Let’s Talk About Juice, Baby!

image credit: trupastilla on Flickr.

Let’s talk about juice. Your kids love it, but you know it’s loaded with sugar. Also, it generates a ton of waste — those juiceboxes, plastic bottles, and cartons are just about the least fun things to crush down into the recycling bin. But the only alternative is to start making your own. So, is juicing really worth it?

Health blog editor Corinne Bowen did the math, and her green juice topped out at about $2.25 US a day. However, purchasing a juicer can be a significant investment, and as Trent Hamm at the Christian Science Monitor points out, that investment only bears fruit (pun intended) if you use your juicer regularly. If it takes too much time or effort to clean up after each juicing session, you’ll probably give it up after a few weeks. Hamm’s own solution to his family’s clean-up problem was to invest in a blender and fill it with ice cubes in order to get a more liquid drink.

Whether you like your juices silky or chewy, here are some questions to ask yourself before investing in a juicer or blender:

  • How much juice do you actually drink? If you’re looking for a way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet but prefer salad to shakes, it might be best just to stick with what you know.
  • How many fruits and vegetables do you actually like? Hiding some new greens in a shake is a great way to introduce yourself or your kids to new things while also getting some good nutrition, but it’s important to start from a base of ingredients that you like and build from there.
  • Do you have a great green market nearby? The difference between good juice and great juice is great produce. If you aren’t ready to buy produce regularly because you have a tiny fridge, or you’re isolated from a good market, now may not be the time.
  • How much time do you have in the morning? Can you organize your fridge or freezer to support this healthy habit? Keeping chopped fruit and vegetables on hand can greatly reduce the time spent cutting and paring and peeling in the morning, and if you do a bunch ahead of time and freeze it with some soy milk in freezer bags, you can be set up for multiple meals.
  • Did you ever make your own baby food? If so, how often? Blending your own baby food is no different from making your own juice. If you did one in the past, you can do the same now, and in greater quantity with a greater diversity of flavour.