Fads come and go, but the 2013 juicing craze is showing little sign of waning. Alongside diamond-encrusted phones, cups of green sludge are proving to be the celeb accessories du jour. Jessica Alba is a fan and is said to have used juicing to help shed her baby weight, while Nicole Richie has said she’s a “juice fanatic” – but where does their zest for colourful concoctions come from?
Juicing involves extracting the water and nutrients from fruit and vegetables while getting rid of any tough fibre. When fruit and veg are consumed in liquid form they’re easily digested and their nutrients are quickly absorbed. It’s different from blending or pulping, which typically leave a gloopy mess of fruit fibres, and the health benefits – a tasty, easy-to-drink shot of vitamins and fibre – would appear to make it a no-brainer.
Let’s face it, would you really eat two apples, a bunch of carrots, curly kale, several oranges, ginger and a handful of spinach in a typical day? Probably not! Peeling, chopping and cooking are done away with once you start juicing.
Be warned, however, that it’s not all good news! Drinking too much juice may cause you to put weight on! It’s harder to judge the calorie content of liquids, and fruit juice in particular is often high in sugar – it can take less than a minute to drink 150 calories’ worth – so it’s really important to check the label before downing cartons of the stuff. Bottled juices can easily contain 15.7g of sugar per 100ml, almost 50 per cent more than the 10.6g found in 100ml of Coke!
This doesn’t deter some of Dubai’s biggest juicing advocates, including the girls at Detox Delight, a firm that supplies nutritionally balanced meals to time-poor residents who want to maintain a healthy diet.
“Of course the contents of your juice have to be well thought out,” says the firm’s founder, Nicole Junghaenel. “If you are going to solely drink high-sugar juices, you will put on weight. Our juice recipes are devised by nutritionists in Germany to ensure everything is well balanced.”
Weight loss seems to be a popular reason for using the service. “About 40 per cent of our clients come to us because they want to lose weight,” Nicole adds. “Our super-green juices are particularly popular because they are primarily made from green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, so they contain fewer calories than our fruit juices.”
For Wiebke Katsoudas, the co-founder of Dubai fresh drink firm Essentially, it wasn’t weight worries but fatigue that made her turn to juicing. “I’d just had a baby and was struggling to juggle motherhood and a full-time job – I was exhausted,” she says.
On a trip to California – ‘the motherland of juicing’ – she discovered the answer to her tiredness lay in a bottle of spinach and carrot. “In LA, a freshly squeezed juice has fast replaced the latte as the grab-and-go drink, and I think only it’s a matter of time before the UAE community adopts the same habit,” she says.
Do it yourself
Of course, Essentially and Detox Delight are experts in this field. Essentially claims its juice contains between 1.5kg and 2kg of organic veggies and fruit, and their cold-press method is said to extract three to five times more vitamin, mineral and enzyme content than that produced by a standard juicer.
Of course, few of us have the time, money or space for an industrial juicer on our kitchen counter, so buying the best one you can afford is your best bet. Most juice enthusiasts have a centrifugal juicer – the one with the feed tube that pushes your ingredients onto a serrated spinning blade. They’re super-fast and perfect for people who want to juice every day. The next most important aspect is ingredients – ideally organic – and then a good variety of recipes. Once you’ve made it a habit, you’ll feel the benefits in no time.
Top Juicing Tips
• Buy the best juicer you can afford: The top-selling model in Europe is the Philips HR1871 Extractor, Dhs899 at Sharaf DG.
• Use good-quality ingredients: The fresher they are, the better – and organic is best. RIPE can deliver to addresses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (04 379 0441, www.ripeme.com); Greenheart (056 640 7060, www.greenheartuae.com) and Organic Foods & Café (04 338 2911, www.organicfoodsand café.com) are also specialists.
• Don’t clog the machine: The fibres of some soft fruit, such as pineapples, can get stuck in the juicer’s serrated grate, so don’t add those until last.
• Buy a strong scrubbing brush: Make sure you clean your juicer properly. Pay particular attention to the mesh and filter so they doesn’t get blocked.
• Line the juice bin: Use a small plastic bag to catch the pulp. This will save time on cleaning later on.
• Consume it immediately: Drinks made in a juicer have a shorter shelf life than bottled or cold-pressed ones, so don’t leave them lying around!
Can’t be bothered to juice? Get the experts to do it!
Have fresh juice delivered to your door each morning by two of Dubai’s biggest juicing companies.
Essentially: Offers five nutrient-rich packages, each containing four delicious juices with fun names such as ‘Skinny Jeans’ or ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’ – just choose the one that fits your mood. We love the Green Addiction package, described as ‘liquid sunshine in a bottle’. Alternatively, choose from a menu of seven juices. One of our favourites is Red Roots, made up of beetroot, carrot, apple, orange, celery and ginger. This powerful elixir is claimed to be great for building cells and detoxification. We feel healthier just thinking about it!
INFO: Daily supplement packages from Dhs199 for four juices, 04 889 5753, www.essentially.ae
Detox Delight: This company offers a number of customised detox programmes featuring a daily dose of drinks containing 1,000 to 1,500 calories a day. The latest offering is the Super Green Delight, developed to restore the acid-alkali balance in the body and to achieve an extremely deep level of detox. It floods the body with chlorophyll, the natural green-coloured pigment that enables plants to absorb the sun’s energy. Some programmes also include vegan meals for those not ready to adopt a liquid-only diet. Detox Delight will roll out more juices early in 2014.
INFO: A three-day detox programme starts from Dhs1,120. Call 055 883 5072 or 055 556 8318, www.detox-delight.ae
Ahlan!’s Top 3 Recipes
This vitamin C-rich elixir is great for staving-off colds and is full of dietary fibre. And the ginger is a natural antibiotic.
1 inch of fresh root ginger
2 ice cubes
Crème de la Crème
This creamy concoction is full of goodness and flavour and will really fill you up, fending-off those mid-morning cravings.
1 avocado – blended
½ stick of celery
2 ice cubes
Green for Go
This juice will certainly give you a zing. Drink just one of these a day and you will get more fresh nutrients than some people consume in a week!
1 stick celery
1 cup spinach
6 green apples
¼ lime, peeled
13mm fresh ginger