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Thinking about starting your juicing journey? Whether you’re hoping to kick-start weight loss, feel more energised or get glowing skin, juicing can be a positive new habit that delivers a whole host of health benefits.
Our complete guide to juicing for beginners will explain how to start juicing. Discover a run-down of the best juicing machines, top tips for juicing and easy recipes that will help you make juicing a part of your lifestyle.
What is juicing?
Let’s start with the basics: Juicing is a process that extracts the liquid from raw vegetables and fruits. This liquid – or juice – is bursting with minerals, antioxidants and vitamins, creating a delicious and nutritious drink.
Each piece of fruit or veg that is juiced creates a pulp by-product, which is made up of the left-over skin, pips and fibrous material.
While the first juicing machine was developed around the 1950s, it didn’t become popular until two decades later, spurred on by Dave Otto, who launched the first juice bar in California. Today, a whole new generation of juicers continue to keep the trend alive, with home juicing becoming favoured for its convenience, affordability and accessibility.
Hailed for its multitude of benefits, juicing at home can create healthy habits for the whole family and also means you know exactly what you’re consuming – unlike supermarket-bought juices that can be laden with shelf-lengthening preservatives and sugars.
5 amazing health benefits of juicing
While the science is yet to catch up to the craze, many juicing advocates will express that the benefits of juicing are far-reaching. It’s thought to supply the body with a vast amount of vitamins, nutrients and phytonutrients that are easily absorbed by the body, allowing it to rest and heal, instead of using up precious energy on digestion.
Just some of the health benefits of juicing include:
- More energy: Whether you want more energy in the morning or a boost before your evening HIIT class, juices are packed full of vitamins and nutrients that can give you a much needed energy hit.
- Weight loss: Low in calories but high in all the good stuff, juices have been known for helping shift those last few stubborn pounds and can even give drastic results when combined with a healthy whole foods diet.
- Mental clarity: Brain fog? Try a delicious juice filled with brain-boosting ingredients like beetroot, which is high in antioxidants. By regularly sipping your juice and staying hydrated, you can also promote optimal cognitive function.
- Clear, radiant skin: It’s no secret that green juice is the secret elixir to glowing skin. Packed full of antioxidants that ward off free-radicals (which damage cells and lead to ageing), juicing nourishes the skin from the inside out.
- Immune system protection: Fight off colds and flus with citrus and apple-infused juices which are known for their high doses of vitamin C and vitamin A.
Avid fans of juicing also cite other health benefits; such as better sleep, less headaches, reduced stress and thicker, shinier hair, to name just a few.
So why do so many people see such a transformation in their body and mind when they start juicing?
As well as bridging the nutrition gaps that can be found in traditional Western Diets, juicing delivers a high dose of vitamins and minerals into the body in one hit. This can help ward off oxidative stress, prevent chronic illness and help the body function at its best.
Can juicing help you lose weight?
While research into juicing for weight loss is slow to emerge, dropping some serious pounds is a well-known side-effect.
But how can juicing help you lose weight? If you’re swapping your usual sugar-laden cereal for a fresh juice that is low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals, you can expect to lose weight due to the calorie deficit this will create.
Thinking about trying a detox?
In recent years, juicing ‘detoxes’ and ‘cleanses’ have become a popular way for people to lose weight. These juicing diets often see people switch their entire day or weeks’ meals for juice – something that may cause rapid weight loss, but comes with its own problems.
Are juicing diets healthy?
During a juicing diet, people often report feeling hungrier than usual, as these liquid-based meal replacements lack the fibre, protein and carbohydrates that feature in normal, well-balanced meals. When followed for longer than just a few days, this type of extreme diet can also have a destructive effect on the metabolism and can even see a reduction in your body’s muscle mass.
