Juicing is a commitment. The appliance is a pain to clean, it takes forever, and sometimes spinach will get stuck and you’ll have to pull out globs of wet leaves to try and put back in the feed tube and get something good out of it. I’m really selling this to you, aren’t I?
But juicing is a really great way to get a TON of nutrients in your body all at once. “But what about the fiber?” you cry. “Can’t I just buy some Tropicana and get it over with?” you ask. Read on, my friends.
We know smoothies are awesome for sneaking veggies into your body and packing in nutrient-dense, fiber-rich foods in one meal. It is true that juice has no fiber, but it’s not meant to be a meal replacement. Think of it as a supplement to your diet instead. When you see how little juice comes out of one vegetable you’ll begin to see that you’ll never be able to eat all the food you put into your juice or else you’d do nothing but chew all day long. So here, you fit in tons of nutrients along with your regular awesome diet.
The nutrients in juice are highly concentrated and are in their most absorbable form. In smoothies, fiber slows down the absorption process so you have steadier energy and feel fuller longer. Juices are more readily able to flood your bloodstream, so they don’t provide those same benefits — the natural sugars will still affect your blood sugar with no fiber to hold it back.
So when juicing, I opt for mostly veggies, and only use a little fruit to sweeten until palatable. Ginger and mint are also great for masking the earthy veggie flavors that probably gross you out when thinking of vegetable juice – try those first and then add fruit from there.
BUY ORGANIC. This is non-negotiable for juice (I will call the police!). Because the liquid you get has everything in its most concentrated form, that means with commercial produce you’re also getting highly concentrated pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other things that are the opposite of what we’re going for here.
Avoid processed juice (if you’re looking for health benefits). Processed juice goes through pasteurization, which involves high heat that kills off enzymes – the stuff that’s aliiiive and makes fresh juice nutritious – to make it more shelf stable. So you’re just buying orange-flavored sugar water, or worse – dead kale-flavored water.
This recipe is inspired by the Kale Yeah at Mother Juice. I was too shy to ask for the recipe so I tried it on my own and my kitchen became a lab experiment with various shades of green juice covering every surface. Good times.
Since I’ve already written too much, here’s a very brief rundown of what each ingredient will do for ya:
- Kale: Tons of calcium, and good for bone/blood health. Has anticancer and antioxidant properties.
- Spinach: Same as above plus B vitamins and iron.
- Celery: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Good source of natural sodium.
- Zucchini: Antioxidant-rich, especially in the skin (keep the skins on!).
- Cucumber: High in Vitamin C and is a strong anti-cancer food. Contains indole 3 carbinol, which helps us detoxify xenoestrogens (the kind that come from plastic exposure).
- Mint: Antiviral, antiseptic, antispasmodic, delicious.
- Pineapple: Contains the anti-inflammatory compound bromelain, which helps the body break down and absorb proteins.
- Ginger: POWER food! Improves digestion, relieves nausea, increases blood flow, and is anti-inflammatory and good for the liver.
- 1 bunch kale
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 English cucumber
- ½ cup mint
- 1 cup pineapple
- 2-inch piece ginger (or more, I love more)
- Juice it up!