What we put into our bodies is just as important as what we put on them. Whilst a dab hand at buying a pre-prepared juice I have never made my own juices and wouldn’t really know where to start, so I went along to Chefs Choice Ltd (a fresh fruit and vegetable distributor serving restaurants and gastro pubs in and around the A127 corridor in Essex) to speak to one of their directors Kirsty Powell about all things juice…..
How many ingredients does it take to make a good glass of juice?
There’s no set rules to juicing, so be creative. You can juice fruits, or vegetables alone, or juice a combination of the two with some added spices or herbs like ginger or mint. For a refreshing summer drink try adding a little sparkling spring water and a slice of lemon or lime. Soft fruits like bananas, berries, mangoes, papaya and avocado don’t juice well. These are best to mix with your freshly squeezed juice in a blender or liquidiser. Fresh juices are best served cold so pour over ice to enjoy them at their best.
What is your favourite juice combination?
Personally, I prefer a combination of fruit and vegetables to boost the nutritional value of a recipe – a mix of leafy greens, root vegetables and a little fruit to add sweetness and prevent a juice being overly bitter or earthy.
Leafy greens – To add vitamins and minerals, try Kale, Spinach, Chard, Collard Greens, Cabbage or Romaine Lettuce.
Carrots – Juicing carrots benefits your body by making beta carotene more available and absorbed more efficiently than eating them raw.
Apples – Form the bulk of many recipes, a great antioxidant and their sweet, zingy taste compliments other less palatable ingredients.
Pineapples – Can be juiced to add sweetness and the flesh can be blended to bulk out and thicken a juice.
Beetroot – This rich, earthy root is an acquired taste, but will add vibrant colour to any combination.
Ginger – used sparingly as it has a very powerful taste, it works well in juices and has so many health benefits, helping to treat nausea, colds, fight infection and acts as an antihistamine and antiseptic.
What are the benefits of juicing?
Juices contain only raw ingredients, so fewer minerals and vitamins are lost than during the cooking process. Juicing is a great way to reach your five a day target of fruit and vegetables, to help lose and manage your weight and to detoxify and cleanse. Juicing will make a positive difference to what you see on the outside and how you feel on the inside. There are recipes to boost immunity, lift your mood, raise your energy levels and refuel after exercise. Other noticeable benefits include clearer skin, stronger hair, teeth and nails, reduced allergies and better sleep.
Any hints or tips regarding fruit and veg used during the juicing process?
Always use fresh fruit and vegetables, ideally organic and wash thoroughly before juicing them. Juices are best drunk within 20 minutes of making them, after that their nutritional value begins to drop.
For more information about Chefs Choice please visit www.chefschoiceltd.co.uk