On Juicing

juice it

I used to be the first person to run screaming from the sound of a carrot being juiced.  Growing up, my dad was a very enthusiastic juicer and the sight of a 10 lb bags of carrots entering the house would just make my five-year old heart sink.  I knew that we were going to be drinking a lot of straight carrot juice when all I ever really wanted was Oreo cookies.

Now… in 10 lbs of carrots I see 4 cream cheese frosted carrot cakes, and 6 giant jars of juice.  There is comfort in the cake and in the juice.

You see a majority of what comes out of my kitchen here on Joy the Baker.  What you don’t see, and what I often end up eating from a giant bowl on the couch, is usually of the leafy green or quinoa variety.  Sure, I eat popcorn for dinner and sometimes eat cookies for breakfast, but I also take great efforts to balance that with things that aren’t pumped with brown butter (oooh I love brown butter).

We talk about all sorts of things here:  nail polish, apple picking, ex-boyfriends.  Today it’s juice… because I’m starting to love these brightly colored concoctions as much as I love doughnuts (almost…) (aaallllmost as much…).

phojuice fruit

Juice is suuuuch a thing right now in Los Angeles.  We don’t meet for soy lattes anymore, we meet for spin class and expensive bottled juices.  It’s feels equal parts obnoxious and healthful.  This post isn’t about juice cleansing.  I’ve done that enough times (1) to know that I enjoy lunch, dinner, and late-night handfuls of chocolate chips straight from the bag.

I wanted my juice experience to be less about the  fancy glass bottle and more about the juice.  Less about the label design, fonts, and wordswordswords.  Cold-pressed.  Raw.  Organic.  Unpasturized.  Gluten-free. Vegan.  Be radiant!  Glow!  Sparkle!  Shine!  Drink this green business!  Give us $12 for 12 ounces of apple juice. On and on and on…  I mostly just wanted  my juice bottles to stop bossing me around.  Now I have my own juicer and it feels like an adventure.

juice soy

Having a juicer feels like an absolute luxury.  This I understand.  I spent about 10 months waxing and waning over the decision to splurge on one.

There are a wide variety of juicers you can buy.  Some are totally affordable, some feel like a splurge.  I’m not here to tell you what juicer to buy.  That would be bossy… and while I am totally bossy, I’m on break for the next fifteen minutes, so you’re in luck.

I have the Hurom Slow Juicer.  It’s a masticating juicer.

A masticating juicer is a machine that crushes and presses to coax juice out of produce.  This differs from the centrifugal juicer that uses blades and speed to produce juice.  If you’re super into juicetown, you should totally research the difference between the two types of machines.  Different reviews make different claims about nutrient levels and juice extraction that I am definitely not an expert in.

I do know that love my Slow Juicer because it extracts loads of juice and nutrients, it’s not a noise monster, I can use the dry vegetable pulp for soups and stocks…. and without any sharp parts, it’s relatively easy to clean.  Flipping on the switch and dropping fruit into the mellow machine represents the sort of experience I want to have when I make myself a juice… sometimes it’s a simple as defining my experience.      I’m soooo into this juicer (and no one has paid me to say so) (!!!!!).

Pictured above are dried soy beans soaking in preparation for juicing.  We can juice beans and nuts into milk!  That feels like a treat… it does!

juice red

I’m weirdly attracted to the color of food that I put in my body.  If I can put delicious and healthful MAGENTA food in my body… well I’m just the happiest person in the world.

This is Grapefruit Orange Carrot Ginger and Beet!

(one peeled grapefruit.  one peeled orange.  four carrots.  one inch of ginger. one small beet)

Should you need more chocolate with your magenta food (I understand you), you might make friends with this Chocolate Beet Cake.

(Yes… we can talk about juicing and cake at the same time.)

juice it

Let’s talk specifics…

Green Juices Monsters

Apple //  I like to use apples to sweeten up juices that have loads of leafy greens.  It’s an ode to my sweet tooth. 

Cucumber // Full of water,  fiber, and chlorophyll!  Cucumber adds a clean and fresh flavor to green juices.  It tastes like a really healthy spa experience.

