Hello friends — I’m back today to share about preparing veggies for juicing. Yesterday, I gave similar tips for preparing fruit. I know it’s not rocket science, but sometimes it can be confusing learning what needs to be peeled, which seeds are safe, and whether or not the green tops can be juiced with your beets.
Of course, part of the excitement of juicing is getting to try new vegetables. Since you don’t have to learn special cooking techniques, it easier to just jump in and try that jicama you’ve stared at so many times in the grocery store, but had not the first clue how to fix it.
All vegetables (and leafy greens and fruits, for that matter) have phytonutrients that are good for your body’s health. It makes sense that the more variety you can add to your daily diet, the more you will benefit from these riches that are hidden for us in raw produce. I am convinced that juicing vegetables is one of the best things you can do for your health and that of your family.
That said, some vegetables are simply easier to juice than others. A more accurate statement would be, “some vegetables are simply easier to prepare than others.”
So in the interest of getting you to start juicing and experiencing the delicious, fresh tastes of juicing, let’s look at vegetables that are easy for beginning juicers, and how to prepare vegetables for juicing.
Keep the Peel
This collection can be juiced without peeling, if they are organic.
Asparagus – just trim off the raw edge on the bottom of each stalk
Carrots — be sure to rub when you rinse; remove the green tops, which contain toxic substances
Celery — so easy, even the leafy tops can go through your juicer. Celery strings can get wrapped up in the mechanism, so cut them into two- or three-inch lengths before juicing.
Parsnips – after rinsing, cut the larger ones in half lengthwise; run these through the juicer just like carrots
Summer squash (yellow) and zucchini – just remove the stems
Sweet potatoes – scrub well and cut into chunks
Turnips – scrub and chop to fit, but rutabagas are usually protected by a waxy coating, so it is best to peel those
Keep the Seeds
These safe seeds will not hurt the juicer or you.
Bell peppers, all colors – remove the stem and cut the peppers to fit into your juicer chute, but keep the seeds
Cucumbers – keep the seeds! You don’t have to peel cucumbers, unless they are waxed
Butternut squash – it’s okay to keep the skin on if you wish, but peel it if it is very tough. Slice to fit, keeping the seeds.
Tomatoes – take off the stem and any leaves; slice to fit but definitely keep the seeds
Slice and Dice
Slice and chunk just enough to fit into the chute.
Broccoli – the stalks and the head are all fine to juice, but I prefer juicing the stem and eating the florets. Just cut a nice-sized hunk off the stem and juice. If you do juice the florets, put another veggie behind them in the juicer. There little pieces can fly!
Cabbage – red cabbage and green cabbage – remove the outside leaves, and cut it into wedges to fit your juicer (I prefer red cabbage)
Radishes – remove the leaves if there are any
Wash and scrub then peel these vegetables.
Beets, also called beetroot — you may also send the leaves through the juicer
Jicama – this is usually peeled, though some people leave the skin on
Git Rid of the Grit
Leeks – you can juice both the white root/bulb and most of the green leaves. Since they grow in sandy mounds, slice them lengthwise, separate the layers, and rinse carefully, because there will be sand. Guaranteed.
Chard (aka Swiss chard or silver beet) – the leaves and the stems can all be juiced. Rinse carefully and pat dry for best results.
Collard greens, kale, spinach, Romaine lettuce – prepare and juice the same way as chard
It is critical to wash all of your produce before juicing. Even organic produce comes into contact with all kinds of dirt and external bacteria before it gets to your kitchen.
(Plus, you don’t want any grit to damage your juicer!)
I give almost everything a vinegar bath in a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water. Rinse and store or juice after washing. You can’t believe how much longer your produce will last after killing all the mold that comes with it.
I’ll meet you back here tomorrow when I’ll be sharing some great tips for saving time and money when juicing.
Juice of the Day
While most green juices need the addition of fruit and citrus to make it more palatable, this is not true of root juices. Enjoy this root vegetable juice with naturally sweet carrots and beets. The addition of ginger makes it even more flavorful. This is an anti-inflammatory power house of a juice!
- 1 beet root
- 2 carrots
- 2 parsnips
- 2 celery ribs
- 1 inch piece Ginger
- Wash all produce well
- Clean and peel the beets and ginger
- Add all ingredients through juicer and enjoy (I recommend Breville)
Yield: 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.