Naturally, after my first juicer purchase, I felt the immediate need to stock my entire refrigerator with fresh produce. This is no doubt how juicing earned its reputation for being expensive. I wasted a lot of money… and a lot of produce on my early grocery shopping trips, but, you don’t have to.
A Basic Shopping List:
Included at the bottom of this page is a printable grocery list of the most commonly juiced fruits and vegetables. To get started, you only need a handful of items to create many delicious, well-rounded, healthy juice recipes. Though I usually use the same base ingredients for most of my juicing, I always add other items into the mix. I think it is especially important to keep your juice ingredients in rotation so you don’t end up juicing the same things all the time. From a cost perspective, many of the ingredients used for juicing can be used for everyday cooking and snacking too, so there’s rarely any waste. You just find yourself eating healthier when you have a nice variety of produce on hand.
Here are my base ingredients. These are my key ingredients I keep stocked at all times. Where noted, I buy organic because pesticide levels in some produce is reportedly high. Though typically, the cost is slightly more, there are only certain items I strictly buy organic, so, that extra cost is really nominal.
You can add apples to most your juice recipes to offset bitter and add a little sweetness. Apples fit in with just about any juice recipe and they keep well in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. I prefer organically grown apples because traditionally grown apples may be one of the most potentially pesticide laden fruits.
Celery adds a nice salty flavor to any vegetable juice recipe. Celery is an alkalizing food that has a wide array of essential minerals. For about a dollar extra, I spring for the organic celery over traditionally grown because of the potential for residual pesticide contamination. If wrapped in paper towel, celery should stay crispy and green in your refrigerator for two to three weeks.
As I write this, I find it difficult to refrain from dashing off to make fresh glass of carrot juice. So, I will keep this short. For me, carrots are the superfood that I use as a base ingredient in nearly all my juice recipes. In addition to all the wonderful nutritional benefits carrots have to offer, they are one of my favorites because they are easy to store, easy to juice and easy to consume. Plus, carrots are inexpensive and available year-round. Carrots will normally keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. Just be sure to remove the carrot greens before storing to prevent your carrots from wilting.
I’m never without lemon. This is an ingredient I use in most of my juice recipes. In green drinks that turn out too strong, lemon juice might “fix” the taste without the need for a sweeter, corrective ingredient like apple juice. Lemons are also favorite of mine because they are one of the more alkalizing foods. While lemons themselves are acidic, they become an alkaline forming substance when consumed, and this may have a positive pH lowering effect on the body. Lemons and limes are a low sugar fruits, so you can use them without too much worry about weight gain or blood sugar spikes.
Once you establish your base ingredients list, consider adding cucumbers, beets, ginger, parsley and kale/chard/spinach to the list. Because of their strength, ginger, parsley and beets can be used sparingly. In economical terms, that means just a little parsley, beets and ginger can go a long way.
Juicing Does not Have to be Expensive
In the examples above, I used typical prices from my neighborhood grocery store. Even with organic apples and celery on the list, all seven pounds of produce purchased was still under fifteen dollars. Add that these items will likely stay fresh in the refrigerator for about two weeks and often used on their own as healthy snacks or for use in other recipes. That makes these basic juicing ingredients versatile and affordable.
Growing your Own to Save Green
I have a small backyard garden where I grow kale, cucumbers, spinach broccoli, beets, tomatoes, etc.. My small garden provides plenty of additional juicing ingredients for a good part of the year and saves me a quite a bit of money. Personally, of all the vegetables, I have found kale to be best home-grown juicing crop since it tolerates frost nearly as well as an evergreen shrub. While that may be a slight exaggeration, it’s a fact that kale develops the best flavor after it endures a good frost. Even though I live in Indiana, and the winters get cold, I have juiced fresh kale from the garden all the way into January.
Grocery List for Fruits and VegetablesClick print icon to create your grocery list
Did I miss any of your favorite juicing ingredients? If so, please drop me a line in the comments section below.