What is a Green Juice? What is a Green Smoothie?What is a Green Soup?
The words green juice get thrown around a lot in the raw food arena and through my raw food phone consultations I get many questions about what a green juice actually is and how it differs from a green smoothie and a green soup.
Both a green smoothies, a green juice, and a green soups are super important nutritious health promoting drinks. If all you did was add either a green juice, a green smoothie, or a green soup to your diet, and change nothing else, you would notice a difference in your health. (If you added all three, wow!)
It’s almost common knowledge that we should be consuming large amounts of green leafy vegetables, about 3-5 servings a day to be exact. This is due to their high vitamin and mineral content.
Green juices, smoothies, and soups are important because they allow us to easily absorb the nutrients from green leafy vegetables that are otherwise tough to break down and digest. Juicing and blending will help you to “pre-digest” the vegetables so you will receive most of their nutrition. You would literally have to chew your green leafy vegetables into a creamy paste to get the same benefits as a green juice, smoothie, or soup.
Some of the many benefits of green leafy vegetables:
- Trace minerals: including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins
(I’ve never been anemic since being vegan and I attribute this to my daily intake of green drinks)
- Good Source of Vegetable Protein
(Some green vegetables have more protein per pound than meat!)
- Alkalizing abilities
- Not to mention Enzymes, Chlorophyl, and a host of Antioxidants including Beta-Carotene, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage.
- Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.
What is a Green Juice?
A green juice is usually a non sweet juice (it usually does not contain much fruit, if any) that is usually composed of:
and your choice of leafy greens such as:
Sprouts. . . (etc.)
Some extras to add to the green juice if desired:
and pretty much any non starchy veggie of choice
For extra sweetness it is permissible to add small quantities of:
or pretty much any starchy vegetable of choice
Some people even like to add stevia leaves to their juice for added sweetness.
This removes most of the plant cellulose and makes the juice very easy to digest. Juicing is great for people with compromised digestive systems. Green juices don’t typically have a lot of calories or fiber so they are not meant as a meal replacement but rather as a fresh raw drinkable multivitamin!
I usually drink my green juice first thing in the morning and then wait a few hours and then eat my normal breakfast. Juicing can be time consuming, so if I don’t have time during the week I reserve my weekend mornings specifically for juicing.
The best juicers to use with leafy greens are twin gear or single auger models that crush the juice out of the leaves. If you have a centrifugal juicer you can still juice your leafy greens by blending the greens in a blender with water and then pouring the green mixture through the mouth of your centrifugal juicer.
Don’t have a juicer? No problem. My favorite way to make juice is to blend everything in a powerful blender with a little water, and then pour the blended mixture through a sprout bag over a big bowl and voila, fresh juice!
The juice pulp can be made into dehydrated patties, mixed into a salad, mixed into your dog’s food, or composted.
Here is a great green juice recipe that includes some apples for sweetness but you can omit them if you want.
Apple Lemon Green Juice
5 ribs celery
1 large English cucumber
5 Swiss Chard Leaves (wash thoroughly)
2 apples (optional)
Put all the ingredients through a juicer. If you don’t have a juicer an alternative would be to chop the cucumber, apple, and celery and place it in a blender (cucumber first) with the Swiss Chard, peeled lemon, and a little water. Blend on high for about thirty seconds and then pour and squeeze the mixture through a sprout bag over a big bowl.
What is a Green Smoothie?
A green smoothie is simply a smoothie with about 60% fresh ripe organic fruit (sweet or non sweet fruit) and 40% fresh organic leafy greens blended in a blender with water. Anne Wigmore and more recently Victoria Boutenko have popularized these nutritious drinks.
Green smoothies are blended instead of juiced, so all the fiber remains intact. Because of the addition of the extra calories from fruit and the fiber in green smoothies, they can be considered a meal. Actually a green smoothie is my breakfast of choice and sometimes my lunch too!
Acoording to www.ehealthmd.com fiber does not raise blood glucose levels and is important for so many things including: preventing colon cancer, heart disease, diabetes, gall bladder and kidney stones, avoiding and relieving constipation, and keeping your weight under control.
Here’s a yummy green smoothie recipe. If you don’t have coconut water just use regular water and a pinch of stevia for extra sweetness.
Apple Strawberry Spinach Green Smoothie
1 cup strawberries
3-5 ounces of spinach
½ vanilla bean chopped into small pieces
or 1 vanilla bean seeds scooped out
Water from 1 young coconut (about one and half cups)
Blend all ingredients in the blender and enjoy! The sweetness of the fruit masks the taste of the spinach. You will be surprised how delicious it tastes.
What is a Green Soup?
A green soup, sometimes known as energy soup, is blended in a blender like a green smoothie except for it usually does not contain sweet fruit but might contain vegetables, non sweet fruit, and greens. An example of some ingredients in a green soup: avocado, cucumber, bell pepper, celery, carrot, greens, sprouts, raw unsalted sauerkraut, and other vegetables. It can be seasoned with herbs and spices and is great for those that are limiting their intake of fruit.
Here’s a Simple Green Soup Recipe
Tomato Parsley Basil Green Soup
3 large tomatoes
small bunch parsley (no stems)
handful of basil
handful of dulse seaweed
2 green onions
1/2 small avocado
little water to thin
Blend all ingredients together and eat this as a soup with chopped green onion, avocado, Dulse or seaweed flakes, parsley, and raw unsalted sauerkraut.
Well I hoped this cleared up a few things! Whether you juice or blend your greens you will notice a positive difference in your health and energy. Some of the positie changes I have noticed in my health by regulary consuming green drinks are: increased energy, improved digestion, diminished cravings for unhealthy food, clear and soft skin, and a skin tab I was born with on my forehead shrank considerably! Cool.
For More Green Smoothie Recipes Please Check Out My Green Smoothie Challenge E-Book.
Enjoy Your Greens!