Squeeze, Juice, Blend: 5 Tips to Guarantee Great Natural Juice Blends Every Time

Fresh fruit and vegetables contain an amazing array of vitamins, minerals and other trace elements that are known to be essential for good health, and digesting them in liquid form is one of the best ways to help them on their beneficial way. Some key antioxidants in home made drinks are vitamin E (wheat germ, spinach, avocado, sunflower seeds, nuts), vitamin C (citrus and tropical fruits, green vegetables, berries); and beta-carotene (apricots, dark leafy greens, mangoes, tomatoes, watercress).

squeeze, juice, blend

There’s not much that can go wrong when squeezing, blending and whizzing your own fresh juices at home as a way to look after your health. Squeezing, juicing, and blending allows you to bring your own creative interpretation to nature’s bounty. Here are 5 tips to guarantee great drinks every time.

1, Quality Ingredients

Always use good quality ingredients. When you use good quality ingredients there is nothing to mask their flavours which means you get the best not just in nutrition, but in taste. Use organic where possible, and refrain from using ingredients until they are fully ripe.

2, Chill

Use fruits and vegetables straight from the refrigerator, so that the end result is perfectly chilled. If you freeze fruit, such as berries, cherries, chopped mango and overripe banana, use the fruit within two weeks. After that, the flavour fades.

3, Prepare Your Ingredients

Unless otherwise stated, juice fruits and vegetables with the skin on. Remove all pits and hard stones before using. The seeds can stay if juicing but remove if blending. Always wash produce well before use, scrubbing tough-skinned varieties with a soft brush. Chop ingredients only when you are ready to chuck the  pieces in the juicer; otherwise you will cause unnecessary vitamin loss.

4, Don't Be Shy to Experiment

Don’t be shy to experiment, embellish, revise or adapt recipes to find your preferred flavour combinations. Adjust the consistency of drinks by adding water for a thinner drink, or frozen fruit or crushed ice for a thicker one. Sweeten juices by adding a dash of maple syrup (or other natural sweetener) or some ripe banana. Experimentation will reveal if you like drinks rich and heavy, with ingredients such as bananas, or clean and sharp, with flavours like citrus and ginger.

5, Purchase Good Equipment

Odds are, sitting on your kitchen counter is a tool that can turn any variety of fruits and vegetables you missed eating on any given day, into enticing drinks in moments: the blender. High performance blenders are great for mixing and whizzing whole food ingredients to a smooth consistency. Look for ones that can cope with crushed ice cubes. Capacity varies but the best are the stand alone ones, as they produce smoother drinks. But, really, any blender will do. Chop ingredients for best results.

By juicing, or blending a variety of fruits and vegetables into enticing combinations, the recipe will make your healthy diet a pleasure. The health benefits associated with regularly drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices are many and long standing. Juices provide energy to the energy deficient, protect the immune system and have cleansing properties. No commercially-prepared juice is going to have the same fresh goodness as your own drink will.

In the Photos: Eartha Lowe, Ayane Lowe (niece)