If you’ve arrived here and are brand new to green juicing then you’re about to really open yourself up to a new world of possibilities and nutrition! Green juice is some extraordinaire stuff, and while we offer plenty of green juice recipes on our site it’s very satisfying to be able to come up with your own creations right from home!
This is especially useful if you’re wanting to get more of a specific vegetable, fruit, herb, or other ingredient into your diet. It can also simply be a lot of fun!
Why Drink Green Juice?
Green juice is pretty much the cream of the crop when it comes to juicing. Juices contain many nutrients, but green juices are especially rich in a variety of nutrition. Among nutrient rich foods or beverages, it’s some of the most powerful stuff on our planet. Vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, chlorophyll, are just some of what green juices contain. The benefits green juice can offer include anti-cancer, anti-inflammation, increased energy, improved sexual health, glowing skin, weight loss if needed, detoxification and cleansing, mental clarity, and much more than I could talk about in one article. Generally speaking it’s anti a whole lot of stuff that’s not good for us, and pro a whole lot of stuff that is! 🙂
What You’ll Need Before You Get Started
The first thing you’re going to need is a juicer! If you’re like most people you don’t really know what kind of juicer is best, or the type that might be best for your situation. You might not even know that there are some pretty big differences between the types of juicers that are out there.
We have been juicing for many years, and have been exposed to many of the different available juicers. We wrote a page up that sifts out the best of the best juicers, and also provides a lot of info about the differences between them. That page is especially good if you’re trying to figure out which kind of juicer will fit your specific needs.
You’ll find out by reading that page that if you’re planning on juicing a lot of leafy type greens in the future, you might really want to consider getting a masticating juicer. Masticating juicers are better at extracting more juice out of leafy greens than centrifugal juicers, so when you’re done reading about the different kinds of juicers you might also want to take a look at our article that focuses specifically on the best masticating juicers.
Can I Just Use A Blender To Make My Juice?
You can use a blender to make juice, but it’s going to take a some more work than if you just use a juicer. When you use a blender you will need to separate the pulp from the juice. This is something that a juicer already does. If you’re making a lot of juice this can really add some time on to your day. If you’re already a busy person this might discourage you from making juice more often. I’m not saying it can’t be done, I just wanted to at least fill you in on some of the realities involved.
You might be wondering why you don’t just make green smoothies with your blender then? One of the benefits of green juice over blended green drinks (smoothies) is that green juices are much more nutrient dense. The reason for this is because they are much more concentrated than smoothies are. A lot of bulk is provided by the pulp in smoothies, and this pulp takes up a lot of space and makes for a more voluminous beverage; however, it doesn’t make for as much of a nutrient dense beverage.
This is not to say one bit that green smoothies aren’t good for you and that they don’t have their benefits, they just offer something different than green juice does. I talk more about this in an article I wrote about the differences between juicing and blending.
Other Items To Have On Hand
You’re also going to want a cutting board, a knife to prepare your veggies and fruits for juicing, A towel or paper towels to clean up with (green juice can get messy sometimes!), and a specific kind of container to store your juice in properly if you’re not drinking it all right away!
Let’s Get Down To Business and Make Some Green Juice!
Now that you’ve got your juicer and other items all ready to go, you’re going to want to select the ingredients for your juice. I’ve done my best to provide options for juicers of all different levels, so if one set of ingredients doesn’t appeal to you try something else. Remember this is all about making a green juice you’re going to like, so have some fun with this!
Beginners Start Here!
As a beginner to green juicing it can be a good idea to start off with a fruit base. The reason for this is that green juices can be stronger in flavor, and they will be much more enjoyable if accompanied by something sweet. Your base can be apples, pears, grapes, oranges, pineapple, strawberries, peaches, kiwis, or any other fruit you may want to use.
The most popular fruit base for juices is apple juice. Apples are a good ingredient to start out with because they have a more moderate flavor, yet provide that sweetness most people need when beginning with juicing. If there were one fruit I would recommend to start out with for a beginner as a base it would be apples. This doesn’t mean you have to, I’m just providing my 2 cents here. 🙂
2 apples, 2 pears, 2 oranges, 2 peaches, 7 to 10 Kiwis, 1/2 of a pineapple, 1 lb container of strawberries, 2 to 3 cups of grapes will be the amounts of each you can start out with. Be sure to peel your kiwis and oranges before juicing them. You might also want to skin your pineapple and cut out the core before juicing it as it will be much sweeter this way. Juicing a pineapple skin and all will provide more juice, but it will be very watered down compared to when you juice only the sweet fruit part.
You can also use a blend of more than one fruit if you want, but in the beginning it would be wise to keep it simple until you get more of an idea what your palate likes. Again, choice is yours. I’m just making suggestions based on my experiences over the years with juicing.
A “Next Level” Option For Your Green Juice Base
A good option beyond a straight fruit juice base would be carrot juice, as it includes sugar but not quite as much as some fruits do.
It’s hard to say exactly how many carrots you’ll need because they vary in size by so much. I will say that anywhere between 4-6 cups of carrots should be more than enough for the base of your green juice. This should provide roughly between 10 to 18 ounces of juice depending on the carrots you’re juicing and the type of juicer you’re using.
