I’m gearing up to teach a juicing workshop in November and thinking about the last one I presented at Life’s Journey Yoga & Wellness Center in Orange Park, FL.
At the upcoming workshop, I’m excited to be featuring the Omega Vert VRT350 masticating juicer to teach and demonstrate the differences between a masticating and centrifugal juicer.
“A masticating juicer is especially good at juicing the very important green leafy vegetables such as wheatgrass, spinach, parsley, cilantro, kale, Swiss Chard, etc.,” JuicingBook.com explains. “While a centrifugal juicer can juice green leafy vegetables, the centrifugal juicer is nowhere near as efficient as a masticating juicer in this regard.”
“Most juicers process at a speed of 1,650 to 16,000 RPM, destroying many healthy enzymes and causing juice to degrade shortly after being extracted,” says OmegaJuicers.com. “The Vert VRT350 Low Speed Juicing System processes at 80 RPM, preventing oxidation and allowing juice to be stored for up to 72 hours without degradation.”
For maximum juicing benefits, “the highest degree of extraction and the healthiest possible juice” is what the Vert VRT350 was designed to provide.
I’m delighted to share this type of juice from this type of juicer at my next workshop.
Let the juicing begin!
Tasty Liquid Greens
During the opening of the last workshop I taught, I invited participants to introduce themselves and share their objectives for attending the event.
“I just want a green drink that tastes good,” exclaimed an 8-year-old girl, Sam, who had come along with her mom, Jackie Morrison, YogaKids trainer and teacher. “My mom put a whole lemon in the green drink she made, and it just didn’t taste good,” Sam explained with that it-tastes-yucky expression on her face.
Considering Sam’s mom has had comprehensive training and experience in the YogaKids approach to using yoga as a springboard to educate the “whole” child, Sam was confident speaking in front of a room of adults, and she was certainly clear about what she wanted.
I knew I had to deliver if I was going to make a green juice and green smoothie believer out of this health-conscious young girl.
The Green Juice (in juicer) takes on the ‘Sam Test’
After all of the initial goals were shared by workshop participants, the time for green juicing had arrived.
The Green Juice ‘Sam Test’ was on!
As I stood behind a table lined with juicers and blenders, a group of women and one child eagerly gathered in front of me as I pressed handfuls of Russian kale leaves through the juicer followed by four or five apples and half of a lemon. I’m sure Sam was relieved to see that, unlike her mom, I didn’t use a whole lemon.
Voilà! A green drink — a green lemonade of sorts — transformed from the whole food that had gone through the juicer.
Sam and the others loved it.
What a relief that this green juice passed the test for Sam!
The Green Smoothie (in blender)
A demonstration of a green smoothie was up next. After pushing the juicer aside for a bit, another of my favorite pieces of kitchen equipment would take center stage, BlendTec Total Blender.
The concept of the green smoothie is to blend dark, leafy greens and fruit.
The fruit disguises the taste of the greens.
Parents across the country are using green smoothies to get more nutrition via greens into the little tummies in their homes.
The shade of green will vary with the green smoothie depending on the greens and fruit used to make it. However, if parents should need to disguise the green color, it’s nothing that a couple of handfuls or so of blueberries can’t fix. The blueberries turn the smoothie a purplish color.
During the workshop demo, I loaded my BlendTec container with kale leaves, approximately three bananas, a tablespoon of Garden of Life’s cold-pressed coconut oil, about a cup of water, and a tablespoon of honey. Of course, the green smoothie turned out thicker than the green juice we had made, and the thicker texture was the preference of one of the participants.
On the other hand, while Sam enjoyed the smoothie, the green juice was still at the top of her list.
What’s your child’s preference?
After the juicing and blending demonstrations, the workshop turned completely hands-on for all with juicers and blenders operating at the same time.
Prior to that, the group had gone produce shopping in another area of the building where a friend and I had set up a “Farmers’ Market” of sorts. Workshop participants were instructed to pick whatever produce they wanted to combine in the juicer or blender. This produce “shopping experience” was designed to be a teachable moment to explain food combinations that work best — or not — in the juicer and/or blender.
This same “Farmers’ Market” concept could be a fun experience for parents to explore with their children at home or at the actual market or grocery store.
Parents, invite your children to select produce they would want to juice or blend. If juicing is their preference, teach them that apple is the only fruit that should be juiced with veggies. (There’s a different “combining” philosophy when it comes to the green smoothie, which will be explained more in another article.)
As far as juicing goes, JuicingBook.com explains: “For the most part, vegetables require different enzymes for digestion than fruits. Therefore, we don’t combine fruits and vegetables. But apples are the one fruit you can combine with your vegetables.”
In “The Juiceman’s Power of Juicing,” Jay Kordich says: “Always, always, always mix green juices with a more palatable and milder juice such as carrot or apple, otherwise you may experience temporary gastric discomfort. Green juices are made from nearly anything green,” he says, “spinach, broccoli, kale, lettuce, wheatgrass, parsley. Celery and cucumbers are the exceptions. Only a quarter of the glass should be filled with green juice. The rest must be carrot or apple, or sometimes celery.”
The day after the workshop, Gina Marinaccio, a workshop participant, sent a note to me that said: “I swear my skin looked better last night and today.”
“The pure foods make your skin glow, your hair shine, your breath fresh, and your entire system so regulated you will never have to give it another thought,” Kordich explains. “Drinking freshly made juices and eating enough whole foods to provide adequate fiber is a sensible approach to a healthful diet.
But incorporating juice into your life does so much more.
The abundance of live, uncooked foods flushes your body of toxins, leaving you feeling refreshed, energized, and relaxed all at the same time.”