Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Guest Post: Why You Should Juice

Hey guys! I have a great guest post for you today from Maria, who writes for First in Education. She wants to give you the skinny on juicing...and not the kind of juicing that many major league baseball players have gone to trial for. Fruit juicing! Take it away Maria!

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Why you should DIY with juice

There’s no doubting that American food culture has by and large has become too reliant on highly processed foods. The majority of eaters in this country would take a cookie-flavored Pop Tart over a slice of toast with jam any day, and that’s cause for concern.

It seems like there’s a new story in the news related to the terrors of processed and prepacked foods every day. The recent controversy over the possible contamination of many widely sold fruit juices only underscores the fact that the mass production of foods is getting out of hand. It’s hard to imagine a grocery as simple as apple juice can pose a potentially dangerous health risk (besides the high sugar content). In addition to high inorganic arsenic levels, new reports reveal that certain juices had unusually high lead levels. Yuck.

I’d like to take this opportunity to advocate for people to try making their own juices in an initiative to avoid processed fruit beverages. I also think juicing helps people to adopt a healthier diet while still getting the fruit (and veggie) drinks they love. What’s more, you’ll know exactly what goes into every drink you make, so there’s no chance of exposure to harmful materials.

Invest in a juicer
So if you want to get on the juicing train, you’ll need to purchase a reliable juicer. Many people looking to juice stop at this point because of the outrageous prices of juicers at most kitchenware stores. A quality juicer could potentially set you back $400 at one of these stores. Luckily online discount retailers like Amazon and Overstock offer juicers that range from $75-$500. When you’re shopping, don’t immediately go for the cheapest model. Take the time to read through consumer reviews and do your research before you make your purchase. The last thing you want is an overpriced juicer incapable of doing the one thing it’s made for.

You may still balk at purchasing a juicer, but consider this: most juicers last over two years, meaning that $100 or so will be stretched over quite a few juices before you consider junking it. The long-term savings you’ll incur from avoided store-bought juices (especially if you buy expensive “in-house” made juices at organic stores) will far outweigh the initial cost of a juicer. And when you factor in the combined amount you’ll spend on fruits and vegetables for your juices, it will still be less than if you had purchased pre-made juice at a store.

Get creative with your juices
Once you have a juicer set up in your kitchen, feel free to experiment as much as you want to find the juice that most satisfies your cravings. Most people start small with apples, oranges, lemons, and mangoes. There’s no limit to the variations you can try on juices; you’d be surprised to find what fruits and vegetables complement each other. And you’ll never be found wanting, since all fruit and veggie combinations will be packed with vitamins and minerals. For instance, beta-keratin-packed carrots go splendidly with apple or orange juice, while cucumber can offer a refreshing taste to any fruit. I personally enjoy a juice composed of apples, lemons and peeled ginger.

You’ll notice the difference between store-bought juices and your homemade juices immediately. There’s a remarkable freshness in homemade juices that you simply can’t get anywhere else. Yours won’t be packed full of additives and sweeteners, so you’ll avoid the tweaking sugar rush and subsequent crash that accompanies most brand name juices. And since juicers will process the entire fruit—skin and all—you can rest assured that you’re getting much more nutrition with every batch you drink.
If you need a little inspiration, you’ll find no shortage of juicing recipe books that offer pages upon pages of innovative (and always healthy) juices, both sweet and savory. But even if you stick to standard juices that you could find in any grocery store, you can rest assured that what you’ll be much better off with what you make at home.

Author Bio:
Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education, online colleges, online degrees etc. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.
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