Seasonal fruit and succulent veg, zingy citrus, fresh herbs and spices… our new organic juicing box is brimming with all you need to make at least 3 litres of organic juice. With such a rainbow of squeezable things at your fingertips, the possible mixes are endless.
Here is our chefs’ guide to juicing, to help you make the most of all that good stuff.
If you’re completely new to juicing, start by squeezing a few things separately then mixing, rather than trying to judge a harmonious blend straight into the glass. This also lets you taste the individual flavours; you can’t rely on vegetables’ cooked taste as a strict frame of reference for their juice.
The key to a good blend is well balanced flavours. Start with the premise that what works well on the plate – beetroot and orange, apple and celery, cucumber and mint – will also work in the glass, and build from there using this flavour guide.
Mild ingredients such as apple, celery, cucumber, courgette, lettuce and melon form the base of your juice. They tend to yield large amounts of liquid, and act as a carrier for brasher flavours.
Most people’s favourite flavour, found in most fruits and some veg (e.g. parsnips and carrots). Don’t be tempted to go too sweet; it’s much more satisfying when tempered with other, more complex flavours.
Bitter veg such as dark leaves and brassicas definitely taste like they’re doing you good, but needn’t be taken as punishment. Combine with something sharp or sweet to round off their harsher edges.
A hint of something sharp can do wonders to pep up a juice. Too much will make you wince, but a well-judged squeeze of lemon or lime is a good foil for excessive sweetness or bitterness.
A deep, sturdy flavour found in most roots, especially carrots and beetroots. The right complementary flavours can really make it sing – try beetroot and orange, or carrot, apple and ginger.
Fresh greens herbs and spices, such as mint, parsley, turmeric and ginger, can be very dominating. Use cautiously, as a garnish to your juice.
It’s not just about flavour…
As well as a good flavour, you need enough liquid to make a decent drink. Some things yield a small amount of strong-tasting juice (e.g. kale, parsnips); others produce a larger volume with a milder flavour (e.g. cucumber, lettuce, melon). Try to choose at least one high-yielding ingredient.
A photogenic juice is not your main aim, but it is worth remembering you colour charts from primary school. If you’re aiming for a certain hue, try to keep things in roughly the same spectrum. If all goes brown and murky, just add beetroot.
Thicken it up
Bananas and avocados are far too soft and mushy to juice; blend them into your juice instead.
Whatever the blend, these hints will come in handy.
- As we are organic, there’s no worry of chemicals or wax on the skins, so most things can be juiced without peeling. Just take off any strong-tasting peel (e.g. citrus), or very tough skins that might challenge your juicer (e.g. melon or pineapple).
- Greens are best tightly rolled before putting them in the juicer.
- Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t try to force through too much, too fast.
- Don’t forget to taste, tweak, and taste again, just as you would when cooking.
- Finish with a high-yielding ingredient (e.g. cucumber) to wash through any trapped flavours.
- Depending on the oomph of your juicer, it may be worth re-juicing the pulp to see if you can extract a few last drops.
- Drink your juice as soon as possible. It will last up to 2 days in the fridge, but starts to oxidise and lose nutritional value quickly.
- Compost your pulp. You could plant some veg in the results and juice that, too; a perfect circle.
We hope these tips inspire you to become a mad juice scientist, creating your own colourful concoctions. Also try chef Bob’s juicing recipes, updated every week to reflect what’s in the box.