I get asked all the time about juicing… is it healthy? What do you juice? How often?
So here is my opinion on juicing…
- I am NOT a fan of juicing fasts. I don’t believe in liquid diets for long-term results or cleansing really. Your body really needs the fiber from these foods because it is not meant to live on liquids forever. Fiber is so beneficial. It promotes the movement of material through the digestive system to keep your intestines healthy.
- When people think of juicing, they only think of fruits! Juicing all fruits and 1 kale leaf is not at all ideal. Fruit juices contain a lot of sugar. This is what really gives you a blood sugar spike. It’s mostly veggies in your juice that you want!
- Juicing can be a great supplement in addition to your diet. Kind of used as a blast of nutrients. Not a meal.
- I will ONLY juice organic fruits/veggies. Our culture uses way too many pesticides in extremely heavy loads. And now genetically modify foods are grown which means we use even MORE pesticides. And the last thing I want to do is drink all of those pesticides. ALWAYS use certified organic!
I came across a book in TJ Max (a store I absolutely LOVE). They have the most awesome little recipe books. One day I ended up picking up a book called The Healthy Green Drink Diet by Jason Manheim. At first I was skeptical because it sounded like a book for a juicing diet only. But he actually talked about how he used it for supplementation as well. So I thought “what the heck… why not?”
So as I was trying out the recipes, I fell in LOVE with the Red Queen recipe. It is so nutrient packed and tastes so great. And this is really the only recipe from his book I’ve consistently used the past few years.
As you can see in the photo above, all the ingredients are very strong in red/purple tints. This was prior to washing my ingredients, so definitely wash them thoroughly. With the beets, I scrub them well with a hard bristled brush. Just to make sure all dirt is removed.
- 1 medium beet (I leave the chard on)
- 2 red kale leaves
- 1/4 head of red cabbage
- 1 gala apple
- 1 small bunch red grapes
The juicer I use is the Breville 800JEXL Juicer. It is a beast of a juicer! There has not been one fruit or veggie it couldn’t handle. And the mouth opening is wide enough to drop a whole small apple or beet in it. I would highly recommend this juicer!
The brighter the color of food, the more nutrient dense it is! Look at that vibrant color!
So we’ll go through this recipe and talk about the health benefits of each food.
BEETS: Beets are rich in folate, lycopene, anthocyanins, vitamin C, potassium and inorganic nitrate. They have actually been proven to reduce blood pressure in individuals with hypertenstion, reduce inflammation, improve immunity, and they also have anticancer properties regarding their antioxidant betanin. It is extremely clear that beets fight very hard against free radicals. Free radicals can attack DNA and lead to cancer. Overall, beets are really beneficial.
*Note: The beet greens (chard) are also extremely nutrient packed. I would recommend juicing them also.
RED KALE: Red kale is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, B6, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin K, many antioxidants and flavonoids. Three of these nutrients are really important for eye health. Kale also has more vitamin C than an orange (100% DV vs 136% DV)! That means it is great for immunity and fighting free radicals. And not to forget the potassium content assisting again, in lowering high blood pressure.
RED CABBAGE: Red cabbage contains large amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, anthocyanins, glucosinolates and flavonoids. The glucosinolates help fight bacteria and reduce inflammation whereas the flavonoids focus on fighting free radicals in the body. More cancer fighting properties! A 2012 research study by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center found that breast cancer survivors who ate more cruciferous vegetables reduced their risk of cancer recurrence by up to 62%!
GALA APPLE: Gala apples are high in vitamin C and contain lower levels of potassium and B vitamins. Vitamin C, as we have discussed earlier, is important for immune health and fighting against free radicals. The apple is what helps reduce some the bitter flavor and add a touch of sweetness to the juice.
RED GRAPES: Red grapes contain vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamin (B1), vitamin E, vitamin A, B6, folate, pantothenic acid, beta carotene, alpha carotene, potassium, copper, manganese, iron, and last but not least, resveratrol. Resveratrol is an antioxidant that has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce inflammation. Research in pigs has shown that resveratrol may improve heart function and increase the body’s ability to use insulin.
Normally I try not to waste any of the fiber and will incorporate it into any baked goods that I make. I will try to post my Superfood Sweet Loaf soon which incorporates some juicing fibers within it.
Once all ingredients have gone through the juicer, I pour all of the juice into a class jar to ensure appropriate mixing of all of the nutrients.
I immediately grab a glass and consume the juice within 10 minutes of juicing. It is not ideal to try and store freshly made juice because it is not pasteurized. So it can oxidize quickly. Plus you want all those yummy health benefits ASAP!
And there you have it… your finished product!!
I hope this post was helpful and educational. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section! Happy juicing!!