Whether you blend juice at home or spend big dollars purchasing pre-juiced green sludge by the pint from your local commune, it’s safe to say a lot of us are fans of juicing. We may do it for our health, as a cleanse, or simply as an easy way to get our daily allotment of greens.
While we’ve gotten used to the idea of adding such initially unappetizing items such as kale, spinach, spirulina, ginger and even blue-green algae into the mix, there are certain ingredients we just don’t consider “juice-able.”
Well, some juicers have taken the idea of “endless possibilities” to heart and even begun exploring the capabilities of unusual juicing ingredients as there are lots of beneficial nutrients in less than sexy produce.
Here are seven not-so-Jamba-friendly ingredients getting juiced. Decide for yourself whether you want to throw them in your next blend.
Ginger often gets thrown into juices for spice, so why should horseradish – which is related to wasabi, mustard, and cabbage – get excluded? With compounds that aid your liver in detoxifying the body of carcinogens, this earthy, spicy root goes great with beets, parsley, and other greens.
2. Bee Pollen
While we tend to think first of honey when bees come to mind, the pollen they gather, which is used to feed their young, is also a nutritional powerhouse.
Because it’s used to help bees grow, it’s full of protein, sugars, fatty acids and various other nutrients. Since it’s also made up of many varieties of fungi and bacteria, it’s not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
As part of the lily family, which also includes garlic, onion is most nutritious when served raw. While this can be harsh for some, blending it with a wide assortment of other ingredients is a great way to mask the flavor.
Packing such goodness as flavonoids and biotin, and with a variety of types to use including purple, red, yellow, and green, the whole rainbow makes for some curious combinations with various veggies.
4. Dandelion Greens
Before you get ahead of yourself, don’t start plucking weeds from your front lawn due to pesticides. Also, note that those who do juice dandelion greens do not juice the yellow flower.
When used for juicing, the weed’s green leaves alone are plucked and ultimately digested for health benefits including detoxification, allergy relief and blood sugar normalization. You can pick them up at local health food grocery stores.
Coming soon to your local juice bar – fungi juice? Mushrooms get used in juice for their high levels of protein, lower calorie count, and various medicinal properties. The method for juicing them usually consists of steaming them first before pressing them into a sieve to extract the juice.
Organically grown ones are preferred, as they’re less likely to have traces of pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
6. Sea Vegetables
Varieties of ocean-grown algae (aka seaweed) are no strangers to the green smoothie. The most popular used are kelp, nori, dulse, wakame, kombu and hijiki. Typically purchased in powder form, these greens come packed with micro nutrients as well as magnesium, potassium, iodine and B vitamins.
7. Brewers Yeast
Brewers yeast is just what it sounds like, the yeast used for beer making, but unlike the live yeast needed for brewing, nutritional brewers yeast has been “deactivated” (i.e., killed).
Slightly bitter, but with a nutty flavor, brewers yeast powder comes packed with protein, chromium and a handful of B vitamins, but should be avoided by anyone who may have a sensitivity to yeast.