Friday, August 1, 2014

Going Green - The Rise And Rise Of The Green Smoothie

If you own a juicer, have invested in a high quality blender, or have an interest in improving your physical well being through nutrition and healthy eating, then you will doubtless have heard of the green smoothie phenomena. The concept of detoxing to improve health with a daily dose of green juice has been prevalent for several years now - but just who should be turning to the green stuff, why, and most importantly, how?

Who should turn to green smoothies?

The idea of a detox diet has long been popular, to allow our bodies to recover from the excesses of every day life, and the potential build up of toxins in our bodies. The traditional detox, however, brings to mind starvation rations, unpleasant tasting replacement foods and supplements, and a potentially miserable experience ultimately ending in disappointment when it is unceremoniously abandoned in favor of a proper meal.

The new green smoothie movement argues that a detox does not have to be this way. Simply incorporating green smoothies into daily life, as replacements to breakfasts and snacks, can have a beneficial effect, quashing food cravings, as well as improving the health. This can be an enormous benefit to any healthy individual looking to increase energy levels, clear their skin tone, and drop a few excess pounds.

Individuals with diabetes, or a family history of kidney stones may need to be wary of turning to green smoothies, and should certainly seek medical advice before any dramatic changes to the diet.

What are the health benefits of green smoothies?

There are many reported benefits to green smoothies, including increased nutritional intake, better intake of fiber, as well as the better hydration and energy levels available from such a naturally filling and invigorating drink. The chlorophyll in the leafy greens is reported to help naturally cleanse the body of toxins, helping the detox process along.

Green smoothies can help relieve stomach acid, and the high fiber content can help suffers of constipation and other digestive ailments. The detox process works well as it does not require replacement of meals, making it easy to stick to, and varied according to individual taste. If you are considering detoxing following more complex medical issues, such as substance addiction or abuse (where sufferers may not be mentally or physically addicted to a substance but still use it in a way that could be dangerous to themselves or others), these conditions should only be treated with professional medical advice. Green smoothies and other sensible lifestyle changes may well be a beneficial complement to medical intervention and detox in these cases, but proper diagnosis and advice is essential.

Where can I start?

Green smoothies tend to be a mix of leafy green vegetables and fruit, in a 60:40 ratio. You may want to start with a higher ratio of fruit until your palette adjusts and you find combinations of fruit and veggies that suit your taste.

Recipes for smoothies vary and should be guided by your taste, availability of fresh produce and your imagination. Smoothies should include water or dairy free milk to hydrate, fruit to taste, and leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale. When choosing green vegetables, let the seasons dictate what goes into the blender - variety helps both nutritionally and in terms of adding interest, so experiment with lettuce, zucchini, broccoli, herbs, cabbage, shoots and whatever else is in the market. When choosing fruit consider melon, pears, apples or grapes - again, allowing seasonal changes to guide your choices will ensure you don't get bored of your combinations.

Sweetness, if more is needed, could come in the form of dried fruit, and additional bulk can be added by putting oats into the mix if you are replacing a meal. Seeds can be added for the nutritional value they add, spices such as cinnamon for taste, and crushed ice to add interest to texture.

Although a variant of green smoothies can be made using a juicer, it has been found that using a blender keeps more fiber content, and therefore is nutritionally superior. Supplements to your smoothie can be purchased to add other nutritional elements to the combinations you create in your kitchen, should you feel this is beneficial as you grow in experience of smoothie making.

If the ideas above have whetted your appetite, consider buying one of the fantastic recipe books on the market for more inspiration; and enjoy experimenting with flavors.

Stick to this green smoothie habit for three weeks to see a difference, with a couple of cups a day, and you will see the impact on your health, energy levels and well being.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Heart Beet: Juicing Your Way To A Healthy Heart

Diet is one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle. If you are suffering from any illness or disease, then it's likely eating better will help to alleviate at least some of the symptoms and in some cases, such as diabetes, a healthier diet can have dramatic effects. For a condition such as heart disease, then healthier eating is paramount to recovering from the disease and enhancing quality of life, and adding years to life. Though the advice has always been to eat 5 portions of fresh fruit or vegetables a day, this can be a difficult thing to keep up, particularly if you are new to a healthy diet. Therefore, one of the best investments a person suffering from heart disease can make is purchasing a juicer. Then they can get all the nutrients they want from just a couple of glasses of fresh juice each day.

