Zingy Kale Salad Juice

Are you ready to ditch the festive food yet and get healthy again? 

I am.

Food is a real problem for me when all the family get together. My juicing routine is interrupted and meals take so much time and preparation that I end up compromising and eating things I know are going to leave me feeling uncomfortable if not in great pain.

Yesterday was one of those days.

With a houseful of meat-loving teenagers, there are only so many times you can get away with vegan nut roast or pizza, fruit salad, and raw chocolate treats, before you have a mutiny on your hands. So yesterday, their final lunch was fish and chips from the local chip shop! There was no time for juicing or making salads as they were on a tight timetable for their journey home. I ended up having a few chips, my first potatoes of any kind for 18 months. They were crisp and freshly made and tasted good with Himalayan pink salt. I ate them slowly and mindfully. I asked them to be kind.

Those few chips caused me so much heartburn and acid reflux, I was in pain all night and had no sleep! What’s more, the skin on the back of my hand began to itch (see How I Juiced My Skin Clear: A Rash Decision?).

This morning, I decided that was it. Back on the juice.

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This is one of my husband’s concoctions. It’s a throwback to summer days in the garden. Sometimes you have to take a deep breath, hold your nose and cross your fingers, but this turned out really well!

Wash all the ingredients, keep the peel on unless you’re using a waxed lemon, in which case pare it very thinly to leave as much pith as possible, this is where the micro-nutrients live and we need them in the juice. It helps the kale to go through the juicer more easily if you chop it roughly and feed it through in scrunched-up batches between apple and cucumber. Feed the lemon in with another item and leave the celery to last if your juicer doesn’t cope with it too well.

This juice has protein, antioxidants, B vitamins, healthy omega fats, electrolytes, fibre and is hydrating and good for your skin.

Ingredients

Large handful of Kale

2 Apples

Half an unwaxed Lemon with peel

3″ Cucumber

1 Stalk of Celery

Handful of Green Beans

1/4 of Avocado

Wash and juice everything except the avocado which is blended into the juice.

(Begin with apple and end with apple for best results).

You can chop and freeze the remainder of the avocado to use for future blended juices or in guacamole etc.

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Juicing in the garden during the late summer while hb mends bikes – it’s his thing. It’s very messy and that’s as close as he gets!

Copyright: Chris McGowan

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Winter Beetroot Wonder-Juice: Refreshing, Nutritious, Simple

img_2479This was a leftover juice in the sense that there were bits of veggies left over just before shopping day and they were put together to produce this very refreshing juice, full of nutrients to help you withstand the Winter bugs.

Together these ingredients have antioxidants, are anti-inflammatory and are good for your blood and circulation; they contain minerals such as calcium, potassium and iron, protein, soluble fibre, they are hydrating and their combined juice tastes good too.

If you’d like to read more about the many health benefits of turmeric, click here or for beetroot, read Make Beetroot Your New Veg Friend! (Juice Recipe Included)

I have kept the fruit to a minimum as I’ve been working on achieving the optimum balance of 80% veggies to 20% fruit to maintain good digestion and blood sugar regulation – the carrot and beetroot are sweet, however if you require it to be a little sweeter, add another apple.

Ingredients

(organic, washed, peel left on, quantities approximate)

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1 Apple

1 good-sized Carrot

1 1/2 Sticks of Celery

Small Beetroot

2″ Cucumber

3″ Broccoli stem

Small piece of Turmeric

Handful of Spinach

Method

 Begin with apple and end with apple, squash the spinach leaves up and put through the juicer followed quickly by other ingredients to get the most out of them so they don’t just go straight into the pulp container.

Juice the turmeric with another ingredient for the same reason

If you want a more substantial juice, blend with a quarter of avocado which will give you extra protein, healthy fats and lots of extra vitamins and minerals. It will also keep you fuller for longer. I didn’t this time, I just wanted juice.

