TRAVERSE CITY — Juicing has been around a very long time, but in recent years it has come into vogue as a regular diet regime.
“The U.S. government tells us we should be eating nine to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and we’re just not eating them,” said Heather Campbell, a registered dietitian. “Juicing is a simple, really good way to increase that intake.”
Campbell, who co-owns Shoreline Center for Healing in Traverse City with husband, Jeff, teaches “Juicing for Health,” a class on extracting juice from produce. Drinking fruits and veggies is an option for getting enough of those food groups, which supply necessary nutrients and antioxidants.
Her goal is to get people to realize that there’s nothing to be afraid of and no right or wrong combination of fruits and veggies when creating a juice.
“Don’t be afraid to experiment. You can never have too many fruits and vegetables,” said Campbell, who uses a wide-mouth juicing machine — hers cost about $150 — because it takes whole fruits and vegetables to eliminate chopping and has few parts, for easy cleanup.
“Juice also tastes great, jump-starts your metabolism and boosts your immune system,” she added.
This juice bears little resemblance to the pasteurized orange or apple juice readily available on grocer’s shelves. Homemade is cold-pressed from fresh, preferably organic veggies and fruit.
Edson Farms began offering juices at its juice bar about 15 years ago, said co-owner Jessica Edson. Popular juice varieties include the “Caligula,” a combination of beets, carrots, celery and orange juice, and the “Greenhouse,” a mixture of spinach, sprouts, carrots and cucumbers.
She said juicing fruits and vegetables differs from blending them, a relatively new trend that results in “green smoothies.”
“When you’re juicing, you’re just getting the liquid. The fiber part of the vegetables and fruit are spit out into another compartment (of the machine). When you’re blending, you get everything,” she said. “I personally like the juice. It agrees better with me.”
One of the simplest and least expensive ways to juice for health is to do it yourself using whatever produce might be in your refrigerator or on the kitchen counter. It’s a great way to use up those fruits and vegetables you thought you were going to eat but never did.
“We start out with the basics like kale, carrots and apples, and everyone is pleasantly surprised with the result,” Campbell said.
Another option is juicing with just greens. Consider throwing kale, cucumber and spinach into the juicer. The cucumber cuts the bitterness of the greens. You can toss in an apple for a little sweetness.
To get the most nutritional value, Campbell leaves the skin on and tries to use organic produce. She uses as much of the fruit or vegetable as possible. For instance, when she tosses in whole strawberries, she includes the leafy top as well.
She said juicing doesn’t have to be part of a cleanse or fast. It can simply be part of a lifestyle change. Drinking juice as a snack or with a meal like breakfast is a great way for both teens and adults to get good energy and nutrients, she said.
“It’s so much more nutritious than the standard quick-fix snack and does not take much time at all,” said Denise Manns, of Elk Rapids, who took Campbell’s class. “I’m thinking juicing will add a few years to my lifespan for sure.”
If you decide to embark on a juicing fast and are on any medications, Campbell recommends checking with your healthcare provider first.
“You also need to make sure your elimination pathways are working properly as well,” she added.
To learn more about juicing, contact Campbell at the Shoreline Center for Healing, 946-4325 or www.shorelinehealing.com.
Great Beginning Juice
3-4 kale or spinach leaves
Morning Green Glory Juice
This green juice recipe is delicious and the perfect way to start your day — the addition of lemon and apple does just the trick to sweeten the greens.
4-5 large kale leaves
1 large handful of spinach
3 romaine leaves
3 celery stalks
1 green apple
1 lemon, peeled (you can leave the peel on but it will taste very bitter)
Spring Green Juice
1 celery root (also called celeriac)
2 small pears
2-inch ginger root
Wash all produce well. Cut ginger into a 2-inch slice. Cut pears to remove core and seeds. Cut celery root to fit into juicer chute. Juice, pour over ice, if desired, and enjoy.
Substitutions: Use Jicama or celery instead of celery root; horseradish, lemon or lime instead of ginger; and apples instead of pears.
Source: Juicing for Health