I’m sitting here with the kids and their cousins, watching ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’. I love how the kids are totally fascinated with the difference that freshly juiced fruits and veges can make to a person’s health and well-being. The first time we watched this, Miss C (9 yrs old) decided she wanted to start drinking green juices. Before that, she’d always turned her nose up at anything too obviously ‘green’. Now she often runs down to Grandma’s house in the morning for a juice, if I’m too slow getting one going! (Grandma makes Thermomix juices every morning, without fail.)
I know some of you will be thinking, ‘But that’s just too much fructose all at once – too much fruit is not good for you.’ I agree, too much concentrated fructose is not good – our bodies need the WHOLE fruit and veggies for good health. Which is why I use a Thermomix for my boost juices and smoothies, blending up the whole fruit and veg, and not straining out the fibre. I call it a ‘wholefood juice’! Most of us don’t get enough micronutrients in our diet, so this is an easy way to do it. Think of it as a ‘salad in a glass’ – if your kids turn their noses up at salads, you can serve up a green juice with their dinner instead!
If you’re worried about too much greens resulting in excess oxalates, have a read of this article. Your body naturally produces oxalates, and unless you have a tendency towards kidney stones, or you have a rare medical condition such as Primary Hyperoxaluria and Enteric Hyperoxaluria, the health benefits of leafy greens far outweigh the risk of forming kidney stones. For instance, dark leafy greens are a fantastic source of calcium, which is really important if you’re dairy free. And raw parsley is amazing for your health – it’s a rich source of potassium, which stimulates the kidneys to eliminate poisonous waste matter; it helps preserve the proper alkaline balance in your blood, and will promote healthy skin. It’s the best vegetable-herb source of iron and vitamin C, is high in magnesium and calcium, and so much more. What I do is rotate my greens so that I’m having different ones each day. Sometimes kale, sometimes baby spinach, or lettuce, or parsley – sometimes a mixture. So add some parsley and greens to your juice and enjoy!
Green smoothies have become such a regular part of the day here that even visitors get handed a glass when they turn up… so be prepared for that if you drop by.
Green juices and smoothies are a great way to start the day. If you leave the fibre in, you’ll feel full for a fair while, so they can be used as a meal replacement if you are trying to lose weight, or just a ‘pick-me-up’ for when you’re feeling tired and hungry in the afternoon. And since you’re not straining out the fibre with this method of juicing, you can use organic fruit and veges without breaking the bank. A couple of carrots, a couple of apples, a handful of baby spinach, and a stick of celery makes juice for four people – no need to use half the produce in the fridge!
There’s so many different ways to make a green juice or smoothie. Here’s some tips to get you started.
For a boost juice, just whiz up your fruit and/or veges and greens with a couple of handfuls of ice on speed 10 for two minutes. Add a little water if you need to thin it down to a drinkable consistency, and there you are. No wasted pulp, and the bowl is easy to clean up afterwards. The reason you need to add ice to your juice is because it helps to grind up the fibres of the fruit and veges, stops the juice from becoming foamy, and also helps retain the enzymes in the juice by keeping them cool. So don’t leave out the ice.
For a green smoothie, you may want a thicker, creamier result. I use frozen bananas and sometimes ground up raw almonds or cashews or sunflower seeds to create the creamy ‘smoothie’ texture. Some people like it so thick it’s almost like soft serve ice cream – I like mine drinkable. Just add more frozen banana or ice or chia seeds (or all three!) if you like it really thick.
Tip for fussy kids: Start with a juice that isn’t too thick and has plenty of sweetness, like the Shrek Juice. The texture is usually quite important to kids, so keep it thinned down. Another tip is get them to watch “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” with you. Once they know why it’s so important to have lots of living enzymes from raw fruits and veges in their diet, and the difference it will make to their health, they’re much more likely to want to drink one.
Here’s one I promised to share on my Facebook page – I love the way this tastes like it has yoghurt in it, but is completely dairy free! The secret is the creamy cashew or almond milk with lime and banana – so simple. The colour doesn’t always look so good with creamy berry green smoothies, and I find you need to drink them quickly or they turn greyish – but they really do taste delicious. Just drink it up quickly before the colour changes. Here’s the recipe: