Our Favorite Green Juice Recipes

shutterstock_232897306We all know we should eat our vegetables. With a green juice or green smoothie, you can drink your vegetables, too. Juicing provides an easily absorbed boost of vitamins and minerals in the form of a fresh, raw food. Green juice contains magnesium, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C and it reduces acidity and inflammation in the body. An 8-ounce serving of green juice generally has 80-100 calories and it can provide more than one third of the recommended daily allowance of the nutrients mentioned above.

Learn to make juices at home, with or without a dedicated juicer with these simple recipes.

Leafy vegetables should form the base of your juice. Romaine and chard are mild tasting choices, and parsley and cilantro can be added for their ability to remove heavy metals from they body. Endive and watercress are a bit bitter and provide more of a “bite” for those who like things a little spicy. Spinach is a good choice for juicing in a juicer. Kale is quite fibrous, and the fibers can clog up the grinding blade in a juicer, and is better for a blender for smoothies.

After choosing your leafy greens, you can add denser vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, bell pepper or celery. You might also add ginger for its anti-nausea properties, turmeric to help lower inflammation, or garlic to kill microbes such as bacteria and yeast.

If vegetable-only juice is not palatable, try adding ½ to 1 whole green apple. Green apples are less sweet than red, and provide more potassium, which is good for heart health, muscle contraction and nerve conduction.

Juice recipes need to be adjusted based on the type of juicer. If your juicer is very efficient at extracting fluid, you will need fewer vegetables, and if it is inefficient, you will need more.

Green Juice Recipe – Makes 1 serving

Here is my favorite green juice recipe. Quick and easy, with little cleanup required, it takes just minutes to prep and make. It tastes great and works wonders for general health and for detox.  Your juice will be most nutritious if you drink it right away.

Romaine lettuce – ½ heart

Swiss chard – 4 leaves with center stem removed

Watercress – 6 leaves

Red cabbage – 3 leaves

Green apple – 1 small with skin on

Wash your ingredients and feed them into your juicer. It’s best to use the apples last, as their weight and bulk can force through any leaves that may have gotten stuck to the sides of the chute.

Simple Green Smoothie – Makes 2 servings

Don’t have a juicer? No problem. A food processor or blender will work just fine for smoothies. This great-tasting drink is great chilled on a hot day. Makes 2 servings.

Spinach – 2 cups

Red apple – 1 small, cut into approximately 8 slices

Mint – 1 handful fresh leaves

Water – enough to cover ingredients halfway up the bowl or pitcher

Blend all ingredients until apple has been chopped into ¼-inch pieces.

Out and About Alternative

If you are out and about and have a hankering for green juice, try Luscious Lorraine’s Original Green Drink with kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, lemon, ginger and green apple. Try recreating recipes you’ve tried at juice bars, or vary the ingredients until you find a blend that’s perfect for you.

Jessica Needle, ND practices at Optimal Health Center

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