Hooray! Green Juice!

Imagine a two year old with his arms raised above his head, face lifted to the sky and him screaming “Hooray! Green Juice!” to the universe followed by his sweet (sometimes evil sounding) giggle. This is how I am greeted first thing in the morning, when I inform my son that we're going to make a green juice.

It is a great way to start the day!  

Before you ask, no it isn’t every day . . . and often not every other, and it only happens during warm weather. But when we have green juice this is what he does and I laugh my ass off every time. 

Now, back to the green juice  . . . I’ve tried various fruit and vegetable combinations and he greets each juice with the same enthusiasm. I do, however, use a basic formula when I craft my green juice and even my green smoothies.

I will include an apple and/or pear, cucumber and/or celery, lime or lemon, and lastly green leafy veggies. Always make sure to use a variety of fruit and vegetables in your drinks to change the flavour and nutritional content. It doesn’t mean that instead of an apple, you now have to go and find an obscure and exotic fruit to include, it could be as simple as trying a different type of apple. Switch out a red delicious for a granny smith. Easy.

For your green leafy vegetables, try to rotate them on a regular basis too. If you’ve always used spinach, now try some kale, or chard, beet greens, or collards. A juice requires more produce to get a decent amount to drink, but you can get away with using less fruit and vegetables to make a good smoothie.

Here is what I included in the juice you see in the picture:

Green-Juice

A whole apple
A whole pear
A whole cucumber
Juice from a whole lime
10 kale leaves
3 rainbow chard leaves

This will usually fill a 1 litre mason jar 1/2 way to 3/4 of the way full for us to share.  It all depends on the size of the fruit and cucumber I use, and how many green leafy veggies I add in.

If I were making a smoothie out of these same ingredients I would probably use only one apple or one pear, only half of the cucumber, and juice from half a lime. Then I would add about 2-3 kale leaves and 1-2 rainbow chard leaves. I’d also add a teaspoon of coconut oil, a tablespoon of ground flax seeds, and some water until it reached a desired consistency. A lot more could be added to a smoothie too, but I find that the more I add the more I hate the taste of it. I prefer simple things. Also, my measurements above are really only guidelines. With a two-year-old running around demanding green juice I don’t bother trying to locate my measuring spoons.

While it is best to use organic fruit and vegetables when you can, don’t beat yourself up if you only have conventionally grown produce. I think it is better to eat non-organic vegetables and fruit then avoid them all together (but I’d highly recommend that you really look at what you are supporting with your hard earn dollars . . . I choose to support organic, especially local, growers as often as I can). However, go and check out the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen to find what you can make a priority in purchasing organic so that you can try and minimize your exposure to pesticides. Or better yet, consider joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) so that you can support your local organic farmers.

Now go and make your own green juices and smoothies so that you can scream “Hooray! Green Juice!” too.