Juicing is a great way to use up all that delicious summer produce. I haven’t touched our juicer in a while, so I thought I would bring it out and dust it off.
It was also a good upper body workout (he weighs a solid 8 pounds).
If you have a juicier, I would highly recommend using it. Raw juices can be a little intimidating as they aren’t anything like the pasteurized, watered-down store bought versions we are used to. But they taste SO much better and are packed with good-for-you nutrients. However, since they aren’t processed you need to be careful to wash your produce carefully before juicing it. As I discussed in an earlier post, there are a few ways to make sure you wash all the bad bacteria from your produce. And something I recently learned, raw produce is capable of causing various food-borne illnesses. Here’s a list of some of the microbes that various types of produce has been known to carry:
Clostridium botulinum – garlic in oil
E. coli – salad bars, alfalfa and radish sprouts, melons, apple juice
Listeria – cabbage
Salmonella – salad bars, alfalfa and radish sprouts, melons, orange juice, tomatoes
Shigella – parsely, lettuce
Staphylococcus – prepared salads
Vibrio cholerae – fruits and vegetables contaminated by water
Yersinia – sprouts contaminated by water
Cyclospora – berries, lettuce
Hepatitis viruses – strawberries, scallions
Juices are mainly composed of the fluid content of fruit and vegetable cells. A juicer separates the solid cell-wall from the fluid, although some of the solid material inevitably ends up in the juice (we call it pulp). Moreover, because raw juices contain the living cells, including oxygen-sensitive particles, fresh juices will change rapidly if not refrigerated. For instance, apples and pears are particularly sensitive to oxygen and will brown when exposed even for a short period of time. This is because plants contain browning enzymes which, when exposed to oxygen, will combine with their phenolic molecules to create a brown area on the produce. Adding lemon to juices is a good way to avoid this as the acidity of the lemon slows the browning enzymes. Refrigeration also works well.
I encourage you to be creative with your juices. I usually cut off stems and thick skins (i.e. the ones on citrus fruits) as my juicer can’t process those very well. Other combos I love are apple-carrot-orange and apple-grapefruit-ginger. Or even just plain, freshly juiced orange juice!
Summer’s sweet nectar!