Green juice is one of the favourite things that I have introduced into my diet to ensure a healthier lifestyle. I was inspired by the recipes by Tanya Maher from her Uncook Book and the Hemsley sisters book to give green juices a try. Initially I was unsure how it would taste especially since the basic green juice has very little fruit and no sweeteners. I was hooked however by the first time I made it because of the amazing energy boost it can give you! Especially after a long walk or a workout session a green juice feels amazing!
What is green juice?
Green juice is a vegetable based juice made either in a juicer or a good quality blender and involves the use of kale or spinach or lettuce. It also includes vegetable additions such as cucumber, courgette or broccoli. Apples are the fruit used and also acts as a sweetener to some extent. Lemon juice is also vital when using greens. It can be a bit bitter at times and if you ask me how to make green juice taste better then I would say with the addition of herbs such as parsley and mint as well as with the addition of ginger. This is a basic green juice and there are many variations to this recipe but usually these ingredients do not change. Green juice is different then a regular juice because it has more vegetables than fruit. A green juice is to always be made with organic vegetables and greens only. Especially the greens which are part of the dirty dozen and have to be organic. No point in drinking a glass full of pesticides! I use Abel and Cole’s green juicing box and get it delivered to me regularly. This way I can be ensured organic produce to make the healthiest version of this drink for my family and self.
The benefits of green juice
The benefits of green juice drinking is many starting with it is a great way to pack a good dose of greens and vegetable into your diet. Sometimes you may be too busy to chop and prep a salad or just do not have the time to sit down and eat some raw vegetables. A green juice is a quick on the go raw food shot and should be incorporated in your diet at least a few times in a week.
Green juices helps balance the acidity in the body and is beneficial for alkalising the body. An alkaline body is more energised, balanced and happy. Due to the low sugars in it it does not raise the GI and stress your body’s liver. In a green juice because the greens and vegetable have been broken down, it helps nutrients such as Magnesium, Vitamin C, Calcium and Potassium to be absorbed quickly into the body, hence its literally like a shot of energy for the body. This is so much better than a cup of tea or coffee to get you to focused or energised. You can read more about this in this article here.
Green juice recipe for weight loss?
Green juice is associated by many for weight loss or for a detox. A popular version is known as a mean green juice which was made famous by a man named Joe Cross when he made a documentary about how he lost 100 pounds by only living on green juice for 6 months. I am not a big fan of this way of thinking. I do not believe that green juices are a meal replacement because they may contain minerals, vitamins and fibre (if made in blender) but do not have the balance of a meal in the form of proteins and carbohydrates. I also believe that eating a healthy diet with a good amount of greens, vegetables and proteins and avoiding highly processed food, sugar and alcohol is a better way to detox than just by switching to juices. Joe Cross now has some great commercial success but his ingredients for mean green juice are the same as any basic green juice or the one that I am going to share with you now.
Can you make green juice in a blender?
The main point of using a juicer is that once the pulp is removed you get the main minerals and nutrients and it can be easily processed and digested by the body. Especially in a cold pressed juicing machine, the lack of heat ensures that you get the most nutritious drink possible as any heat usually destroys some amount of vitamins and minerals. I really love a cold pressed juice but use a blender at home. A cold pressed juice is so delicious, you can get the taste of the vegetables perfectly. However a cold press is an expensive machine and takes up space. I hence use my blender at home but always try buying a cold pressed juice when out and about in the city. You can then use a nut milk bag to strain it and remove the pulp but I find this too tedious and time consuming and hence drink the juice with the fibre. I actually like having the addition of the fibre because it also makes it more filling and is good for my body and digestion. It is still easy for the body to digest as it has been broken down by the blender but it just will not be as quick to be absorbed due to the presence of the fibre. So if you are a purist on a budget use your blender and then a nut milk bag or else just using a blender works fine as well. You can read all about the various methods of juicing in this article by Nutrition stripped.
- Do not consume raw kale everyday. Vary your greens and alternate with spinach, lettuce, dandelion greens, beetroot greens etc.
- Do not use too many fruits as you may end up with a sugar high and low. This is especially true if you use a juicer and the fibre has been removed and sugar will reach your bloodstream at a more rapid pace. Fruits without its fibre is not the healthiest option due to its sugar content. You will slowly get used it to it not being very sweet. Please take special care when buying green juices from a store or supermarket because they may have too much fruit. Check their ingredients list.
- The fresher the juice the better it is for you as there is less chance of it getting oxidised and the natural enzymes start breaking down on exposure. I usually store and consume it in an air tight container and within 48 hours.
- Drinking it on an empty stomach is more ideal as the nutrients can then reach your digestive system quickly or else the process gets slowed down. This does not make it bad to drink a green juice on a full stomach, just that you make not get a quicker release of energy. You can drink it as an evening snack two hours after your lunch.
You can read more details about the dos and don’ts of green juicing from this article by Lauren Conrad here.
Finally now to the best green juice recipe which is also the most basic green juice recipe! This recipe is made in a blender without using a nut milk bag to strain and hence has the fibre and vegetable pulp. Let me know if you do try it out and if green juices have a positive and energizing impact on your life as it has in mine! I hope this article has been useful as well.