For more information on how to fight winter bugs, read Juicing My Way Through The Cold Wars – Update + Golden Milk Recipe

Since I’m publishing this on America’s Thanksgiving Day, I’d like to thank you all for reading and supporting my blog; I love reading your comments and questions, thank you for keeping me out of mischief!

Cheers, stay healthy!

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Copyright: Chris McGowan

This Green Juice Packs A Nutritional Punch! (Ft Jay Kordich Juicing Video)

(Please read to the end, there’s a special video feature for anyone interested in juicing).

As you know, I love juiced sweet potato, so forgive me for posting another one! Sweet potato on its own is so full of nutrients – vitamins including betacarotene, minerals, fibre, essential fatty acids – but combined with the carrot, broccoli, spinach and avocado, this blended juice packs quite a nutritional punch.

The apples add soluble fibre and all the fruit is high in vitamin C.

The broccoli and spinach are good sources of bio accessible calcium.

img_3635The avocado also provides protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, and contributes to a more satisfying, satiating juice.

These nutrient-packed, versatile fruit are very good for your skin, heart, eyes and regulating blood sugar levels. They fill you up so you don’t eat as much. I have some avocado at least once a day. It is one of those foods you could live off if you were stuck on a desert island (though when you were rescued you’d probably never want to see one again!).

This juice is high in antioxidants, helping to boost your immune system and ward off those winter viruses.

Metal straws protect your teeth when drinking juices, they are reuseable, can go in the dishwasher and don’t end up in landfill – and they’re not made of plastic, so no nasty chemicals. You can find them on Amazon, the ones I have came with their own tiny cleaning brush.

Ingredients

Sweet Potato, washed, chopped and peel left on if organic

Carrot, ditto

2 Sweet Apples, ditto

Slice of Lemon, ditto

1 Kiwi, peeled

3″ Broccoli Stem, washed

Handful of Spinach, washed

Juice all ingredients beginning with an apple and ending with an apple

 Blend with 1/4 Avocado

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Jay Kordich is known as the Father of Juicing. As a very young and athletic man he was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer. He chose to work with doctors who specialised in juice therapy. He is still alive today at the age of 93. This is his first video lecture fom 30 years ago on how to juice. I learn something from him every time I see him.

Please note he is using organic produce and using the skins. Please be sure to wash your produce thoroughly and consult your doctor if you are taking medications.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

This Spicy Watermelon & Grapefruit Juice Will Help Stave Off Those Winter Bugs!

img_1486This is such a refreshing and energising breakfast drink, the ginger gives it a little kick and you can feel it warming your insides as you drink it! It is a hydrating juice with electrolytes, antioxidants and it’s anti-inflammatory too. It’s such a vibrant colour, it makes you feel alive just looking at it!

Daily grapefruit is good for helping to prevent colds, so it’s important to add this amazing fruit to your diet at this time of year. See also  The Health Benefits of Grapefruit + Heart Healthy Wake-Up Juice Recipe for the full lowdown on why grapefruit is so good for you.

There’s also currently a lot of interest in the nutritional and health benefits of watermelon, which at 92% water you would be forgiven if you considered it merely a thirst-quencher on a warm, sunny day! However, they also contain among other things: Vitamins A, B1, B6, C, magnesium, potassium, copper, lycopene and amino acids.

According to recent research, watermelon may help prevent asthma, reduce blood pressure, prevent cancer, regulate digestion and reduce inflammation.

Children love it! If we put small chunks of watermelon on the table at mealtimes, it is always the first thing to disappear when children are around.

These ingredients make nearly 3 glasses of juice (depending on the size of the items used), so you can keep 1 or 2 in the fridge for later on if you don’t want to share!

All ingredients are organic. 

Ingredients

1/4 of a good-sized Mini Watermelon, peeled leaving as much pith as possible

Half to Whole Pink or Red Grapefruit, depending on size and how much you love grapefruit! Thinly peel leaving as much pith as possible

1.5″ Ginger Root

2 Medium Carrots, scrubbed, halved, peel left on

Juice the fruit and ginger between the carrots.

