I’m a smoothie kind of girl, for sure. I really like the idea of “look how many fruits and veggies are piled into this cup”. Healthy comes in a million different styles and flavors (read my take on “healthy” here), so we could sit here and debate all day about whether juices and smoothies are truly healthy or whether they’re just glasses of sugar. But we won’t do that. I’m sure you have plenty of other things to do.
Here’s what I think. Juices and smoothies are good. Unblended fruits and veggies are good. Cookies are also good. And ice cream. (Y’all, I found my dairy-free ice cream true love flavor this week. Send me emails and comments and social media messages asking me about it because it’s seriously amazing.) But I don’t think you’ll ever catch me relying on just one of those things to get by because that’s just not what healthy looks like for my body.
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So let’s just treat this recipe as what it is. It’s juice. I’m not going to pass it off as a meal replacement, and I’m not going to tell you that it can replace regular fruit and vegetable intake. (And even if I did try to do that, I hope you wouldn’t listen because I’m not a dietitian, and, you know this is coming… you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.)
So when you want a juice, here’s a juice. When you want a plate of cookies, here’s a plate of cookies.
Since we’re making this green juice in a blender rather than with a juicer, you’ll need to add a splash of water to get things spinning. It’s going to render a thicker, more smoothie-like consistency. If you’re looking for more of a true juice texture, you’ll need to strain out the solid part after blending. Just keep in mind that you’ll be straining out valuable fiber by doing that, and it’s likely to give you more of a blood sugar rush rather than the slower release you’d get if you kept the fiber in to help you process it.
Your body might respond to juices and smoothies differently than mine does, so listen to it. Personally I don’t strain it. I keep the pulp. I still think it tastes just as refreshing that way, and it actually makes a nice snack that keeps me full for a good hour or two. Whether you choose to strain it or not, pay attention to how you feel before, during, and after drinking it, and go from there!
This reminds me a lot of the green juice you can get from juice bars and some coffee shops these days, but it’s going to be a lot cheaper to make it at home like this. If you want to go out and buy one, you’ll probably pay 6 or 7 dollars for it. This cost me about $1.50 to make, so I’ll let you do the math on that one. 😉
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Green Juice (without a juicer!)
Packed with fresh fruit and nutritious veggies, this green juice tastes much like what you'd buy at a juice bar, but it's made at home in a blender and for a fraction of the cost!
- 1 mini seedless cucumber*
- 1 small apple (or half a large one)
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 1/2 cups packed fresh spinach
- juice of half a lemon
- 3/4 cup cold water
Peel the ginger and remove cores, seeds, end pieces, etc. from the apple and cucumber. Chop the apple and cucumber into smaller pieces. They don't need to be diced, just small enough that your blender can handle them.
Add all ingredients to a blender (I put them in by the order listed in the ingredients list) and blend away! You'll want to get this as smooth as possible, so feel free to move the ingredients around with a spatula when they just won't budge.
If you're going to keep the pulp, go ahead and serve it as soon as it's blended. If you'd rather drink it as more of a true juice, pour it through a strainer first, pressing it through to extract as much liquid as possible.
*I use mini seedless cucumbers, which I find at Aldi. Alternatively, you could use about 4-5 inches of a seedless or English cucumber, or a regular cucumber with the seeds removed.