Juicing Veggies with Kids Part 2
In my last post, I shared research on the health benefits of juicing veggies, as well as kids & their taste buds. In part two of this series, I give you my tried and tested juicing tips. I’ll touch on what to look for when choosing a juicer, as well as helpful insights to juicing veggies with kids.
The Right Juicer for Juicing Veggies
So you read my last post and now you’re feeling motivated to start juicing veggies. Right? The only issue is that you aren’t sure how to get started. Well, what’s great about juicing is you only need a juicer, fresh produce and a favorite recipe!
If you already have a juicer, awesome, you’re all set! If you don’t, you may want to consider some of the below points when purchasing your juicer. Let me preface this section by emphasizing that it’s better to juice (with whatever type of juicer you have) then not to juice at all. With that being said, it’s important to know that different juicers produce varying qualities of juice.
If you are new to juicing, then you may not be aware that there are two different types of juicers on the market: masticating juicers (single or double auger) and centrifugal juicers.
Masticating juicers have an auger that rotates slowly, crushing veggies and fruits as it does so. They operate between 80-120 RPM (revolutions per minute). Centrifugal juicers have a fast spinning blade, cutting veggies and fruits while quickly spinning to separate the juice from the pulp. They operate between 3,500-16,000 RPM.
While centrifugal juicers are more mainstream and generally less expensive, I find that a masticating juicer is the best route especially for juicing veggies (check out some reasons below).
Masticating juicers, unlike centrifugal ones, run at a lower speed. This reduces heat build up and oxidation (both detrimental to the quality of your juice). Thus with a masticating juicer, you’re preserving the quality of your juice and its nutrients.
In addition, a low speed allows masticating juicers to easily handle leafy greens and wheatgrass (both high in chlorophyll). If you’re juicing for health and wellness, you’ll definitely want to juice leafy greens and consider juicing wheatgrass.
Lastly, a low speed means that masticating juicers run quietly since there isn’t a fast spinning and noisy blade (a really nice feature especially in the mornings).
High Juice Yield
When compared with centrifugal juicers, slow masticating juicers produce more juice, less foam and a dryer pulp. On average, it seems like masticating juicers produce about 20% more juice than centrifugal juicers. Your higher juice yield also translates into wasting less produce. Saving feels good!
Easier Clean Up
Masticating juicers are typically easier to clean than centrifugal juicers (and we all know that we are more likely to do something when it’s easier). Moreover, single auger masticating juicers are easier to clean than double auger ones. With a single auger masticating juicer, you simply have to rinse off the parts and gently brush them. Conversely, a centrifugal juicer requires intense scrubbing of the mesh filter (imagine a tiny mesh filter that is full of pulp, ugh).
Masticating juicers come with different attachments so you can make nut butters, sorbets, baby foods, homemade pastas and other goodies! It’s a pretty awesome bonus.
Is it clear that I’m in love with my juicer yet?
While there are many different types of slow masticating juicers, I use the Omega J8006 and love it for all of the reasons I listed above. Additionally, it’s safe for children to use and super sturdy. I’ve had it for over six years now and it still feels brand new. I also love this specific juicer because it uses a horizontal auger and never experiences clogging (this can be an issue with some vertical auger juicers).
I also recommend checking out the Omega NC900HDC, which is a bit of an upgrade to the Omega J8006.
So you have all the info and are ready to purchase your juicer. Now what?
Tips for Juicing Veggies with Kids
If you’re new to juicing, the below tips will prove helpful in getting started.
Think of juicing as another way to get kids involved in the kitchen. Tell them the game plan and explain that they’ll be helping too. Children can help by washing fruits and veggies, chopping as needed and using the tamper to push them down the chute. They can even help with clean up since it’s so easy! Depending on age and time constraints choose an appropriate task so that they (and you) don’t feel rushed.
Drink juices on an empty stomach. Try having the whole family start the day on fresh juice before breakfast or as an afternoon snack. A morning juice definitely gives you some extra energy and makes you feel like a rock star.
Start with less bitter greens and more fruits and veggies that have high sugar content like carrots and apples. I also recommend using cucumbers, which have a very high juice yield and make a refreshing juice. With time, you will slowly start to introduce more greens into the juice and reduce the amount of sweet fruits and veggies. This way you are acknowledging children’s natural inclination to sweet and slowly easing them into green juice.
Start off with smaller quantities of juice and build children up to more juice over time. Juice is packed with nutrition and a small amount goes a long way, especially on a tiny body. Never force children to finish their juice (or food for that matter). They know how much they can handle. Plus, forcing any type of food or drink on a child can have some long lasting effects that leave children unwilling to eat those foods even in their adult years.
Keep it simple. When juicing for kids, 2-3 ingredients is a good place to start. You can always make their juice first and then make your own juice with more ingredients. Also, be mindful that kids taste more intensely than adults do (as we age, our taste buds stop regenerating and our sense of smell dulls). For children who find the taste too strong, you can dilute their juice with water.
Juices are best to drink immediately after juicing. They are tasty, still cold and most importantly you’ll get the full nutrition from the veggies and fruits. When juice is exposed to air it starts to lose its nutritional value quickly (think of a chopped apple or greens left on the counter). Some say that juice from a masticating juicer can be left in the fridge for one day, but I advise against this. You can try it and compare fresh juice to day old juice. You’ll immediately see and taste the difference.
Switch it up and make it fun. Trying different juices is enjoyable in the same way making different meals is. It gets boring when it’s always the same thing. Work with kids to create new juice recipes with fruits and veggies they have never tried! Encourage them to develop their own juice recipes solo. You can also speak about different fruits and veggies, how they grow and what their health benefits are. Getting kids involved in this way makes it fun for them and also has some awesome learning moments!
I would love to hear from you! If you already juice with your kids, what works best in your home? If you’re new to juicing, what has your experience been like so far?
Keep well, S
This post contains affiliate links meaning I earn a small commission if you use those links. I only recommend products and brands I use and trust.