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Grip and Go Glass Bottles

Copyright: Chris McGowan

The Health Benefits of Grapefruit + Heart Healthy Wake-Up Juice Recipe

I love grapefruit, always have. As a teenager, it was always a bit hit and miss as to whether I had time for any breakfast before dashing for the last possible bus I could catch to get me to school on time, which usually meant a quick slurp of black coffee and a slice of toast and Marmite eaten on the way!

Weekends, however, I generally had time for fresh grapefruit. Even then, I preferred it raw and sugarless – and not just because I was aware of its metabolism-boosting properties and was trying to lose weight! No mucking about putting it under the grill with brown sugar as was the fad then. In those days, the only variety available was the white one.

It is only in recent years, with my penchant for home-made muesli and, later, juicing, that this juicy, tangy and beneficial fruit silently disappeared from my breakfast menu.

This all changed when a gorgeous ruby red grapefruit appeared in my organic veg box last year. (They are slightly stronger, the pink are a little sweeter) I waited and waited to have it. I wanted to savour it. It was so salivatingly juicy and well worth the anticipation.

Next time, I decided to juice it. Recipe below.

It has long been known that the nutritional content of grapefruit is good for a healthy heart and in lowering blood pressure. A diet that includes fresh red grapefruit has beneficial effects on blood lipid levels, especially triglycerides.

But grapefruit has many health benefits. The high Vitamin C content in fresh grapefruit helps with the absorption of iron and calcium and also aids in unblocking the lymphatic system. The salicylic acid in grapefruit helps to remove inorganic calcium deposits which form in joint cartilage.

Grapefruit helps curb hunger, prevent cancer and is good for the skin. It also helps prevent the build-up of fat in the liver.

A glass of grapefruit juice a day is particularly beneficial in the colder months to help prevent colds and viruses.

(Pink and Red Grapefruit have slightly higher antioxidant levels than the white).

Here is a tasty, healthy juice combining heart-healthy fruit and vegetables high in Vitamin A and C. The apple and celery in this juice help to improve kidney function. Beetroot helps with circulation and lowering blood pressure. Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-viral ingredient, which helps to prevent colds and can reduce symptoms of chronic degenerative conditions.

Heart-Healthy Wake-Up Juice

All ingredients are organic.

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NB There should be a small piece of ginger root too.

Peel a small orange and half a grapefruit leaving as much pith as possible, this is where all the micronutrients live.

Scrub the carrots, cucumber, small slice of ginger root (no idea why it’s absent in the photo!) and 2 small chioggia beetroot but keep the skin on (you can substitute with ordinary beetroot which are a little stronger). Wash the apples and keep the peel on. Wash the celery, keep any leaves on.

Begin with an apple and end with an apple when juicing to get the most out of the softer fruit.

Add ice if liked and if it’s not going to chill you to your marrow! (Writing this on a chilly Autumn morning).

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NB Some medications interact with grapefruit so please check with your doctor or pharmacist. Grapefruit contains a compound which interferes with the breakdown of certain drugs which means there can be a build-up and possible reaction.

 Copyright: Chris McGowan

Purple Carrot Powerhouse Juice

Here’s the final juice recipe in my mini series on the health benefits of Purple Carrots.

Full of antioxidants, anthocyanins – the memory boosters that give blueberries their superfood status – soluble fibre, vitamins and minerals, this juice is a nutritional powerhouse.

The carrot greens contain protein, calcium, magnesium and potassium, the broccoli contains calcium and folate – a mood enhancer – while the sweet potato also has essential fatty acids, B vitamins and Vitamin A.

Purple carrot greens have 6 times more Vitamin C than orange ones!

See Ever Had Purple Carrots? (Juice Recipe Included) for a full nutritional breakdown and the health benefits of eating purple carrots and purple foods in general.

Perfect for an energy booster and pick-me-up!

