Drinking juices freshly extracted from fruits, veggies and greens is a fantastic way to add important nutrients from fruits and vegetables to your diet; nutrients that can be assimilated quickly and easily by your body.
However, as I mentioned in my post about Benefits of Juicing Vs Blending (the post that discusses some disadvantages of juicing – which you may find it’s odd on the juicing site, but it’s my honest opinion), juicing may or may not be the ideal solution for you for several reasons.
1. For some people the problem is that juice is too concentrated. If you juice a lot of sweet fruit (such as apricots, mangoes, pears, etc.) and sweet vegetables (such as carrots), the resulting drink will contain lots of sugar. This can be an issue for people with chronic conditions such as diabetes or candida. On the other hand, if making green juices from greens such as parsley, kale, etc. – even though they are super healthy – you need to be aware consuming large amounts of them on a regular basis can be mildly toxic and cause some unpleasant side-effects. So, in case of juicing for health, more is not necessarily better.
2. In the process of extracting the fluids you get rid of some very valuable parts of the produce, namely the fiber. Fiber plays a very important role in the process of digestion, as it slows down the absorption of nutrients, helps to clean the digestive tracts of toxins, and improves bowel movement. And although drinking a glass of fresh juice is a tasty appetizer, it is not a satisfying meal by itself.
3. Juicing can be time consuming and messy. Depending on which type of juicer you own and how much time during the day you have, this may or may not be an issue for you, but I think this is a problem for a lot of people, including myself.
So, what’s the good alternative to making your own juice?
You can easily eliminate all three problems with green smoothies.
1. You can make smoothies from a mixture of fruits and greens, or prepare vegetable smoothies, that are not very sweet or concentrated at all – because they contain all the fiber that is in the produce.
2. You get to keep the fiber, which makes drinking smoothies more satisfying, as the fiber gives you the feeling of fullness.
3. Making smoothies takes less time, especially during cleanup.
So, if you are looking to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens(!) into your diet, then making smoothies is a super easy way to do it, and a great alternative to juicing. It is much faster, less messy, and you also get fiber in addition to juice, so you get that feeling of satiety.
Plus, smoothies are really delicious, too!
Smoothie Recipes: Making Green Smoothies
While making smoothies is not a revolutionary idea, many people still haven’t thought or heard about green smoothies or vegetable smoothies that are truly delicious and are made solely from fresh, raw produce (without any milk, soy milk, or similar ingredients).
The idea to blend various kinds of leafy greens, fruits and vegetables to create a liquid soup with a baby food consistency is not new. About 5 years ago that Victoria Boutenko (from the Raw Family) greatly popularized the concept of the Green Smoothie.
The green smoothie is essentially a blended drink made with fruits and leafy greens, with some optional water, blended at high speeds to smooth consistency.
Great Ingredients For Your Green Smoothie Recipes
GREENS: any kind of greens will do, either from the store, from your garden or even backyard, including kale, dandelion, kale, collard greens, beet tops, bok choy, chard, spinach, parsley, lettuce, arugula (love it!), mint, basil, cilantro (excellent!), or other. Young, tender greens are better. Iceberg lettuce, although not very green at all, can be used too.
FRUITS: any type of fresh fruit is great, make sure it is ripe: bananas, pears, apples, mango, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, kiwi, pineapple, melon, papaya, watermelon, grapes, or other. Frozen fruits work great too.
VEGGIES: cucumber, celery, avocado .
Some fruit and green combinations you may want to try:
- Bananas, strawberries, spinach
- Apples, bananas, and some lemon or lime juice, spinach
- Parsley, celery, spinach apple and/or pears
- Spinach, bananas, peaches, mango
- Kale, bananas, mixed berries (I buy frozen mixed berries at BJ’s – they are excellent!)
- Spinach and celery with blueberries
- Parsley and ripe pears
Add 1-2 cups of water and blend until smooth. Adjust proportions to your liking. Try to experiment with different greens and fruits. Fruits are added for sweetness, so make sure they are really RIPE, especially bananas. Beautifully ripened bananas look like this:
Spinach, strawberries and bananas – ready for a green smoothie
Okay, so I need to add more spinach here, but I really love sweet taste of bananas!
Smoothie Recipes Tips
1. Initially, if you are not used to consuming lots of greens, I recommend that you start with spinach as the main green ingredient, because of its mild taste. Experiment with stronger tasting greens – such as arugula, parsley or cilantro – by adding only small amounts.
2. You can use any blender as your smoothie maker machine, but if you are planning on preparing lots of green smoothies with tough greens and veggies, such as kale or celery, I recommend that you should splurge on a Vitamix or Blendtech blender. Although quite more expensive than regular blenders, they are truly super-machines, that make great, super-smooth smoothies, plus they can be used as food processor to make other recipes too.
3. At first, you may feel uncomfortable adding greens to your smoothies, and you may be discouraged by a strange color of the resulting concoction – but trust me – you’ll love it!
So, this is what a green smoothie looks like:
Don’t be discouraged by its “greenness” – it tastes delicious, trust me on this!
Just try it for yourself, OK?
And kids love it too – my son drinks at least two large portions of green smoothies every single day!
Green Smoothie Recipes
Here are more ideas for your delicious green smoothie creations. Feel free to adjust the quantity of ingredients:
•1 head of spinach
•1-2 cups of water
•1/2 head of spinach
•1/4 cup of raspberries
•2 cups of water
•1/2 cup of strawberries
•1 small pineapple, peeled, cored, and chopped
•1 large mango, peeled, cored, and chopped
•½ head romaine lettuce
•a tiny piece of fresh ginger
You may want to add some water.
•2 leaves kale (kale is rather strong tasting, so you may want to start with less)
•1 cup of strawberries or blueberries or raspberries
•1 cup of water
•5 pieces of green leaf lettuce
•1 ripe mango
•1 cup of water
Now that you know how to make basic smoothie recipes, you can experiment with other variations on this theme.
Also find more juice recipes on my blog.
Submit a Juice Recipe
If you have a favorite recipe, why not submit it here in the comment section for others to enjoy too!