As a family, working in the garden and growing our own organic vegetables has been an extremely rewarding experience. However, one of the drawbacks that we encounter is that we end up growing too much. We try to give our excess away but our neighbors can only handle so much extra kale. A portion of our haul always ends up going to waste, so I decided to see if there was a way to reduce that. This was when I took my first steps into juicing.
My sister had always tried to get me into juicing. I took some of our vegetables over to her house one time and made a little party out of it. I was surprised with just how much fruit and vegetables were needed to make a glass of juice. I thought that was spectacular that you can fit so many nutrients into a container. This would be perfect for our waste problem. Unfortunately, I was not all that impressed with the juice that came out of her expensive Breville juicer. So I decided to do some research.
My eyes were opened after that little organic get together and I really liked the idea of finding another use for all that we grow in our family garden. Juicing our veggies seemed like something that we could benefit from, but I needed to learn more. My sister’s juicer was extremely fast, and she loved it, but I just found the juice a little watery, somewhat frothy, and I thought it would be more green. I needed to discover more about the juicing process.
The biggest eye opener was knowing the difference between masticating and centrifugal juicers. My sister used a centrifugal machine, and this was perfect for her. It was fast, easy to clean, and she loved the taste of the juice that it produced. When I learned about masticating machines, I knew this was the real difference maker for me. We grow a lot of leafy greens like spinach and kale and these are the types of foods that masticating units excel at. It is a slower form of juicing that is able to get more of the nutritious goodness out of greens. This was the direction I needed to go.
Finding The Right Juicer
Once I knew which type of machine to get I went to find the best juicer on the market for my family. Since I needed a masticating juice extractor, my focus was narrowed. After going over tons of the latest reviews I finally settled on getting the Omega NC800. Omega as a brand was one of the top rated choices that we found. Their juicers are extremely well built and they have long warranties. Since we planned on doing a lot of juicing, this was something that was important to us. That day where we finally were able to zero in and make a choice was an exciting day.
The day it arrived it almost felt like Christmas. It was easy enough to put together and we jumped right into to using it. We had a nice stockpile of fresh cucumber, kale, cabbage, carrots, and radish ready to give it a test run. We also went to our local store to pick up some extra ingredients that we do not grow like apples, ginger, and lemons. We did some studying beforehand and found some exciting juice recipes that we found appealing. It was a good day.
The first thing that I noticed right off the bat was how much quieter this model was than the Breville juicer that my sister used. Her machine sounded like it was using a jet engine, perhaps this is why it got the job done so fast. Our new Omega juicer, on the other hand, was pleasantly quiet. It produced a small grinding type of a sound that did not shake the walls. Everything moved at a much steadier pace. We had to do some minor cutting of the vegetables to get them to fit, but it was not that much work. Overall, I was very happy with this part of the process of juicing.
There was also a noticeable difference in the juice that was produced. It had a somewhat darker color which is what I had first envisioned it should look like. There as less froth, but one trade off was that there was a little more pulp in the juice. This was not a problem for us as we kind of like pulp. We always buy are orange juice with pulp as we like that added bit of fiber. The final juice also tasted better to me. Perhaps it was that I felt more confident in everything. I really could not have been more pleased.
That was a few months ago, and from the first test run to now our experience with a masticating juicer has been extremely satisfying. One of the advantages is that we can store the juice we produce for a few days in the fridge. This is not something that is recommended when you use a centrifugal juicer as it adds a little more oxygen into the juice which causes it to spoil faster.
We try to be good global citizens which is why our organic garden is so important to us. We always felt guilty whenever we had to throw away and compost the vegetables that we could not eat. Juicing has drastically cut that back to almost nothing. This has probably been the best choice we have made as a family. Juicing has many health benefits, but it also has other advantages that can benefit us all.