Spinach, kale, romaine and chard // These are our heavy hitters.  Full of a ridiculous amount of vitamins and minerals (including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, and lutein).  You can tell from the intense color that these greens mean business.

Celery and fennel //   Soluble sodium and alkalizing (meaning that it helps regulate the body’s Ph balance).

Mint and parsley // I love the bright flavors that both mint and parsley impart on green juices.  The mint is bold and fresh… it also has some pretty stellar anti-inflammatory properties.  The parsley is packed with iron and b12 and also tastes pretty hardcore in green juice.

Lemon and lime // Every green juice could benefit from a good shot of tart citrus.  Lemon and lime add a wonderful kick to the sweetness of apples and heft of the leafy greens.

Grapes, pear, kiwis, and pineapple // These are wonderful sweet fruits that I love to add to juices that have an aggressive amount of greens in them.

Shutterbean has a great recipe for Grape Cucumber Pear Juice and Pineapple Apple Mint Juice.

juice orange

Carrot Orange and loads of Ginger.  It’s a spicy beast.

(six carrots. two peeled oranges. one inch of ginger.)

Bold and bright!  I love thinking about what goodness this sort of color imparts on my body.

Orange Juice Essentials

Carrot // Packed with beta-carotene and vitamin E.  It’s sweet and vibrant orange.

Orange and grapefruit  //  Citrus is exploding this winter!  Truckloads of grapefruit from my grandparents’ tree are helping me stave off a nasty cold that’s been knocking at my door.  Thank you vitamin C!

Sweet potato // Is it possible that sweet potatoes have more beta-carotene than carrots!?  Yes… it’s totally possible.  Sweet potatoes are also a great source of folate.  The orange-colored juice of sweet potatoes is sweet and has just a hint of starch… it is a potato after all.

Ginger  // Ooh spicy ginger root… you speak to my heart.  Ginger warms the body, reduces inflammation, and adds an undeniable kick in the pants to fresh juices.  I also love fresh grated ginger with hot water and honey.

Turmeric Root // Not just for curry!  Turmeric root is a powerhouse of healing for the liver and beyond.

Beets// I’m so drawn that the flare of magenta juice!  Good for the bones, hair, skin, blood… and it’s pink.  Go.

Nut and Bean Essentials

Soy // Dried soy beans can be soaked overnight then run through a masticating juicer.  The result is a beautifully creamy, thick,  and very beany tasting fresh soy milk.  It’s best with raw honey a few sprinkles of ground cinnamon, and a dash of pure vanilla extract.

Almond // Dreams!  Raw almonds are soaked in water for several hours then pressed through a juicer.  Who knew almonds could be so creamy!?  This milk is so much more flavorful that store-bought and much more clean and fresh.  I added a touch of molasses and cinnamon to my almond milk.

Cashew // Once you dip your toe into the cashew milk pool, it’s over.  Raw cashews are unstoppable after being soaked and pressed into juice.  With honey, cinnamon, and vanilla this milk tastes better than a milkshake.  True fact.

Note:  Nut and bean milks can also be made in a blender after the nut and/or bean has been soaked overnight.  After blending simply strain the pulp away and enjoy the milk.  These milks generally last up to three or four days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


This is certainly not an exhaustive list of things you can juice, it’s just what I’m playing around with in my kitchen.

I’m curious.  What’s going on in your kitchen?  Are you throwing juice in the mix?

155 thoughts on “On Juicing

  1. I’ve really been thinking hard about getting a juicer, funny that you should post this now. I’m thinking Breville. It’s much more affordable, around $99.

  2. Yes! What a great post! I have an inexpensive juicer that does not do wheatgrass and pulls the fiber out, unlike the Vitamix. I’m always amazed at how tasty the juices are. . . I blogged about it last year; link is here. But one of my favorite blends, and one I don’t see here, is a mango, a few ribs of celery, and a handful of kale. YUM.

    Celery added to any juice adds lots of liquid, and I “hear” is good for blood pressure and keep the micronutrients absorbed slowly.

    I also like to squeeze lemon on top of my juice and/or sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

    FYI I’m not a health food junkie or anything – I just like to eat well and right and find veggie juices make me feel great. Maybe even offset the cheese and wine!