Ingredients

4 Purple Carrots, scrubbed

1 Sweet Potato, scrubbed

1 Apple

1 Pear (the harder the better)

Small Handful Carrot Greens, washed thoroughly and chopped

1/2 Small Wax-free Lemon, scrubbed, peel left on

3″ Broccoli Stem

Begin with carrots and sweet potato, then the lemon and broccoli, lastly put the carrot greens through between pear and apple to get the most juice from them and help prevent the greens clogging the juicer.

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PS If you like the Grip and Go Glass Bottle, here’s the link (can’t help you with the flowers, though!):

http://www.gripandgo.co.uk/

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Refreshing & Hydrating Papaya, Watermelon & Cucumber Juice with a Kick!

imageI came up with this combination after my Raw Island One Day Juice Cleanse (see my Review).  It is recommended that you have watermelon and papaya as your first solid food afterwards,  to reintroduce fibre, I’ve never had papaya before and I wondered what it would be like juiced. I’d read that it could be difficult to juice and bitter but I found it was neither – just be sure to remove the seeds, they taste like peppercorns! Papaya juice tastes wonderful on its own but I decided to add the other ingredients to make a post cleanse hydrating juice.

Papaya is a delicious exotic fruit that is beneficial to good imagehealth, clear skin and aids digestion. It contains an enzyme called papain that aids regularity and helps maintain a healthy digestive tract. Papaya is also high in antioxidants and B vitamins making them a good anti-inflammatory food, and full of minerals and dietary fibre.

Papaya, watermelon, cucumber and celery are wonderfully hydrating, while ginger is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-viral and adds a nice kick to the juice. Carrot adds more antioxidants and lemon adds Vitamin C which aids absorption and helps slow down oxidation of the juice.

Ingredients

1 Papaya

1/4 Mini Watermelon

4″ Cucumber

Thick Slice of Wax-free Lemon

1″ or more of Ginger

1/2 Medium to Large Carrot

Small Celery Stalk

Scrub the skin of the Papaya, Cucumber, Lemon, Carrot and Celery. Discard the Papaya seeds as these can make the juice bitter and may block up your juicer. Peel the Watermelon and discard the seeds and peel.

Juice everything, add ice if liked – and if you’re not in the depths of winter!

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Copyright: Chris McGowan

Turmeric: The Super-Supplement (Spicy Anti-Inflammatory Juice Recipe Included).

Turmeric is a member of the same family as ginger root and has many of the same health benefits. It contains iron, calcium, copper, potassium, B6, manganese and dietary fibre. It’s the spice that makes curry (and your fingers!) yellow and has been used in Indian cooking and Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

It’s active ingredient is Curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and many studies have shown it to be effective in natural treatments of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn’s Disease, for example. (Such treatments tend to use Curcumin extracts rather than turmeric on its own).

IMG_8567Current thinking holds that chronic low-level inflammation is responsible for many of the conditions prevalent in Western society: heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and many degenerative conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Curcumin has been found to fight inflammation at a molecular level and to be as effective as some prescribed medications, without having the nasty side-effects.

It is also believed that Curcumin may be effective in slowing and repairing brain-related diseases, such as depression, and age-related conditions, and there is much excitement that Curcumin may one day be an active ingredient in treating Alzheimer’s.

Some research has shown Curcumin to be effective at preventing, slowing and reducing some cancers in labs and animals and in one study of men with colon lesions, they were reduced by 40%. It seems it is particularly effective in preventing cancers of the digestive system and in treating bloating, indigestion and liver problems.

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There is much research into the clinical benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin, several studies are at the trial stage.

When using Turmeric Root or Curcumin extract, it’s advisable to take black pepper at the same time to enable optimum absorption.

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Here is a great Anti-Inflammatory Juice Recipe I call Morning Glory, I have it every morning to help prevent and reduce the symptoms of colds and viruses, reduce mucus and joint inflammation.

If you feel the first signs of a cold, try drinking this juice 2 or 3 or more times a day.

I haven’t had any colds, coughs or asthma in the 3 (now 4) years I have been juicing.

