The Balance of Fruit and Vegetables

Remember that theme from the beginning of the year? It’s all about Balance? Well here I am keeping balanced in February and talking about the balance of fruits and vegetables in your juice – it’s something which comes up regularly, both with clients and in the press, so I thought it might be useful to give some guidelines which might be helpful.

One of the big benefits of juicing is being able to access nutrients from a greater quantity of produce than we could possibly eat. This is particularly true when it comes to juicing vegetables. You can use 8 carrots to get one glass of carrot juice, and all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes those carrots contain. Imagine trying to eat those 8 carrots? It would take a long time, and a pretty tough jaw to get through it! You can use 1 head of romaine lettuce in one glass of Green Delight, and your body can very quickly use the nutrition from the lettuce, but eating and digesting it takes far longer. You get the point. It’s much easier to eat a greater quantity of fruit, who doesn’t want to enjoy a crisp juicy apple, or a delicious slice of sweet pineapple? A bunch of broccoli, not so much.

But, believe me, drinking just vegetable juice is hard work. A combination of kale, parsley, spinach, cucumber, and romaine is not delicious to drink. I know people who make this and then hold their noses to get it down. Some vegetables have a greater amount of natural sugar in them, like carrots and beets for example and they can be combined with other vegetables to help make them easier to drink. But on the whole, straight veggie juice is a taste challenge but with a little tweaking it can turn into something fantastic.

My view is that life is short. If I’m going to use my time to create something with only fresh, organic, produce in it, then I want it to look and taste delicious. I want to enjoy every luscious mouthful and then crave the next glassful. Apples, pineapples, oranges, grapefruits, pears all offer fantastic nutritional benefits that can be healthfully incorporated into vegetable juice to give a combination that is bursting with both vitality and flavor. When used in moderation, they can enhance the nutritional quality of the juice and make it more palatable at the same time.  A good ratio to aim for is 5:1  1 portion of fruit for every 5 portions of vegetable.

Take the example I used before. Kale, parsley, spinach, cucumber and romaine by itself, quite hard to get down, but add an apple and a pear along with a slice of lime and you have quite a different drink on your hands. Yes it has sugar in it, but it is natural sugar, quite a different beast to the white refined sugar that is nutritionally bereft, and quite different to the artificial sweeteners which are found in so many processed products.

So the main message of this blog is, juice your vegetables as a priority and eat your fruit. But when juicing the vegetables, be sure to add enough fruits to make a drink that you will want to get up for. If you enjoy your juice you will want to make more of it and if you make more of it then you will be getting the real benefit of juicing – flooding your system with live, organic nutrients to help you live a full, vital and balanced life!

(I do just want to add, that there is nothing wrong with making a glass of fresh fruit juice from time to time either.  I still dream of the day last summer when we had a glut of peaches and I made fresh peach juice, honestly there is nothing like it, heaven! But of course it does have a high fruit sugar content and that is something to keep in mind

This is a good example of where the addition of oranges makes all the difference to the flavor of this juice.  Beets are well known now for their blood cleansing and toning properties. They are rich in carotenoids too and also contain vitamin C and manganese, helping brain function, bones and sugar metabolism.  Their distinctive earthy flavor can put some people off, but this combination is sure to please!

Try to drink this juice regularly for the good health of your blood!

Balanced Beets

2 beets

(washed and greens removed, you can

use beet greens but not in this recipe)

2 carrots

1 orange

1 stick celery

1/2 inch ginger