There are a number of different fresh fruits and vegetables that can help people suffering from heart disease. These can help lower blood pressure, which in turn will lower the risk for heart disease, as well as other diseases and illnesses, such as strokes. A person that has cause to worry about their heart will find that drinking a glass of juice each day can significantly lower their risk of heart disease. However, the benefits are only really found if the person drinks the juice regularly. This is one of the reasons a juicer is a good idea. For one, they can prepare their own juices, rather than constantly looking for the correct store-bought options, and two, it is far easier to drink a juice for five minutes a day than prepare a meal containing the correct portions of fruit and vegetables. Below are three different ingredients, widely available, that can be included in a homemade juice that can significantly lower your risk of heart disease.

Heart disease is not the only problem that juices of fresh fruit and vegetables can help with. Because of all the vitamins and nutrients packed into products, they can help with other problems such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis. Juices can help reduce inflammation and are rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants have been shown to help prevent damage to cells, leading to cancer.

If you are going to make a juice specifically targeted towards heart disease, then the best vegetable to choose for the juice is beetroot. Beetroot lowers blood pressure, which in turn can lower the risk of heart disease by putting less stress on the heart. Beetroot has high levels of nitrate, which is thought to be the chemical responsible for its healthy properties. Beetroot works by producing nitric oxide, which helps to keep blood vessels wide, reducing blood pressure. Though patients can also take nitrate supplements for a similar effect, the additional benefits of the other nutrients in Beetroot means that it is a far healthier alternative to supplementary vitamins. There are also no side-effects from Beetroot juice as opposed to taking high levels of medication.

If Beetroot juice doesn’t sound like your kind of thing, then pomegranate juice could also be used as a way to lower blood pressure in heart disease. Pomegranate also contains nitrates and including just a half of pomegranate in your juice each day could replace any extra nitrate medication that a person with heart disease has to take. Pomegranate tastes delicious on its own, but can be combined with blueberries for additional antioxidants and health benefits.

Cranberry is already a fruit used in juices all the time, but it is when it is on its own that the greatest benefits for your heart come through, and if you want to use a juicer at home for a better diet, it is a great addition to your menu. Cranberry juice can increase the level of HDL cholesterol in your blood system. High levels of HDL can protect against heart disease, and low levels are associated with heart problems. Choosing to juice at home is a good idea for anyone, but particularly for people who have to increase their level of fruit and vegetable intake. The nutrients available in these products are a natural way to help protect against heart disease, as well as a lot of other diseases. However, if you are planning to reduce your medications and replace them with natural produce, make sure you consult your physician first.

Contributed by Jenni Yates 

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tribest GSE-5000 Elite Twin Gear - the new Flagship of the Green Star line

The Green Star Elite GSE-5000 is the top of the line Green Star Juicer recently introduced by Tribest under the well-known Green Star brand. The 3-stage Jumbo Twin Gear technology used in the Green Star Elite GSE-5000 is new to the Green Star line and improves on the performance of the original 2-stage twin gear first made by Green Star in the 1000, 2000, 3000 and Gold systems. It operates at a powerful yet quiet 110 RPMs. The Elite can process fruits, vegetables, wheatgrass and even nuts to make all kinds of juices, sauces, baby foods, piecrusts, breadsticks, pasta and more.

Special Features of the Green Star Elite Jumbo Twin Gear Juicer

The Green Star Elite Jumbo Twin Gear Juicer is the next generation of household juicers. The twin gears are now larger in size and add a new state of the art extraction stage. While the original Green Star had two juicing stages (steps 1 and 3 below), the Green Star Elite now has the following three juicing stages:
  • Stage 1: Crushing Stage - As the produce enters the stainless steel portion of the twin gears, crushing and mastication occurs. This process breaks apart the cell membranes in the produce so that juice can be extracted.

