Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Green Juice 101

People often ask me what's the difference between juicing and blending (green juice vs. green smoothies).  In my humble, laywoman's opinion, the difference can be explained in one sentence:  Juicing removes pulp (fiber) and smoothies leave it in.  Recently, I've been juicing and blending about the same amount - usually juicing at breakfast and blending for a quick power meal or snack. Here's a more detailed breakdown on the two:

  • Quick Nutrition:  Because juicing removes the plant's fiber, your digestive system gets a break and the nutrients from your juice go almost immediately to your bloodstream.  
  • Instant Energy:  Gulping down a glass of green juice has an immediate effect. Forget coffee!  This is serious revitalization!  
  • Too Many Greens:  Are you having a hard time eating the recommended daily amount of fruits and veggies?  No fear, juicing (and blending) will help with that.  I drink a colander full of greens before I leave the house in the morning.  It would take me all day to eat all of that.  
  • Bring on the Fiber:  Unlike juicing, blending allows you to retain all the fiber - which sweeps up your digestive system and keeps you regular.  
  • Meal in a Glass:  I've come to L.O.V.E. a green smoothie for lunch or a power snack.  They are both energizing and filling at the same time. There are no rules, but I try to stick with a 3:1 (veggie to fruit) ratio.  
    • Kale, spinach or romaine lettuce
    • Avocado or plain greek yogurt for protein and fat
    • Frozen berries, berries, pear or apple
    • Plain water, coconut water, almond milk or splash of apple juice 
    • You can even add ground flax, chia or hemp seeds.  
    • Crushed ice

My basic green juice consists of kale, romaine lettuce, cucumber, celery and a pear.  I change this up depending on what's in the fridge.  

There's very little prep.  Once all the veggies are washed, I just chop the cucumber and pear in half so it'll fit in the juicer.  Everything else can be torn by hand.  So easy!

I always line the "catcher" (the container on the juicer that collects all the pulp) with a gallon size ziploc bag.  I freeze the pulp (which is loaded with amazing fiber) and use it later to make vegetable broth.  I've also thrown it in soups, breads and other dishes.   Another bonus is it makes clean up a bit easier.

When juicing, I usually do leafy greens first and then follow it with something juicy (cucumber, pear, celery, etc).

This is some serious gold right here.

Bag o' fiber.  You don't want to dump this stuff.  Try it as "fillers" in other recipes: soups, stews, breads, or even a green smoothie.

Yummy goodness.  Okay, let's be honest.  You may not love your first few glasses of green but let me tell you something.  The more you eat and drink clean and green, the more your body will crave it and begin to sincerely enjoy the taste.  Other tips, squeeze some lime and stir before drinking or throw your greens into the freezer for a few minutes before juicing so it's cold when you drink.  Sometimes temperature alone can work wonders.  



  1. This is SO good. I love "green" juices. I actually don't own a juicer anymore, but use my vita-mix a LOT! My whole family loves it, and I even slip some green into their (mostly fruity) smoothies often.
    Good stuff. So good for your immune system too--way to take care of yourself! ;)

  2. Hi Kim!
    Question: It's getting too cold in the morning for me to do my blended green smoothies (I've been using a frozen banana inside to help add flavor and texture). Are you finding it hard to drink something too cold in the mornings? Without my green smoothies I am dragging. :(