Why drink juice? It’s an easy way to get a concentrated amount of nutrients in your system.
Did you know? Donald D. Davis, in his study published by HortScience, compiles evidence from other studies about the “genetic dilution effect”. The studies he looked at showed a strong inverse relation between yield and nutrients. As farmers try to get a greater yield from the field, the nutrients in the vegetables decline. That means we have to eat more and more vegetables to get the same health benefits as previous generations.
So, in addition to eating my vegetables, I drink some of them almost every morning! When the fiber is removed, you can get the nutrients of the vegetables without so many calories. Juice is an easier way to palate veggies in the morning (to me anyway!). Juicing makes it easier to add in a wider range of vegetables to your diet, so you can get a wider range of nutrients. For example, I dislike eating cooked beets, but I enjoy beets when juiced and combined with other flavors.
Warning, because you are removing the fiber, your juice can become very high in sugar when you juice fruit and sweet vegetables. I recommend using just 1 green apple in your green juice. You may want to start out with 1 and a halfgreen apples, or a sweeter red apple to start until you get used to drinking greens.
What does my basic green juice recipe for beginners look like?
- 1 green apple (organic)
- 1 cucumber (organic or peeled)
- 2-4 large leaves of kale (organic)
- 2 large handfuls of spinach (organic)
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled, and/or 1/2 peeled lemon or a small bunch of mint, rolled up
I find this to yield the perfect amount of juice for a 16 oz. mason jar, though results may vary depending on the size of your produce and the efficiency of your juicer.
For green juice recipes for beginners, I have omitted most strong flavors (such as celery and parsley), in favor of the more palatable (for most people!) spinach and kale. Although I was not sure I would like ginger in my juice at first (I am not a fan of gingersnaps or ginger chews) I was pleasantly surprised to try it juiced! I now add an almost 2 inch piece of ginger to my juice. It really wakes me up in the morning, and leaves my coworkers wondering, how does she have so much energy this early in the morning?
Tips for juicing leafy greens with a centrifugal juicer: You may have read this when researching juicers: centrifugal juicers are much cheaper than other types, but do not always get the best yield from leafy greens. I like to rinse the greens with water and roll them up really tight. Then just feed them through the juicer and follow immediately with a piece of apple or cucumber. If I am juicing only a small amount of greens, such as mint, I will roll the mint up into the piece of lemon or cucumber to make sure the blades of the juicer will get as much of the greens as possible.
But doesn’t juicing take a lot of time? I juice every 2-3 days and it takes about 20 minutes, including clean-up! Here are some tips for making juice quickly and easily:
- Place a plastic baggie in the bin where the pulp will be released, eliminating one more piece to wash (I usually reuse a baggie from the vegetables I just bought)
- Juice directly into the jars you will store and drink from, if possible. Regular sized mason jars fit directly under the lip of my Jack LaLanne’s Juicer.
- Wash fruits and vegetables when you come home from the grocery store.
- Buy organic where possible to avoid having to peel as much
There you go! Please enjoy your juice, especially as a wake-up call in the morning! I usually follow my juice with breakfast overnight oats a little while later.