Russell Simmons

The Power of Green Juice

Every now and then, a diet trend comes along and actually lives up to hype.  The popularity of juicing has led to an influx of juice bars, juicing website, juicing cookbooks, and thousands of easy to find online recipes.  Is juicing worth the time, effort, and expense? Yes!

In order to make the most of juicing, it’s important to start with a healthy recipe.  Juicing is so good for you because it gives you the opportunity to consume a large amount of fresh produce, all packed into one delicious glass of juice.  Most of us don’t come anywhere near to eating as many daily greens as we should. To really see the benefits of juicing, focus on adding healthy, tasty green juice to your diet every day. The idea of green juice can be off-putting, but you really do need to try it to believe how delicious it can be!

Why green juice?  The main ingredient is a dark, leafy green such as spinach or kale, loaded with the kinds of nutrients most people are lacking.  Adding green juice to your daily intake gives you a powerful boost of antioxidants that promote a healthy immune system, improve your liver function, make your skin glow, and help your body fight signs of aging.  As if that isn’t enough, green juice provides instant energy without the sort of crash you’d experience from sugar or caffeine.

Another fantastic benefit of green juice is its effect on your body’s pH.  Our Western diet of processed, salty, sugary, fatty, animal-based foods leads to higher pH in the body.  Green juice helps your body maintain an ideal pH which leads to more energy, better joint health, and a lower risk of weak bones.

While you can certainly purchase green juice at a juice bar, you’ll find it’s much more economical to make juice at home by investing in a juice machine or high quality blender.  When choosing a juice machine, find the best quality you can afford. Slow juicers tend to be a bit pricier but product a higher quality juice that can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two.  Some juicers are easier to clean or take up less counter space, so choose a quality appliance with the features that best suit your lifestyle.

Once you have your juice machine, you can make juicing easier with a little bit of advanced preparation.  Shop for the best quality ingredients you can afford and make sure to store them properly so they last as long as possible.  Leafy greens will last longer if wrapped in damp paper towels, sealed in a plastic bag, and stored in the refrigerator. Some herbs last longest if placed in water, like a bouquet of flowers.  Next, prepare and portion out ingredients for a few days worth of juice so you can just juice and go without having to chop or peel vegetables and fruits each time you want a glass of juice. Taking the time to prep for juicing ahead of time will make it easier to keep up the green juice habit!

When choosing a juice recipe, focus on the vegetables.  You’ll want just the right amount of fruit for the right hint of sweetness, but overloading on fruit adds sugar and calories.  Your glass of green juice should replace a meal or snack, so plan accordingly if you count calories.

It’s possible to use a blender to make green juice, too, especially if you have a high powered, high quality machine.  One benefit of using a blender is control over the amount of pulp. Juicers tend to remove nearly all of the pulp, which has fiber and other nutrients.  To use a blender add your ingredients plus enough cold water to help everything liquefy (usually a cup to a cup and a half). Blend completely and enjoy as-is or strain through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth.  The straining method you choose will determine how much pulp is left in the juice.

Last, but not least, here is a green juice recipe to get you started!  Choose organic produce when you can and follow the manufacturer’s directions on your juicer or blender for preparing and juicing these ingredients.

Green Juice (2 servings):

2 cups packed baby spinach leaves

Handful parsley leaves and stems

1 medium green apple, rinsed with core removed

1 large seedless (hothouse or English) cucumber, rinsed

1-inch length piece fresh ginger, peeled

1/2 medium lemon, peeled

Juice all ingredients, starting with the spinach and using the harder ingredients to help push the rest of the greens through.  Stir well and enjoy over ice. If the juice is too sweet, add more lemon. If it’s too tart, try adding another apple.