With labels like “superfoods” being thrown about in recent years for vegetables like kale, it is hard to dismiss the hype of certain foods and think of them as just a fad. Wheatgrass is one such example and wheatgrass “shots” can be easily found at most of the trendy juicing shops in the hip part of town. But while it may not look or sound all that pleasant to drink, juicing your wheatgrass can provide you with some valuable health benefits. You may just find that you will want to see what all of the hoopla is about when you discover what this leafy vegetable may provide your diet.
Having a juicer in at your disposal in your home is a great idea. Even if you do not drop wheatgrass in it, a juicer is a terrific way to enjoy the power that juicing your fruits and veggies has to offer a poor diet. Convenience, ease of use, and nutrient loaded nutrition is worth it for you and your family. To get the most out of juicing, especially the tough to juice wheatgrass leaf, it is imperative for you to get a masticating juice extractor as centrifugal machines are just not efficient with this kind of produce. It is worth investing in a quality juicing machine in the beginning which will save you time and money over the course of time.
What’s In Wheatgrass?
First and foremost, it should be understood that 70% of wheatgrass is pure chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the pigment that gives green plants their color. Only a few plants, like Moringa, have chlorophyll levels that exceed those of wheat. Secondly, wheat grass contains up to 90 minerals. These include even the most alkaline nutrients like potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium. Amazingly, 30mls of freshly squeezed wheatgrass juice contains as much nutrients as a whole kilogram of green-leafy vegetables. It also contains up to 19 amino acids. These are the building blocks of proteins. In fact, this is the major strength of the juice.
It also has an important enzyme component. For instance, the product contains protease, an enzyme necessary for the digestion of proteins. Other enzymes contained by the product include lipase, transhydrogenase, and superoxide dismutase.
Blood building – It is surprising to note that chlorophyll found in wheat is quite similar to the hemoglobin found in red blood cells. Actually, the only difference between the two is their central elements. The central element of chlorophyll is magnesium while that of hemoglobin is iron. What this means is that the body can convert easily chlorophyll into hemoglobin. When this happens, the count of red blood cells increases. Consequently, blood’s capacity to deliver both nutrients and oxygen to different body parts is enhanced.
Detoxifying Elements – Wheatgrass also has incredible cleansing properties. The juice, in its fresh form, contains vitamins B, C, E, and carotenes. All these vitamins are essential in destroying and eliminating free radicals, and cleansing the system. The juice is also held in high esteem for its ability to clean the blood and the gastrointestinal tract.
The juice is also regarded for its soponin (glucosides that form soapy lathers) properties. These properties allow the juice to support the body’s lymphatic system in eliminating thousands of toxins from the cells.
If you are looking a product that will supplement your diet or one that will detoxify your body, rest assured that this is something that fits the bill.
Amino Acid Source – Amino acids are major building blocks of proteins. These elements are essential for growth and regeneration of cells. It is the remarkably high levels of amino acids in wheatgrass juice that have made this product popular among gym-goers and body-builders. These categories of people seem to have realized that one of the most readily available sources of nutrients that help in cell growth is wheatgrass juice. It is also worth adding that the 19 amino acids found in the juice are considered to be complete proteins. This Means that less, or no synthesis, is required to convert them into body building and repair blocks.
Immune System Booster – It contains most B vitamins, Vitamins C, D, E, and K; 90 different minerals; and 19 amino acids. It also contains numerous active enzymes. A combination of these elements serves as soldiers to protect the body against a long list of ailments. Besides protection, these elements boost the immune system in ways that a few other products can.
The list of wheatgrass benefits runs on and on. Some of the other benefits that are associated with the juice include: preventing teeth decay, promoting digestion, purifying the liver, refining and renewing tissues, and regulating blood-sugar balance among others.
Take A Shot
Even if the taste of wheatgrass juice does not sound appealing, the great thing about juicing is that you can include other sweet tasting ingredients to mask items that may seem foul. Adding some apple or strawberries to any recipe is a superb way to get them to be easier to swallow. It is worth the effort to give it a try as supplementing your diet with fresh nutrients can have a positive outcome on your overall well being. It is time to get a juicer and see what you have been missing.