Juices and smoothies are packed with essential, reenergizing vitamins and nutrients. But when bottled juices and smoothies are just too expensive or are not the right combination of ingredients, they don’t make it into shoppers’ grocery carts. Why not make them yourself? When you’re staring into the deep abyss known as the aisles of your local grocery store unsure what to do next, follow these tips from Kim Dionisio, owner of Swami Juice in Armature Works and South Tampa.
Buy the right machinery.
For smoothies, a simple blender will do the trick. For juicing, there are two main processes, according to Dionisio. Hot press is what your generic tabletop juicing machine does, while cold press is more high-end. Cold press uses a hydraulic press system in which fruits and veggies are ground into a pulp and then pressed by a hydraulic system. “The tabletop juicer is centrifugal,” Dionisio says. “It whips the pulp into the sides before it presses, so there’s a lot more heat and more oxidation. With a hydraulic press, you’re containing the raw nutrients.”
Know your palate
Dionisio recommends starting off with something sweet, then move onto the more bitter green juices. “I always give the analogy that it’s like coffee,” Dionisio says. “When you first start drinking coffee, you like to add a lot of sugar. So when people start juicing, they gravitate toward the sweeter, fruitier options.”
Stock up on superfoods
Superfoods like bee pollen, chia seeds, goji berries, hemp seeds or protein, spirulina, and flax seeds are key ingredients in any juice or smoothie, along with foods rich in antioxidants or vibrant in color, like acai and dragonfruit. “Make sure you use high quality ingredients,” Dionisio says. “There’s a difference between raw cacao and cocoa powder.” Dionisio recommends mixing five to 10 super foods in each drink. Use frozen fruits for smoothies; for juice, both fresh and frozen will work.
Add beneficial supplements to make your drink a meal replacement
Dionisio suggests beginning smoothies with a base of coconut water or almond milk. To ensure your drink fills you up, Dionisio likes adding supplements and proteins, such as almond or peanut butter, hemp protein, chia, hemp or flax seeds, or maca root. For juicing, it is important to use many materials to get a rich juice. At Swami Juice, each bottle requires 3 to 5 pounds of veggies and fruits.