In our carrot pancakes post we talked about the benefits and capabilities of carrots. It is nutrient dense and super-healthy for our body and so on. Well, the best way to get all those nutrients we discussed is from raw carrot juice. I am also going to mention that I cannot get enough of its gorgeous color! How impressive is that bright, neon orange? Naturally colorful foods make me happy and my whole body gets happy when drinking this sunny, bright juice.
Juicing started becoming popular in the early 1990’s and I bought my first juicer in 1994. I realized it was a lot cheaper to get a juicer than to buy juice at the health food store every day, which I loved to have after working out. Having my own also allowed me to juice even more than I could afford to purchase, which was even better. My first juicer was a centrifugal juice extractor by Omega. Centrifugal juicers have a fast-spinning metal blade that spins inside a metal mesh filter. The filter catches the pulp and the juice comes out of the spout. I made a lot of carrot and beet juices with that machine. After all these years I still have it and it still works! This juicer is extremely efficient extracting the juice of hard vegetables such as beets and carrots.
A few years ago, I purchased a cold press juicer, also called masticating or slow juicer. Specifically, it was the Hurom HU-100 Masticating Slow Juicer. Slow juicers process leafy greens much more efficiently than a centrifugal juicer. Spinning green leaves just doesn’t cut getting the juice out of them. Slow juicers press the produce with a single auger against a fine metal mesh instead of spinning its pulp at high speeds, which creates heat and can jeopardize some of the nutrients. This juicer has held up incredibly well and is going on its fourth year with us. Aside from a little stain from daily use, it still juices incredibly well.
Both of the juicers described above are easy to clean and maintain. Be sure to clean your juicer immediately after juicing. It is important to keep the machine clean.
Making your own juice beats the high price of juices at a juice bar and certainly beats all processed and pasteurized juices from your grocery store or even a health food market. You can be as creative as you want with the exception of a few fruits and vegetables that can’t be juiced such as citrus peels, bananas, avocados and eggplant.
“Some people do, and some people don’t carrot all.”
You want to be sure to drink your juices within 15 minutes of making them and always drink fresh juice on an empty stomach. Wait at least 30 minutes before eating solid foods after drinking the juice. This gives your body time to absorb all its nutrients. It’s also important to “chew” juice before swallowing to activate the digestive enzymes. These enzymes transport important nutrients to our cells.
One of our favorite carrot drink combinations is carrots, pineapple, ginger, turmeric and lemon. This recipe is loaded with bioactive compounds and medicinal properties. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, improves digestion, improves skin conditions, purifies the blood and is a natural antiseptic. Ginger provides gastrointestinal relief and also contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds. Pineapple is high in vitamin C, manganese (a mineral important for bone strength) and the digestive enzyme, bromelain, which breaks down protein. Lemons are alkalizing for the body. It has strong antibacterial, antiviral and immune boosting capabilities. Lemons are also a digestive aid and liver cleanser.
Be sure to give this juice a try. It tastes amazing!
- 2 lbs carrots, 10-12 medium carrots
- 1/3 whole fresh pineapple
- 1” knob of fresh turmeric
- 1” knob of fresh ginger
- 1 lemon
- Wash and pre-cut the vegetables and fruits. Remove the pineapple skin.
- Use a knife to quickly remove the rind from the lemon, but leave as much of the pith as you can as it is loaded with bioflavonoids for healthy blood vessels. Bioflavinoids help fight allergies, inflammations and possibly cancer cells, so leave it! It will not make the juice bitter.
- Use the carrot pieces to help the other ingredients to push through the juicer. Alternate feeding the juicer carrots, pineapple and lemon. Add the turmeric and ginger pieces and use the last few pieces of carrots to help wash down the rest of the juice.
- If you have some foam at the top of the juice, you can spoon it out. Stir the juice, pour into your favorite glass and have a great start of a day.