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For Color, For Taste, For Fun: Diving Into Juices
It’s not just for oranges, apples, and grapes anymore: with the advent of powerful home-model juicers, practically any fruit or vegetable can be induced to yield a delicious, healthful nectar. What’s more, your imagination is the only limit to how you can combine ingredients for wonderful creations designed with your special needs.
Everyone knows that you should be consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in order to feel and look your best. But sometimes, in a busy life, it’s just not that easy to eat as much produce as you’d like.
Enter the juicer. “One of the fastest, easiest ways to replenish vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, and to undo the damage caused by poor eating habits, is to drink the juice of fresh fruits and vegetables,” says Wai Lana, TV yoga instructor, juice enthusiast, and author of Wai Lana’s Favorite Juices (Wai Lana Productions).
Substances called phytonutrients not only make fruits and vegetables colorful (and tasty), but also are responsible for produce’s health-promoting properties. These include the carotenoids that color mangoes, cantaloupes, pumpkins, carrots, and papayas, the flavonoids that give berries and grapes their purplish blush, and the chlorophyll that greens up spinach and other leafy veggies.
You can also give your juice a health boost with all sorts of nutritious add-ins. Among Lana’s favorites are bee pollen, packed with vitamins, protein, and natural germ killers; flaxseeds, a topnotch fiber source; nutritious green foods such as barley grass, wheat grass, and spirulina; and even nuts and dried fruits that have been soaked to improve their juiceability. Milk in all its permutations— including dairy, soy, oat, and almond—is another popular juice addition.
Juicing Up a Storm
Juicing is a snap—if you can turn a switch, you can juice. But Lana does have a few simple tips.
“Cut ingredients into pieces small enough to fit into the juicer feeder,” she says. “Dilute fruit juices up to half water (especially for children and the elderly).” If you have problems with blood sugar, skip the fruit entirely and stick with vegetable juices.
And just as spices add zest to cooking, they can also help light up your juice creations with extra flavor and nutrition. Lana favors, among other spices, the warm bite of ginger and the cool refreshment of mint.
Summer, with its bounty of tasty, succulent produce, is just around the corner. That means it’s time to fire up your juicer for both taste and health.