Making a juice is like having a blank canvas to create whatever you want. There are fruity juices, vegetables juices, vitamin C boosting juices, and among others- green juices. The green pronounces the richness from the leafy greens added to it. However, it is not just about achieving the lush green color- it’s all about the nutrients we get from it. Leafy greens are an excellent source of iron, calcium, beta-carotene, and riboflavin* to name a few, while fruits satisfy cravings for sugar and of course provide vitamins such as A and D along with minerals like folate*. The combination of the two in the form of a juice is a quick way to get in a myriad of nutrients and fiber. It's a great on-the-go food (or not on-the-go) and is additionally an effective way to still receive nourishment when not really hungry (such as when sick)- very important to keep blood sugar levels stable.
*Whitney, E. N., & Rolfes, S. R. (2016). Ch 2 & 10. In Understanding nutrition. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
Here is a basic outline I like to follow for green juices:
1. Choose Your Desired Greens
The base of your greens selection should consist of leafy greens. You can then decide to add things like herbs and other vegetables, specially those filled with water (cucumber, lettuce, celery). It's a good idea to get a package of mixed greens at the market and that way you'll have a bit of everything.
Collard Greens - remove the stem as it gives a more bitter taste
Herbs: cilantro, parsley, basil, mint; a small amount goes a long way.
2. Choose Your Natural Sweetener // This is where the fruits come in
*Sometimes the fruits don't give a sweet taste to the juice, or maybe you only had an apple at hand- in those cases you can always add some honey.
3. Choose Your Liquid Base
As the greens and fruits are already providing lots of water, you only need to add enough liquid needed to complete the juice. Also, juices don't pair well with plant-based milks in my opinion, I would leave those for smoothies.
Coconut Water - gives some added electrolytes perfect for after a run or big sweat session, it also adds some more sweetness if you didn't have enough fruit
Tomato Juice - remember juices don't always have to be sweet, they can be more savory if you'd like
*A good option if you have the leafy greens but no fruit, or sometimes the fruits you're craving aren't in season, or too expensive... whatever the reason- do a half juice half water mix to add in. When deciding on the juice make sure to properly read the nutrition label to select the best option (check its sugar content and the list of ingredients- the first listed ingredient is what it's most consisted of)
4. Finish with Some Spices
Black Pepper - if you want a bit of a kick in the flavor
5. Optional: Add Extras // basically anything you want to focus on
Collagen Powder - if you are focusing on improving your integumentary system
Antioxidant Powder - good option if don't have access to many antioxidant rich foods
Ginger Root Powder - great for the immune system, anti-inflammatory
Lime/lemon - a vitamin C boost
Green Powder - good alternative if you only have one type of leafy green or none at all
Remember these are just some ideas, feel free to get creative with your green juices! The blender is your canvas!
Idea: Nowadays people tend to have great juicers/nutribullets/blenders...
but sometimes we don't and that can lead to lots of fiber and fruit chunks in the final juice. If you don't like drinking the pieces/fiber in your juice, you can separate the solids from the liquid and refrigerate it for later in the day. Have it as a dessert!
Just drizzle some honey on top and enjoy!
Keeping it juicy and simple,