  • Stage 2: Mixing & Rubbing Stage – A New Patent Pending feature!  Upon passing the stainless steel area, the produce passes through the first half of the acetal screw and the produce is mixed and rubbed together so the cell membranes can be easily opened. This is a revolutionary process only available with the Green Star Elite's Jumbo Twin Gears.

  • Stage 3: Squeezing Stage - The second half of the acetal screw applies extra pressure on the produce and further increases the number of opened cell membranes.

    The three juicing stages above work together synergistically and results in a higher juice yield for both hard root vegetables and soft fruits compared to the original Green Star.

    All Green Star Elite components such as the twin gear housing and outlet casing are now lighter in weight than its predecessors. The Green Star Elite GSE-5000's juicing parts are also now made heat resistant and can now be used in dishwashers!

    Cleaning up the Green Star Elite is now much easier due to the 'latch system' which makes cleaning and assembly quick and simple.

    The Green Star Elite GSE-5000 is now even safer because of the 'safety switch system' which disables operation unless the machine is fully assembled.  The result is the elimination of chances to touch the moving parts. The top cover of the Green Star Elite GSE-5000 must be removed to gain access to the moving parts and once lifted, the machine automatically shuts off!

    Using different plug types has been simplified in the Green Star Elite GSE-5000 due to its new detachable power cord.

    At Harvest Essentials, we have the Green Star Elite GSE-5000 juicer in stock and ready to ship to your doorstep. If you are concerned about price, know that there is a Green Star model that we can tailor to your price and functional needs. Our juicer consultants offer great customer service throughout the purchasing process and beyond. Contact us toll free or via email.

  • Wednesday, September 3, 2008

    Preserving Fresh Juice

    Adding lemon:
    Adding a few drops of lemon juice per ounce to your juice will help preserve the life span of your juice.
    Storing in a refrigerator:
    Fruit and vegetable juices can be preserved in the refrigerator. However, keep in mind the type of juicer you have. Most juice starts the oxidation process within 24 hours of being juiced.
    Juices from a Centrifugal juicer will not keep as long as a Single or Twin Gear juicer. Here is a timeline:
    • Centrifugal Juicers: Juice will keep for approximately 2-6 hrs. or 24 hrs. with lemon
    • Single-gear Juicers: approximately 24 hrs. or 1-2 days with lemon
    • Twin-gear Juicers: approximately 48 hrs. or 2-3 days with lemon
    Storing in the freezer:
    Fruit juices freeze better than vegetable juices. When you are done juicing your fruits you can add a few drops of lemon juice per ounce. Then place the juice in a sealable container, this will eliminate freezer burn. Frozen fruit juices will keep for several weeks. However, if you keep them any longer they will begin to go bad even while frozen.

    Freezing vegetable juices is different from Fruit juices. The liquid separates during the freezing process, but this can be used in cooking. A lot of people try blanching the vegetable juice before freezing. (this is done to stop the enzyme activity). However there are many studies that do not recommend blanching because it does significantly diminish vitamins that are stored in the food.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008

    What juicer will be best for you?

    Harvest Essentials has a wide variety of juicers. At there are different kinds, such as: Centrifugal, Single-gear, Twin-gear, etc. All of which range from $99.00 - $900.00 (for home use).

    • The first step: Why are you juicing? Determine the reason to why you are deciding to juice! Are you juicing for your health, for cooking purposes? Do you have crops that you would like to juice and store? Why are you juicing?

    • The second step: What do you want to juice? Determine the foods that you plan on juicing. Are you going to be juicing strictly fruits or do you want to juice veggies as well? What about leafy greens (wheatgrass, lettuce, parsley, etc.)? Don't forget, some juicers have pasta extruding accessories....

    • The third step: How often do you plan on juicing? Determine how often you will use the machine. Are you going to juice once a week, twice, maybe three times? Do you plan on juicing everyday, maybe even a couple times a day?

    Now that you have figured out why, what and how often you are juicing, what kind of juicer do you buy?

