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Here is where I share my thoughts, ideas and opinions about the world of nutrition, food and health. I hope you find good sense, helpful guidance and inspiration to eat great healthy food that makes you feel good.

I write regularly for GI News, an online newsletter for 60,000+ Australasian and International subscribers interested in the glycemic index (GI) and associated health topics such as diabetes, weight loss and a healthy heart. It’s a great read. http://www.gisymbol.com/category/gi-news/

 

22 Jul 2015

To juice, or not to juice?

Posted by Nicole Senior on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

You can read a lot about juicing online, including how juice fasting can cure cancer. You should regard this as fiction. Notwithstanding outrageous and unsubstantiated claims, there is a feel good factor around juicing. It’s something about consuming nature’s colourful bounty in its freshest, most concentrated, easy to digest form. And the juice bar craze provides the social reinforcement that drinking juice is cool thing to do. Everybody wants to be healthier and juicing seems like an easy way to do something good for you. But, there are downsides. Such as the fact you miss out on fibre, or that juices are a concentrated source of kilojoules (calories) with a similar sugar content to many soft drinks. It’s partly for these reasons that I've never been a home juicer, and only a very occasional juice buyer. I've always preferred to eat my fruit and veggies whole. On a more practical note, I've never had the space for a juicer and have been very put off by all the washing up! But, I've been given a whiz-bang juicer and have to give it a go. Here is what I've learned:

Pros

  • Fresh juices can be delicious, and it’s fun to experiment with different combinations
  • Juicing fruits and veggies actually increases the bio-availability of the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals inside them by breaking down the physical structure and cell walls.
  • Adding vegetables to your juice helps you eat more of them
  • The two men in my household like it (and do less well at vegetable eating than I do, despite my best efforts)
  • My Breville juicer has a large chute which means you don’t need to cut fruit into pieces, you can throw in whole apples, pears, oranges etc
  • You can use fruit and veg that are 'ugly' and thus reduce waste (and they're usually cheaper too)

Cons

  • You miss out on a lot of fibre! Check out the amount produced from just the one glass of my Original recipe ‘Purple Reign’
  • Home juicing creates a lot of washing up. You can minimise it by juicing in batches and storing the juice in the fridge. You do lose some nutrients, but drinking it within a few days reduces losses
  • Home juicers are large and take up a lot of bench space – mine doesn’t fit in any of my cupboards due to its height
  

Ideas for sensible juicing

  • Think of juice as a liquid food, not a beverage to quench thirst – drink water for thirst
  • Limit your portion size of juice to prevent kilojoule blowout – 150ml is ample
  • To limit kilojoules and maximise nutrients, aim for a 70:30 mix of vegetables and fruit
  • Whatever pulp you can’t eat (see below), add back to the earth as compost or food for worms f

Juice recipe: Purple reign

I handful of purple kale

¼ raw beetroot

1 small lemon

1 small passionfruit

NOTE: I find the trick to coming up with winning juice combinations is to work on the principle of balance between tastes: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. This recipe demonstrates this very nicely. The pear and beetroot are sweet, the lemon and passionfruit are sour, and the kale is salty and bitter.

Pulp fiction, or fact?

  • You’ll be pleased to know New York author-chef Dan Barber’s waste focussed pop-up WestEd serves burgers made with juice-bar fruit and vegetable pulp. He considers ‘waste’ to have enormous culinary potential, and I agree! You can use the pulp in cakes, muffins, pasta sauces, soups, stews and fillings. You can find a carrot cake recipe using pulp here . I used the Purple reign pulp in filling for mini-quiche in bread cases, spaghetti sauce (the spaghetti went down a treat with Mr Toddler) and carrot cake to make carrot cake.