I am a freelance writer born in Johannesburg now living in Melbourne. I love travelling and have lived in London and Taipei as well as travelling in and around South Africa. I have a great interest in exploring and love to share my finds with others.
Published June 24th 2012
Recently I've discovered the fun and exhilaration of juicing. I was inspired to try fresh juices at home after watching the popular documentary film 'Fat, Sick and nearly Dead', which was created by Joe Cross – an Australian living in Sydney who at the age of 40 finds himself professionally successful but severely lacking in good Health.
Joe describes himself in the film as 'Fat' weighing 300lbs (136kg) at the beginning of his journey. 'Sick' with autoimmune disease that was unable to be cured by the medical world beyond the prescription of medication taken twice daily for 8 years and which caused hives to erupt on any part of his body from simple pressure such as a hand-shake or simply sitting in a chair and as a result of the weight and vast array of medication he was in effect 'nearly dead'.
Joe in a desperate attempt for change decided to 'reboot' his system by rejecting processed and fast food for pure goodness of Mother Nature's huge array of vegetables and fruits. The idea being a detox to last 40 days fueled by fresh juices for each meal for 60 days after being given the go ahead by a medical professional. Joe travels across America during his journey speaking with a variety of US citizens and discovering that a fast paced lifestyle has born a fast food eating culture, which is now being passed on to future generations. But what Joe also discovered was that many of these people are aware of their ill health and need for more fresh produce and also have a willingness to change.
Moved and encouraged by Joe's story and those he spoke to along the way I decided to infuse my life with more natural products. I myself am not overweight nor am I a fast food junky but working strange hours and having been a picky eater due to some medical reasons I do tend to limit my diet – so juicing seemed like a fantastic way to get a quick infusion of the good stuff.
But before I got over enthused I had to purchase a juicer. There are a number of options available in order to purchase your juicer. You can peruse the local department store or homewares specialist or you can look on-line or on ebay, which is where I found my fantastic (although slightly vocal) machine. I was super lucky and spent only $11.00. But there are certainly fantastic juicers out there from around $30 to $50 all the way through to just under $300. The machine I purchased was made by Breville and although slightly older with the parts not being dishwasher friendly – I use the machine a few times a day so I just tend to rinse the bits straight after use.
Here are a few of the winning combinations I have tried to date, which all make approximately 2 glasses of juice. But do make sure you make yourself familiar with your particular juicer including assembly and cleaning of all the various parts before beginning.
1). Carrot, tomato and beetroot
No need to peel any of the vegetables. I used 4 medium sized carrots, 1 tomato, which I cut in half and 1 medium sized raw beetroot, which I also cut in half. Simply place each item one by one in the juicer and push the plunger slowly in order to obtain the most juice.
2). Cucumber, Tomato and Carrot
Use 1 medium to large cucumber, 1 medium tomato cut in half and 3 carrots.
3). Strawberry, beetroot and carrot
Use 4 or 5 medium to large strawberries (I usually judge by the quantity of juice this makes), 1 medium beetroot cut in half and 3 carrots.
4). Celery, strawberry and carrot
Just a quick hint when purchasing celery for juicing wash and cut the sticks to size in order to store them in a Tupperware style sealed container. This will ensure your celery stays crisp rather than wilting and losing its crunchy texture.
For this juice use 4 sticks of celery (again judge on the amount of juice this produces), 4 medium or large strawberries and 3 carrots.
5). Cucumber and pineapple
Use 1 medium sized cucumber and half a pineapple. Do ensure that you remove all of the pineapples' hard skin and cut to size in order for the fruit to fit in your juicers chute.
Cucumber on its own also makes a delicious and refreshing juice using 1 large cucumber. I also use pepper to season cucumber after juicing when I juice this vegetable on its own.
Pineapple when juiced on its own likewise makes a fantastic and zingy juice far superior than store bought juices. Simply use half a pineapple again after removing the hard outer peel and cutting the fruit to size.
8). Virgin Bloody Mary (makes 4 serves)
Use 4 medium tomatoes, 2 sticks of celery, 1 large red pepper (with seeds and base removed). This can also be turned into the classic Bloody Mary with the addition of 1/3 cup of vodka stirred into the fresh juice before serving over ice.
Other fantastic suggestions include:
Apple, pear and strawberry (makes approximately 3 cups)
1 small apple (granny smith gives a welcome sharpness), 3 small pears of your choice, 1 cup of strawberries.
Rockmelon, strawberry and passion fruit (Serves 4).
Use half a rockmelon peeled, seeded and cut into pieces, 1 cup of strawberries, and the pulp of 2 passionfruit. Juice the rockmelon and strawberries first and then simply stir the passion fruit through the juice of the rockmelon and strawberries.
This is also a wonderful idea to bring fun to fruits and vegetables for kids everyday, on weekends and as an educational school holiday project. A fun idea would be to create home made ice blocks by simply freezing fresh juices in either pre-purchased ice block moulds or use cleaned and dried juice boxes with an icy pole stick stuck into the centre of the juice box half way through freezing.
Just to note it has been recommended that children below the age of 13 should drink fresh juices diluted with water.
So as you can see from my own discoveries it is often just a case of trying out a variety of combinations in order to discover new and tasty beverages. So go out and enjoy a fresh, home made juice.