Is it just us, or does the popularity of drinking your veggies seem to be growing daily? Nearly everywhere you turn there’s someone else swearing by the health benefits of sipping on a liquefied produce concoction.
If you’ve noticed too and found yourself wondering what all the fuss is about, or wondering what the difference is between juicing and smoothies, look no further. Here’s a rundown of the basics:
In the past, smoothies were often little more than dessert in drink form—made with fruit and maybe even ice cream—but today’s smoothies tend to be more health-conscious and green affairs.
Even in a fruit-based smoothie, a handful of greens can add complexity, fiber and a vitamin kick. And if you want to add creaminess (and protein) without the sugar, try adding some tangy nonfat Greek yogurt.
Here’s one easy and tasty smoothie recipe; you’ll be surprised by how the sweet mango and zippy lime mellow the intensity of the fresh greens.
½ cup apple juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 ½ cups frozen mango
1 cup green grapes
2 cups fresh Glory Foods collard greens
Chop your greens—how finely you will need to chop the greens will depend on the strength of your blender. Combine the lime juice, apple juice, greens, mango and grapes in a blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute, adding more juice or water as needed to reach the desired consistency.
The main difference between smoothies and juicing is with juicing, all the bulky fiber is removed. You’re looking not to fill your belly with fiber, but to load up your body with nutrients. And because you’re removing the bulk, you get more veggies! As a result, juice has much higher density of vitamins and minerals than the same sized smoothie.
The main downside to juicing is that most of us would need to purchase a juicer to try it at home, and you tend to get what you pay for with these machines. A higher quality juicer will extract better and be easier to clean up, but can cost several hundred dollars.
Health-conscious juicers focus on vegetables. Glory Foods kale, mixed greensand mustard greens all make tasty and nutritious additions to your juice regimen—and they’re already washed and prepared for you! You can also juice cabbage, squash and zucchini and even green beans, but those in the know say if you’re just getting started, you may want to temper the bitter flavors of green veggies with the sweetness of apples, pears or carrots.
Here’s one juice recipe that’s bright and flavorful as well as nutrient-dense:
The Green Machine
2 cups of fresh kale greens
2 Granny Smith apples
1 ounce of peeled fresh ginger
2 stalks celery
Juice according to your juicer’s directions and enjoy immediately.
When it comes down to it, we’re sure that no matter how you’re adding veggies to your diet, whether you juice, blend or go the old fashioned route and eat them, your body will thank you for it.