You’re ready to start juicing, but where do you begin? Juicing is simple (though time-consuming). I know some of you are wondering just how to juice. There are a few things you should know before you get started.
Before you can begin, you have some shopping to do. You’ll need a juicer, fruits and veggies, and mason jars (or old peanut butter jars — just make sure it’s glass).
You’ll want to begin here with how to select a juicer before you make that purchase. Juicers can be expensive; you don’t want to make a mistake with your purchase. If you don’t have a juicer and absolutely cannot afford to buy one, here are instructions for how to juice without a juicer.
Be sure to refer to this “Preparing for a Juice Fast” post for help with your shopping list, and other important preparations.
Once you have everything you need, you’re ready to juice! Here are the steps to take:
Wash produce thoroughly
Unwashed produce can be contaminated with bacteria so this is an important step in the juicing process. All of my produce gets a vinegar bath. Washing your produce in a bath of vinegar and water kills 98% of bacteria and removes pesticides. Fill your sink with a 3:1 ratio of water to vinegar, soak for 2-3 minutes, rinse with fresh water, and allow to dry. I do this as soon as I bring the produce home. As a side benefit, it will prolong the life of your food as well (especially fresh berries).
Cut or tear produce to fit through the juicer
Just before juicing, cut any produce that might be too large to fit through the juicer whole. Once you start cutting vegetables they begin to lose nutrients so it’s best to cut just before juicing.
Feed produce through the juicer
If you have a juicer that has a pulp basket, line it with a plastic bag for easy clean-up first. If your juicer has more than one speed, don’t forget to down-shift from high to low for softer fruits. Most juicers come with a chart in the instruction manual to help guide you on speeds. Usually hard produce like apples and beets are on High and soft ones like spinach or cabbage are set to Low.
Rejuice your pulp
Once produce has been passed through the juicer, check to see if your pulp is still damp. If it is, pass it back through your juicer and you’ll be able to get more juice from the leftovers! I can usually get about 2 ounce more juice when I do this.
Enjoy your juice!
Drink it as soon as possible because once it’s juiced it starts to lose nutrients. If stored properly, it can last up to 2-3 days, but remember that there are no preservatives in fresh juice, so it can go bad quickly. If you prefer it cold, pour over ice.
Now it’s time to clean your juicer
Carefully scrub your machine with warm water and soap and place on a drying mat. Check the owner’s manual to see if your juicer is dishwasher friendly for an even faster clean.
As I mentioned before, it is always best to drink your juice right away, but any juicing momma can tell you that’s not always possible. So, if you know in advance that you won’t be home to juice, you can juice ahead up to 48 hours, and drink juice that is still good. Just know that as soon as you juice, the nutrients will begin diminishing. Be sure to juice as close to when you’ll be drinking as possible and follow these tips:
Double your juice
Make more than one juice, have half right away, and then store the rest for your juice later that day or the following day. This works especially well if you won’t be home all day and would miss juicing a meal while out.
Store in the fridge
Juice will keep for 24-48 hours in the fridge (72 hours is maximum time suggested). If you won’t have a fridge when traveling, be sure to bring a cooler and pack it in ice.
Store in a glass container
Store your juice in an airtight glass container, preferably glass. I use wide-mouth mason jars (and I love these lids and straws to go with them).
Fill your container to the top
Oxygen is your juice’s worse enemy. Fill juice to the top of your preferred container to prevent oxygen from getting in and depleting the nutritional value. If you don’t have enough juice to fill your jar, add filtered water.
Freeze your juice
Freezing is a less desireable option, but it can be done when necessary. Just know that your juice will lose some of its nutritional value in the freezing process. If you do freeze your juice, do it immediately after juicing. Thaw in the refrigerator. Drink within 7-10 days of freezing.
Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing a very important topic — why buying organic matters with juicing. And yes, I do know how expensive buying organic can be. Don’t worry though — I’ll be sharing tips for how you can make it more affordable and which foods you can get away with buying conventional instead of organic.
Juice of the Day
This powerful little drink is a total immune and energy booster. It’s a great source of vitamins C and K, as well as folate and potassium.
- 1 cup red cabbage
- 1/2 large or one small apple
- 1/2 fennel bulb
- handful of basil
- Wash all produce well
- Core the apple
- Add all ingredients through juicer and enjoy (I recommend Breville)
Yield: 12-16 oz
Find more juicing recipes.
Please know that this is my own personal story and the information I have gathered from my own research and experience. I am not a nutritionist or a doctor (nor do I play either one on TV). If you have any chronic conditions, are under the care of a doctor for any diseases, or take medication, please see your doctor before making changes in your diet or embarking on a juicing fast.