One of the best ways to utilize all the great CSA produce we get is by juicing it! When you juice fresh produce, it extracts the nutrients from the plants to help you get the maximum amount of nutrients without having to eat (or cook) all of those vegetables. While it might be nearly impossible to eat an entire bunch of kale in one sitting, you can easily consume all of those vital nutrients, and then some, by drinking it as fresh juice. It is important to try to drink the juice within 10 minutes of extracting it, before the live enzymes in the juice die.
A juice fast can be amazing for your body. During a juice fast, you press fresh juices throughout the day, instead of eating. This gives your digestive system a break by removing fiber from the equation, so your body does not have to work as hard to deliver essential nutrients (although drinking fiber can be very beneficial if you choose to blend your veggies as I discussed in my article last month on smoothies).
An effective juice fast consists primarily of veggie juices. As a general rule of thumb, fruit juice or sweet veggie juice, like carrots, should only make up about a third of your glass — the rest should be all leafy greens and green vegetables. The main purpose of juicing some fruit or sweet veggies is to make the more bitter vegetable juice more palatable. However, if you are in the mood for a decadent treat, try some straight carrot or watermelon juice. They are delicious and two of my favorite juices when I am feeling indulgent.
Of course, it is not recommended to attempt a juice fast on your own if you have any serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, etc. If you do have a medical condition, please consult your doctor before beginning a juice fast. Fasting is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing. Further, people with diabetes should be careful not to drink too much fruit or sweet vegetable juice, as they do contain a higher quantity of natural sugar.
For inspiration, I highly recommend seeing the film, “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead,” about one man’s journey to regain his health through a long-term juice fast. His name is Joe Cross and he has ignited a global juicing trend through this documentary and his health education/inspiration website: Reboot with Joe.
Below is my own recipe that I devised using some of the CSA produce we have gotten this season. I was pleasantly surprised by how good rhubarb juice is — like a tangy celery juice! When juicing beets, do not use more than a half of a large beet, since they can be a little hard on your kidneys when consumed in excess. That said, beet juice is great for you, especially for women’s reproductive health.
Apple Rhubarb Delight
1 large bunch of kale
5 stalks of rhubarb
Thoroughly wash all produce then extract. Only juice the rhubarb stalks one at a time because they have a stringy fiber that can clog the juicer if you do too much at once.