Juices 'n Smoothies
Juices and smoothies are a very special type of food. If you don't already include them in your diet, here's why you should include them on a daily basis.
Fresh, organic, ripe fruit and vegetables that have been juiced or blended contain the highest concentration of nutrients, oxygen, and vibrational energy of any food on the planet. In liquid form, it is like taking a life-giving shot right through the body while requiring very little energy from the body to digest. They intensely nourish every cell and tissue in our bodies like nothing else can.
Juices and smoothies are an absolute must for those suffering from health conditions and are the single best way to fill your body with antioxidant-rich nutrients that strengthen our immune system.
Juices - Do's & Don'ts
When it comes to fruit and veggie juices, let's talk about making a juice that is not only healthy, but also tastes good too! Here are some helpful tips and a few important tricks-of-the-trade that can turn a juice that may be a little unappetizing into a much more yummy and enjoyable drink:
- Start with a base of veggies that are high in water content to give your juice some volume. Great examples include cucumber, celery, and carrots.
- Add your leafy greens to pack in that nutrition. Great examples include romaine lettuce, collard greens, Swiss chard, spinach, and kale. Except for lettuce, many greens such as spinach and kale do not juice very efficiently. For these, make your juice, and then transfer the juice along with the greens to the blender and blend well. This way, you benefit from having the entire spectrum of nutrients as well as fiber in the greens.
- Juice 1 clove of garlic and 1 inch of fresh ginger to add zing and flavor, and for their wonderful health benefits.
- Add 1 entire lemon. Chop it up into 4 quarters and drop it into the juicer. This is very important! Lemon balances out the earthy taste of veggie juices like nothing else can. The magic of a lemon quickly transforms your juice into a much more pleasant experience. You will be shocked at the big difference this one fruit makes! In fact, I always add a lemon to every one of my green juices.
- If you are new to veggie juices or your juice has too much of an "earthy" taste, add a granny smith apple. The tart sweetness makes a big taste difference and can make veggie drinks much more tasty to juicing newbies.
Adding cranberries can also balance out an earthy taste with tart sweetness.
Adding onions, scallions, leeks, or kohlrabi to your veggie juices can make them taste downright awful and destroy the entire juice! I do not recommend adding them to any juices simply because they taste terrible in liquid form. This exception does not include garlic which is a healthy addition that can give a nice shot of "spice" to any raw drink.
Smoothies - Do's & Don'ts
Smoothies are so much fun. Not only are they very filling, but when made with healthy ingredients, they pack a powerful nutritional punch. They make wonderfully yummy treats for children and are a great way to sneak in healthy greens.
With smoothies, anything goes when it comes to using fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds. Here are some handy tips:
- When it comes to a base for your smoothie, aim for either water or coconut water. Not only will your smoothies be much lighter, they will contain far less fat. Coconut water is full of electrolytes and provides a great yet subtle flavor. When mixed with fruits, the coconut flavor is not apparent so even if you don't particularly like coconut, you will not taste any coconut flavor.
- Where possible, add berries or a variety of different berries, which are high in specific types of powerful antioxidants not found in other foods or fruits.
- Always include a bunch of greens, especially nutrient-dense greens such as kale, Collard greens, spinach, or Swiss chard. If you don't typically enjoy these veggies, when you add them to a fruit smoothie you will not be able to taste them, yet you will gain all the health benefits of eating them. That goes for kids, too!
- Have fun with tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango, and papaya.
- Try adding a few drops of vanilla or almond essence for a flavor variety.
What to avoid...
It's easy to turn a healthy and highly nutritious smoothie into a high fat, high calorie, and unhealthy drink without realizing it. Let's look at some of the common culprits to avoid:
- Soy Milk
There is nothing healthy about soy that has been processed into soy milk, or any other processed soy product. Most soy milks are also made from genetically modified soybeans. Always avoid processed soy milk. ...Read more about soy
- Nut Milks (processed)
If you use nut milks in your smoothies, make sure it is fresh nut milk and not processed nut milk. Also, use it in small quantities due to the high fat content. It is far better to get your fats from whole nuts or seeds and keep extracted milks to a minimum.
- Milk & Yogurt (pasteurized)
Once dairy has been pasteurized, not only are many of the nutrients damaged but the enzymes that help us digest the milk proteins have been destroyed, rendering the milk protein very difficult to digest. Pasteurized milk products are among the most mucous-forming foods on the planet. Unless you have access to unpasteurized dairy, avoid milk products entirely. ...Read about pasteurized vs. unpasteurized dairy
- Liquid Oils
Liquid oils are fractionated products that are 100% fat. Many people pour them on salads and into smoothies, quickly transforming a light and healthy salad or smoothie into 40-70% fat. Always choose to get your oils from the whole foods they came from (e.g. coconuts instead of coconut oil, flax seeds instead of flax seed oil, hemp seeds instead of hemp seed oil). If you MUST add a little oil, always make sure it is unrefined (cold-pressed) and it is a nut or seed-based oil. Use a teaspoon at most.
- Concentrated fruit juice
These are highly concentrated and often contain refined sugar. Many of them don't even contain any fruits at all, but are instead filled with flavorings and colorings. Choose fresh and frozen fruits instead.
For juice and smoothie recipes, check our our desserts section. Why? Because they are the absolute healthiest desserts you can eat!