We’ve heard time and time again that fruits and vegetables are a vital part of a healthy and balanced diet. However, many people still struggle to include enough of these in their daily life. A healthy green juice recipe can help!
Most Americans do not meet their daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Instead, the Standard American Diet exceeds the recommendations of the amounts of refined grains, added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.
Why is this? Unfortunately, processed foods still make up a large part of the diets of so many Americans. They’re easy, convenient, and cheap, making it harder to resist popping them into the grocery cart.
So what’s a simple way to include more vital nutrients in your diet? Enter green juices.
Green juices are made from nutrient-dense green vegetables like spinach, kale, cucumber, and celery. Dark leafy greens, for example, are high in vitamins A, C, K and minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium.
Although green juices can consist of only green veggies, some people also like to add a small amount of fruit to their green juices. Citrus fruits and green apples, for example, are popular ingredients (and also high in vitamin C). Ginger is also another common feature in green juice recipes and can give them an extra boost due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Green juices are healthy and versatile – making them a great addition to your daily routine!
What does green juice do for you? The benefits of juicing:
Juicing is a convenient way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Although the nutritional benefits are more or less the same as eating the fruit or vegetable whole, juicing offers a ton of benefits:
- Juicing is a simple way to add essential nutrients to your diet
- They help you meet the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables
- Minimum prep time needed – juicing is a real time-saver for busy people
- If you aren’t a fan of many plant foods – juice is easy and quick to drink
- Easier to digest – this may benefit those who experience digestive problems
- They are a good base to add mix-ins like superfood powders
Juice or Smoothie: what’s the difference?
Although both are a great way to consume more of those essential vitamins and minerals, they are not the same.
Juicing involves extracting the juice from fresh fruits and vegetables. The end result is a liquid that contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants also present in the fruit or vegetable. Pulp, seeds, and other solid matter are left out of a juice. Juices are usually made using a juicer, these come in a few different forms and price ranges.
Smoothies are made up of blended fruits and/or vegetables, using a blender or food processor. They may also contain other ingredients such as water, cow- or plant-based milk, yogurt, and nut butter.
How many calories are in a green juice?
It depends what you put in it! The number of calories in green juice can vary according to the fruits or vegetables you choose to add to the recipe. A higher veggie to fruit ratio will usually result in fewer calories. This is because fruits have a higher sugar content than vegetables, which will increase the calorie content of the juice.
The number of calories also varies greatly between store-bought and homemade juices. Some store-bought options may contain somewhere around 120 kcal per cup. This is significantly more in comparison to a homemade juice made of ingredients like kale, lemon, apple, ginger, and celery which can contain only 60 kcal per cup. Make sure you check the nutrition facts on the label when buying store-bought or ready-made juice.
Although store-bought juices have the perk of convenience, it’s typically more nutritious to make your own juice at home. There’s also the added bonus of discovering your favorite juice recipe.
If you don’t have the time or energy to make a serving of green juice every day, you can also make them in advance. These will keep in the fridge for several days depending on several factors (see further below).
What about juice cleanses? What are they and are they healthy?
A juice cleanse, or a juice fast, involves drinking only fruit and vegetable juices for a short period of time. There currently isn’t enough research to determine whether or not all the asserted health benefits are true. On the one hand, some people swear by juice cleanses, claiming they help with detoxification, weight loss, and jumpstarting a healthier lifestyle.
Meanwhile, others say that detoxifying the body doesn’t require more than what the kidneys, liver, and intestines already provide.
When should I drink a detox juice?
Advocates of juice cleanses say that fruit and vegetable juices should be consumed multiple times throughout the day as a part of the juice fast. In order to keep energy levels up, they say that juices should be consumed every few hours and recommend drinking the juice slowly rather than in large gulps. On a cleanse, different types of fruit and vegetable juices are consumed to provide a range of nutrients.
Is it best to drink green juice on an empty stomach?
Starting your day with a green juice is a fantastic way to nourish your body with essential vitamins and minerals which can help you feel more energized. It also helps to get your digestive system going first thing in the morning.
Can I drink green juice every day?
If juice cleanses don’t sound like your thing at all don’t worry. You don’t need to go on a juice cleanse to enjoy green juices on a regular basis. You will still get the nutritional benefits of a green juice by incorporating it into your regular routine and enjoying it as a part of a balanced diet and lifestyle. Green juice can be enjoyed on a daily basis, and you can mix it up by switching the juice recipe so you don’t get bored.
How do I make a green juice?
Green juice is usually heavier on the veggies than the fruits, and typically contains plenty of green vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens. All you need is a juicer and produce and your green juice will come together in a few easy steps!
- 1) Pick your fruits and vegetables (preferably organic).
- 2) Wash and cut the produce before using (the size depends on your juicer).
- 3) Juice them! Just pop them into the juicer and you’re good to go.
- 4) Enjoy!
- 5) Optional: you can chill your juice in the fridge before drinking
What type of juicer should I use?
There are three main types of juicers that process the fruits and vegetables in different ways, although the end result is the same – healthy green juice.
Also called a slow juicer, these juicers squeeze the produce slowly to extract the juice. The slow pressing results in a high-quality, cold-pressed juice that lasts longer because the enzymes and antioxidants remain intact. They have a high yield and work well with both hard and soft produce. The only downside is that these juicers can come with a hefty price tag.
