I remember the moment that my life changed. It was December, Christmas morning, if you want to be specific, and I had just been gifted a beautiful, powerful new blender. Almost immediately after that, I began my first foray into the art of green juice, and guys, I have NEVER looked back.
Here are some common misconceptions about green juice that I can and will cheerfully bust for you :
- It’s gross. Have you ever heard of a lemon? What about green apples? Cherries? No? Here’s the deal: if you’re only putting vegetables in your blender and hoping for a milkshake, then you will likely be sorely disappointed, every single time. The trick is to strike a balance – ginger, lemon, and green apples add some sweet flavor without too much sugar, and cherries/carrots pack a vitamin punch while also tasting like goddamn ice cream. Even my meat-and-potatoes boyfriend was heard to remark “this is tasty!” after drinking a sneaky brew of cherries, beets, and kale. He didn’t even know, and it was awesome.
- It’s hard to make. Do you have a blender? Great! You can now make green juice. It’s that easy. Depending on the strength of your blender, you might have to do a little extra chopping here and there, but I generally max out at around 10 minutes of prep time (blending included). Happily, leaves are pretty easy to blend, as are most soft fruits.
- It’s not filling. Yeah, I know, liquid doesn’t adequately replace a meal, and that’s totally cool. I tend to drink my juice in the morning alongside some eggs and coffee. Adding healthy fats/protein like chia and hemp seed help, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to throw in a handful of raw almonds. My suggestion, though? Don’t try to replace breakfast/lunch/dinner with green juice unless you’re planning on eating a ton for your next two meals.
- I don’t have a juicer. Cool, me neither. I repeat: do you have a blender? Wonderful! Green juice for you! Blending greens rather than juicing them means you’ll get some of that built-in fiber that juicing strips from the vegetables, and almost none of the pulp payoff (because that tends to blend, too). If you’re feeling like your juice is too grainy, adjust your veggie-to-water ratio and you’ll be good to go.
And, in the two months that I’ve been drinking my greens, the payoff has been huge. My skin has cleared up (finally). I’m consuming way more fruits and veggies than I ever did before, and I feel like a million bucks every time I finish a jar. I’m not a huge fan of salads, myself, and green juicing has allowed me to find new (and delicious!) ways to start eating otherwise gross and bitter greens like kale and swiss chard (the secret, as always, is in the lemon/ginger/apple combo).
So, in honor of this breakthrough (and, really, in honor of spring being juuuust around the corner [I promise, New England]), I thought that I would publish a new green juice recipe every week in March. I’m focusing on combinations that are tasty and fresh, and don’t at all taste like salad in a cup (because for real, who wants to drink that). All you need to follow along is a blender and an open mind. And, because I’m so excited about all things green, I’m giving you one bonus recipe today, before March even gets going! Hurray!
Today’s recipe is one of my old standbys – it’s tasty, full of zingy ginger and lemon and enough greens to make a salad (but not taste like it). It’s easy to throw together and keeps well up to 24 hours, so it’s perfect for making ahead. Give it a try, and let me know what you think!!
AMANDA’S LEMON-GINGER STARTER GREEN JUICE RECIPE
- 1/4 cucumber
- 1 green apple
- 1 cup each kale and spinach, washed
- 1.5 inch fresh ginger, peeled
- 1 lemon, peeled
- 12 oz water
- 1 handful raw almonds (optional, for protein)
- 1 tsp chia seed (optional)
Chop all ingredients as necessary, and blend.
(first photo, second one is mine)