    Her is my link – happy juicing! http://lifeinaskillet.com/2011/06/drinking-my-vegetables/

  3. I don’t have a juicer so I’ve been ‘blending’ everything. I chop up my fruit and freeze it in bags so I have small chunks ready to blend. To the fruit (pineapple, mango, berries..etc) I add a bit of Greek yoghurt, some spinach leaves, chia seeds, flax seeds, top up with water (or milk), blend and drink! You loose a lot of fibre when you juice, so blending is another alternative.. :)

  4. hey joy, i’ve been a big fan of yours for years :) your blog is the first thing i read every morning, even before my own inbox!

    as a fellow juicing enthusiast, i was excited to read all the information you’ve put in this entry. since you’re really into juicing as well, i thought i’d say something.. :) i recently read an excellent book on nutrition, and it says that fruit juices, even fresh ones, are not nutrient-dense enough to be something that we can safely consume in big quantities every day. because a lot of the nutrients are removed when you extract the juice (you don’t just lose the fibers, but also nutrients), a lot of the end product becomes similar to sugared water in terms of nutrients, especially if you juice things like apples, carrots (which i notice are some things you like to juice). to our bodies, these juices are basically sugars that are quickly and easily absorbed into our bodies, as opposed to unprocessed vegs and fruits, creating an undesirable effect on our blood sugar level. the book is titled Eat to Live, and you can google the author, Joel Fuhrman, for more information. i think his views on certain things are pretty extreme and more suitable for people with poor health, but he’s on the money concerning how we should maximize our intake of nutrient-dense food.

    whew! i’m sorry if i blew your bubble :( i was also dismayed when i read this info. but there’s a solution.. i can use a blender and drink the pulp as well, or maximize the amount of vegs and fruits that i drink with the pulp. or just eat the vegs and fruits as they are :D i drink one of your green smoothies every morning, by the way, and they’re maaaajorly delicious! thank you for that!

    much love xx

  5. I love your blog and this post and have been a follower for some time now, however in this post you write that parsley is a good source of B12. As a life long vegetarian and having completed some nutrition courses, I know that B12 isn’t contained in plants. B12 is found in meat, eggs and milk.

    I’m sorry that this is nit picking but a lack of B12 causes serious health issues, in particular nerve damage. Low B12 is also a serious issue for mothers who are breastfeeding as an inadequate supply of B12 to infants can cause neurological defects and has on occasion been linked to infant mortality.

    I did a quick google search and discovered that numerous websites are incorrectly stating that B12 is found in parsley but looked further and found reputable information in nutrition and dietetics articles as well as information provided by the US Department of Agriculture that states there is no B12 in parsley. Any B12 on plants has come from the environment in which they are grown, that is bacteria in the soil.

    B12 supplements are available from pharmacies, health food shops and in Australia at our local supermarkets. B12 is also available as an injection for people who lack intrinsic factor and are unable to absorb B12 from food or supplements.

    I am waiting anxiously for your next book and if you are ever in Sydney or Newcastle in NSW Australia, I would be one of the first lining up to meet you and to get my recipe books signed!

  6. I’m getting back on the juice bandwagon (with my Vitamix blender) after over-kale-ing a shake and getting horribly sick from it. (So glad it didn’t keep me from loving kale!) Anyway, yesterday’s concoction was pretty good, if a little zombie-gray to the eyes: homemade goat’s milk yogurt, baby spinach leaves, a bit of avocado, lemon & ginger, and some frozen wild blueberries. Could’ve used a touch of honey, but it was really creamy and quite tasty for something just thrown together! I’ll be sure to check out your green smoothie recipes. They sound delicious!

  7. I’ve been juicing now for a little over 3 years. I’ve not been sick in a little over 4 years! I don’t get flu shots either and I work in an elementary school rife with snot and other grossness. I have an Omega Vertical Juicer, only because of the fantastic warranty. When you’ve managed to go through 2 juicers in 2 years, you start looking at the warranties (the Omega is my 3rd juicer.) Happy juicing!!! Check out The Big Book of Juicing… hundreds of juice combinations, some are really good with vodka!

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