I love juice. Cold-pressed juices predominately made with vegetables, something citrus and sometimes a dash of fruit. Before starting my website, we thought long and hard about starting up our own cold-pressed juice business. Apart from places selling non-organic, predominantly fruit juices, there didn't seem to be a juice source in the middle of the city where I worked (hence me taking an array of multi-coloured juice jars to the office everyday - way to feel like a weirdo). What deterred me I guess were thoughts of long hours chopping and juicing vegetables, which would take me away from the 'food' aspect, while at the same time not really helping my plight of a skill I could take with me to Sweden.
I first came into contact with juice in Stockholm, when I assisted Josefine Jäger in the very first of her 'Cleanse 8' programmes (a cleanse comprising 3 days of cold-pressed juices and nut milks, plus 5 days of raw food). The juice was produced on a Norwalk 280 juicer. Juicing long into the night before the first day, we quickly learnt that juicing large quantities on a Norwalk takes a looooong time!! (Although despite that I also have a Norwalk juicer at home, which cost me an entire months wages. Hmm... the things we do for the things we love..).
Following this my understanding and affinity for juice deepened when I lived in Santa Monica whilst studying at Matthew Kenney's raw food culinary academy. Here I developed a great love for a one-stop, cold-pressed, organic juice and nut-milk shop called moon juice. Founder Amanda Chantall Bacon comes from a culinary background, meaning the rainbow of juices on offer are not only thoughtfully compiled for their medicinal qualities, but also taste amazing. Quite simply my attraction to juice, is because it makes me feel this way too.
In case your wondering what I mean when I mention "cold-pressed" juices, this is simply juice made by pressing the ingredients slowly through a cold-press juice machine (sometimes this can be a two step process involving a hydraulic press, such as with a Norwalk and commercial cold press machines). A centrifuge juicer on the other hand, which quickly spins the crushed ingredients around, can cause heat thereby compromising the nutritional quality of the items being juiced. It is the same premise as to why nutritionally speaking, raw foods are superior to cooked. With cold-press juicing you also extract more juice from dark leafy greens, meaning there is less wastage.
Another common question on the topic of juicing, is whether it is better to drink juices or smoothies. The difference between the two is that a smoothie retains the fibre of the fruits and vegetables, while juices do not. Two positives with juicing is that the nutrition is more concentrated in a juice (because you need more fruits and vegetables to make a juice), and the liquid form means it is easier for the nutrients to be absorbed by the body. For me it is a personal preference and how my body is feeling, as to what I prefer. In the morning my preference is to have a juice to ease my body into digestion after fasting through the night. A smoothie on the other hand, I'll prefer when I want something more fulfilling.
In terms of cleansing, juicing is perfect because the body is flooded with beneficial nutrients, while at the same time you are able to give the digestive system a rest. This makes it easier for the other systems to heal and restore balance.
Nature is smart and has a way of providing us with what we need, when we need it. I therefore like to compile my juice recipes according to the season (although there is a bit of an array in this post!). A good idea is to get your fruits and veggies direct from your local farmers market, that way you are ensured of getting seasonal produce at it's freshest. Following the seasons also means less of a negative impact on the environment - always a thumbs up!
Using organic or spray free produce is especially important when juicing as any pesticide residue will be more concentrated when juiced. If organic produce is not available or affordable, then I recommend peeling any skins from the ingredients for e.g. the green skin of a cucumber, and avoid fruits and vegetables known for being sprayed for e.g. the 'dirty dozen'. Also, always wash your fruits and vegetables throughly in filtered water.
These are just my perspectives on juice. I'd love for you to share any insights or favourite recipes. Have a lovely week! xx
spinach, cucumber, pineapple & mint
Every juice post has to contain some form of green juice, and this is my version. What's special about this juice is that it taught me how to shoot movement in the studio. After a number of blurry attempts we got our settings right and captured the falling mint leaves as if they were floating.
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1/2 cucumber
- 2 cups of chopped pineapple
- 1 handful of mint
- 1/2 lime (optional)
watermelon, tomato & lime
Watermelon is very hydrating which makes this juice perfect on a hot summers day. If you increased the tomato proportion and added a pinch of cayenne peppar I bet this juice would taste like a smooth gazpacho.
- 4 cups of watermelon
- 1 tomato
- 1/2 lime
Pineapple, grapefruit & lemongrass
I love lemongrass. I discovered and started using it in my own recipes, only after we moved back to New Zealand. I like to mix it with tropical fruits such as pineapple and mango which has led to many lemongrass in green smoothies, chia puddings and I've even mixed with white chocolate when making truffles.. Enjoy this juice as it is or make it green by including a handful of coriander to the recipe.
- 2 cups of chopped pineapple
- 1 1/2 - 2 grapefruit
- 5-10 cm lemongrass stalk (start with 5 and adjust accordingly)
beet, grapefruit & ginger
A juice post wouldn't be complete without a beet concoction. Here is my favourite.
- 1 large beet
- 1 grapefruit
- 3 cm chunk of ginger