New and Trendy- Cold Pressed Juices
While I was writing my upcoming post about plant- based cooking I was sipping on one of my homemade juices. It was cold, refreshing and so delicious that I decided to squeeze in a few new juice recipes before finishing my baking post.
A few months ago I purchased a new juicer here in Australia. It is a centrifugal juicer, not particularly fancy, but it works well and I am quite happy with it- except that cleaning the different parts takes quite a while. Recently, I realized that there is quite some controversy over what juicing system to use or whether one method of juicing is superior to others. I think this debate started with the development and increasing popularity of so called cold pressing juicers. I wanted to get to the bottom of this and did some research that I wanted to share with you.
Needless to say, making your own juice at home is better than going to the store to buy juice laden with sugar and artificial substances. When you are making your own juice, you know exactly what you are consuming and where the ingredients are coming from. I prefer seasonal, local and if possible organic produce (see one of my previous posts about organic versus non- organic foods). Also, any distributed juices are required by the FDA to be pasteurized for maximum shelf life. Pasteurization involves heating the juice and then cooling it during the manufacturing process to kill unwanted bacteria. Another pasteurization process has evolved using pressure instead of heat. This is called HPP, or High Pressure Pasteurization. Unfortunately, pasteurization also breaks down important vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are essential in the digestion process and our overall health.
The most common method of juicing, at home or in juice bars, is with a centrifugal or a rotary juicer which use a high speed rotating blade. During this process heat is generated which causes the vital elements that you want to extract to denature. For that reason it is recommended to consume these juices right away.
So how does the method of cold pressing fruits and vegetables work?
So called vertical slow juicers are being used to extract the juice. They gently but firmly crush and squeeze everything – from fruit, vegetables and wheat grass to soaked soybeans and nuts. They are amongst the quickest and easiest juicers to use because food is simply dropped down the feeding chute where the auger bites and pulls it in. Unlike all other juicer types, you don’t have to push food onto an auger, cutter, twin gears or a spinning grater and hold the tamper down while you wait for them to process it.
Numerous websites, groups and companies support the claim that cold pressing juicers retain living enzymes and produce more nutrients than their faster spinning relatives. Still, I have not yet found sufficient scientific evidence that this claim is true. Obviously, I am not the only one who is looking for more evidence on this matter-I stumbled upon a website which sole purpose is to scientifically compare the different juicing techniques and nutrient contents. Here is the link in case you want to check it out: http://www.juicingscience.co.uk/
Some time ago, I read out of interest a book by the highly controversial Dr. Max Gerson, founder of The Gerson Therapy. Because of my medical background (MD and DMD) I was very sceptical before reading the book but I was also curious about his treatments using juices. To my surprise, I was fascinated by his career and some of his findings. I firmly believe that we completely under estimate the capacity and the impact of food on our bodies and our health. I hope that more research on nutrition and health will shed more light on the connection between them. Until then, I will keep my heat producing juicer and blender.
In essence: As long as you consume juices and smoothies as part of a diet rich in diverse whole plant-based foods it probably is of minor importance if the last living enzyme is extracted from a fruit or vegetable. Still, the easiest way to avoid this dilemma is by simply eating the entire fruit or vegetable.
In spite of these last words, I still provide you with three delicious juice recipes…enjoy!
orange goodness in a bottle… http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=3446
green goodness in a bottle… http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=3448
red goodness in a bottle… http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=3444
The more colourful your food is, the more variety of nutrients your body will get… plus, it’s going to look pretty. Enjoy your juice!