Juicing & Smoothie-ing Tips & Recipes

Both juicing and smoothies make it easier to eat a wider variety of foods, which is important because you increase your chances of developing a food allergy if you don’t rotate the types of food you eat. Both can also help meet the daily six to eight servings of fruits and veggies requirement!

Whether juicing or smoothie-making, we highly recommend organic fruits and veggies! You’re going to the trouble of making these healthy drinks… why include traces of pesticides?

And consider what fruits and veggies you’re combining. There are different schools of thought on best practices for combining foods (including proteins and fats) for optimal digestion (and less, uh, gas). If you want to mix fruits and veggies, it seems adding leafy greens is the best option. Variety of color is also important.

Be sure to get a variety of color: deep colored berries, orange colored fruits and of course your greens. Between the smoothie and the juice, you should hit a rainbow of colors, which offers a really great variety of vitamins and minerals.”

~ Green Diva Meg

On the heels of our trip to Kalani for the Puna Culinary Festival, here’s a Green Divas Foodie-Phile podcast to wet your whistle. You’ll be inspired to dust off that blender and get yourself a juicer… then read on to learn about the benefits of juicing vs. smoothies and get some recipes.

Why Juice?create a healthy habit, juicing

Juicing is allows you to put healthy portions of veggies and/or fruits in one glass… more than you probably would eat in one sitting. The advantage of juicing (with a juicer!) is that it removes excess solids (pulp) from the juice and provides a delicious drink packed with high density nutrition.

Both Green Diva Meg and I prefer the Champion Juicer, which calls itself “the only true masticating juicer on the market—it is the only juicer that cuts and chews the foodstuff.” Cheap juicers aren’t going to provide the nutritional punch (no pun intended), but if you need to spend less, a centrifugal juicer like the one made by Breville is a decent choice (according to fellow Green Diva Kate Bartolotta).

Because all the fiber has been removed, drinking this type of juice helps your body absorb more nutrients faster. In a sense, they’re “pre-digested” for you.

Raw vegetable juices…are digested and assimilated within 10 to 15 minutes after we drink them and they are used almost entirely in the nourishment and regeneration of the cells and tissues, glands and organs of the body. In this case the result is obvious, as the entire process of digestion and assimilation is completed with a maximum degree of speed and efficiency, and with a minimum of effort on the part of the digestive system.

– Norman Walker, “Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices”, pg 9


I love juicing in mid afternoon when I’m kinda hungry and feeling droopy. For me, it’s as good as a cup of coffee without the jitters. It can also be a great way to cleanse your system and makes for great “medicine” if you’re starting to feel rundown. Remember to “chew” your juice to ensure proper digestion—move it around in your mouth and, literally, chew.

Why Smoothies?

Smoothies are another great way to get your pile in your nutrients and protein in one… it’s that simple. But be careful—smoothies available in grocery stores and retail sites might contain an overload of sugar! That’s why it’s great to make your own.

smoothieI make a smoothie every single day. In fact, my son once noted that they’d have to bury me with my blender. Ha!

The difference between smoothies and juice is in the fiber. The nutrients from juice are absorbed quickly. Smoothies can take hours to digest… but all that pulp can help keep you feeling satisfied longer. It also means the sugars are absorbed slower so you’re less likely to get that sugar spike.

GD Meg and I have different techniques. She uses water as the base. But because I tend to toss frozen fruits and veggies (I will buy a bulk sized organic kale from Costco and throw it in the freezer) into my smoothies, so I use almond, soy or coconut milk because more liquid is needed and using just water seems to water down the flavor. But be careful of store-bought non-dairy “milks”—many contain carrageenan a, thickening agent that could cause inflammation, gut irritation, and even cancer. You can make your own nut milk with this awesome cashew milk recipe by GD Meg!

We both add protein powder. Boku super protein is a great choice. It’s raw and organic and contains sprouted rice protein (Boku was the first on the market that’s low in heavy metals), dulse red algae, and cranberry protein. Garden of Life makes an organic raw protein powder, too. Pick one that you like!

It’s also a great idea to add good fats like coconut or flax seed oil. Benefits of good fats: they provide essential fatty acids: help keep our skin soft; deliver fat-soluble vitamins; protect our heart; are a great source of energizing fuel; help curb overeating; promote healthy hair, nails, and bones

Mix it up with a variety of greens.

Here are some awesome, nutritionally potent greens to consider for both juicing and smoothies and the benefits of each:

Kale: Packed with A, C, K, B6 and calcium and magnesium plus anti-cancer and cholesterol lowering antioxidants.

kale

Collards: One serving has more calcium than a glass of milk. Contain anti-cancer properties and are full of K, C, lutein, potassium and A.

Spinach: Iron, calcium and tons of other vits including B2, B6, protein and omega 3 fatty acids (who knew?). Omega 3s have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Brocolli Rabe (Rapini): Loaded with Vitamin C plus K, A, iron and calcium

Dandelion greens: Lots of nutrients and antioxidants plus they’re great for digestion and fighting viruses.

Cabbage: Cancer-fighting, great for digestion and your heart.

Turnip greens: Full of calcium and high in A, K and C. Also contain lutein lots of antioxidants.

Chard: A and C plus iron and lutein, minerals and protein!

Other good veggies…

Carrots: packed with fiber, K and luein which is great for our eyes and can also decrease our risk of heart disease.

Radicchio: Filled with K and lutein plus C and potassium

Pumpkin: K, C, potassium!

Avocado—makes things creamy and is a good fat! It also contains K, C, B5, B6 and E plus potassium and folate.

