Green Juices and Smoothies
According to many natural health researchers, green leafy vegetables are the single most important source of healthful nutrients by several orders of magnitude. Studies show that green leafy vegetables should comprise the bulk of our food, but few people choose to just eat salads. The solution is delicious green juices and smoothies.
Anyone who spends a few hours at our home will likely be offered a glass of green juice, or a green smoothie. When someone is unfamiliar with these extraordinarily nutritious meals-in-a-glass they will often respond in the negative with a concerned expression on their face. We take great joy in watching their expression change to pleased delight when we can get them to “try just a little.” Almost always they will then accept our offer of “a bit more.”
My favorite “hearty” green juice is carrots juiced with parsley and/or spinach. Parsley adds a certain “freshness” and sweetness to any green juice recipe. Both parsley and spinach are outstanding sources for essential nutrients. My wife enjoys green juices made with pineapple juice–both fresh and canned, when fresh is not available. Another favorite green juice is “green apple lemonade,” made by adding a handful of parsley to two medium apples and one large lemon as they are fed into the Champion Juicer. (This recipe produces a green juice that is so delicious that it will turn just about anyone on to juicing!)
Green smoothies are essentially green juices that have the pulp and fiber of the vegetables micro-blended into them. For best results, use a Vitamix or Blendtec for green smoothies, as they break the foods down into an extremely digestible size.
My “basic” smoothie recipe is 1/2 cup raisins, 6 to 9 oz. of fresh spinach, parsley or other leafy green vegetable of choice, one or two cups water and top off the blender with ice. If you use “heavy” greens, like kale, collards, etc., adding a banana or two will mellow out the flavor. Add a heaping tablespoon of organic raw cacao and you have a chocolate-banana shake.
Green Juice/Green Smoothie Variety:
Alternating between green juices and green smoothies is an excellent way to avoid burnout on one or the other. Smoothies seem like more of a “meal,” whereas green juices seem more of a “snack” or “dessert.”
Our preferred green juicer is the Champion. It does an excellent job of extracting the green juice from leafy vegetables, especially when added to other foods.
If you make it a habit to enjoy green juices and smoothies every day, you will find that your body is much more forgiving of the occasional “shouldn’t eat this” foods.