Nourishing your body with juices and smoothies is one of the most direct paths to awesome health. The benefits of vegetable and fruit juices or smoothies can include everything from weight loss and glowing skin to mental clarity and joint health. As a health coach, I always tell my clients that the best wellness rituals are the ones they can stick to. If you juice or blend daily, there are easy solutions to some of the most common deterrents of home juicing and blending.
Challenge: Your smoothies are never well blended.
Suggestion: The order of your ingredients matter.
Even if you are lucky enough to have a high powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, the order in which you place your ingredients into your blender do matter. For a smoothie making experience that is easy on you and your equipment and yields your desired creamy consistency, follow this system:
Liquid first. - Pour most of the liquid your recipe calls for into the blender first. Leave some aside to pour in after all other ingredients are added.
Light weight produce next. - Your lighter weight ingredients like frozen or fresh leafy greens or fresh berries go in next.
Dense produce and ice next - High fiber fruits like apples, pears or frozen berries and high water content vegetables like cucumber and celery go on top of the lighter weight ingredients. If your recipe calls for ice, add it here as well.
Finish off with remaining liquid and and powders. Top off your smoothie with the remaining liquid and any super foods, protein powders or spices.
Challenge: Your yield is lacking.
Suggestion: Experiment with combining ingredients together before juicing.
Have you ever wanted to shed a tear after yielding only a few ounces of juice despite feeding fistfuls of your most precious leafy greens into your juicer? I have felt your pain and I am happy to report that there is actually a fairly easy solution to your woes. Most home juicers use friction to cut through produce and transform it into juice. Ingredients like spinach, collards, kale and romaine do not have dense enough fibers for the blades to achieve the friction needed to squeeze the juice out. The secret to yielding the maximum amount of juice out of your greens is to run them through your juicer with higher fiber, denser produce. For example, try juicing spinach and apple, kale and celery, or cucumber and chard together. Running these ingredients through your juicer together will significantly increase the yield of your produce.
Challenge: Ingredients are expensive.
Suggestion: Shop farmers markets, sales and freezer aisles. Eliminate waste by using your home freezer.
- When shopping for your juice and smoothie ingredients, check out your neighborhood farmer's markets for great deals directly from your local farms. If your grocery store or farmer's market has a fantastic deal on an ingredient you love, buy double or triple what you need and then wash, dry and freeze the extra produce.
- Never throw produce out again. When you have produce that is about to spoil, freeze it. Frozen produce is perfect for smoothies and eliminates the need for ice!
Challenge: The clean up is a burden.
Suggestion: Clean your equipment immediately.
- When it comes to washing your juicer or blender, the sooner you do it the better. The longer you delay, the harder the clean up becomes.
- The easiest way to clean your blender is to fill it 1/2 way with warm water, add a squirt of soap and blend baby, blend. This will pull everything off of the walls of your blender with ease.