You can also use mix some carrots with some fruit if you like. This is something I like to do quite a bit, but you should try a little carrot juice by itself first to see if it’s something you will like when just starting out. I just happen to love it and always have! 🙂
On a side note if acidity is something you’re trying to be aware of then apples or carrots might be a good choice for a sweet base for you to begin with. This is not to say that other fruits aren’t good for you, and you can definitely still include those in your juices if they agree with your body. I’m just saying I would definitely go slow with other fruits if you suffer from some sort of acidity health issue.
A Third Option For An Almost 100% Green Base
Veggies like cauliflower and cabbage are very low in sugars yet their juice does have a very slight sweet taste to it. You could use these a base by themselves, or mix them with any other base.
Anywhere between 1/2 to 1 whole head of either of these would work as a base. It really depends upon how big you want your juice to be.
An Almost Sugarless and Very Low Calorie Green Juice Base
For those of you who are ready to kick it up a notch you can start with a complete green base! The two best green bases that provide lots of volume yet are very low in sugars and calories are cucumbers, and celery.
Be aware that celery in large amounts can have a “salty” flavor to it. This is due to its high amount of organic sodium. The good thing about this is that it is a clean sodium without anything else added to it, and is an important electrolyte that the body needs. I sometimes don’t even notice this flavor, but if you’re newer to juicing celery you may not be so fond of it in large amounts. The only way to really know is to try it for yourself. Celery juice also includes many other beneficial properties!
Anywhere between 1 to 2 cucumbers or 4 to 8 stalks of celery would be a good amount to begin with.
Another good idea is that when beginning with 100% green bases you might want to try a mix of cucumber and celery together. To this you could also add a bit of something else if you want to tone it down just a bit.
Ok, so now that you have the base of your juice figured out, you’ll want to add some more ingredients.
A Green Vegetable Ingredient
Many green vegetables do not produce nearly as much juice as the fruits or veggies we use as a base. Leafy green vegetables can produce even less, unless they are a lettuce of some kind. The thing about these vegetables is that their juice is very dense in nutrients. So even the smaller amounts of juice that come out of contain quite a bit of nutrition. If you haven’t used Celery, or Cucumber as a base you can use them as one of the green ingredients that you add to your juice.
Here are some other green vegetable choices you can add in for your second ingredient:
Kale, spinach, chard, romaine lettuce (or any other lettuce), collard greens, turnip greens, beet greens, other leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, fennel, asparagus, brussels sprouts, zucchini, green beans, wheatgrass, or your favorite green vegetable of your choice.
Wheatgrass is a powerful green juice ingredient, but I did want to let you know that it doesn’t always taste great when mixed with a lot of other ingredients. Some people don’t mind the flavor, some people do. You’ll have to try it and found out for yourself what you think.
When adding kale, chard, romaine lettuce, collard greens, turnip greens, or beet greens 2-3 leaves will be enough to start out with. For spinach a handful or two will suffice.
A cup or two of any of the other green vegetable will be enough to start out with those.
You can also add more than one of these green vegetable ingredients if you like! Just be sure if you’re newer to green juicing to start out with a little of each so that you’ll like what you’re making.
Also, if you try your juice after adding these ingredients and find you really don’t like it, you can sometimes salvage the juice by adding more base to it. This can be a fruit or any of the other green juice bases I mentioned above. If I’m trying to make a lower in sugar green juice, then I’ll usually add more cucumber or celery. These thin the juice out a bit when there is a strong or bitter flavor pervading the entire juice.
If you want to keep it real simple you can stop right there and enjoy your juice with 2-3 ingredients.
If you want some more variety then you can add another ingredient in. Here are some examples of other vegetables and fruits you can add in.
Other Vegetable and Fruit Ingredients You Can Add
Bell Peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, parsnips, sprouts, lemons, and limes are all other vegetables and fruits you can add.
If you’ve never juiced beets before I would advise you to start out slow. I’ve never personally experienced any side effects from drinking beet juice, but some people do. Also juice a smaller amount of lemon or lime at first, because they have a strong flavor. Starting out with as little as 1/4 of a cup is a good idea.
You Can Add These Also But Go Slow At First!
Dandelion greens, cilantro, ginger, turmeric, garlic, leeks, and onions.
Seriously go slow with all of these in the beginning by adding in only a small amount. These juices have a very strong flavor and can ruin a juice recipe altogether if you put too much in! There may be no saving it if there is too much!
Less than half of a handful of dandelion greens or cilantro is good to start, a 1 inch knuckle of ginger, a smaller than 1 inch knuckle of turmeric, 1/2 of a garlic clove, less than 1/4 a cup of leeks and even less than this of onions.
You don’t have to be as careful with the other ingredients, but you should always start out small with anything at first. You can always add more after, but you can’t take out what you’ve already added in.
Ingredients Specific To Increasing Weight Loss
If you’re looking to kick up your metabolism for some extra weight loss boost you will also want to include an ingredient which has specific properties that increase weight loss. Start out using a small amount of these, as many of them have a strong flavor!
Ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, chili peppers, lemons, and grapefruit are just but a few ingredients you can use to increase the weight loss potential of your juice.
You can also add many of these in powder form, but you’ll want to stir them in really well! A better option would be to make your juice and then add it and the powder into a blender for a quick blend. This will ensure that everything gets mixed in well.
That’s All Folks!
I hope that this guide about how to make delicious green juice at home has been helpful. I’d love to hear any thoughts, ideas, experiences, comments, or any questions you may have so feel more than free to leave them, and I’ll respond ASAP.
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