Green Juice is an often overlooked but, in my opinion, vital part of ANY diet.
Most people need to eat WAY more greens than we actually do. At a MINIMUM, one large head of leafy green vegetables per day. It would be difficult, time-consuming and boring to sit and chew well a head of celery, two bunches of spinach, two cucumbers, and more. But you can juice these easily, and within a few minutes, have a glass of it to easily drink.
Also, with juice, the vital nutrients, minerals and enzymes are delivered quickly and effectively into our bloodstream. Our body does not have to work so hard to break down the cellulose before being soaked up by our intestinal walls. Think of it like a direct energy shot! This means great things for our body and attitude.
Green juice can be daunting for beginners, but don´t be afraid. I´ve got a few tips that have helped me tremendously.
1. Don´t be afraid to use enough vegetables.
When we first began experimenting with green juices, we were juicing a few stalks of celery, a few carrots, and a cucumber. This amount gives you enough juice for a small glass for two people. This is good, but not enough juice to really make a difference. You need to think in entire heads/bunches/bulbs.
2. Don´t be afraid of the cost.
I want to do a separate post on doing raw on a budget, but if the cost frightens you, then do the best you can.
- Check out the Dirty Dozen list to see which non-organic crops are the least contaminated: http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214
- Grow your own! Nothing beats freshly picked produce, and greens are some of the most nutritious and easiest crops to grow. You can grow dense bunches of greens in pots. If you have even the smallest of space outside- an entryway, walkway or window box could work for you. If not, pots indoors in a sunny place works too. Sunflower greens and wheatgrass are other options to green your juice grown at home.
- Shop around. Check out a CSA in your area, haunt local farmers markets, co-ops and health food stores. Don´t forget normal grocery stores too. Many major chains are really making an effort to get in more organic produce. When you see a good deal, take advantage of it and stock up.
- Forage!! Look at your backyard in a different light. One of my all-time favorite greens, dandelion, is commonly seen as a gardener´s enemy. Almost everyone knows what dandelions look like, they are extremely nutritious and actually tasty. In my area, nettle is another plant that I forage to juice. It is a great blood purifier as well. Clover, yellow dock, lambs quarter and sorrel are other common and easy to spot varieties.
3. Sweeten it up!
Green juice is a delicious, but no doubt acquired, taste. In the beginning, think about juicing in a few apples. This sweetens it a lot and goes a long way to add to your enjoyment of your green juice. Next, try citrus fruits-lemons or limes, to sweeten juice. They really do lighten the flavor and make it more palatable. Ginger is another possibility. You can use it alone or in combination with apples and citrus.
4. Make it medicinal.
Add ins like herbs, garlic, cayenne, foraged greens and superfoods really take your juice up a level!
Some of my favorite combinations at the moment are apple, chard, cilantro, cucumber, celery and lime; and cucumber, celery, apple, fennel, dandelion, parsley, ginger and lemon.
I also juice things that I have an abundance of in the fridge. If I don´t feel like I can eat 2 kilos of carrots in a week, then I juice them. If I have a lone turnip chilling out in the crisper, then I juice it!
The last bit of advice that I want to leave you with about green juice is that you DON´T need a juicer. This is a video of the fabulous Kate Magic showing you how to just that!
I hope you try it! I promise you will love it!