I want to talk about juicing and making smoothies. I have long been a fan of both these methods of getting more fruits and vegetables in your diet.
First, the difference between the two. Smoothies are made in my Vitamix. You can use a regular blender but I found out right away that the Vitamix is much more powerful and efficient for hard products like beets or carrots. With smoothies, you get fiber. Not so with juicing, which removes everything except the juice.
There are two types of juicers, fast force and masticating. The fast force is much faster but you get more pulp and less juice. The masticating juicers are more expensive but extract more juice and supposedly last longer than the fast force type. For years, I have used the Breville top of the line fast force model. It has served me well after much use. I recently bought a Tribest Green Star Juicer, after weeks of scouring the internet reading reviews and articles on the different masticating juicers. I really, really didn't want to spend the big bucks that it cost. But after several weeks or more of using it, I'm glad I did. In the long run, I will save on produce because the Tribest extracts more juice from less fruits and vegetables than the fast force Breville. You can feel the difference in the dryness of the pulp coming out of the Tribest versus the wet feel of the pulp from the Breville.
I LOVE the Tribest. The only negative I have is the cleaning. It is tedious to clean, but not difficult. There are more pieces to clean than with the Breville. There is a slight learning curve in using it. Assembly and disassembly, from the standpoint of having more pieces to connect, can be a challenge. I am just now getting to the point where I can do an assembly and take down without the instruction manual in front of me!
Another advantage of the masticating juicers, you can store part or all of the juice in the refrigerator for a day or two, in an airtight bottle or container. I often get quite a lot of juice - more than I want to drink at one time, so this feature is good for me.
Recipes? Truthfully, with the Vitamix, I simply dump whatever veggies and fruits I want to use into it. Add a small amount of water if I think it needs it and let 'er rip! Usually, it is something like spinach (or kale or beet roots) and a banana, apple, and kiwi fruit. Almost any combination you use provides a very tasty and nutrition packed drink. Sometimes if you look at the things you put in, you may think, "this isn't going to be good." Trust me, it will!
For juicing, I have a handful of very good cookbooks with 5 star recipes so I tend to follow a recipe. One of these - it's hard to say which is my favorite, they are all excellent - is The Juice Lover's Big Book of Juices. It's funny. The day I bought it, I sat down and went through it ooing and ahhing over all the recipes and I marked many that I wanted to try. I got past the first three. I've made each of them so many times that I just never got to the rest! Now that's the sign of a great recipe!
Bottom line, juicing and smoothies provide your body with more nutrition than what most people would eat in a day. It provides variety. I grew up with the usual eggs, bacon, toast for breakfast, a sandwich or soup for lunch, and meat, potatoes and a vegetable for dinner. How boring!
Here are just two of my favorite recipes. I've found with the Tribest, I can cut back on the amounts given.
Beet Slinger: 1 beet, 3 apples, and 6 large carrots
Veggie Starlet: 2 apples, 1 beet, 4 carrots, 2 celery stalks, and 4 sprigs of fresh parsley
The above recipes, in my Tribest, yield 12 to 16 ounces of juice, closer to the 16.