I’ve searched the shelves of grocery stores and found the only juice that is not loaded with excess sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup is V8 100% Vegetable Juice and V8 Fusion, a fruit and vegetable juice mix. V8 Fusion comes in three flavors, but they are all in a strong vegetable juice mix and all have a similar taste. V8 Splash is a fruit variety of V8 and is loaded with high fructose corn syrup.
The Better Option — Homemade Juices
In order to add variety of high antioxidant vegetable juices to a healthy diet I had to begin making my own juices. I’ll share some of my favorite homemade vegetable juices here with you. Homemade fruit juices are very easy to make, but achieving a palatable taste and consistency with homemade juices has required me to play with ingredients and amounts. I’ve also tried different combinations in order to achieve specific calorie and fiber content.
Get the Right Equipment
Before you begin making homemade vegetable juices, be sure that you have a good juicer. The most well known is Jack LaLanne’s power juicer, which is an excellent and powerful juicer down to under $100 from its original price over $200 (Walmart, $94.00).
You need something more than a citrus juicer to completely pulverize and extract juice from vegetables. A good alternative is the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor (Walmart, $59.88) or Taylor Biggest Loser Juice Extractor and Citrus Juicer (Walmart, $68.88).
Some Homemade Juicing Recipes
Here are some juicing recipes I’ve stumbled upon over the years.
Make your own simple carrot juice
Carrot juice and tomato juice form the basis of many homemade vegetable juices. Both are simple and really require no recipe.
To make homemade carrot juice, clean 6-8 large carrots. I’ve found that finding large, fresh carrots reduces the number I need to use. Once carrots age they begin to dehydrate and your juice may require extra carrots to obtain the desired amount of juice.
Feed the carrots into your juicer whole, or cut as needed to accommodate your juicer.
If you are just beginning to transition to homemade fruit juices, you always have the option of juicing half an orange to make the juice a little sweeter and more palatable.
Homemade super antioxidant juice
This powerful vegetable juice is made in a carrot juice base. The following recipe is a starter version. As you become accustomed to the taste, you can increase the amount of beets and ginger used in the recipe. Don’t eliminate the carrots because they provide a lot of moisture for the juice.
To make a super antioxidant juice, blend the following ingredients well in your juicer:
- 6 carrots
- 1/2 cleaned small beet
- 1/2 to 1 inch cut of fresh ginger root
- 1/2 lemon
There are a few important things to remember regarding the use of beets in juicing. Start with small beets that are firm and healthy looking. Raw beets cause some people to break out in hives, so it is better to start with less and add more. You can back the recipe down to 1/2 of beet to begin with. Raw Beets can be difficult to digest when introduced into your diet.
Beets are very nutritional foods, but adding them to your diet should be done incrementally. The addition of raw beets to your diet can also tint your urine and stool red. Beets are also very high in fiber, another good reason to introduce them gradually into your diet.
Here’s the nutrition facts for beets:
Once you develop a tolerance for beets added to other juices, you can begin to add beats to a variety of juice mixes. One of the easiest and most tolerable juice mixes combines beets and apples.
To make a sweeter yet, more potent beat juice combine the following in your juicer:
- 3 – 4 apples (depending on size)
- 1 small beat
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup of yellow raisins
Homemade celery juice
Celery is high in magnesium and nutrients that help strengthen the body’s immune system at the cellular level. Pure celery juice can be made by juicing a stalk of celery. However, most people find it more palatable to add a citrus fruit with the celery.
I use the following ingredients in celery juice:
- 1 cleaned medium stalk of celeries
- 1 orange peeled
Add a tangerine or 1/4 pineapple for an extra twist.
If you prefer a spicy drink add a small tomato and 1/4 piece of your favorite pepper. Take it as hot as you like it, or use mild pepper for flavor.
As you can see homemade juicing is easy. The keys to successfully preparing healthy, high antioxidant homemade vegetable juices is using a good juicer and being bold enough to experiment by adding additional fruits and vegetables to create a homemade juice that satisfies your palate and nutritional needs.