Ingredients

Hot & Spicy Anti-Inflammatory Juice

(All ingredients are organic and therefore washed and the peel kept on. If using waxed non-organic lemon, thinly pare the peel, leaving as much pith as possible, this is where the micro-nutrients are).

1 Apple

Thick Slice of Lemon

1 Carrot

2 cms (at least) Chunk of Ginger Root (depending how hot you like your juice, more if you’re hardcore or it’s a particularly thin root)

2 cms Turmeric Root

 10 cms Celery

Juice the ginger, turmeric and lemon (and finally celery) between the apple and carrot.

Then add a Twist or Two of Black Pepper and stir.

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https://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric/

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/306981.php

Copyright: Chris McGowan

My Raw Island One Day Juice Cleanse Prize – Review

Recently, I was surprised and pleased to win a giveaway prize in a Nanabar* competition. They are the world’s first organic, gluten-free nicecream bar (ie vegan), which is opening in London. Justin, the owner, ran a fun campaign to raise awareness of the opening and put together this competition as the final push.

 imageMy prize couldn’t have been more apt: a Raw Island One Day Juice Cleanse.* I was so excited. I really needed to do this as part of my cleaning-up regime – I had let things slide in the ‘taking care of me’ department. I was stressed, overtired, not sleeping and had a lot more aches and pains than normal. My digestion was poor, I felt I had too much adrenaline and needed calming down.  (See Are You In Need of an E-Break? (I am). No-Phone Sundays, Anyone? and Taking a Break to Recharge Your Batteries Can Re-Energise & Re-Inspire (Slideshow Included))

A week-long juice cleanse usually sorts me out. This one was just for a day, so I prepared well in advance to gain the most benefit from it. I wanted to cleanse mind and soul as well as body.

In the 10 days before I received the juices, I was a woman on a mission. I took extra special care over what I ate and drank. I decluttered everything in sight, sorted out desk drawers, got up-to-date with paperwork. Even the garden was cleared of dead and dying flora (courtesy of my husband) and generally tidied up. I relaxed, meditated, contemplated, while my iPad and iPhone stayed off. image

Raw Island is owned and run by sisters Sarah and Fiona Lewis. They are qualified nutritionists based in London and are only just beginning to extend their juice delivery nationwide. All my contact was with Sarah who is friendly, supportive and responded quickly to any questions I had.

Their website explains that they work on the principle that tropical fruits are better than predominantly green juices when doing a juice detoxification and their juices contain no fats or nut milks.

I was interested to see how the juices would be packed and how fresh they were; how long they would last; whether they would be large enough and substantial enough to keep hunger at bay. Would I like the taste or would they be too sweet?

The night before delivery, I made sure I went to bed early to get a good night’s rest. Of course, this didn’t happen! I felt like I was going to drop off but never quite made it – until a couple of hours before my husband got up. Not the start I hoped for.

imageBut it was a glorious morning! Clear blue skies and sun, I couldn’t have ordered a more perfect start to the day. I began my day with gratitude, then had a drink of warm water with ginger and lemon and began my preparation. I did some skin brushing with a dry loofah to improve circulation, remove dead skin cells and encourage the excretion of toxins before having a long hot shower with Dead Sea Spa Magik Shower Gel and used Dead Sea Spa Magik Mild Exfoliant on my face* (no microbeads, see my post Ditch the Plastic: Microbeads – What Are They Good For…?)

By the time I was dried and dressed, they had arrived. image

The five 500ml bottles were packed with frozen gel packs, wrapped in bubble wrap inside polystyrene and a cardboard box. They came by courier and the box was intact.

The juices come in reusable, recyclable, BPA-free plastic bottles, all numbered in the order in which they should be consumed. They needed to be used by next day as they are cold-pressed and despatched the day before delivery.

There are 2 Raw Island One Day Cleanses to choose from named 1 and 2. I chose 2, which is formulated to aid digestion, boost metabolism and support the immune system. I liked the sound of the exotic fruits and the spices.

