"Drink all your juice. It's good for you."
January brings snow, my birthday, resolutions, and juice solutions. Detox, cleanses, using the holiday juicer gift, vowing to consume more vegetables: juice seems to be the answer for everyone and everything.
Why go through the mess of chewing your food and sitting down and enjoying what you are eating … and eating itself?
As we noted in the Nutrition Swaps column of our should-be-award-winning Temptation of the Week series, making radical steps is nice and all, but sometimes difficult to overcome. The idea of kale juice may not excite you, but for some, drinking kale sounds better than eating kale.
Hiding the taste of broccoli and cauliflower with some carrot and watermelon sounds ideal. All those questions of texture goes out the window when you can drink yourself to better nutrition.
If you have a juicer, and you find you really have a hard time eating vegetables, the solution is better than vitamins and certainly better than nothing at all.
Eating vegetables allows you to get the fiber from the food, an important element in keeping full, which in turn reduces the temptation of eating more food.
We have talked about the need to sweetened or add some other flavor to make our vegetables palatable. Well, unless you are drinking kale juice straight, you are adding sugar to your vegetables. Carrots are one of the sweetest non-starchy vegetables, and adding fruit juice, especially apples and grapes, adds sweetness to the mix.
Fruit juice is a much better source of sugar than what you otherwise might use to sweeten your veggies.
If you watch those juicer infomercials, they make drinking fruit and vegetable juice to be this easy and satisfying effort. They look happy when drinking the juice, but the major guts of the vegetables are still in the juicer. In other words, they aren't getting that much benefit.
So how can you ingest vegetables in liquid form without resorting to buying an expensive juicer?
Even if you do drink some of your vegetables, you are better off balancing that out with eating some vegetables. Save the hard-core vegetables for liquid form and eat the vegetables you like.
The same truth goes for fruit as vegetables in that you lose precious fiber by drinking fruit instead of eating fruit. But if you are that excited about juicing, chances are you are a mild to serious smoothie addict. Cut up spinach, cauliflower, or kale into small pieces and throw them in your blender with the other smoothie ingredients. Experiment by throwing in only a little in the first batch to see what kind of taste impact you get in your smoothie.
Since you won't be using all that kale in the blender, save some for sauteing and serve with lemon juice. Make a deal with yourself: throw some kale in a smoothie AND saute some kale. You might love one and hate the other, tolerate both, or tolerate one and throw up the other. At least you'll know afterward, and if you get the kale one of those ways, you will be better off than when you started.