If you have or acquire a juicer, how do you prevent it from being just another appliance taking up space? It takes a bit of commitment at first, but then it becomes a habit. Soon enough, you won't know how you lived without it. Beyond the benefits of the ultra fresh nutrients in your glass, it just tastes so good.

Keep it out, keep it clean

Yes, I know: One more piece of clutter on the countertop. But it's not technically clutter if you use it frequently. And if keeping it out is what keeps you using it, I say keep it out.

Additionally, keep your juicer clean. Wash it soon after use so pulps and sugars don't dry onto key parts and thus make it harder to clean. And if your juicer is always clean and ready to go, you're more likely to use it.

Follow directions for your juicer

No matter what fruits and vegetables you choose, make sure to clean them well prior to juicing. And most important, follow directions and suggestions for your particular juicer to properly prepare and/or chop ingredients for the best juicing results.

Stock up on suitable juicing ingredients

Great juice ingredients aren't just fruits; veggies also work very well. My husband's favorite is fresh carrot juice, and if we've just pulled them from the garden, all the better. A great secret is the slightly-past-prime cart at the back of the market's produce section. With every weekly grocery trip, I stop there to see what's available. This is produce that is slightly past top condition and maybe doesn't look perfect anymore, but it's not rotting and is still very tasty. Perfect for juicing!

The best fruits and vegetables for the juicer

Keep in mind that bananas and sometimes peaches tend not to juice very well - they muck up the juicer - but I've done quite fine with plums. Here is a delicious array of other fruits and vegetables to consider for your juicer.

Fruits to consider:

  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Cherries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew melon
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Coconut
  • Pomegranate

Veggies to consider:

  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Celery
  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnip
  • Cucumber
  • Asparagus

Other flavor additions:

  • Ginger
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey, but just a touch, if you need a little extra sweetness

Combinations of these ingredients will leave you experimenting for a very long time. And after juicing, you can turn to the blender to make smoothies with your fresh juice and a little yogurt.

Think beyond the glass

Sure, your fresh juices are delicious straight out of the machine, but having a juicer is about more than just juice. What about making sorbets from your juice? Popsicles for the kids? Or ice cubes for summer beverages? Consider new juice combinations for some very gourmet cocktails. Make marinades or soups -- either sweet summer soups served cold or savory winter soups served warm.

Juicer recipes

Quick and Cool Carrot Ginger Soup

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh carrot juice pressed with fresh ginger
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Chives for garnishDirections:
Combine the carrot juice and yogurt. Chill. Serve garnished with fresh chopped chives.

Fresh Juice Sorbet

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh fruit juice, with lemon
3/4 to 1 cup sugar, depending on the sweetness of the juice

Directions:
1. Combine the juice and sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

2. Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream machine, and follow the manufacturer's instructions to churn until frozen.

3. Scoop the frozen sorbet into an airtight container and freeze 2 to 3 hours before serving.

More on juice

Cranberry juice for health
Purple carrot juice for little ones
Bom Dia Acai Juice