    Centrifugal Juicers: I recommend these if you are only going to be juicing soft fruits. Centrifugal juicers are less expensive and handy if you are in a hurry. Other than that, You are not getting the quality juice that you should from a juicer.

    Centrifugal juicers will not juice wheatgrass or any other leafy greens. Imagine putting your food on a cutting board and cutting out juice. That is how a centrifugal juicer will work.

    Single Gear Juicers: You can never go wrong with a single gear juicer. These machines will do just about anything. From fruits, veggies, leafy greens and even nut butters or sorbets. Single gear juicers we would recommend to anyone.

    Twin Gear Juicers: Twin gear juicers will do everything a Single Gear juicer will do, except for better. Twin gears will juice better and more efficiently than any other juicer.

    Please reference our Juicer Comparison Chart at:

    Also our juicer buying guide at:

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Why juice?

    A large portion of Harvest Essentials customer's are shopping for Juicers, but why juice?

    There are a lot of benefits to juicing. In an article written by Living and Raw Foods says: "Juices can flush toxins from your body, are good for your weight, heart, circulation and overall well being."

    Of course that is a broad answer to why you yourself should start juicing, so here we have laid out some great information on Juicing and why it is a good idea!
    1. Cancer/Disease - According to the American Cancer Society, cancer causes 13% of all deaths. That means in 2007 there were 7.6 million deaths in the world, all caused by cancer.

      There are many different causes of cancer and they all do take their toll on our bodies. Juicing for Cancer patients is said to have an effect on the cancer. Juicing is a way of detoxification for your body and is recommended by a large portion of doctors.

      Many studies point out that a diet high in fruits and vegetables can prevent disease by detoxification.

    2. Weight Loss - Juicing for weight loss has become a fad or phenomenon. Juicers are becoming more and more popular to those trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Many doctors and nutritionists are recommending juicing diets to their patients. Also, many books and diets are based around juicing. i.e.: The Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox, ~To view all of this article please go to:

      Juicing will boost the immune system, give you energy and detoxify your body, resulting in weight loss.

    3. Protein - Believe it or not, fruits and vegetables have protein. Although it is not a high source of protein, it is a good source for those in need. To see the specifics on the amounts of proteins you get from different fruits and veggies, please go to this site: (You will need to scroll down to view the metric charts)

      To get even more protein out of juicing, you can simply add some brewer's yeast, wheat germ, or whole grains to your juice. These will give you protein without the fat that meat contains. A solution for protein that is quickly absorbed by your body.

    4. Purify your Health - With juicing on a regular basis and eating healthfully, you will no longer crave all of the fillers put into processed foods. By adding pure juice into your daily diet you are cutting back on caffeine and processed sugars. This will result in boosting your metabolism and overall digestive system.

      Juicing will also help you get the recommended 8 glasses of water per day. Fruits and vegetables have a large percentage of water that will help you meet that goal, flushing out toxins to stay healthy.

    5. Long Term Benefits - Juicing will help you in many different areas of life. Ranging from weight loss to preventing diseases, giving you more energy and boosting your immune system.

    Harvest Essentials Mission Statement, founded in September of 2002 as an online business store. Specializing in products for those seeking a healthy and nutritious lifestyle. Initially, we specialized in a small market of Blenders, Food Dehydrators and Juicers.

    Over the years we have broadened our scope of products. Devoting our time and expertise into helping those that need and want to have an Organic Lifestyle. Now providing a large selection of products such as Sprouters, Grain Mills, SoyMilk/Yogurt Makers, books, etc. Harvest Essentials understands the need for these products in every day life and we want to help you!

    In 2008 we expanded our website and now carry a large line of Meat Processing products. Everything you would need from Scales, Sealers, Tenderizers and Seasonings. Two major products in this new release are the Meat Slicers and Smokehouses.

    Today, most of Harvest Essentials Products are accessible to the world. Looking to the future we plan on expanding and growing our business with the community, as well as staying competitive with our competition.

    Located in the Beaverton, Oregon, we have built a business from the ground up. We are dedicated to serving you and helping you improve your health with our products. We can help Harvest your life and we have the Essentials to do it!