Another one of the downfalls of following this particular kind of juicing ‘detox’ long-term is that when you return to your normal eating habits, people often regain the weight they’d previously lost. Instead, it can be more beneficial to introduce juicing as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Our top pick of the best juicers for beginners
So you’re ready to invest in a juicer, but where do you start? With so many options on the market, finding the right juicer for beginners can be confusing. Today, there are two main types of juicers on the market: centrifugal or masticating. Discover the difference between the two, so you can find the right fit for you.
Take a peek in kitchens around the country and you’re likely to find centrifugal juicers gracing worktops everywhere. Perhaps the most common style of home juicer, the centrifugal juicer uses a cutting disk and spinning strainer to shred fruit and vegetables in order to release their juice. With operation speeds varying between 10,000 – 25,000 rotations per minute, these powerful juicers can be great for beginners who want fast, effective results.
Pros of centrifugal juicers
If you’re looking for a quick, effective way to start juicing, centrifugal juicers are ideal:
- affordable price point
- average yield of juice
- extra-fast speeds
- a good all-rounder
Cons of centrifugal juicers
While extremely popular, centrifugal juicers have some downsides:
- known for being noisy
- due to its high speeds, most juices will have a thick foamy top and high level of separation
- centrifugal force can reduce the juice’s nutritional value and oxidize the juice quicker, so it should only be stored for a maximum of 8 hours
- less effective at extracting the juice of leafy greens
Think a centrifugal juicer could be right for you? Here are some top-rated centrifugal juicers:
Robust yet compact, this Braun J700 Spin Juicer has a powerful 1000W motor.
It delivers great juicing performance, with an anti-drip system and a 75mm chute to process whole fruits and vegetables.
Promising a yield of more than 80% juice for most fruits and vegetables, this juicer creates a delicious cup of juice within 20 seconds.
With two speeds and a 850W motor, this is an affordable option that’s ideal for juicing for beginners.
When counter-top space is scarce, this highly-rated Philips compact juicer makes up to 1.5L of juice at one time.
Affordable and compact, this beginner-friendly juicer is quick to clean and can be packed away easily when not in use.
Known for producing high-quality, crisp juices, a masticating juicer slowly crushes and chews up its ingredients to squeeze out every drop of juice. The ingredients then pass through a strainer, creating a slower running juice, but one that’s worth the wait.
The masticating juicer is often called a cold-press juicer, as no heat is produced when it runs, due to its 40 – 150 rotations per minute. These often come in two styles: ‘vertical’ or ‘twin gear’ juicers.
Pros of masticating juicers
- higher quality of juice produced
- juice can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 72 hours
- extracts more nutrients and vitamins from the ingredients than centrifugal juicers, due to its superior crushing motions and heat-free process
Cons of masticating juicers
- if you’re a juicing beginner, the masticating juicer may take longer to get to grips with initially
- often takes a little longer to clean until you get into a good routine
- slower operating time may be a bone of contention when making your morning juice, however the fact you can store juices for up to 72 hours means you can make your drinks ahead of time
Discover some of the top-rated masticating juicers available:
This Philips juicer is ultra-effective and can be cleaned in under 90 seconds.
Includes an extra large feeding tube, recipe booklet and masticating technology that releases up to 80% of your fruit and veggies’ nutrients.
Engineered from heavy-duty stainless steel and BPA-free parts, this quality juicer helps preserve your ingredients’ vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
Plus, it’s one of the most quiet options out there at just 60 decibels when juicing.
Featuring a commercial-grade motor that can handle over 60 minutes of consecutive juicing, the BioChef Atlas can create cold-press juices, nut milks, nut butters and sorbets.
Preventing oxidation and producing no heat, this is the ultimate juicer for those who value power and performance.
Can you juice without a juicer?
If you want to try juicing but aren’t ready to invest just yet, it’s possible to make homemade juices with your trusty blender. Simply throw all your ingredients into the blender, blitz on high-speed and strain through a nut milk bag or muslin cloth to extract the juice.
