Wednesday, July 11, 2012

SUPER Juice... Inspired by Rhubarb Crisp

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It all started late one night when I stumbled upon a movie titled Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead on Netflix.  Being the nutrition freak I am I was glued to the movie from start to finish.  Before watching, I had heard a little bit about juicing and green drinks here and there.  I had made a few smoothies with spinach, but I'd never really gotten into the whole juicing thing. 

After doing a little more research about the nutritional benefits of juicing and picking up a book at the library called The Juicing Bible, I had to get myself a juicer.  There are a lot of different juicers out there and the prices range from about $30 to $100 or more.  Of course, being the poor college student that I am, I went for the $30 juicer and hoped for the best.  Turns out it works great!  It might not be as efficient as a more expensive juicer, but for a beginner like me it works just fine. 

In the movie, the guy went on a two month juicing fast, lost a ton of weight, and got rid of almost all his medications for his various illnesses.  It was such a success story they now have juicing plans on their website for others to follow.  I won't go into all the benefits of juicing or what it exactly does for your body today for times sake, but I encourage you to do a little of your own researching.

Not being worried about losing weight, I decided to just start incorporating1-2 juices a day in my diet for the extra nutrients.  So far I've tried a few different juices, but the one I am going to share with you today is one of my favorites.  I got my inspiration for this juice from one of my favorite summer time desserts...rhubarb crisp.  Yummy! 
The color of this is a little deceiving...  It tastes way better than it looks I promise! 

1/2 cup Rhubarb (Special thanks to the Karsten family for the fresh rhubarb!)
1 medium Apple
1 cup Spinach
1/2 a Cucumber (or another cup of spinach)
2 medium Carrots
1 cm Ginger root
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
1/3-1/2 scoop Vanilla Protein powder (optional)
Looks like a lot of food for one snack huh?  You lose a lot of the bulk in the juicing process though.  However, don't worry about being wasteful!  You can save the pulp to sneak in other recipes for a nutritional boost. Hopefully I will be posting some ways to do that soon. :)
1. Prepare rhubarb, apple, spinach, cucumber, carrots, and ginger for the juicer.
2. Juice the ingredients listed in step 1.
3. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and protein powder to the juice and mix well.  I like to shake mine in a closed container with some ice.
4. Serve immediately to get the most out of the micronutrients in the juice (they tend to lose their potency once exposed to light and air).  You can add additional water to the juice if you want to thin it out a little.  I usually add 1/2-1 cup of water to mine with some ice to make it super cold.
Alternate Directions:
1. Prepare all ingredients for blending.  Chop the bigger ingredients into 1-2 inch chunks so they blend better.
2. Blend everything except cinnamon, nutmeg, and protein powder in a high speed blender.
3. Strain the juice from the pulp with a small holed colander or cheesecloth.  Make sure to really squeeze the pulp dry to get all the juice out.
4. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and protein powder to the juice and mix well.
5. Serve immediately with ice and additional water if you want.
Makes 1 large cup of juice.
Nutrition Facts:
I can't exactly calculate the nutrition facts for the juice due to all the pulp lost in the juicing.  I can assure you though that this is one of the healthiest juices you will ever drink!  Your body will thank you I promise. :)
Here's a quick list of the benefits of juicing these ingredients:
- Antimicrobial
- Promotes digestion
- Relieves nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Helps body use insulin more efficiently
- Antioxidant
- Anti-nausea
- Relieves headaches and arthritis
- Anti-inflammatory
- Circulatory stimulant
- Guards against blood clots
- Prevents vomiting
- Antioxidant
- Increases nutrient absorption
- Increases action of gall bladder
- Protects liver from toxins
- Prevents formation of ulcers
- Anti-inflammatory
- Digestive stimulant
- Helps with colic, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, muscle tension
- Helps cleanse the body
- Aids in digestion
- Good source of vitamin A, C, and B
- High in pectin which helps lower cholesterol and prevent colon cancer
- High in boron which helps prevent calcium loss that leads to osteoporosis and stimulates electrical activity of the brain which increases the ability to work quickly and efficiently
- High in potassium, iron, and surprisingly calcium
- Antioxidant
- Anti-cancer
- Artery protecting
- Immune boosting
- Anti-bacterial
- Lowers blood cholesterol
- Prevents constipation
- Rich in vitamin A, B, and C, iron, calcium, and potassium
- Cleansing effect on the liver and digestive system
- Help prevent kidney stones
- Relieves arthritis and gout
- Enhance mental functioning
- Moderate source of vitamin A, iron, and potassium
- Contains sterols which help reduce cholesterol
- Anti-cancer
- Helps memory
- Antioxidant
- Anti-cataracts
- Anti-anemia
- Promotes healing
- Good source of choline which helps brain functioning
- Good source of folic acid which is great for pregnant women and helps protect our heart
- High in vitamin E, C, and A, calcium, iron, protein, and potassium
Ok that wasn't so quick, but the list of health benefits I found in The Juicing Bible was pretty extensive compared to this!

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