Vegetable Juicing

Well, I got zapped good ‘n proper with gluten over the holiday period this year: the problems were too much eating out (I started to get complacent about re-confirming that my food was gluten and dairy free when it was delivered); and a waiter who sounded as if he was paying attention, but in retrospect really wasn’t. Not only did half my meal not appear until everyone else had nearly finished eating (that should have warned me), but the half that I took home (and confidently ate the next day) was most definitely not gluten free …. and you don’t want to know how I knew it wasn’t … and it’s now February, and I’m still itching!

Carrot, apple and ginger juice

Early morning freshly squeezed, carrot, apple, and ginger juice

It takes a few days to a couple of weeks for the worst of my symptoms to subside. I have found that my best bet to deal with this situation has been to juice only, on the worst days. To be honest, I’m not sure why I don’t juice more often. There’s something blissful about the almost instant satiety without the feeling of being stuffed, and the calm that ensues. I don’t generally count calories when I juice. I just drink when I want to, but the weight tends to slide off as I do. So, tell me: if I like the taste, and I like the way I feel when I juice, and my weight does good things when I do so, how come I only seem to do it when my tummy is in desperate need of a rest?

Answers please, on a post card …….

I can’t say that I usually follow any recipes for juicing. I wanted to share an idea here, rather than a recipe. However, because carrots are remarkably cheap, and because we have orange trees, my standard juice is basically loads of carrots (6 large ones), with a small orange and a diddy amount of fresh ginger. It’s not that I only drink this combination, but if I want a juice in a hurry, this is what I opt for.

Juicing veggies

Veggies for juicing …. if appearance bothers you, use green rather than black grapes.

There are loads of books and web-sites out there that do suggest combinations of vegetables to juice with associated benefits, and sometimes I try out their combinations, but quite often I will just juice what’s already available in my fridge or garden, and most of the time it is delicious. I have learnt to limit kale to a couple of handfuls, and celery to a single stalk per cup of juice I make, but carrots, cauliflower stems, broccoli stems, white cabbage, lettuce, fresh tomatoes, red/yellow peppers, cucumber (skinned), and zucchini/courgette I will use as much as I fancy. Generally, I add a small orange, 1/2 an apple, a handful of grapes, a persimmon, or a slice of fresh ginger, as available, but the dominant ingredients are (culinarily speaking) vegetables.

I have enjoyed The Juice Lady’s Turbo Diet by Cherie Calbom. She is very inspirational, though I do tend to feel there is a bit of pseudoscience stirred in for good measure.

I rather like this site (http://juicerecipes.com/build/), too, for its page where you can get a nutritional run down of the ingredients that you’re juicing. Juicing calories and nutrients tend to be less than those of the whole plant (as you’d expect), but it’s nice to know how much less, and if you do want to count calories, this is good information.

If you want to buy a juicer, I recommend this website which helped me chose which juicer to buy: http://www.discountjuicers.com/   They only sell kit that they have tested, and discuss the pros and cons of each one. They’ve also got good tables for helping you to compare different types and brands of juicer. I ended up buying a masticating juicer from them (this one, in fact: http://www.omegajuicers.com/juicers/masticating-juicers/juicer-8004.html … they don’t seem to sell DSC_0001it any more, though that was 3 years ago, and I still love it) which allows me to make almond/cashew flours and butters, and instant fruit sorbets (from frozen fruit) as well as juice. It also has fittings for making various pasta shapes, but I found a brand of GF pasta that I liked before I’d figured out a recipe for it, and didn’t get any further. I might have to look into that again …. but not until I’ve shifted this holiday weight!

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