If you've never tried a green juice before, start with this recipe. This is my go-to green juice because it is super refreshing, packed with nutrients, and has a hint of sweetness from the natural sugars in the apples! I try to do all my juicing on Sundays with fresh ingredients from the local farmers market. The shorter the time between harvest to consumption, the better. Before we get to juicing, let's answer a few common questions about juicing and its benefits.
The best time of the day to juice is in the morning on an empty stomach. This is when our stomachs are the most active and also able to fully digest and absorb the nutrients we give it. I like to start my day with a large glass of room temp water followed by a glass of green juice.
Juicing has numerous benefits, including:
Fast and easy absorption of nutrients
Increased energy levels
Improved cognitive function
Glowing skin and healthier hair and nails
Stronger immune function
Allows your digestive system to rest
You can consume more produce than you would if you were to eat them raw
Improved fat burning and weight loss
Helps to alkalize your body (especially green juice!)
Juicing vs. Blending - Which is better?
Juicing and blending are both great options to boost your fruit and veggie intake. Juicing provides a very nutrient-dense beverage in a smaller amount of liquid and may be best for those needing a low-fiber diet. Blending, on the other hand, may be better for those looking to stabilize their blood sugar or boost their fiber intake.
Here are a few key differences to help you choose which option is best for you:
Juicing extracts the nutrients and water from produce and removes the insoluble fiber. This allows the nutrients to get into your system faster. The blending process grinds up entire fruits and vegetables, resulting in a fiber-filled smoothie. This will allow you to blend thicker kinds of vegetables, ones that may not work so well in a juicer.
Juicing is more favorable for those with digestive problems because digestion is simpler without all of the fiber. For those who need more fiber in their diet, blending may be a better option to boost your fiber intake.
Juicing can help boost your immune system by allowing your body to absorb large quantities of nutrients quickly. This makes juicing a great option for those who are looking to heal from an illness or to simply boost their body's natural defenses during flu season.
Juicing is helpful for those who are looking to do a cleanse or fast.
It is important to be aware of the potential spike in blood sugar when juicing only fruits. Removing the fiber sends the juice directly into your bloodstream which can lead to an unstable level of blood sugar. Spikes in blood sugar can lead to energy crashes and mood swings. If your body is sensitive to changes in your blood sugar, blending may be a more suitable option unless you stick to mainly veggie-based juices
Fiber also keeps us full so by removing the fiber during juicing, you may become hungry more frequently. Whereas blending includes all of the fiber and nutrients, which can make a smoothie an adequate substitute for a meal.
Vegetable juices are excellent for detoxification due to the fact that they are exceedingly rich in nutrients and have the capability of restoring your body’s cells.
Blending can increase your protein intake as your ingredients do not have to be limited to fruits and vegetables. This can make for a well-rounded meal alternative.
What kind of juicer should I use?
With so many different juicers on the market, choosing which is best for you can be overwhelming to say the least. There are three main types of juicers on the market - centrifugal, masticating, or triturating. Let me make it break them down for you:
Centrifugal juicers are a good option if you'll only be juicing fruits and hard vegetables. They grind up produce with tiny teeth on a rapidly spinning basket and then force the juice through a fine mesh sieve. This method works quickly but tends to produce a lot of foam and more oxidization of the produce. Centrifugal juicers work best for juicing carrots, apples, and other hard fruits and vegetables. They are not good for high-fiber leafy greens like wheatgrass and kale. Most centrifugal juicers are light, easy to set up and use, and easy to clean with removable dishwasher-safe parts. These juicers are fast but tend to be loud so may not be ideal if you plan to juice early in the morning while others are sleeping. Centrifugal juicers are typically the most affordable and great for those just getting into juicing; quality models start at around $50.
Masticating juicers work best for leafy greens, producing high amounts of dry pulp, which mean less juice waste and lower cost in the long term. Masticating juicers mimic “chewing” fruits and vegetables, using augers with sharp metal teeth. They then press the maximum amount of juice from the pulp, which results in high yields and very little foaming or oxidization. This slow juicer technique allows for easy juicing of leafy greens, such as wheatgrass, spinach, and kale. Also known as “cold-press” juicers, masticating juicers take more time to produce juice but don’t heat it up, preserving more nutrients in the final juice. These juicers tend to be quieter and operate at a low hum. Their stronger motors come at a higher cost but some enable additional features like making nut butters, baby food, sorbets, and even pasta! Masticating juicers cost upwards of $200 and are more of an investment for the serious juicer.*
Triturating juicers use rotating twin gears to crush and then grind produce into very small, very fine particles. The gears then push the most juice out of the food bits, leaving behind very dry pulp and high-quality juice. This type of juicer is particularly great with hearty vegetables and leafy greens, but it can also get a great deal of juice out of soft fruits, too. Like the masticating juicer, a triturating juicer is much quieter than a centrifugal juicer, however, most of these machines are horizontal juicers, meaning they will take up more space on your countertop or in your pantry. Many of these juicers are also capable of several other great culinary tasks, from grinding seeds and nuts to chopping veggies. If this sounds like the right juicer for you, be prepared to make an investment. Most models start around $400.
*I like the Aicok masticating juicer because it is easy to use, produces high-quality juice and dry pulp, and it's more affordable than other masticating juicers on the market (around $150).
Erica Jade's Go-To Green Juice
1-2 Granny Smith apples
1 head of celery
2 handfuls of kale
2 handfuls of spinach
Knob of ginger (peeled)
Squeeze of lime (add after juicing)
½-1 cup of coconut water or aloe vera
Optional - Amazing Grass mix-ins for extra greens
Rinse and chop ingredients into smaller pieces so they will fit easily into the juicer
Turn juicer on and add ingredients into the feed chute
Juice all dry ingredients and add in a squeeze of fresh lime juice, coconut water or aloe vera juice, and an extra scoop of greens (optional)
Drink immediately or bottle and refrigerate until ready to drink. Enjoy your juice within 3 days for maximum freshness! I use these glass bottles from Amazon to store my juices --> Brieftons Glass Water Bottles
You can find and purchase your juicing equipment, along with other health and wellness related products, here on my Amazon page.