Super green juice

 

If you’ve been following Swoon Food for while you’ll know I’m a big fan of green smoothies and the amazing benefits of eating raw green vegetables (you can read more about that here). Recently I decided to try and incorporate green juices into my diet too as I’ve read so many amazing things about them, most notably from the inspirational Kris Carr who’s a big advocate of daily green juice.

The catch was, I don’t actually own a juicer.

What I do have is a blender, so I thought surely there must be a way to create a green juice with that….

To start with I took a look at the differences between a juice and a smoothie. A smoothie is generally a blended mixture of whole fruits and vegetables with an added liquid to get things blending. It can also contain protein powders, nut butters and other natural flavourings. A juice on the other hand is simply the liquid nutrients squeezed out of whole fruits and vegetables by a juicing machine. Both juices and smoothies are a great way to consume a much larger amount of raw nutrients than you’d be able to if you ate them in their whole form.

During the juicing process, a juicer also removes all the fibre which means juices are generally much lighter and easier to digest than smoothies, and the vitamins and minerals are more readily available for absorption. One thing to keep in mind with juices, because all the fibre is removed any fruit sugars present will also be more readily absorbed. So if you have a fruit loaded juice, you can end up with some pretty crazy blood sugar spikes! The best way to avoid this is obviously to keep the fruit content low.

Juices are therefore great if you want a big dose of nutrients that’s light on the digestion, for example: when you’re on a cleanse, have potential gut issues, or are just wanting to boost your nutrient intake but not make a meal out of it. A smoothie on the other hand is great if you’re wanting more fibre with your nutrients and protein smoothies can make a great light meal replacement.

 

Super green juice

 

So in order to make a green juice in a blender, the green vegetables needed to be blendable and I needed a way to remove the fibre after blending.

My other challenge was to create a green juice without using any fruit to sweeten it, as I was still on my sugar cleanse. So I considered which green vegetables would go together well to create something palatable, and avoid any bitter tasting green dirt. I discovered the secret to making this work was cucumber with it’s soft mellow flavour, and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Lemon juice, although acidic to taste, is amazing at keeping the blood alkaline which is what we aim for. From there you can’t go wrong with celery, leafy greens such as kale, spinach, silver beet or collard greens, and fresh herbs like parsley which is very cleansing and mint which is delicious and good for digestion. Lastly a small amount of fresh ginger adds a warm flavour and is also a great digestive aid.

To create a green juice in a blender, place all the ingredients into the jug, add just enough water to get things moving and a little ice to ensure the blender blades don’t heat things up. Blend on high until smooth, then pour the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the fibre. And that’s it! You essentially have a green juice. This is obviously a slightly crude method and juicers will do a much more efficient job but, if you don’t own a juicer yet and are unsure about investing in one, this is a good way to test it out.

I ended up loving my blender juices so much that I’ve since borrowed my sisters juicer to see whether there was any difference in the juices and to decide whether I need to purchase one myself. The main differences I discovered were the juicer creates a much more intense juice as there’s no added water, and secondly, you can juice things in a juicer that would stop a blender in its tracks. The best examples are carrots and beetroot and these make great alternative sweeteners to fruit. One tip I also discovered was when using beetroot to sweeten a green juice, it’s best to put it through last and just give the juice a little swirl to avoid the whole thing turning a less appetising brown colour.

So below I’ve shared my favourite two green juice recipes – a blender recipe and a juicer recipe. The original recipes don’t contain any fruit sweetener (except for lemon juice which isn’t very sweet) and taste pretty amazing! If you’re just starting out with green juices and find them a bit on the savoury side, I’ve included the option to add green apple or beetroot (which is my personal favourite, if not just for the crazy colour contrast it creates – see picture below). I hope you use these recipes and may they inspire you to incorporate more fresh greens into your day. Enjoy!

 

Did you like this green juice post? Any questions or comments about the recipes?

Leave me a note below, I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

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Super green juice with beetroot topper

Green Juice (blender recipe)

Makes: 1 juice

1 x 15cm piece cucumber (peeled if not organic)
2 stalks celery
2 handfuls leafy greens such as: curly kale, cavalo nero, spinach, silver beet, collard greens
1 handful fresh herbs such as: mint and parsley
1 x 5cm piece fresh ginger
1 lemon juiced
3/4 cup filtered water
1 handful ice
optional: 1 green apple, core removed

Wash all the ingredients and place in the blender. Blend on medium speed, using the blender stick to get things moving, then high speed until smooth. If it needs more help to get things blending at the beginning, add a little more water. Pour the blended juice through a fine sieve to remove the fibre and serve in a tall glass.

Green Juice (juicer recipe)

Makes: 1 juice

1 x 15cm piece cucumber (peeled if not organic)
2 stalks celery
2 handfuls leafy greens such as: curly kale, cavalo nero, spinach, silver beet, collard greens
1 handful fresh herbs such as: mint and parsley
1 x 5cm piece fresh ginger
1 small lemon (whole)
optional: 1 small beetroot, peeled and/or 1 green apple, core removed

Put all the ingredients through a juicer in the order listed, ensuring you leave the beetroot to last if using. Drink the juice immediately or it can be stored in a sealed glass jar for one day in the fridge before it starts to oxidise and loose its potency.

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Super green juice recipes

 

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