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Just like any other nutrition fad, I’ve never bought into the green juice trend for the reasons it’s marketed for (weight loss, “detoxing”, “cleansing”–hard pass). Because these hyped up claims are basically, well, just hypes. However, if it’s for having a nutrient dense drink that can refresh you in the summer heat, then I’m sold. In this post, I teach you how to make your own green juice (they are pricey as well, when marketed for “detox” purposes, plus may contain added sugars), no juicer required! Continue reading to discover how green juice can really benefit your health, how to make green juice in a blender, plus an easy green juice recipe for blenders (and beginners as well). And make sure to scroll down to the bottom to download my FREE Green Juice Recipes for Blenders ebook!
Green juice benefits
Although there’s no official recipe, common ingredients in green juice include celery, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, wheatgrass, cucumber, parsley, and mint. Thus, the main benefit of drinking green juice is that you’re getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 recommend at least 1½ cup equivalent per week of dark green vegetables. The recommended intake of vegetables is 2½ cup equivalents per day, and for fruits, 2 cup equivalents per day. If you don’t like eating your produce, drinking it is the next best option.
We know that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is key for optimal health and for chronic disease prevention.Green veggies and their juices are excellent sources of several essential vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds. Some common nutrients in greens are:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
There’s also evidence that certain compounds in fresh juice can function as prebiotics, which feed and support the growth of beneficial bacteria living in your digestive tract
Green juice is also a great way to use up produce and help reduce food waste. That spinach in the fridge is starting to wilt? Toss it in the blender with a few simple ingredients and you have a quick, healthy refreshing green juice that’s easy on your wallet.
Can I drink green juice everyday?
Green juice can be safely enjoyed daily in moderation if you like it. However, remember that green juice is not a substitute for a balanced and healthy diet. You still need to eat whole fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, protein sources and healthy fats. You can’t depend on juice to meet all of your body’s nutritional needs. Oh, and a green juice can’t replace a meal, no matter how much diet culture marketing may try to convince you otherwise.
Also bear in mind if you’re on a particular medication that can cause food-drug interactions. For example, green vegetables are usually high in vitamin K, which can interfere with the anticoagulant medication Warfarin.
And please, please, please, don’t use green juice as a “cleanse”. The body is quite capable of ridding itself of toxins (that’s what the kidneys and liver are for). “Detoxes” are just a waste of money, and they can be potentially dangerous as well. Case in point: this research paper reported “report a case of acute oxalate nephropathy [a condition that causes acute kidney injury with the potential for progression to end-stage renal disease] in a 65-year-old woman, temporally associated with the consumption of an oxalate-rich green smoothie juice ‘cleanse’ prepared from juicing oxalate-rich green leafy vegetables and fruits”. When in doubt, please consult with your healthcare provider. In this case, especially Individuals with risk factors such as chronic kidney disease, gastric bypass, and antibiotic use.
Is blending better than juicing?
I personally prefer to make green juice in a blender since juicers remove the pulp, which contains beneficial fiber in addition to nutrients found in the skin. By blending, you are essentially leaving all plant tissues intact.
In my case, making green juice in a blender also makes better use of the appliances I do have, and makes better use of my counter space (I’m allergic to clutter!).
Should I strain my green juice?
If you don’t like pulp in your juice, you can always strain it and still get many great nutrients from the juice you can really benefit from.
Just use cheesecloth or a nut milk bag to gently strain your blender green juice. You can use the leftover pulp in other recipes (such as in a smoothie), or compost it.
Buy it here: Nut Milk Bag
Does blending greens destroy nutrients?
Quite the opposite. It can actually help release some nutrients. In fact, this very recent research paper compared lutein bioavailability (a powerful antioxidant found in greens) with different methods of preparing spinach. The authors found that liquefying spinach (as in smoothies and blended juice) increased liberation of lutein. Chopping spinach up, or blending it in a high speed blender, also improved the amount of lutein released from its leaves.
What is the best blender for juicing?
First of all, a high speed blender is best for green juice recipes for blenders. Traditional blenders aren’t strong enough to combine fiber rich foods like fruits and vegetables into a smooth, lump-free consistency.
While there are many great high speed blenders great for juicing on the market, here are my top 3 picks based on efficiency and price:
- NutriBullet Pro: My personal favorite, this is the blender I’ve had for awhile and it has never let me down. It’s a great bang for your buck, plus it includes 2 cups with to-go lids for green juice on the go.
- Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System: This blender has a 1,500-watt motor that can handle juicing any fruit or vegetable you throw at it. The package includes a 72-ounce plastic pitcher, a 64-ounce food processing bowl, and two 16-ounces cups with travel lids.
- Oster BLSTMB-CBG-000 Blender: This inexpensive and lightweight blender works especially well on greens and seeds. It comes with a 48-ounce glass blending container and a 24-ounce blend-in smoothie cup. And you can’t beat the price!
Which greens are best for juicing?
Here are some examples of greens that are great for juicing. Although it’s not a final list, the nutrient content of these vegetables are good for your health, while their texture lend well to being blended into a smooth consistency:
- Romaine lettuce
- Swiss chard
- Collard greens
How do you make green juice taste better?
Green juice usually tastes, well green. However, you can definitely make it more palatable by adding fruit, herbs and spices. Adding fruit can also help you improve your fruit intake, and if you leave the peels on, your fiber intake as well. Here are some fruits that lend well to juicing in a blender:
Herbs and spices can also add another layer of flavor, without having to resort to sugar or other sweeteners. This isn’t a final list, and you can feel free to use your imagination:
- Lemon balm
- Star anise
- Lemon basil
- Vanilla bean
I also sometimes use FNX Rebalance Super Greens powder, which tastes amazing, for added flavor with zero sugar. Use the code FNXshCW for 15% off your total purchase.
How to make kale green juice in a blender
This particular green juice recipe for blenders is made with Red Russian kale, which I have growing in my pallet garden. I received the seeds as a gift, and I was shocked at how quickly they germinated and grew! Even in this blistering Puerto Rico heat. Out of all the types of kale, Red Russian kale is the sweetest, and the best one to eat raw, since its leaves are tender. Which makes it perfect for juicing and blending into smoothies.
I also added green apples for a touch of tart sweetness (I also left the peel on), lime juice for a citrus-y kick, and some fresh mint leaves that I also have growing in my herb garden. I also added a little bit of water in order to make the consistency “juicier”, but you can omit it. The resulting consistency will then resemble a more of a smoothie. And, as I discussed above, you can also strain it if you don’t like pulp in your juice.
Making a green juice recipe with a blender couldn’t be easier. Just add all the ingredients into the canister, blend until smooth, pour and enjoy! You can add more or less liquid to suit your taste. I used plain water, but you can use coconut water as well, just check the food label for added sugars and other additives.
Red Russian Kale Green Juice
- 2 cups Red Russian Kale, chopped
- 1 medium green apple, chopped
- ½ lime, juiced
- 4 sprigs of mint
- ½ cup water
- Add all the ingredients into a high speed blender.
- Blend until consistency is smooth and without any lumps.
- Serve immediately. Garnish with additional mint sprigs if desired.
So what do you think of this green juice recipe for blenders? Would you try making your own green juice this way? And if you like this recipe, sign up for my (free) email list, and download my (also FREE) 5 Green Juice Recipe for Blenders ebook. These are tasty and easy green juice recipes for beginners that you can make in a snap. What are you waiting for? Download your copy today!
Hi! I’m Melissa, Registered Dietitian and mother of two dragons. When I’m not talking nutrition you can find me rolling around the floor with my kids, sewing, crafting, cooking or missing the 90s (seriously, music just isn’t the same). Read More…