Green juice for a healthy summer

The sunshine has finally decided to come out, the St. Johns Farmers Market is back and the warmer weather means the return of spring and summer produce. A good way to make sure you get a good dose is with green juice. The good news is there is no need to wait until you have a juicer! You can make a delicious juice with your trusty old blender and a wire mesh strainer.

I should mention that when I speak of juice here, I am talking about GREEN juice.  This means a concoction of vegetables, mostly greens and a small amount of fruit. Juices are different than smoothies because most or all of the fiber is removed. Green smoothies are a great option too.  However, juices allow you to flood a powerful dose of nutrients into your body, while giving your digestive system a break.

I make my juice with as many veggies as possible, especially greens because we usually do not eat enough. I only add a small amount of fruit and I also take it easy on the carrots and beets. This is because fruits and starchier vegetables are higher in sugar. Without the fiber of the plant, they will cause your blood sugar levels to go through the roof. This will completely negate the healthful qualities of the juice and you might as well head over to the mall for a Jamba Juice !

Feel free to mix it up with the veggies and greens, the sky is the limit here. This is a great way to use all parts of the your veggies, like the not-so-pretty stems and inside parts. Use produce grown without pesticides whenever possible to avoid exposing yourself to harmful chemicals. Check out the farmers market this Saturday for an abundance of options!

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for a summery, delicious green juice:

Huge handful of spinach
Medium handful of kale (this can be bitter, so I use a bit less)
2 stalks of celery, chopped small enough to blend
1/2 medium diced cucumber
1/4- 1/2 cup of chopped watermelon
Handful of basil
Filtered water

Add all your chopped veggies to the blender with 2-3 cups of water.

Blend just enough for it all to form a nice puree. (Avoid over blending to save the nutrient integrity of the veggies!)

Pour it through your strainer into a bowl. You may have to stir/scrape the mixture while it is in the strainer to allow all the liquid to pass through.

You can sub or add in other fruit, veggie or herb that tickles your fancy. Some ideas are romaine, celery, cilantro, mint, parsley, jalapeno, garlic, lemon, and berries. You get the idea! I like to add a spoonful or two of the pulp back into my juice for a little fiber, a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of sea salt. Easy breezy and now you have a delicious green juice. Enjoy!

 

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