Rachel Allen urges us to... Juice it up!
Juicing is one craze that's not going anywhere, says Rachel Allen who serves up some delicious, nutritious treats in a glass. Photography by Tony Gavin
Of all the food crazes that have come and gone in the last 10 or 20 years, there's one that's showing no sign of going anywhere anytime soon and that, my friends, is the juicing phenomenon. You can't open a newspaper or a magazine without a gorgeously dewy-skinned model telling you that the secret to her other-worldly glow and fabulous figure is all down to raw food and vegetable juices.
It used to be considered ultra-healthy to throw some fruit and yoghurt into a blender to whip up a smoothie, but now that fruit is getting a bit of a bad rap for containing too much sugar, we're all about the kale and the beetroot, with fruit too - albeit a little bit.
If you know your acai from your cacao, then you're probably throwing such health-inducing goodies as spirulina (if you can stomach the flavour) and coconut oil into your vegetable juices already. Susan Jane White, our own LIFE magazine health nut, who boasts the most ethereal glow of all, not to mention a samurai-like spring in her step, is a fan of juicing, but not, she stresses, to replace meals; this, I believe, is the key.
I love my juices during the week. After exercise in the morning, a freshly whizzed-up glass of bright green or magenta-coloured goodness, with a poached egg on the side, keeps me firing on all cylinders and ready to take on the world. However, at the weekend, I'm an entirely different creature, devouring sausages, rashers, black pudding and the rest. Everything in moderation, as my mum has always wisely said.
The one thing I always try to achieve when whipping up a juice is to make it really delicious and vibrant in colour. Sounds obvious, but if it doesn't look and taste great, this is not a good habit that you will stick to. Get yourself organised; put your supplies into one drawer or area of the fridge, so that they're all easily at hand, and then you don't have to think twice before juicing yourself fabulous!
This gorgeous grass-green juice is supposed to be great for your tummy, your gut, and all things digestive.
You will need:
A handful of kale or spinach leaves, stalks included
A small handful of parsley and watercress, mixed
2 apples, quartered, pips removed
1 stick of celery
¼ of a cucumber
¼ of an avocado
Juice of 1 lime
Juice all the ingredients together - the kale or spinach leaves, whichever you're using, the parsley and the watercress, the apple quarters, the celery, the cucumber, the avocado and the lime juice. You can add a tray of ice cubes if you're using a NutriBullet or similar device. Add more lime juice, if necessary, and thin out with water. You won't need to add any water if you're using a centrifugal juicer.
This sunny glass of goodness will give you a pep in your step for the day. The turmeric, when consumed with black pepper, is applauded for its anti-inflammatory properties, as is ginger, which is also thought to be a great nerve soother and calmer of nauseousness.
1 large carrot, peeled and ends trimmed
2 apples, cut in quarters and pips removed
1 stick of celery
Juice of ½ to 1 lemon
1 cm (less than ½in) piece of fresh ginger, peeled
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice all the ingredients together - the carrot, the apple quarters, the celery, the lemon juice, the fresh ginger, the turmeric and the freshly ground black pepper, Add a tray of ice cubes if you're using a NutriBullet or similar device. Add more lemon juice, if necessary, and thin out with water. You won't need to add water if you're using a centrifugal juicer.
We all know that beetroot is one of the superfoods that we should be including in our regular diet. As well as its great colour, it brings iron, potassium and folic acid, not to mention vitamins A, B, C and antioxidants to boot!
The cucumber and the celery are thought to help to flush out toxins and boost our immune systems too. So what are you waiting for? Get juicing!
1 beetroot, peeled
2 small carrots, peeled
2 sticks of celery
1 apple, cut in quarters and pips removed
Juice of ½ to 1 lemon
1cm (less than ½in) piece of fresh ginger, peeled
Juice all the ingredients together - the beetroot, the carrots, the celery, the apple, the cucumber, the lemon juice and the fresh ginger. Add a tray of ice cubes if you're using a NutriBullet or similar device. Add more lemon juice, if necessary, and thin out with water. You won't need to add water if you're using a centrifugal juicer.
Kale and hearty
This is the perfect pick-me-up containing lots of zinc, a mineral that's thought to be super beneficial for men needing a pep in their step. This juice is one for the NutriBullet, or you can use a liquidiser.
2 packed handfuls of kale leaves, stalks included
1 large banana
3 tablespoons of rolled oats, pre-soaked in water or almond milk for 10 minutes, plus extra water or almond milk to thin out the finished juice
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1 tray of ice cubes
Put the kale leaves, the banana, the pre-soaked rolled oats, the sesame seeds, the pumpkin seeds and the ice cubes into the NutriBullet or liquidiser, whichever you're using. Add water or almond milk, whichever you're using, to thin out.
I love the sweet honey flavour of melons and they're naturally low in calories too. They're a great source of vitamin A, while being good for the eyes and skin also. Choose a ripe melon - you should get a sweet melon scent from the skin. I like to use cantaloupe, galia or honeydew.
1 small ripe melon, peeled, chopped, and all seeds removed
1 handful of spinach
Juice of 1-2 limes
Juice all the ingredients together - the chopped melon, the spinach and the lime juice. Add a tray of ice cubes if you're using a NutriBullet or similar device. Add more lime juice, if necessary, and thin out with water. You won't need to add water if you're using a centrifugal juicer.
Here's a juice that's creamy because of the wonderful multi-vitamin-and-mineral-containing avocado.
½ an avocado
½ a cucumber
4 x 2cm (less than 1in) chunks of peeled pineapple
A very small handful of coriander, all stalks included
Juice of ½ to 1 lemon or the juice of 1 lime
Juice all the ingredients together - the avocado, the cucumber, the pineapple chunks, the coriander, and the lemon juice or the lime juice, whichever you're using. Add a tray of ice cubes if you're using a NutriBullet or similar device. Add more lime or lemon juice, if necessary, and thin out with water. You won't need to add water if you're using a centrifugal juicer.
To get the maximum goodness from your juice, drink as soon as possible after it's made.
There are a few different types of juicers and extractors. The most common used to be the centrifugal juicer, which separates the pulp from the actual juice, meaning you throw quite a lot of the fibre into the bin. It's also said that the heat that this type of juicer generates destroys some of the healthy enzymes in the fruit and vegetables. The more expensive masticating juicer crushes, then presses, the fruit or vegetables, giving a higher yield, and, because of the cooler temperature, a higher nutritional kick too. Then there's the pulveriser-type of extractor, which every second person seems to have recently. A friend of mine overheard someone working in Cork's Brown Thomas before Christmas saying they were selling about six NutriBullets every hour. NutriBullets, at one stage, were harder to get hold of than the Elsa doll from Frozen, though, luckily, there weren't any catfights at the BT counter - Prada bags at dawn and all that. . . I love my NutriBullet Pro. I love that there's hardly any washing up, because there's just the cup part and the blade. It's small enough not to take up a huge amount of space on the worktop. And it's ultra-fast too.
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