One of the great summertime pleasures at our house is actually juicing!!! Just this evening, I opted to juice instead of serving a sweet dessert after dinner. My youngest found a lot of fun in helping me to make the following juice: watermelon (including the rind and seeds), pineapple, purple seedless grapes and cherries. Juicing can be a nutritious and refreshing addition to a healthy lifestyle. On that note, I thought that I would include a few useful tips that I learned recently from a juicing class by Vera Kulezic, L.Ac., Dipl. O.M., MSTOM from Acubalance Wellness Center located at 6015 N. Nina Ave. in Chicago, IL.
1.) Use organic when possible. If a fruit or vegetable is not organic, always peel it first or else use a fruit/vegetable wash, found at many grocery stores or health food stores.
2.) Cut away any bruised, moldy or rotten areas.
3.) Juice primarily vegetables as fruit juices are high in sugar.
4.) Remove pits, stones and hard seeds from such fruits as cherries, peaches, plums, apricots and mangoes. Softer seeds from oranges, lemons, watermelons, cantaloupes, grapes can be juiced without a problem. Large quantities of apple seeds should not be juiced for young children because of their chemical composition.
5.) Juice the stems and leaves of most produce. For example, beet stems and leaves, strawberry caps, celery leaves, and small grape stems offer valuable nutrients. Discard larger grape stems as they can dull your juicer's blades. Remove carrot and rhubarb greens because they contain toxic substances.
6.) Some fruits and vegetables don't juice well because they don't contain a lot of water, ie., bananas, mangoes, papayas, and avocados. Instead, they can be used in smoothies or cold soups, by first juicing any other produce, and then pouring the juice in a blender and adding the avocado, for example, to make a cold soup.
7.) Drink your juice as soon as it's made, if possible. If you can't drink it right away, store it in an insulated container such as a thermos or an airtight, opaque container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Light, heat and air will destroy nutrients quickly. Be aware that the longer juice sits before you drink it, the more nutrients it loses. If juice turns brown, it has oxidized and lost a large amount of its nutritional value. After 24 hours, it may become spoiled. Melon and cabbage juices do not store well so you may want to drink them soon after they've been juiced.
If you are interested in learning more about how to use food to heal your health issues, then you may want to register for Acubalance Wellness Center's class "Healing With Whole Foods Nutrition Course". This 4-part series, starts July 23rd and meets every other Tuesday evening 6-7:30 PM, until Sept. 9th. Cost is $125 per person. Classes will meet at Acubalance Wellness Center in the Norwood Park neighborhood at 6015 N. Nina Ave., Chicago, IL. To register, call 773-775-4257.