Juice Your Way … to Lots And Lots of Greens!

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You all know I love juicing. Making raw, fresh juice is a habit for me, and it helps me feel strong and energized while getting in my daily veggie requirements, when—let’s face it—I otherwise wouldn’t. In recent years, juicing has hit the mainstream, and it makes me so happy to see it gaining widespread popularity. It also makes me realize there are thousands of juice newbies who may need some guidance.

If you’re one of them, a new book, The Juice Generation: 100 Recipes for Fresh Juices and Superfood Smoothies, could be just what you need. Penned by Eric Helms, the founder of the wildly popular juicery Juice Generation in New York City, it’s loaded with helpful tips and strategies for folks new to juicing. It also contains tons of celebrities weighing in with their favorite recipes, plus a foreword written by Salma Hayek. 

To shake up my juicing routine, from all of the options, I decided to give Debra Messing’s favorite juice a whirl. Here’s what Debra herself says about it:“I am relatively new to juicing and I can honestly say this difference I feel is HUGE. Every morning on set I have my ‘green’ drink, which is spinach, kale, cucumber, lemon, celery, green apple. Sometimes I’ll add beets, and if I’m under the weather I’ll add ginger. I’m not a big green vegetable eater, so the juice really has filled a huge void in my diet, and I feel stronger for it.”

Debra’s Green Elixir

  • 3 leaves kale
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 medium apple
  • 5 stalks celery
  • 1/4 medium cucumber
  • 1/2 small beet
  • 1/2 medium lemon, peeled

Wash everything and toss in your juicer. That’s it. (Yes, even the entire peeled lemon, with seeds.) 

Admittedly, I was a little bit snobby about this recipe when I first saw it. Ooh, three whole leaves of kale, I thought. What will this recipe make, a shot-glassful?

Forgive me, Debra Messing. I was so wrong. This recipe gets its bulk from the five stalks of celery, and actually makes about 22 ounces of fresh juice, which tastes tart, green, healthy, and a tiny bit sweet thanks to the apple and beet. The concoction would be a vibrant, brilliant green if not for the beet, so it does take on a slightly muddled color that isn’t so pretty. But really...who cares? We’re drinking our greens, and they taste great, and this juice is really simple to make with common grocery store ingredients!

All in all, The Juice Generation has interesting ideas for avocado and young coconut-water smoothies, and gets deep into the how’s and why’s of juicing, helping newbies understand what it is we’re doing when we juice. The book is not a quick-reference recipe guide, however—it’s organized into three phases of prowess, from absolute beginner to advanced juicing scientist. Right now, I’m deep into “Phase 3: Ultra Green”, and I’ll let you all know how it goes as I cross new juicing frontiers, where collard greens, peppery watercress, and spicy turmeric juice get jazzed up with superfoods like spirulina, acai, and blue green algae. It’s a new kind of Pulp Fiction!

See the rest of the recipes in our Juice Your Way... column here.

Photo by Alexey Ivanov