. I'd stay away from the weird add-ins (pollen, protein, cayenne) for the moment, and stick to veggies that you already know and enjoy. It's not a crime to mix your juice with store-bought juice-- for example, I haven't been able to buy good fresh oranges yet, so I've been mixing my juice with some store-bought OJ for vitamin C.

I don't think you need to drink your juice immediately. Definitely clean your juicer first! But it does start to taste not-great after a while, so unfortunately it won't work to make a huge batch in advance.

For meal replacements, I prefer more fiber, so I add a glass of crushed ice and use my Vita Mix instead.
posted by acidic at 8:25 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've found a good combo to be kale, beet, carrot, apple, and ginger. Start with 1 apple and 2 carrots, one small beet, and about 6 leaves of kale. Add a small amount of fresh ginger (about a 1 inch chunk will give it a bit of a kick). This will be tasty, and sweet enough for someone who is not used to juicing to enjoy it, yet with the kale and beet it will have a lot of healthy stuff going for you. Once you start getting used to drinking fresh juice, you can add celery and cucumber to replace some of the sweeteners, which will reduce the amount of sugar. Also a little bit of lime (with skin removed) adds a nice flavor.
posted by markblasco at 8:02 AM on October 31, 2012

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