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Nebraska Furniture Mart | December 16, 2017

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How Juicers & Blenders Can Help Boost Your Veggie Intake

Juicer with fruit
Rayme Wells

One of my recent goals has been to eat more fruits and vegetables. So far, I’ve discovered that I like beets and Napa cabbage, and I am starting to warm up to watermelon, especially since I found out about all the vitamins in it.

Smoothies are great for increasing my fruit, and I’m even thinking of trying out juicing to include more vegetables in my diet. Right now, all I have to work with is a food processor. To meet my fruit and vegetable consumption goals I may need to upgrade. I’ve made smoothies with a food processor, but when I go to pour my smoothie out of the wide processor into a narrow cup, let’s just say things get sticky — literally. Blenders and juicers are made for drinks, so they are easier to use.

When it comes to smoothies, sometimes I just throw in some yogurt and frozen fruit and call it good when I find the right thickness. On the other hand, recipes are great for trying new things. Since I’ve never used a juicer, I am going to need some ideas to start me out. A local restaurant has been offering some new drinks that I love, and I have been searching for similar recipes to try making at home.

Here are two recipes I’m excited about. (Keep in mind that everyone’s tastes are different, and market produce quality can vary, but it is pretty easy to modify the thickness or flavor levels by adding things like additional yogurt, honey, sugar, juice, water, flaxseed, protein powder and so on.)

 

Power Gulp Juice Recipe

I originally found this recipe on health.com and made a few changes to it.

  • 1 cup sliced kale (about 3 large leaves) or spinach
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into chunks
  • ¾ cup pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a blender, combine kale, grapes, cucumber, apple and water. Blend until smooth. Strain juice as needed.

 

Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie Recipe

This recipe is an adaptation of one I found on allrecipes.com.

  • 1 ½ cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 ½ cups diced frozen or fresh watermelon
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

 

Have you thought about buying a blender or juicer?

If you are like me, you may be fascinated by the Omega 8005 Nutrition Center Juicer, which works efficiently on a low speed to avoid heating the juice. This adds to the shelf life of the juice and also makes it less frothy. This juicer can even make nut butters, baby foods and soy milk. I have never in my life thought of making my own soy milk (I don’t even like soy milk), but somehow I still feel a little bit excited, just knowing that I could make it with this juicer if I wanted to!

Another option is the dual speed, high capacity Mega Mouth Juicer, a continuous pulp-ejection style juicer with an extra-large feed chute so you can use bigger pieces of those fruits and vegetables — or just put in the whole thing, if there are no seeds to worry about. This is perfect for someone who wants to spend less time cutting up the ingredients.

Hamilton Beach Juicer and fruit

 

What about blenders? If you wish you could get a quiet blender that wouldn’t wake the baby or drown out the television, the commercial grade Blendtec Professional 800 Blender will make your dreams come true. It operates at the sound level of normal conversation.

And if you need both a blender and a food processor, good news: you can get two appliances in one! I love combinations like this that save space in the kitchen. The Ninja Mega Kitchen System has two interchangeable tops, to blend or process, and you can even mix dough. You can also make juice with this one (three-in-one!), but it will be a thicker juice, with fiber. That is actually much better for you, but not everyone likes the “pulp” in their juice, so keep that in mind.

Maybe all you need is a small, quick and easy blender so you can make some healthy refreshments just for yourself. The Original Magic Bullet Blender can make that a simple process, and it’s compact enough to take to work, which might help keep you away from that vending machine.

If you’re ready to boost your fruit and vegetable intake, blenders and juicers can be valuable tools to help you meet those health goals. I am definitely looking forward to experimenting with different flavors by mixing in things like ginger or cayenne pepper for a little kick in my juices! Now all I have to do is choose a machine…

Ninja Blender and fruit

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