Juice cleanse. Doesn’t that phrase seem familiar? From stars to nutrition experts to talk shows and diet books, the juice cleanse is a hot food fad right now. And a lot of these cleanses recommend cold-pressed juices. Which leads us to the question, what are cold-pressed juices and are they really that good for us?
What are normal juices?
Normal tetra pack juices from the store aren’t fresh – and this might seem obvious to some, but do you know that it can be six to 12 months from juicing to pasteurization and storage to consumption? Which is why most juices have an expiry date; they’re filled with preservatives and chemicals that ensure they’re not spoiled. And yes, juices are pasteurised too – they’re brought to a high temperature, then cooled down. Preservatives are added during this process to ensure that harmful bacteria doesn’t form and that the juice stays drinkable till its expiry date.
What are cold-pressed juices?
Cold-pressed juices are made by using the maximum pressure to extract the most liquid from fresh fruits and vegetables, without any heat or oxygen at all. This means that the valuable enzymes, vitamins, minerals and friendly bacteria normally present in those fruits and veggies are also present in cold-pressed juices, and for up to three days, to boot. Cold-pressed juices are meant to be consumed much more quickly, within three days at the most, as they are absolutely free of preservatives, more natural and thus healthier for you.
What are the benefits of cold-pressed juice?
- Quick nutrition: You can very quickly consume all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants like flavonoids, hydration and nutrition, as in the fruits and veggies, in a few sips.
- Convenience and portability: Need a quick shot of nutrition when you’re at work? Want a snack that can be prepared beforehand and also be healthy? Cold-pressed juices are your answer.
- Feel satiated: Juices help you feel fuller as they have almost next to no fat. A juice is a great nutritional supplement between meals, especially if combined with a superfood like chia seeds.
How can I get cold-pressed juices at home?
Okay, let’s say this up front. Professional-grade cold-press juicers are EXPENSIVE. And we really don’t recommend spending that kind of money unless you won the lottery or you already know that cold-pressed juices are essential to your way of life. Till then, we’d say that you use a blender and strain the pulp out. A little more tedious? Yes, but totally worth it in terms of cost, knowing how fresh your juice is and being able to juice what veggies you want. Here are our tips to get juicin’!
- Start with fruits:If you’re a beginner, blend both fruits and veggies in equal quantities, for a touch of sweetness in your juice. Slowly, depend more on nutrient-dense vegetables, leafy greens and root veggies, with citrus or fruits used only for sweetening. The ideal is juices that are green to give you a power-packed dose of health.
- Prepare your produce the night before: Figure out the combinations of veggies and fruits that work for you and prep them the night before. You can even blend them and leave in the fridge to strain overnight. This way, you’ll wake up to sparkling, chilled, cold-pressed juice.
- Choose wisely: Watery fruits and veggies like citrus fruits, apples watermelons and cucumbers give you more juice, and more bang for your buck. Spinach, tomatoes, zucchini and even pumpkin and gourds are a good option. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper and you’ll have a tangy treat.
- Reuse the pulp: Leftover pulp? Make ice lollies. Or add to smoothies and soups for extra fibre.
- Lemon juice + ginger + pinch of turmeric
- Carrot + apple or beetroot + spinach
- Watermelon + cucumber + mint leaves