This is probably the most common type of juicer. It shreds the produce with tiny blades while a spinning basket separates the pulp and juice. The juice is pressed through a fine-mesh sieve. This type of juicer is the fastest and most affordable but can be noisy. Centrifugal juicers work best with hard produce like carrots and apples and can work with whole fruit or vegetables, significantly cutting down on prep time. They can also produce a lot of foam, which is found unappealing by some users.
A triturating juicer, also known as a twin-gear juicer, extracts juice using two rotating twin gears that crush and grind fruit and vegetables while pushing out the dry pulp. Like masticating juicers, these juicers have a high-yield and are quieter than centrifugal juicers. They work well with both hard and soft produce but may be harder to clean and take up more room than the other two juicers.
Can I Use a Blender to Make Juice?
Okay, so you may be wondering – what if I don’t have a juicer? Juicers can be expensive, and many people may not have them on hand. Not to worry, you can also make green juice in a blender! Just do the following:
- 1) Choose your (organic) produce, e.g. spinach, kale, green apple, and lemon.
- 2) Wash and cut the fruit and veggies (peel if necessary). For blending, chop into slightly smaller pieces.
- 3) Add to a blender (you may need to add a little water) and blend on the highest setting.
- 4) Use a fine-mesh sieve to remove the pulp.
- 5) Enjoy
Is it better to juice or blend? is juicing really better for you?
Both juicing and blending have a ton of health benefits and both offer a great way to add extra servings of fruit and vegetables to your diet.
Blending doesn’t extract the pulp from the juice, which means that it keeps all the fiber in the smoothie. This can help to satisfy hunger and keep you full longer.
Juicing, on the other hand, removes the pulp. This lack of fiber means that juices may be easier to digest and the nutrients can be more easily absorbed into the body.
What fruits and vegetables to use for juicing?
There is a huge variety of fruits and vegetables that can be used for juicing, here are some of the most popular options:
How long are juiced vegetables good for – can you make green juice in advance?
It is recommended to consume juices immediately after they are made. But if your mornings are rushed and you want to make green juice in larger batches in advance, this is totally doable. Juiced produce can last up to five days in the fridge depending on the type of juicer and quality of the produce that was used. Cold-pressed juices made with organic ingredients and stored in the fridge will have the longest shelf-life.
How the juices are stored will also affect how long they last. Storing the juice in a vacuum-sealed glass container, such as a mason jar, will help it last longer.
What do you do with the leftover pulp?
If you’ve been juicing for a while then you already know that there can be a lot of leftover pulp. But all that amazing fiber doesn’t have to go waste! The leftover pulp can be used in countless different ways, for example by adding it to:
- Vegetable or bone broth
- Baked goods (hello healthy breakfast muffins!)
- Soups, stews, sauces, and stir-fries
- Smoothies for extra fiber
- Breakfast (add to scrambled eggs or fritters)
- Dips (e.g. mix with cream cheese and serve with crackers)
- Ice cube trays to freeze and use later
And don’t worry, if all else fails you can always compost it!
What to add to green juice to make it taste better?
Add your favorite fruit
Although many people love the taste of a healthy green juice just on its own, if it’s not to your taste there are still plenty of ways you can get the perks of this liquid nutrition bomb. Although most green juices contain more vegetables than fruit, adding your favorite fruit to the juice might help you enjoy the taste more. Fruits like green apple, pineapple, grapefruit, orange, melons, and berries can make the juice more palatable for you. Plus, they also contain vitamins and minerals for an extra boost.
Use milder greens
Some people also recommend starting out with slightly less bitter leafy greens such as spinach rather than kale. Herbs like mint or basil can also do wonders for your tastebuds. Avid juicers also recommend adding a small piece of fresh ginger (peeled) to the juicer, roughly a one-inch piece will do. The kick from the ginger can help to offset any bitterness from the greens.
Use a recipe
If you’re new to juicing then following an existing recipe may be easier than creating your own. If you just throw together whatever you have on hand, you may end up with a strange-tasting combination, so following a recipe can also help you avoid waste.
Add superfood powders
You can make your green juice even healthier by adding superfood or protein powders to juice when it’s ready. Superfood supplements such as a greens powder, for example, works really nicely with freshly-made green juice. They offer additional health benefits that can help support your immune system or digestive health to make your morning juice a nutritional powerhouse.
What are the best green juice recipes?
With so many recipes out there, it can be hard to pick the ones that do the most for your body. To get the most out of drinking a green juice, people usually prefer to include mostly veggies, as fruits contain a higher sugar content which can raise the calorie count. And don’t forget, they’re called green juices for a reason! So make sure to include all the good stuff, such as nutrient-packed spinach, kale, parsley, mint, celery stalks, cucumber, lemon, and apple! Fresh ginger also makes a great addition to green juice, especially during the colder months.
Finally, the best green juice recipe is the ones that you love to drink! Because they are so versatile, just add your favorite green veggies and fruits, and play around with combinations until you find one that you like the most.
Easy Green Juice Recipe
This simple and healthy green juice recipe is the perfect way to start your morning. We’ve combined spinach, celery, green apple, and lemon in this nutrition powerhouse that is packed full of vitamins C, A, K, iron, and potassium. The fresh ginger adds an extra zing to brighten up your day and give your gut and immune system a boost! Hope you enjoy!
Did you try this green juice recipe? Comment down below, like, and share!