“I juice. I drink a shake every morning. After the gym, I need to have my smoothie.” If you haven’t uttered these words, you’ve heard them from a friend or acquaintance.
When we wrote the personal blender guide, we were amazed at the amount of confusion out there regarding not only appliances but also concoctions as well. And in true ReadPlease fashion, we wanted to get to the bottom of things and sort through the information to give you a summarized report on what is what.
Juicing is a process that extracts the juice from fruits and vegetables, removing all solid matter and just providing the liquid, vitamins, enzymes, and minerals in drink form.
- A fantastic way to get voluminous amounts of plant food into your body with one drink. The extraction process removes the fiber so you’re able to eat a lot more than you would if the foods were in the original form on your plate.
- Juicing can give your digestive system a rest. Yes, we do need fiber, but for varying reasons, some people may take a break from it and juicing is a great way to get nutrition into your body while doing so.
- A great alternative for people with sensitive digestive systems to obtain the benefits of a plant based diet.
- Texture free drink is an alternative option for individuals who do not like the consistency provided by blending plant foods.
Shakes, Smoothies & Blended Drinks
Blending takes that delicious blend of fruits and vegetables and mixes them up into one beverage without removing part of the produce. Check out our Magic Bullet vs Nutri Bullet guide for some great smoothie making machines.
- This method allows you to foods that are not plant based like oats, seeds, and nuts into your drink.
- You can put nut butter, smaller greens like sprouts, and powdered shake mix into your drink.
- Because these superfood smoothies contain the fiber that juices do not, you may find them more filling as a meal substitute or snack.
There really aren’t any cons to juicing or blending, but if you are using these as a meal replacement, you do want to be aware of sugars and calories that you are adding to your daily diet. If you are using a powdered mix, research the contents. Not all are created equal.
We have put together a few recipes to introduce you to the world of drinkable goodies, each with a little bit of detail as to what benefits you may find from the mixture.
We pulled this from Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Juice book because Kris knows juicing, and she has become a trusted source in wellness since a cancer diagnosis led her to a health revolution of her own life. If you haven’t heard of her, check her out, we think you’ll find her to be a great ally in your health journey as well.
Crazy Sexy Green Juice Formula
Kris suggests the following formula for creating your green juice.
Green Goodness Juice
Here’s one of our favorite combos!
4 celery stalks
½ head Romaine lettuce
½ bunch of parsley
1 green apple
1” fresh ginger root
- When buying produce, organic is best, but if you can’t find organic all of the time, try to at least stay within the Environmental Work Groups guide to the Dirty Dozen – those fruits and vegetables that you should really try to buy organic based on pesticides residue found on those crops. They also offer a complete list here with 2017 data.
- If you can’t wash your juicer immediately after use, at least rinse it and soak for later tending to. You’ll thank us, we promise.
- You may experience symptoms of detoxing if you go full force on juicing at first. This might mean headaches, skin eruptions and disruptions, fatigue, and so on. Working with a certified doctor or wellness coach is recommended if you want to make a dramatic change to your diet at any time. These symptoms will pass. It’s your body purging all the buildup that it can now release with this pure nutrition running through your body like a top-notch cleaning crew!
- You can make a larger batch of juice and store some for same day consumption. Store in a container with a tight lid so allows as little air as possible to get to your goods.
- Be sure to wash all produce before juicing!
We love blended drinks. Midafternoon, when are hungry for “something:, and don’t know what, this always does the trick. One tester’s favorite tip is to buy bananas, and freeze them whole or chop up like little ice cubes. They really add a lot of depth and richness to your smoothie.
Chocolate Chip Banana Shake
1 frozen banana
1 cup almond (or other nut milk)
1 tsp coconut oil
1 dried date
¼ cup of almonds
1 T hemp seeds
¼ cup of cacao nibs
Blend all together for about 30 seconds, then add the cacao nibs for another 5-10 seconds (if you blend the entire time, they become too pureed for our liking)
Tasty Turmeric Tonic
Turmeric is touted for its anti-inflammatory benefits which experts acknowledge are associated with many of our common ailments including migraines and arthritis. But it benefits don’t stop there. Studies have found it contains cancer-fighting properties and promotes wellness and longevity as well. But getting it in your diet can be a bit tough. We think that you’ll like this tasty tonic.
1 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp honey – we recommend Manuka Honey whenever possible!
½ Tsp Turmeric – you can use fresh or dried
Blend until you achieve the consistency desired, but do not leave unattended or for over 45 seconds without testing! Sprinkle with cinnamon or chili – or both!
*If you are using frozen bananas or mango, try to use fresh with one, and frozen with the other. If not using either frozen, add a couple of ice cubes
**You can add a dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt if you want a thicker shake
Green Goodness Drink
This blend will give you the healthy fats in yummy avocado for energy, and lots of hydration in the cucumber and
½ cup coconut water
½ avocado peeled, without the pit
1 cup frozen blueberries
½ cup fresh spinach (we promise, it’s good!)
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp honey (get that Manuka!)
½ – 1 cup of ice (add to get the consistency you like)
Blend until you achieve the consistency desired, but do not leave unattended or for over 45 seconds without testing!
- Do not leave your blender unattended, and we recommend blending at 30-second increments then testing until you become familiar with your blender’s power. Take our advice with this one, no one wants a warm smoothie and these little blenders can heat up your drink fast if you’re not careful!
- Watch calories – while whole foods have amazing health benefits, they do contain calories and you should be aware of your daily intake.
- If you can’t wash your blending jar and components immediately, at the very least rinse and let soak until you can tend to. The natural sugars and fibers make for a sticky situation if left alone for too long. A terrific way to wash your blender is to add water and a drop of dish soap then blend again. Mini-dishwasher!