Veggie juices and smoothies are a quick solution to morning nutrition. While a juicer can make the process a breeze, you can also employ your high speed blender, a nut milk bag and a little therapeutic hand work for the same result. Prefer to keep your foods full of fiber? No problem! Add a few small apples to the blender along with a splash of water and you can create a velvety, sweet smoothie that will perk you up all morning long while providing filling liquid nutrients that are equally easy on your GI tract.
When choosing greens for this or any juice/smoothie, consider Romaine not only for it’s watery sweetness but also for Vitamin A, K and C; spinach for manganese, magnesium, iron, calcium and potassium as well as Vitamins K and C; kale for Vitamins K, A and C as well as a bunch of minerals. Every leafy green is pretty much a nutrient dense powerhouse. Greens are also a source of ALA which is an Omega 3 fatty acid. Omega’s 3’s are making headlines all over the nutrition world these days, and you can get yourself a plant strong shot of them first thing out the gate every morning by including greens in your juices and smoothies. Vitamin and Nutrient levels differ based on variety, so my approach is to use a combination of the greenest greens every day. But if I had to choose just one green, hands down, it would be kale…
Kale will add slight bitterness to your drink, but it is full of glucosinolates (pronounced “glue-co-sin-o-lates”) which our bodies break down into isothiocyanates or (ITCs) (pronounced “I-so-thigh-o-sigh-a-nates”). While those are a mouthful to say they are worth the trouble! ITC’s are major players in cellular detoxification as well as being documented cancer preventers and cancer fighters. It may sound like I’m pitching you something in an info-mercial when I say, “but wait… that’s not all!” Truth is, that’s not all! Kale is rich in antioxidants (specifically lutein, beta-carotein and quercetin, but there are at least 40 more); these antioxidants protect your body from all kinds of oxidative damage. They are like a clean up and repair crew at a cellular level. They are the anti-inflammatories in nature’s medicine chest. You want these guys on your varsity team and juices and smoothies like this one are a painless way to play.
If you’re an info junkie, like me, click to check out The George Mateljan Foundation website for a lot more documentation on kale. You can also look up other foods… in case you’re curious!
1 ruby red grapefruit, peeled (any grapefruit will do, but ruby reds are a little sweeter)
½ lemon, peeled (unless it’s organic, then throw it in peel and all)
1 big beet, raw (scrubbed and quartered)
1 lb greens
liquid stevia (optional)
- Place ingredients in Vitamix or high speed blender in the order listed so the juiciest items hit the blades first. Blend until smooth.
- Pour the puree into your nut milk bag. Twist the top closed and start massaging the juice out of the bag.
- If you need to adjust for sweetness, try a drop of liquid stevia. Personally, I find the slight bitterness of this blood red juice to be just perfect, but if you’re not used to the bitter flavor or prefer something with a hint of sweetness, give it a drop and a stir and go from there.
Alternative: Add 2 apples and about ½ cup of water to create a smoothie rather than juice. Blend as above, but do not strain. Just pour and enjoy.