Trying new vegetables and consuming them as a way of improving your health as well as helping improve a specific medical condition, is the main reason people start juicing vegetables. It is fun discovering and trying new vegetables, especially when you don’t have to cook them to enjoy their benefits.
There is much to be said about the benefits of raw vegetables, especially in terms of nutrition and the more variety you can find, the better. It is well-known that fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, are full of phytonutrients, however some vegetables are easier to prepare than others. The following vegetables are grouped so that beginner vegetable juicers can find the easiest ones to prepare.
Vegetables to Slice and Dice
You can slice and chop the following vegetables into chunks that will fit into the feed chute of your juicer.
Cabbage – take the outer leaves from green and red cabbages and chop them to fit your feed chute
Broccoli – you can juice the stalks and head. Start with the bottom of the stalks first because they are excellent to help move other produce through the juicer. When adding the heads to the chute, be sure to cover the shoot so that tiny florets don’t escape.
Radishes – take off any leaves before adding to the feed chute
Vegetables to Juice Without Peeling
Carrots – no need to peel them, just rub and scrub. The green tops should always be removed because they contain toxic substances. Simply run them straight into the feed chute.
Asparagus – a quick trim of the raw edges on the bottom of each stalk is all that is required
Parsnips – rub, scrub and rinse then slice in half lengthwise before running them through the juicer.
Celery – slice the stalks into two-inch lengths and the leaves are OK to go in as well. Celery is fibrous and stringy which can become caught in the juicer, unlike carrots and parsnips, so slicing into short lengths is necessary.
Summer squash and zucchini – just remove the stems and feed them into the juicer.
Turnips – rub, scrub and chop however rutabagas usually come with a waxy coating, so it is best to peel them.
Sweet potatoes – rub, scrub and rinse before chopping into chunks.
Vegetables with Seeds
Some vegetables with seeds are safe to use in your juicer.
Tomatoes – remove leaves and stem then slice into chunks to fit the feed chute of your juicer, leaving seeds.
Butternut squash – peeling isn’t necessary unless the skin is very tough but you only need to slice it into chute sized chunks, again keeping the seeds.
Red, green and yellow bell peppers – simply remove stems and slice to fit the feed chute. The seeds are fine to include.
Cucumbers – the seeds are fine to juice and unless the skin is waxed, there is no need to peel the skin. Slice into chunks.
Vegetables to Wash Scrub and Peel
Jicama – unless you are someone who likes to leave the peel on, jicama is generally peeled
Beets (aka beetroot) – simply wash, scrub and peel. Juicing the leaves is OK too.
Vegetables With Grit to Remove
You don’t want to eat grit …
Collard greens, Romaine lettuce, kale, spinach– rinse carefully to remove grit before patting dry. Then juice the leaves and stems
Leeks – juice the white root/bulb and most of the green leaves after carefully separating and rinsing all layers. You can slice them lengthwise before rinsing.
Chard (aka Swiss chard or silver beet) – treat the same as collard greens
Even if you are using organic vegetables, you should still follow the guidelines above as well, as always, wash all produce prior to juicing to remove grit, dirt and bacteria. If you follow these guidelines when starting out with juicing vegetables, you’ll have fun experimenting with a variety of taste sensations.