It was my birthday last month and as I sat there ripping open a box freshly delivered from Amazon my heart raced. The anticipation and wonder was so exciting. Then the box popped open and what was it?
Something I had been eyeing for over a year…a really nice, low heat masticating juicer! I was elated.
Prior to receiving it the only juicing I had ever been exposed to was at my local health food store, and at the occasional juicery. I had never done it myself but knew I wanted to start.
I was delighted when I opened my gift and immediately assembled it. With a quick trip to the grocery store I was juicing in no time. But you know what, those first two juices I made were… well lets just say quite unappetizing. I drank them anyway because I am too cheap to throw it away but my kids can attest that my facial expression was anything but pleasant.
My problem? I didn’t use a recipe. I didn’t even know the basics to a good juice, honestly; I don’t know what I was thinking. I usually research everything before I dive into it but hey I was excited, what can I say. So, lesson learned.
I looked up some recipes and discovered the basics of what it takes to make a really good juice.
One thing I learned along the way was to avoid using fruit filled recipes unless it was in very small amounts.
As we all know fruit is made of sugar mostly fructose and sucrose. When we eat a piece of whole fruit our blood sugar goes up, but slowly because the fiber in the fruit slows digestion. However, juicers remove the pulp of the veggies and fruits so digestion is quick and the blood sugar spikes rapidly when consuming high sugar items. This leads to a rapid feel good high, and a terrible crash afterwards. All of us with toddlers can attest to this experience when we give our kid a glass of pure fruit juice: say hello to hyper kid – and then cranky kid.
This rapid spike in blood sugar is anything but good for the body. The key to prevent this is to use as little fruit as possible (meaning as little as your palate can handle). Also, if you’re going to use fruit, use those that naturally have a low sugar content. The best choices are lemons, limes, grapefruit, strawberries, raspberries…basically sour fruits.
One of the worst offenders is apples with approximately 18-25g of sugar per one apple. With many juicing recipes calling for one or even two apples we are dosing ourselves with sugar without the blood stabilizing fiber. (Don’t get me wrong, whole apples are still a great snack.)
This goes right into your system, the same as if you are drinking a soda. And wham 20 minutes later you are tired, cranky, and wondering why your supposed healthy green juice is making you feel like taking a nap.
Fortunately, I have come up with a juicing recipe that is chock full of greens but still palatable for those of us that like the sweetness of fruits in our juice. Now, don’t expect something as sweet as juices with apple or pineapple bases. You will be disappointed. This juice still has a “green” flavor but is very mellow and only slightly bitter. I was able to add two secret ingredients that really make this 100% green juice sweet.
- 1 large organic cucumber
- 3 large springs of organic basil (springs with multiple leaves on them, stem and all)
- 1 medium organic fennel bulb and a large hand full of the grassy fawns
- 4-5 large stems of curly kale
- Wash and chop all your veggies to the size needed for your juicer. No need to chop the basil or remove it from the stem.
- Juice away per your usual routine.
- The only tip is make sure you put the basil in during the first half of juicing. Otherwise the sweet flavor is not as strong in the end product.
It’s full of Vitamins A,C, K, calcium, potassium, magnesium, folate, and antioxidants. Your body will love it as it’s easily digestible and gives a great boost of energy.
Lastly, because is has relatively no sugar (less than 1gm from the cucumber) you won’t get that body wrecking insulin crash we talked about earlier.