I juice almost every day. I have for many years. For this reason, I tend to make the mistake of thinking everyone knows how to make a green juice. Recently, however, I’ve started to realize that this is not the case, as more and more people come to me to ask me how to make one, and what it’s good for.
I’m writing this post for all those who have asked me these questions in the past few months. I hope it helps and motivates them and you to incorporate these fashionable healthy drinks into your life. I will, however, only explain how to make a basic green juice today, and will leave the explanation of why they’re so healthy for another post (I don’t want this to be longer than it needs to and put you to sleep!).
The recipe for my most basic green juice of all is at the end of this post, but first I want to explain the preparation process in a bit more detail so that you can then make as many variations of it as you want, and never get bored of drinking your daily juice!
To make a green juice, you first need a liquid base. Cucumber is a wonderful veggie to use as a base, as it’s full of water, so it makes a ton of juice. This is very important because a lot of vegetables don’t make much juice and you would need to buy a truck full of them in order to get a glass of juice. It would be the most expensive juice in the world, that’s for sure! Another reason why it’s important to use a base, and why cucumber works so well, is that it has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that goes well with most other veggies and fruits. Most vegetables have a stronger taste than cucumber, and having high concentrations of them in a glass of juice would give them a
gross less pleasant taste. Think of yourself back when you were a kid, holding your nose to take the doctor’s not so tasty flu medicine. You get the picture.
Coconut water is another good choice as a base.
After this first step, I always like to add some celery and lettuce to my juice, as they both have a lot of water in them and a mild taste (celery less so than lettuce).
My fruit of choice when it comes to juicing is half a green apple (Granny Smith). This fruit has less sugar than most, and that is the main reason why I use it, as I don’t want my juice to raise my blood sugar levels. However, I do like to spice things up a bit in the fruit department, and I often use a mix of different kinds of apples, pears, grapefruits, oranges, kiwis, pomegranates, or whatever else is in season.
The second to last step you need to follow is choosing a dark leafy green, which will add many nutrients to your juice, help your body eliminate toxins, and make your system more alkaline (essential for good health and to prevent many diseases). It’s important that you don’t use the same leafy green all the time, as too much repetition can make some of these veggies toxic in your body. Human beings are supposed to eat a varied diet, and nature’s way of taking care of this is making us sick when we eat too much of something. So use spinach once, chard another, kale the next time, collard greens, and so on…Take this opportunity to experiment with dark leafy greens you usually see at the market or supermarket and don’t buy because you don’t know what to do with them.
Lastly, I always make sure I squeeze some lemon on top of my fresh juice (1/2 a lemon per glass), because I feel it gives it a nicer taste. Sometimes green juices can have a strong chlorophyll taste (if you’ve ever had wheatgrass juice you know what I’m talking about). I’m personally not crazy about this taste, but lemon is the solution! The result is always delicious when you add some lemon. You can also use lime, or you can skip this step if the fruit already has oranges or grapefruits, as these will give your juice the acidic touch it needs.
Keep in mind that when I say this juice is delicious, it’s because I’m completely used to these kind of drinks. If you’re a newbie, it’s better that you add a bit more fruit to the juice at first to make it sweeter, and start decreasing the amount as you get used to drinking your greens. This may not sound too promising, but I assure you that despite it being an acquired taste and looking kind of funny, drinking green juices can become a real pleasure once you get used to them. I love my daily morning juice, and I can even feel a subtle tingling throughout my body while I drink it. I say it’s my cells vibrating with health and joy.
It’s very important that you drink this juice on an empty stomach so that all those nutrients can quickly reach your bloodstream. If there’s half digested food on the way, this will become a much harder job, and your juice will lose a lot of its nutritional power. It may even give you gas or other uncomfortable feelings. For me, the easiest way to make sure I get my green juice on an empty stomach is to drink it half an hour before breakfast. Then I can forget about it for the rest of the day. You can also have it as a mid morning or mid afternoon snack, or as a light dinner if you’ve eaten too much during the day, if it’s too late to eat a full meal, or if you just want to get your body a rest. Most people sleep better if they don’t have a full belly. Try having a green juice for dinner every once in a while and see how you feel. Who knows, you may even have sweeter dreams!
Two extra tips:
1. It’s always best to drink your green juice right after making it. If you’re a busy bee however, and don’t have time to make it fresh each time, you can make it in advance the night before or first thing in the morning, and keep it refrigerated until you want to drink it. You can even make several juices in advance and keep them frozen. Defrost them one by one as you use them. In both cases, make sure you keep them in air tight containers filled to the top (mason jars are a good idea), so they don’t oxidize.
2. It’s important that you use organic produce when you make green juices. If you can’t do this, at least make sure you peel all the fruits and vegetables that have skin, and wash everything else really well. At first it may sound expensive and intimidating to buy so much organic produce for juicing, but once you start feeling the benefits in your own body you’ll understand why it’s such a smart investment. You will be investing in the most important thing of all: your health and well-being!
*For many more juice and smoothie recipes, and a detailed explanation of their benefits, check out my book Detox Juicing: 3-Day, 7-Day, and 14-Day Cleanses for You Health and Your Well-Being.
Wishing you Health & Happiness,
|Basic Green Juice|| |
- ½ cucumber (peeled if it's not organic)
- 2 celery sticks
- ½-1 lettuce head (any kind)
- ½ Granny Smith apple (You can use more fruit if you need to make your juice sweeter at first. You can also use different kinds of fruit. If they're not organic, make sure you peel them)
- 2-3 dark green leaves (kale, spinach, chard, mustard greens, collard greens, beet greens, etc.)
- ½ freshly squeezed lemon
- Wash your veggies well. Cut them in chunks that will easily go through your juicer (each juicer is different).
- Pass the vegetables through the juicer.
- Add the lemon juice to your glass of juice, stir, and drink.
Léelo en Español!