Toss in some superfoods…

Superfoods make great additions to your juices and smoothies. Fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today. Modern industrial agriculture depletes the soil. Organic farmers are more likely to alternate fields, and don’t use soil harming pesticides and fertiizers.

That’s why many of us turn to superfoods—they’re calorie sparse and nutrient and antioxidant dense. Here are some superfoods to consider:

  • Wheat grass
  • Barley grass
  • Wild blue-green algae
  • Spirulina
  • Chlorella
  • Green leafy veggies (see above)
  • Seaweed
  • Maca
  • Goji berries

herbs and spices for smoothiesGive it a kick with herbs and spices!

These are spices we like to add and some of their benefits.

  • Cayenne pepper: Stimulates the circulatory system, aids digestion, and helps regulate blood sugar
  • Turmeric: General immune system booster and anticancer agent
  • Ginger: Helps digestion and boosts immunity
  • Cinnamon: Powerful antimicrobial agent (found to kill E. coli and many other bacteria) and also has anti-inflammatory compounds.

Experiment! And be sure to buy non-irradiated spices, since this irradiation may negate the health benefits of spices.

And one last thing… minimize sugar!

Of course, we love to add fruit to our smoothies and juices! And if we’re doing that, there should be no need for added sugar… fruit contains plenty. You can also include high sugar content veggies like carrots and beets for sweetness.

Sugar adds to inflammation which is bad for our skin and more (weight gain, cavities, of course). Avoid packaged and processed foods to help reduce your sugar intake and read labels!

Eating too much sugar increases the risk of dying with heard disease. It may also stimulate the liver to dump more harmful fats into the bloodstream.

Keep in mind… women should consume less than 100 calories of added sugar a day (6 teaspoons), men 150 (9teaspoons). Guess what? One 12 ounce can of soda contains 9 teaspoons of sugar!

If you can’t stomach these without sugar, use real raw sure or, better yet, raw honey.

Here are a few of the exotic fruits we got to play with on Hawai’i Island…


And now… the recipes!

Best Juice of Jersey by Green Diva Meg

This is my standard juice w/ slight alterations depending on what is in season or in fridge.

Ingredients

6 – 8 carrots
3 – 4 stalks celery
1 – 2 cups fresh kale or other deep greens
1/4 – 1/2 beet
1/2 – 1 inch of fresh ginger root (peeled)
1/2 organic cucumber
1 granny smith apple (or organic watermelon)
generous handful of fresh cilantro (or parsley)

Instructions

Rinse off all dirt and debris and have at it.

***

Beet It Juice by Green Diva Lynn

Beets give this juice a rich color and delicious flavor that you can’t beet. I mean… beat.

Ingredients

1 medium organic beet
1/2 organic lemon
1/2 organic apple (Granny Smith preferred)
1 chunk organic ginger (size of marble)
3-4 medium carrots
1 cucumber

Instructions

Cut off any undesirable ends, stems.

Juice it up.

Dance to the beet.

Adapted from Pure Juice in Barrington IL

***

Refreshing Tropical Fire Smoothie by Julie Parsons

Cayenne gives this smoothie an unexpected and refreshing kick.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple/coconut juice (Knudson Organic was used here)
  • 1 cup mango
  • 2 bananas
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 fat pinches of cayenne
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
  • Instructions

    Wash off, peel and cut as necessary.

    Blend it up and enjoy!

    Notes

    For protein powder, its best to choose raw and organic.

    ***

    The Hawai’i Island Experiment by Green Diva Lynn

    Using fruit I had never seen in my life, I created this ultimate smoothie.

    Ingredients

    1/2 dragon fruit
    1/4 mamey sapote
    1/4 abiu
    1-2 cups kale
    1/8 teaspoon turmeric
    1 tablespoon coconut
    1 scoop protein powder
    1/2 cup organic coconut or soy milk

    Instructions

    Wash, cut and peel as needed.

    Mix it up and enjoy!

    ***

    Fave Fruit Smoothie by Green Diva Meg

    Ingredients

    1 cup of your favorite fruit — always organic (mine is usually a combo of blueberries, strawberries and mango/peach)
    1 cup good filtered water
    1 tablespoon coconut oil or flax seed oil
    1 scoop your favorite powdered protein (I’ve been using Boku lately)
    1 teaspoon maca powder*
    1 teaspoon dried goji berry powder*
    1/8th teaspoon dried ginger*
    1/8th teaspoon turmeric*
    1/8th teaspoon cinnamon*
    pinch (to taste) cayenne pepper*

    Instructions

    Put in your blender and blend.

    Drink and dance!

    Notes

    *Also have used a combination of these nutrient booster powder mixes from Mega Foods: Daily Energy & Daily Turmeric

    ***

    Sunflower Rising Smoothie by Green Diva Meg

    A creamy, refreshing twist that will make you want to break out in a hula dance.

    Ingredients

    2 cups organic pineapple juice (put 1/2 cup aside)
    1 cup raw organic sunflower seeds
    1 cup fresh organic kale

    Instructions

    Soak the seeds in 1 1/2 cups of pineapple juice overnight

    Blend seeds, juice and kale in a blender

    Add some or all of remaining juice (or water) to attain desired consistency.

    Written by Green Diva Lynn Hasselberger

    Images via shutterstock.

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    Nora M.
    Nora M.2 years ago

    Is that true that you can develop a food allergy if you don't rotate the foods you eat? That makes me want to eat more variety! I like that when you drink vegetables and fruits that have been juiced that it only takes up to 15 minutes to be assimilated. It sounds like it really gives your body a good nutritional kick. Maybe I should buy a juicer. http://moreappliancesandelectronics.com/Juicers

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