Juicing is one of the healthiest things you can do, but it’s easy to get into a rut.
My “go to” juice that I make when I’m in a hurry and don’t want to put much thought into it is carrot, beet, cucumber, celery. This is a basic V-8 kind of juice — except it’s much more healthful since it doesn’t come out of a can and it’s not loaded with salt.
But it’s a lot more fun to come up with juices that are more creative than that. Juice making is an art unto itself!
One way to come up with new ideas is to look to other cultures — Mexico, for instance. I recently learned that in the ex-pat artist community of San Miguel de Allende, just about all the sidewalk cafes offer “jugo verde” (green juice).
If only it was common to serve freshly made juices at the cafes here in the U.S., I’m sure we’d all be a lot healthier!
This delicious “jugo verde” is usually made with a pineapple juice base. Ripe, fresh pineapples are best. And again, fresh pineapple juice is way more healthful than the canned kind. Pineapple juice contains bromelain, which is good for your joints.
In addition to pineapple, the juice makers at the Mexican cafes usually include parsley, spinach, cucumber, and celery. This makes for a delicious green drink that’s loaded with good nutrition, and very refreshing on a hot day.
Another very healthful juice from Mexico is “jugo de nopal,” which is made from nopal, also known as prickly pear cactus. It is often made as a tart juice with freshly squeezed grapefruit, celery, and cucumber juice.
Although it can be hard to find in many parts of the U.S., prickly pear cactus is incredibly good for you. In fact, it has been used for centuries to treat diabetes and aid in weight loss, among other things. It’s rich in antioxidants and polysaccharides.
My Micronized Purple Rice (MPR) powder, of course, is also rich in antioxidants and polysaccharides, known to help with regulating blood sugar. That may be why so many diabetics have seen improvements with MPR.
When it comes to juicing, balance is important. You don’t want too many heavy juices, or too many sugary ones.
Note that the lighter juices can be used as a base for many types of juices. For more info on that, see my earlier blog post on cucumber and celery juice.
It’s good to mix heavier juices like carrot or beet with lighter ones, and enliven that with something tart such as lemon or grapefruit, something sweet such as apple or pineapple, or something spicy such as ginger. Green leafy veggies such as spinach can be good as well.
With that in mind, here are 7 tasty, healthful, balanced juices for you to try. I have not listed quantities for each fruit/veggie, as that is a matter of personal preference, but the ingredients are listed in descending order:
1. Carrot, Apple, Ginger, and Lemon
This is one of my all-time favorites! You can use either Granny Smith apples or one of the sweeter varieties, depending on how sweet you like your juice.
2. Orange, Carrot, Turmeric, Lemon
I grow turmeric in my garden, and I love to add it to juices. You have to be careful not to stain everything yellow with it, though. This blend is also really good if you swap out the orange for mango, or use both mango and orange.
3. Pineapple, Cucumber, Mint, and Lime
Refreshing and slightly tart yet sweet, this is the perfect refreshing summer drink!
4. Watermelon, Beet, Sweet Red Bell Pepper, Cucumber, and Lemon
A luscious red juice that is especially good if you freeze some watermelon juice in an ice cube tray beforehand then blend the cubes into the juice.
5. Apple, Orange, Cucumber, Spinach, Parsley, Ginger, and Lemon
This super-healthful green drink is packed with antioxidants and is also very cleansing. And it tastes great!
6. Pear, Cucumber, Mint, and Ginger
If you’re looking for something light and delicate, and refreshing as a summer breeze, this is your juice. Use only a little bit of the mint and ginger.
7. Pineapple, Mango, Spinach, Lime, and Kiwi
Like the “jugo verde” popular in Mexico, this delicious juice features pineapple and spinach, but it adds to the tropical vibe with mango, lime, and kiwi. Delish!