Contrary to popular belief, eating your daily recommended fruits and veggies doesn’t get any easier once you’re an adult. But before you start trying to stomach three salads a day, there’s a quicker way to down all that good-for-you produce: juicing. Read on for a nutritionist’s tips for making better, healthier juice at home, plus 12 healthy juice recipes to get you started.
How to Make Healthy Juice at Home
You can make juice out of just about any piece of produce. So, your home juicing menu will lean heavily on what’s in season, what you’re trying to use before it goes bad (we see you, wilted spinach buried in the crisper drawer) and what you like. But whatever you use, it’s important to juice a range of vibrant produce whenever possible. “The more colorful the fruits and veggies, the more phytonutrients end up in the juice,” says Dr. Felicia Stoler, DCN, a registered dietitian, nutritionist and exercise physiologist.
Making juice is easy enough with the right equipment, but is it good for you? The short answer is yes—with a caveat. Juice provides vitamins and minerals, plus all-important fiber if you juice the skins, peels and seeds too. But Stoler reminds us that juice is mostly just a serving of straight carbohydrates, plus some amino acids if it contains veggies. While there’s nothing wrong with a glass of carbs, it’s better to chew your produce than drink it to ensure that you’re getting all the fiber it contains. “It takes longer to eat and digest [whole food] than drinking pure liquid that will leave the stomach rapidly and enter the blood stream quicker,” explains Stoler. “Think about a cup of apple juice, which has about 100 calories. One medium apple has almost the same calories, but it takes significantly longer to eat, and you’ll feel fuller after.”
Nevertheless, juice is OK every so often, especially if you have trouble working fresh produce into your diet. Here are 12 ideas to get you started.
1. Carrot, Pineapple and Ginger Juice
2. Celery Juice
Chalk the celery juice trend up to the veggie’s gut-healing powers. It’s also said to reduce inflammation and keep you hydrated.
3. Lemon-Ginger Turmeric Wellness Shots
Speaking of trendy, tiny bottles of this magical elixir can be found at a ton of supermarkets nowadays. But it turns out these turmeric-spiked immunity boosters are a breeze to make at home.
4. Simple Green Juice
A large Granny Smith apple curbs the bitterness of fresh greens and herbs. Add a light drizzle of honey if you need to.
5. Watermelon Juice
6. Vitamin Boost Detox Juice
You’d be shocked how many greens are in a glass of this sipper. Fresh citrus and tart-sweet apple helps make it more palatable.
7. Kiwi Agua Fresca
An agua fresca calls for cutting fresh juice with cold water to make it milder in flavor and easy to drink. Add a drizzle of agave if you must, but we’re betting it’ll taste great without it.
8. Super-Powered Orange Juice
9. Immune-Boosting Kickstart Juice
10. Apple Carrot Beet Ginger Juice
Bring on the vitamins, folate and polyphenols. Add a splash of unfiltered apple juice if you’d like it a bit sweeter.
11. Carrot Pineapple Orange Juice
Psst: This three-ingredient juice would be twice as nutritious if you added a handful of greens to it, like kale or spinach.
12. Sparkling Pomegranate Juice
If you’re looking to ease back on your soda consumption, try spiking plain seltzer water with mouth-puckering pomegranate juice.