I’ll admit, it’s that time of the year where the summer is in full swing, there’s hardly time to make cereal much less cook, and it’s the beach all-day-every-day or work. It’s easy to get stressed out, overtired, and over-scheduled, which is why it is more important than ever to keep both your mind and your body clear. One of my favorite ways to relax and detox in the summer months is to sit down in the sun with a good book and a juice, and read.
Below I’ve compiled some tips on how to get the most from your juices, my favorite flavor add ins, and how to juice without a juicer (*whispers* yes, it’s way easier than you may think! *end whisper*).
How do I juice without a juicer?
Seeing as juicers can be pretty expensive and aren’t an investment you should make spur of the moment, I’d recommend using a blender until you really get the hang of juicing. However, I’d recommend any juicer by Breville. Breville manufactures the easiest juicers to use and clean, and are well worth the investment if you find that you really love the juicing lifestyle.
- Wash off fruits and vegetables
- Pour half a cup of water into the blender
- Add vegetables and greens slowly. Keep blending until it looks as though most chunky vegetable contents have been broken down and the drink looks like a thinner liquid as opposed to a thicker liquid. You do not want it to have the same thickness as a smoothie.
- Run the juice over a strainer into a bowl.
- Pour contents of the bowl into a glass and voilá!
When it comes to making the actual juice itself, I like to follow a very simple equation! I’d like to think this is the key to a perfect juice and this equation remains tried and true. Similar to a smoothie, less is more.
base + add in + additional add in [optional] * x = juice
- THE BASE
Your base flavor is what the juice will primarily consist of and what will determine how the additional flavors in the juice will end up tasting. As a general rule of thumb, most vegetables make for great base flavors. Also keep in mind if you are juicing earthier tasting vegetables (greens, beets), it’s good to mix in some sweeter ingredients (carrots, apples, citrus fruit) to balance out the flavor of the juice.
Some of my favorite base ingredients are:
- Cucumbers [2.5]
- Carrots 
- Beetroot 
- Tomatoes [2.5]
- Orange Juice [at least 2.5 cups]
- Spinach [at least 4 cups]
The numbers in brackets signify the quantity of each ingredient you should use to make roughly a 12-16 0z juice. If the unit is not displayed beside the number, it just means the amount of fruit. For example, I would use 2.5 cucumbers as a base or 2.5+ cups of orange juice.
- THE ADD-INS
Though you can make a juice that consists of only one base ingredient, I recommend adding at least one add-in. On the flip side, I would not recommend more than three add-ins as they can dilute the taste of the vegetables already incorporated and can leave your taste palette feeling oddly conflicted at the clashing flavors. Below are some of my favorite add-ins:
- Apple [2-3]
- Kale [2 cups]
- Ginger [1/2-1 inch]
- Pear 
- Lemon [1/2]
- Strawberries [1 cup]
- Blueberries [1 cup]
- Lime [1/2]
- Beetroot 
- Cucumber [1/2]
- Celery [2 stalks]
- Spinach [2 cups]
- Parsley [1/4 cup]
- Mint [1/2 cup]
- Pineapple [2 cups]
These are recipes that I personally love to make and drink almost daily! Check them out and let me know how they taste!
Cucumber [base] + apple [add in] + kale [add in] + ginger [add in] = ♡ Can cucumb-er over here? ♡
Carrot [base] + orange [add in] + ginger [add in] = Why orange you happy?
Orange [base] + lemon [add in] + pear [add in] + kale [add in] = Lemonade Mouth
Beet [base] + mint [add in] + apple [add in] = Purple Mountains Majesty
Carrot [base] + orange [add in] + pineapple [add in] = Entering the tropics
Carrot [base] + celery [add in] + ginger [add in] + beet [add in] + apple [add in] = Elixir
Things to Keep In Mind
- You must remove all inedible skins, large seeds, or pits before juicing.
- Juice tends to lose its nutrients after oxidization so it’s always best to drink your juice as soon as you make it. Juices will keep their nutrients for 24 hours if refrigerated in an airtight container.
- It’s best to juice greens WITH more solid fruits and vegetables. They just break down better if you do. For example, even if spinach is your base, you should still juice it at the same time with a more solid fruit/vegetable.
- There are some ingredients that act as ‘detoxifiers’. If you don’t regularly eat these vegetables, you should take it easy until your body gets used to expelling toxins as a result of digesting these ingredients. Ginger, beet, wheatgrass, turmeric, and cilantro are all powerful detoxifiers.
- Cutting your produce into smaller pieces will make it easier on your juicer and will likely reduce the mess during the juicing process.
- Give back to the earth by composting your juice pulp! It serves as great fertilizer as well!
I hope this was helpful to those of you who don’t juice and even those of you who do! Now enjoy and juice away! 🙂