Juicing is a great way to get in your fruits and vegetables in a simple, healthy way. This guide to juicing will tell you everything you need to know to get started.

A Guide to Juicing
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Chances are if you’re giving any thought to juicing, it’s now. With the New Year upon us, our health usually becomes one of our biggest priorities and juicing is a great complement to that.

Eight years ago on our honeymoon in Tahiti, we drank fresh pineapple juice that was probably the best liquid anything I’ve ever consumed. Wanting to recreate that when we got home, I bought a juicer and starting juicing. I can’t say the pineapple juice ever tasted as good as it did in Tahiti (we’ll just have to go back one day for that), but it got me hooked on fresh juice and all the endless possibilities out there.

That said, there are a few things you should keep in mind while juicing so you’re not left with a bitter, too-vegetably (if you want that – try making your own homemade V8 juice) or, overly sweet juice. It’s a bit more complex than throwing all the produce from your fridge in and hoping for the best.

So let’s get started on this guide to juicing.

A Guide to Juicing


While you could always use a blender and then run the mixture through a sieve to extract just the juice, juicing does require specialized equipment. I personally have the Breville compact juice fountain and really like it. It’s compact (hence the name) and so as far juicers go, it takes up minimal space. It’s easy to clean, and everything can go in the dishwasher but I won’t be one of those people that lies and says it’s not annoying sometimes. Reality is, it is kinda annoying to clean a juicer but that’s just a fact of juicing. Either accept that or just don’t juice.


Juicing, unlike healthy smoothies, separates the pulp and therefore the fiber (don’t throw it away though, there are lots of things you can use the pulp for like blending into a smoothie or baking it into things like these pineapple carrot cake muffins) from the fruits and vegetables and just leaves you with the juice. While everyone needs fiber, juicing leaves you with a concentrated glass of nutrients. Those nutrients, since they’re in a liquid state, are also absorbed by your body a lot quicker than if you were to eat all the ingredients prior to juicing. Juice can be very calorie dense so it can be a great option when you’re not feeling particularly hungry, like when you’re sick. However, juicing won’t keep you feeling full very long even though it can be calorie dense, something that can be both good or bad depending on the situation.


Knowing how to put a good juice together is crucial to enjoying juicing. The right balance of base vegetables, green leafy vegetables, fruits and other add-ins is necessary for a good tasting glass.

Juicing base

Celery and/or cucumbers, my preference being cucumbers, are great bases for juicing. They have a high water content without a really distinct taste and will help fill up your glass without a ton of calories.

Green leafy vegetables for juicing

After the base, I like to add 2-3 green leafy vegetables for nutrition to my juices. Options here are spinach, lettuce, kale even dandelion.

Fruit for juicing

Fruit is what is going to give you sweetness and the most flavor to your juice. I happen to love green apples, pears, pineapple when I have it and any citrus for this. While not really a fruit, carrots are great for sweetness too. In fact, carrots and orange is one of my favorite combinations.

Other juicing add-ins

For an earthy vibe, I’ll add beets to my juice. They also make a great addition to healthy smoothies like in this blueberry beet smoothie. When I want something spicy, a chunk of ginger root is perfect. Fresh herbs like parsley are another great add-in for a finishing touch.


One of the best things about juicing is that you don’t have to peel or prep any of the fruit or vegetables. Since the fibrous stuff gets separated from the juice there’s just no need. Since this is the case though, buying as much organic produce as possible is something to consider when juicing. I don’t buy everything organic but when I plan to juice, I’ll be mindful of it or at least of the “dirty dozen”.

Juicing Recipes

Here are a few great juice recipes to get you started:

How to make your own V8 juice (while this recipe isn’t for a juicer, you could absolutely make it that way!)

A mason jar with a v8 drink and garnishes.

Ginger beet juice


Sippable orange sunshine


Green goblin apple juice


Sparkling citrus pineapple ginger mocktail


Check out more guide posts like these:
A Guide To Strawberries
A Guide To Peaches
A Guide To Apples
A Guide to Winter Squash

And these Spring Vegetable Guides too:
A Guide To Leeks, A Guide To Peas, A Guide To Asparagus, A Guide To Radishes, A Guide To Artichokes

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. Yes, I agree with Gina. I love the method. But with my juice I always use the pulp. The pulp is a great source of fiber so I put a spoonful or two back into my juice. Or use the pulp for a great mock tuna salad by just adding some healthy dressing.

  2. I love the juicing method. I can get all the necessary nutrients with one simple juice. Thanks for the tips, Gina.

  3. I go througrh phases with juicing. I had a machine I got out from the basement and left it sitting in the kitchen and haven’t used for a while (while I was going through my smoothie phase). Anyways, great recipes. I’ll have to break out the machine again and give it a whirl. My biggest complaint has always been the clean-up, but I guess that’s a small price to pay for your health!

  4. This is super helpful. I have been wanting to give this a try to get a little healthier this year!

  5. This could not have come at the perfect time! I have been looking at juicers the past few days and I feel lost as I dont have the slightest clue where to start. So thank you and can’t wait to start a healthy 2015!

  6. I just tried my first homemade juice this Christmas and my sister just got her own juicer so I’m going to share this post with her! Great tips and recipes!

  7. I have that same juicer, it’s great!! It’s been a while since I’ve pulled it out..my kids love juicing with me, it’s such a great way to get a ton of extra veggies in. Great post Gina!