I’ll be honest, the first time I saw a friend post about Green Juice/Smoothies, I was pretty intimidated. Growing up, the only time I really saw anything green in liquid form was at visits to Jamba Juice when my mom bought Wheat Grass Shots. I usually grimaced every time she had them. Unless you’re already on a plant-based diet, chances are that jumping right into a Green Smoothie regimen will be a bit difficult. Some people love drinking this stuff right off the bat, and for others, it may take some time to get used to. Bottom line, Green Juice and Green Smoothies are a great way to get all those essential vitamins and nutrients into your daily diet. It also helps you detox and cleanse if you’ve gone overboard with the unhealthy food (especially now since it’s Fair Season!) Please keep in mind, I do not recommend these as meal replacements. I drink 1-2 Green Smoothies a day in addition to all of my meals and snacks.
First off, you’ll need a blender. There’s a lot of debate about which is better: juicing or blending. I’ve been using a Vitamix for fruit smoothies and Acai Bowls for about 5 years now, but was thinking about buying a juicer for Green Juice. After much consideration and input from family and friends, I stuck with the Vitamix. Long story short, if you choose to only juice, you leave out all the fibers from your fruits and vegetables that are vital for your digestive system. If you’re able to throw the fibers, pulp, etc. back into your cooking somehow, then you don’t worry about this issue. If you’re not a fan of the thick texture, which is what I refer to as a “Green Smoothie”, this is where you can add more liquid to get your “Green Juice.”
Next, you’ll need to gather your items. I highly recommend buying only organic, and you can visit this post to learn more. Here’s a quick list of items you can use in your juice/smoothies:
- Leafy Greens: Kale, Spinach, Chard, Romaine Lettuce, Collar Greens, Parsley
- Liquids: Water, Apple or Orange Juice (make sure juice is not from concentrate and with no sugar added)
- Fruit: Bananas, Apple, Oranges, Lemons, Peaches, Berries
- Vegetables: Beets, Carrots, Celery, Cucumbers
- Extras: Ginger, Honey, Seeds (Flax, Chia, etc).
One thing to remember that the sky is the limit with your Green Juice and Smoothies. When I’m at the Farmer’s Market, I usually just grab anything that looks good and decide on what to do with it later. I’m not a big meal planner and kind of like to play my version of Chopped or Iron Chef when I’m in my kitchen. Once you have all your items, all you need to do is prepare them for your blender. If you have a Vitamix or similar, you won’t have to worry about chopping too much, because the blender will do that for you. Wash all your produce and you will want to leave as much peel on as possible on them (with the exception of oranges, ginger, etc). Once you have everything ready, you’re ready to blend! Remember you can play around with what you have and when you’re in a hurry, don’t worry about measuring, just throw in what you got and have fun with it! Here’s one recipe you can try, and be sure to share some of your favorites!
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 bunch spinach
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of berries
- 1 inch of ginger
- 3 tablespoons of honey
One more thing before I go: to save you time, try to make a full blender of Green Juice/Smoothies and store in mason jars in your fridge to drink later. This will save you a lot of prep time and you can just grab one and go when you need one. Mason Jars can be found online at Amazon, or places like Target and Walmart. Most jars come with the metal cap and lid (used for canning), but I purchased plastic lids from Amazon and those work well because they don’t rust like the metal ones do. Keep in mind they’re unfortunately not leak proof, so that is one down side to this option. I hope you have as much fun making Green Juice and Smoothies as I do. Happy blending!