Kick and Conquer, the first juice, and Some Like It Hot, the fourth one, were aptly named! Wow! I have ginger and turmeric every morning but Kick and Conquer was very spicy and lemony. I loved it. Some Like It Hot nearly took my head off! It has jalapeno chilli in it, which I’ve never had. When I took the first sip, I could hardly swallow it. I thought I wasn’t going to manage it. But I really wanted to complete the cleanse and I took my time, sipped slowly and gradually became used to it. I loved it.

imageIn between, there was Black Lemonade made with Red Grapes, lemon and activated charcoal – used to remove ingested poisons and chemicals in hospitals but in this instance to remove toxins. It binds to the chemicals etc and flushes them out of the system.

Take Me To The Tropics includes tropical fruit like pineapple, mango and passionfruit as well as cucumber and spinach. Again, it was very tasty and refreshing.image

All the juices were extremely flavourful, zesty and zingy – except the Vanilla Mylk which was made with medjool dates, sweet and a lovely contrast to finish with – especially after the chilli! Tart and spicy are my favourite tastes, so these were perfect for me.

The juices were more than ample, in fact I had trouble fitting them all in – I started quite late in the morning and had to stay up later than planned to fit in the fourth. I saved the Vanilla Mylk for next day. I wasn’t hungry for a second.

Would I do it again? Most definitely. I felt fantastic afterwards. No headaches – I kept well-hydrated – I slept better, felt re-energised, my eyes and skin regained their shine, I was calm and positive. Best of all, the main aspect for me when I do a juice cleanse is that the pressure and pain in my lower spine is reduced, and I found that happened even with one day of juice only.

I wanted to prolong the benefits, so next day I continued to juice but in between, as recommended, I had some watermelon to reintroduce fibre and keep hydrated, and made a smoothie with papaya – recipe coming soon. This is the end of my third day after juicing and I have had juices, a salad and home-made hummus, and some live coconut yogurt. Tomorrow I will have my first cooked meal, probably a stir-fry or maybe some soup.

Doing a juice cleanse resets your hormones, your taste buds and your desire for high carb fatty processed or sweet foods. It gives your digestion a break, nourishes your body on a cellular level and enables it to rest and repair. This is my experience, if you have never done a juice-only program before, please check with your doctor first.

Thank you to Sarah and Fiona for giving me this opportunity to try their One Day Juice Cleanse and to Justin for organising the competition. I enjoyed it immensely, it was just what I needed!

At the time of writing, the company are offering a 10% discount off your first order when you subscribe to their newletter.

*http://nana.bar/

*http://rawislandcleanse.com/

*http://www.deadseacosmetics.co.uk/dead-sea-magik-2-c.asp

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Hot, Hot, Hot Anti-Inflammatory Beetroot & Ginger Juice!

This is one of my favourites. I love ginger and have become so used to it I can stand quite a lot of it in juicies. It is anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-fungal and when used regularly it’s great for helping ward off colds and viruses, treating Candida, nausea and relieving inflammatory pain.

Inflammation has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions.

If you’re not used to it, begin with a thin slice of ginger root and gradually increase it.

Beetroot is well-known for its beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, it dilates blood vessels which improves circulation – athletes, professional cyclists and gym enthusiasts are known to employ fresh beetroot juice in their training and preparation. It’s a good source of potassium.

Freshly extracted beetroot juice has also been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol when drunk regularly.

Celery, apple and lemon provide electrolytes, so altogether this is a good juice to have when exercising.

All ingredients are organic and therefore they are just washed and the peel left on. If using waxed lemon, thinly pare the peel leaving plenty of pith, it’s where the healthy micro-nutrients are.

Ingredients

Small Beetroot

2 Carrots

2 Apples

1 Stick of Celery, chopped into 3″ pieces

Thick Slice of Lemon with peel on

Thick knob of Ginger – about 2cms x 2 cms

Juice all the items, placing the lemon and ginger between the apples and putting the celery in last to avoid it clogging up the juicer.

(The picture in the background is entitled Moths and Butterflies by Sophie Whiting).

Copyright: Chris McGowan