Juicing tips for beginners
One of the things that makes juicing so popular is that, once you’ve got the gadgets and a fully-loaded fruit and vegetable bowl, it’s incredibly easy to get started. However, there are some top tips you should keep in mind to make your journey into juicing a success from the very start.
1. Know your fruit and veg
Firstly, it’s important to consider the fruits and vegetables that juice well, as well as the ingredients that will be wasted if fed into the juicer. You’ll want to turn to fruits and vegetables that have a high concentration of water, ensuring you get a good yield for your juice.
Fruits and vegetables that juice well: Apples, berries, cherries, celery, cucumber, ginger, kale, mint, orange, spinach, tomatoes, pineapple, plums, pears, beetroot, lemon, peaches, melons, kiwis and more
Fruits and vegetables that don’t juice well: Bananas, avocado, rhubarb, blueberries
If you crave a creamy avocado or sweet banana in your morning juice, you can blend these (and follow by sieving them for an extra-fine texture) and simply stir the puree into your juice for extra flavour and goodness.
2. Perfectly prepare your juicing ingredients
Should you wash, peel and pit your juicing ingredients? Whether you choose to buy organic or not, it’s always a good idea to wash your fruit and veg before consuming to remove any nasties. We also recommend removing any hard peels from citrus fruits, like oranges, satsumas and limes, as these can dominate the taste of your juice.
To keep your juicing machine working at its optimum, it’s also a good idea to remove the indelible outer layers of pineapples and melons, as well as pit the stones from cherries, peaches and nectarines. If in doubt: if you usually eat the peel, it’s generally fine to use in the juicer.
3. Can you juice with frozen fruit?
Unlike a smoothie, which blends the entire fruit or vegetable and often contains other ingredients like nut butters, milks and ice, juicers don’t work as well with frozen fruit. As freezing reduces the water content in fruit and vegetables (at least temporarily whilst frozen), frozen ingredients don’t create as much juice.
Instead, thaw out your frozen fruit and veg before adding to your juicer for a better yield.
4. When juicing can you freeze it?
To preserve the vitamins and prolong the life of your juice, you can freeze it immediately. Simply store it in an airtight container, leaving an inch at the top to allow for any expansion that may occur when freezing.
What’s best: juicing or eating fruit?
One of the most attractive aspects of juicing is that you can pack in a rainbow-inspired array of fruit and veg, without having to prepare, chew and digest it all. As a result, your system is flooded with a variety of different beneficial minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients, quickly. This is also great if you’ve got picky eaters in the family – as you can disguise all types of greens in their daily juices.
But does this outweigh the benefits of munching on a juicy peach or chowing down some crispy kale? According to the Mayo Clinic, juicing is no healthier than eating whole fruits and veggies. While the juice in fruit and veg (which is extracted in the juicer) contains most of the vitamins and minerals, the fibre is lost during the juicing process. Juicing also doesn’t curb your appetite in the same way that eating whole vegetables and fruits does, so you may be feeling hungrier if you reach for the juice over an apple or salad.
On the plus side, juicing contains fresh, raw fruit and vegetables that are as close to their natural state as can be. This means they haven’t lost any nutritional value due to cooking processes like boiling, baking or roasting – so you’re getting the most from your fruit and veg.
One study published in Scientific Reports also found that vegetable juice may improve your gut microbiome and encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut, as they contain polyphenols, nitrates and oligosaccharides.
8 fun ways to use your fruit and vegetable juicing pulp
If you’re wondering what you should do with your juicing pulp, you might be pleasantly surprised. No, it’s not destined for the waste bin, instead it can be used or recycled in a variety of inventive ways. From freezing and baking, to recycling and drying, here’s how you can reduce your juicing pulp waste:
- Add it to a smoothie: Not only can your juicing pulp add extra flavour to your smoothies, it can provide your drinks with extra fibre that’s great for digestion. Freeze leftover pulp in ice cube trays ready for your next smoothie.
