Green juice is popular right now, (and you can read about some of the benefits of juicing here). Those who try it say they feel more energized and healthy when they start their morning with green juice instead of the typical bowl of cereal. But the real question everyone wants to know is does it taste good? As someone who has dabbled in making green juices, I have to admit that there's a moving scale to green juice. Some taste very “green” while others are very mild.
Here's the thing though: the mild green juices tend to be sweet fruit smoothies with a few green leaves thrown in. This is great for kids and those who can handle a lot of natural fruit at one time, but it doesn’t always work for those who eat lower-sugar (natural) diets. And that’s where it gets tricky. Anyone can get a delicious green juice when it contains lots of sweet fruit and a small handful of greens (It’s delicious if you haven't tried it!), but what about those of us who want a good green drink without all the natural sugar?
For beginner green juicers, I recommend starting with your favorite smoothie recipe and adding baby kale or another green to the mixture. It’s going to be sweet, easy to get down and kid-friendly too. So, start with plenty of fresh fruit and then start weaning yourself off the fruit slowly as your taste buds adjust.
For those who like your green drinks a little less cloyingly sweet but still delicious, here's the method that works for me.
First, keep track of ingredients that are strong or mild-tasting.
Most baby greens (such as arugula)
Apple (use a green apple for less sugar)
Adding more flavor:
I use a base of mild-tasting ingredients (such as cucumber and zucchini), and then add a limited amount of strong-tasting ingredients. Then I add flavor with ginger, lemons, herbs (my favorite is cilantro), or whatever else I like. If I want to add a little sweetness, I use a limited amount of sweet fruit. I find it easiest to keep apples on hand, and I use just half an apple.
Use fresh ingredients! One thing to be aware of is that that as some produce gets older, it will start tasting more bitter. Using fresh will be helpful in avoiding this issue. Also be aware that sometimes celery and cucumber peels can be bitter, so tasting a little bite of them before juicing can be helpful in knowing how much to put in. Sometimes celery is mild, and other times it can have an off taste, so taste it before juicing. I just made my green juice recently, and both the cucumber and celery were unusually bitter, so my juice was much more bitter than normal.
You can get one of my all-time favorite green juice recipes here. (It's a sweeter version.)
And here's my recipe for a basic pick-me-up green juice, with limited sweetness:
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 drink
Green Juice Recipe (low sweetness)
- 1 cucumber
- 1 zucchini
- 1 apple (or half an apple)
- Small stub/slice of ginger
- 1 quarter lemon, peeled to pith and put through juicer
- 4 stalks non-bitter celery
- 2-4 leaves of kale, optional
- Put through juicer and enjoy right away!