This post comes to us courtesy of Joe Cross, founder of Reboot Your Life.
Do you think juicing has to stop when the winter comes? Not at all! Cold weather crops, cold storage and produce from warmer regions around the U.S. make winter juicing just as great as juicing in the summer. In fact, every season offers its own delicious opportunities to make fresh juice.
Winter squash, sweet potatoes, beets, endive, celery, cabbage, brussel sprouts, celery, collard greens, bok choy, kale, pears, apples and leeks are just a handful of the seasonal delights of winter juicing. These fruits and vegetables all have tremendous benefits.
Beets, for example, are amazingly rich in red/purple color, which lets us know they are a potent source of antioxidants. Beets are also credited with liver protective properties. They contain nitrate compounds that can help improve cardiovascular endurance and improve blood pressure. Beets are a deliciously sweet vegetable that taste great in juice. Besides the popular red beets, there are also more mildly flavored golden beets which are great for juicing.
Kale is another winter juicing staple — as cooler weather keeps it sweet. It is an especially nutrient-dense vegetable with many potent micronutrients. Kale is a member of the famous cruciferous vegetable family; cruciferous veggies can help promote liver detoxification and have been shown to have cancer fighting properties. It’s rich in calcium, lutein, iron, and vitamins A, C and K. Kale has seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli and ten times more lutein. When you’re buying kale, you should look for dark colored bunches with small and medium sized leaves.
If you need a bit of warming up, winter soups can do the trick and help add a little variety to the juicing routine. Below are two of my favorite winter recipes. More recipes can be found at Reboot Your Life.
6 leaves Swiss chard (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 inch ginger root
Wash the ingredients well, then cut them up as needed to fit through the chute of your juicer. Juice the ingredients in the order listed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately. Serves 1.
Sweet Potato and Bok Choy Soup
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 leeks, white part only, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 medium carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
2 celery stalks, diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs parsley
1 tsp. salt
4 cups water
1 large bok choy or 3 baby bok choy, cleaned and torn into pieces
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, leeks, garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until the vegetables soften, about 3 minutes.
Add the carrots, celery, sweet potato, thyme, parsley and salt and sauté 3 minutes.
Add the water and increase the heat to high. Bring the mixture to a boil, then return to a simmer and cook until the vegetables soften, about 30 minutes. Stir in the bok choy and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the pepper and any additional salt if necessary. Remove the thyme and parsley sprigs and serve. Makes 4 servings.
About the author: Founder of Reboot Your Life – a health and wellness company that provides tools and information to support diets rich in fruits and vegetables (www.jointhereboot.com).