- Composting: Use up your juicing scraps by starting an at-home composting bin. Whether you’re living in an apartment or house, you can turn your pulp into mineral-rich compost that can be used in potted plants, vegetable patches and more.
- Use in soups: Add extra minerals and fibre into your soups by using your juicing pulp. If you’ve made a carrot and orange smoothie, consider adding the pulp to a carrot and coriander soup, or try adding the pulp from your green juice into a thai-inspired soup with complementing flavours.
- Homemade cereal: If you love to make homemade granola, why not turn your pulp into a crispy, healthy breakfast cereal? Blended with medjool dates, coconut oil, oats and dried fruits, your juice pulp can be quickly baked and repurposed into a delicious granola.
- Fritters: Transform the pulp from your vegetable juices into tasty fritters. Whether served with salad for a light lunch or with rice and a chilli sauce for dinner, vegetable pulp fitters make for a fast and filling meal.
- Muffins: While most muffins are packed with refined sugar, juicing pulp muffins make for a healthy alternative. Pulp works particularly well in muffin recipes as it helps to keep the cakey texture moist and gives you the option to forgo sugars in favour of more natural sweeteners.
- Dog treats: Want to make sure your four-legged friend can benefit from your new healthy juicing routine? This recipe from Good Nature uses leftover pulp to create delicious dog treats that are sure to get tails wagging.
- Crackers: Tasty, easy to make and ideal for a healthy snack, juicing pulp crackers don’t require any Bake-Off-worthy skills, but can pack a punch when it comes to taste. Lather on hummus, homemade spreads or cream cheese for an easy hunger-buster come 3pm.
3 delicious juicing recipes for beginners
When it comes to juicing for beginners, the key is to master a few classic juicing recipes that you love before getting creative in the kitchen. Mixing and matching your favourite flavours can be a source of great enjoyment in the kitchen. Here, we’re sharing some juicing recipes for beginners to get you started.
1. The green + clean one
Everyone needs a healthy green juice recipe in their arsenal and we love this refreshing blend. Bursting with iron and vitamin C, vitamin A and folic acid, this juice has a light, naturally sweet taste with a touch of zing, leaving you feeling awake, clean and full of energy.
Juicing shopping list:
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 1 medium apple (core removed)
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 medium lemon (peeled)
- 1 handful of parsley
Start by washing your fruit and veggies. Core your apple and remove the lemon’s peel. Cut the apple, cucumber and lemon into chunks.
Feed everything into your juicer!
If you have a centrifugal juicer, you may want to use a froth separating jug to catch your juice. Otherwise, simply wait for the final drops of juice, drink and enjoy!
2. Morning sunshine juice
Vibrant, delicious and tangy, this sweet sunshine juice is sure to brighten even the dullest days. Brimming with vitamin C, potassium, biotin, vitamin B6 and folate, this nutritious juice helps ward off free-radicals, protects your immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Juicing shopping list:
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Orange
- ½ small pineapple
- 1 inch of fresh ginger
Scrub your ginger and carrot, peel your orange and discard the prickly outer skin of the pineapple.
Chop all ingredients into chunks to make it easier for your juicer to handle.
Following your machine’s instructions, drop the ingredients into the juicer chute and wait for your liquid sunshine to emerge!
3. Strawberry, watermelon and mint juice
Whether whizzed up as a refreshing treat on a sunshine-soaked afternoon or mixed with ice and your favourite tipple, this delicious juice is filled with sweet strawberries, refreshing watermelon and a hint of mint. Our suggestion? Use strawberries that are in season and serve with ice.
Juicing shopping list:
- 2 cups of strawberries
- 2 cups of watermelon
- Handful of mint
De-head your strawberries and remove the peel from the melon. Chop into small chunks. It’s fine to use the mint leaves and stalks, just cut off any bits that have wilted.
Push your fruit and herbs into the blender and place a cup below the funnel to catch the pink succulent juice!
Mix in some ice cubes and drink immediately.
Let’s get juicing!
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