Category Archives: Drinks

Balanced Juicing: My thoughts, tips & favorite green juice recipe

Balanced Juicing: My thoughts, tips, and recipe for making juice a part of an overall healthy diet.

While I’m usually the last one to get on board with a trend {and usually it’s no longer trendy at that point} I am all about juicing. 

I’ll admit, I first learned about it because it’s so popular. As it turns out, I absolutely love juicing. Loooooooove it! I feel strongly that juicing will continue to be a part of my life long after health nuts are onto the next craze.

I’ve also found ways to make juicing a part of my overall way of eating. You’ll never hear me utter the words “cleanse” or “detox” around here. ::shudder:: If you’re considering juicing or wondering how to do it without forgoing solid foods, I hope my experience sheds some light on ways to do just that. Below, I did a little Q&A {yup, this journo interviewed herself} about all things juicing.

Why do you juice? 

There’s plenty of literature out there that talks about the health benefits of juicing, nutrient absorption in the absence of fiber, etc. But for me the reason is simple: It’s a way to consume lots of nutrients directly from plants.

What do you love about it?

Most importantly, it makes me feel great. I always feel energized after a glass {part of that is from the natural sugars in some of the ingredients, but mostly it’s because of the flood of nutrients.} When I drink it in the morning, I love that I start my day on a great nutritional note. On days when I don’t eat as well as I should, I know that I did something good for myself if I juiced at some point. It’s also a great way to clean out the fridge when we have leftover fruits and vegetables from the week {who can ever make it through a whole bunch of parsley anyway? Juice it!}

How does juicing fit into your overall way of eating?

For the most part, juicing doesn’t take the place of anything, it’s just another way to get a heap of nutrients that make my body feel great. However, I recently cut way back on coffee so many mornings I start my day with green juice and hot tea instead of coffee. Occasionally I’ll have juice in the afternoon kind of like a snack.

Why do you prefer juice over smoothies?

Smoothies are awesome {Robert has them all the time}, but they don’t fill me up enough to actually count as a meal–though they contain as many calories as one. Instead, I’ll have a green juice and solid food. Most mornings I’ll have green juice followed by a bowl of Greek yogurt and my maple walnut granola.

What kind of juicer do you have?

I have the Breville Juice Fountain Crush Slow Juicer and I highly recommend it. From personal experience, I suggest buying a slow juicer instead of a centrifugal juicer. We started with a centrifugal juicer {this one}, a piece randomly broke, I did some research about whether to replace or upgrade the juicer and discovered that slow juicers are much better at extracting  juice from greens and that’s exactly what I’ve found to be true. I get significantly more juice from spinach, kale, swiss chard, romaine, and everything else with the slow juicer than I did with the other one. It also creates very little waste {meaning you get much more juice}. This is all of the waste that came from making the glass of green juice at the top of this post:

DSCN3483

Having said all that, centrifugal juicers are often more affordable and still do a great job at juicing.

What are some of your favorite tips for juicing?

  • Prepare all of your ingredients before juicing. Wash your fruits and vegetables, cut anything that needs to be cut, etc.
  • Place a plastic produce bag over the container that collects the waste. Afterward, you’ll just toss the bag and have to clean one less part.
  • Alternate ingredients. After a few pieces of a leafy green such as kale, for instance, juice something juicier like a piece of apple, orange, or cucumber, and then juice something green again. This helps push more of the green juice through.
  • Clean your juicer right after you juice. Most of the time, I only need to run the parts under warm water and everything comes right off.
  • Clean the glass your juice was in as soon as you’re done drinking it. Otherwise, the juice will stain the glass {speaking from experience…}

What’s your favorite juice recipe?

I love all kinds of juice, but green is my favorite and the one I make most often. It’s slightly different each time depending on what ingredients we have, but here’s a guide for making a delicious, nutrition-packed green juice:

Balanced Juicing Recipe

Makes 1 glass of juice

  • 4 handfuls of baby spinach {or: 4 to 6 stalks of kale, swiss chard, or other leafy green or one head of romaine lettuce}
  • 4 to 6 inch section of cucumber, unpeeled
  • 1 – 2 carrots, unpeeled
  • 1/2 apple, unpeeled
  • Sliver of ginger, unpeeled {about 1/2 inch thick}
  • 1 to 2 clementines, peeled {or: 1/2 orange, 1/4 grapefruit, 1/2 cup pineapple, peeled}
  • 1/4 lemon or lime, peeled
  • 2 celery stalks
  • Big handful of parsley or cilantro
  • 2 oz water

Send all ingredients except water through the juicer, alternating greens with juicier ingredients such as apple, orange, or cucumber. With the juicer still on, add the water to push any remaining juice through. Pour into glass and drink up.

I hope this is helpful! If you have any questions leave them in the comments and I’d be happy to answer them as best I can. Cheers!

Banana-Date Smoothie

According to Greenfield family lore, my grandparents met at a party where my grandma, holding a platter of assorted dried fruits, offered my grandpa a date. “How’s Friday?” he asked. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Although I’ve always been grateful that my grandma didn’t offer my grandpa a prune instead, I’ve never been a big fan of the fruit that introduced my grandparents. Until now. This smoothie is unbelievable. It’s light, refreshing, and perfectly sweet. And if you have texture issues with dates (guilty!) they’re not a problem here because they completely break down in the blender * and combine with the other ingredients. The health writer in me wants to let you know that this smoothie would make an ideal post-workout drink because it offers a great balance of protein and carbs, which is important for muscle recovery. It would also be a fantastic option if you’re trying to go easy on dessert since it’s sweet enough to satisfy a sugar craving, but contains all good-for-you ingredients. (I imagine you could add some raw cacao for a chocolatey hit, too.)

No matter when you enjoy it, go ahead and drink up–guilt-free.

Date Shake
Serves 2

Ingredients
1 ripe banana, sliced
1 cup almond milk
6 whole pitted dates
3-5 handfuls of ice

Preparation
Place all ingredients in the blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Adjust ice to obtain desired consistency (less ice = more shake, more ice = more smoothie.)

*I highly recommend a high-tech blender such as a VitaMix. Standard blenders may not be powerful enough to break down the dates and ice completely and I’d feel really bad if I broke your blender.