Fresh juice is incredibly energizing and very healthy. While it's important to eat whole produce to get the fiber, green juice is a wonderful addition to any diet. Green juice doesn't even have to be green, believe it or not! Some of my favorite green juices are a bold magenta from beets or orange from carrots. In this tutorial, I'll demonstrate how to prepare green juice from scratch using a standard juicer.
Things You'll Need
- Vegetables (cucumbers, carrots, beets, fennel or small piece of ginger)
- Fruits (apples, pears, or pitted mangos and stone fruit)
- Citrus fruit (lemons, limes or oranges), peeled
- Non-bitter leafy greens (kale or spinach)
- Optional: a handful of berries (strawberries or blueberries)
- Optional: spicy pepper (poblano or jalapeño), seeded
- Optional: handful fresh herbs (basil, cilantro or parsley)
- Optional tools: vegetable scrubber, vegetable peeler
Check out three of my favorite recipes at the end of this tutorial.
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Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients and Wash Thoroughly
The key to making a tasty green juice is to think about a proper balance of flavors. There's nothing wrong with tasting the vegetables, but adding sweetness from fruit and acidity from citrus is key. If you're a fan of spice, a hot pepper is also an excellent addition, though it's a good idea to remove the seeds and white ribs to prevent the heat from overpowering the other flavors. While it's not essential, I recommend using organic produce whenever possible to avoid consuming harmful chemicals. Regardless of whether organic or conventional produce is being used, wash everything very thoroughly.
Step 2: Peel the Citrus Fruit
Most of the produce does not need to be peeled; it can go directly into the juicer. However, the zest and pith from citrus fruits can have a very overpowering and bitter flavor, especially when juiced, so it is best to peel those. Also, keep in mind that pits need to be removed, though no pitted fruits are being used in this tutorial.
Step 3: Scrub or Peel and Clean Dirty Vegetables
While the produce technically doesn't need to be peeled, some ingredients (root vegetables in particular) require extra scrubbing. Beets are wonderful in fresh juice (note that the entire beet can be used including the greens). To clean dirty vegetables, use either a vegetable scrubber and a mild vegetable soap, or if you prefer, simply peel them.
Step 4: Cut Larger Vegetables So They Fit Into the Juicer
All juicers have a tube at the top where produce is fed through. Some ingredients like carrots and cucumbers will fit right in. Larger ingredients, such as apples, need to be halved or quartered. It is best to juice smaller, thinner ingredients such as greens and berries at the same time as more substantial ingredients such as carrots and cucumbers.
Step 5: Juice the Ingredients
Have everything ready to go so all of the ingredients can be juiced at once. Some juicers have low and high settings so that firmer vegetables, such as beets, can be juiced on the high setting while more delicate ingredients, such as citrus, can be juiced on low. Separation and foam will occur naturally; simply stir the ingredients once everything has been juiced. The juice is best when consumed immediately, though it is possible to store it in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours. Note that oxidation and separation will occur.
Step 6: Discard Leftover Pulp
It might be possible to incorporate some of the leftover pulp into baked goods or even salads, but the flavors will vary dramatically depending on what was juiced so there's no definitive recipe that works across the board. Lining the juicer's pulp container with a disposable bag makes cleanup fast and easy.
Step 7: Clean the Juicer
Most juicers are dishwasher-friendly and only need a quick rinse. The disk comes with a cleaning brush, and it helps to quickly scrub out any embedded pulp before placing it in the dishwasher.
Carrot Apple Juice
- 3 carrots
- 2 sweet apples, such as honey crisp
- 1/2 lemon, peeled
Energizing Ginger Beet Juice
- 1 beet, peeled or scrubbed
- 1 inch piece ginger
- 1 orange, peeled
- 1 pear
- 2 to 3 large kale leaves
Sweet Green Juice
- 1 ripe pear
- 1 tart green apple, such as Granny Smith
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 bunch kale
- 1/2 lime, peeled