Put down the box of store bought juice and start making your own. Lawsuits have been coming left and right over the last few years against some of the most popular brand names for questionable labeling practices, and ingredients. There is no need to waste money on sub-par products. With the right equipment and just a few ingredients your home made concoctions will blow the store bought options out of the water.
Fresh juices are also a great compliment to most meals, or as a snack in between. Note that I said compliment, not replacement. Just because you juice doesn't mean you should give up solid foods. The whole produce contains fiber, and many other nutrients.
Even though consuming the whole food is best, juicing can have a place in your diet for two main reasons.
1) You're looking for an extra way to consume vegetables while you are transitioning to a new diet, or your current diet isn't optimal.
2) Green juices are especially beneficial when you are feeling under the weather. Drinking just the liquid will allow your body to easily absorb the vital nutrients without having to work hard digesting the fiber.
I like to keep my combinations simple with the least amount of ingredients as possible. It takes long enough to prep the vegetables and clean the juicer afterwards that coming up with complicated recipes is a hassle.
The amount of each ingredient you will need will highly vary depending on the kind of juicer you have. Centrifuge juicers will require the most amount of raw vegetables because they can’t grind the pulp as well as masticating juicers.
This is why most juice recipes that call for specific amounts of ingredients may not work for your family.
The freshness of the raw produce and the equipment play a big role. I’m currently using an Omega 8006 and I'm very happy with it. It has been able to handle everything I through in there, even wheatgrass. Yes, you will have to chop the produce into fairly small pieces to make them fit, but it's worth it. Here is my favorite source for juicer reviews.
I tend to choose ingredients that are the most nutrient dense and that kids are willing to drink instead of chew (such as kale). Cucumbers and celery are very popular as the main ingredient, but I’d rather spend the money on produce that kids will least likely eat raw.
Also, to keep the sugar content in check make vegetables the highest percentage of volume instead of fruit.
My favorite flavor combination is:
1 bunch of kale
1-2 green apples
1 inch of ginger
This usually makes 3 servings
The classic green juice recipe made famous in the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead is:
6 kale leaves
4 celery stalks
2 green apples
1 inch of fresh ginger