Juicing greens are a little bit different then juicing other vegetables. For one, they are leafy and not dense, and second, they have strong nutrients and detoxifying effects when juiced in large portions. Here are some tips to help you with juicing greens.
Roll small leaves into a long cylinder and tap into your juicer. Depending on the type of juicer you have, it may suck the greens right in from the stem or you may have to roll them in a cylinder.
Either way, take it easy on your juicer and just feed in a little bit at a time. If you have a juicer with a small feeding tube, definitely roll it up or it will be a hassle when you're trying to jam scattered and uneven leaves in the chute with your tamper.
Hard stems are fine to juice. They have lots of nutrition and should not go to waste.
When using leafy greens with a hard stem (like kale or chard) know that you don’t have to separate the stem from the leaf like you would if you were cooking or eating them. Your juicer should be able to process them and get all of those nutrients out into your juice.
If you are cooking and preparing meals and tend to throw away waste while prepping, save the ends or stems of your greens for juicing later.
I often find myself throwing away beet tops, cucumber ends (because they don’t look pretty sliced) or the hard stems of kale (I cut off the stems before cooking or making raw chips). Don’t throw it away…it’s great in juice. Just put a bowl in your fridge to hold all of the leftovers and juice it during the week.
If you are starting a juicing regimen or have never juiced before, start slow. What I mean by this is let your body get use to green juice.
No doubt about it- green juice is super good for you and has many life giving nutrients. It also can cause detoxifying effects if drunk too much, too fast if your body isn’t use to it. Because it’s giving your body so many good things to work with for cleaning up your blood and get the trash out, it can detoxify quickly and can cause you to feel nauseous. This is not a bad thing, but it’s not really pleasant or necessary.
Start off by juicing a few leaves and working your way up to a full glass. Mix dark leafy greens with a base of celery and cucumbers - they are watery vegetables that will allow your body to digest it better. You can also add a bit of fresh spring water.
Remember, if you are accustomed to not eating raw food and eat cooked and dead foods, your body is going to go “whoa!!” when it takes in all the good stuff from the juice. Start slow with the greens.
Hide the green taste with some other palate pleasing produce. When coming up with your own recipe (by using whatever you have in the kitchen) remember these rules. Start with a base of cucumber or celery- it will always work well to dilute the strong taste some other greens can bring to the table. Add half a lemon (rind okay) and ginger for a nice taste. Careful on the ginger, only a small knob will really give your juice a kick. Adding an apple will also increase sweetness and take the bitterness away.
So if you want to start juicing greens daily, keep and apple, ginger, lemons and celery, cucumber on hand for a great tasting drink.
Here are some green juice recipes.
If you are going to get serious about juicing greens and don’t have a good juicer for it, consider one. The best juicers for juicing greens are single and twin gears. Centrifugal juicers just don’t work as well and you will end up with a lot of waste. You need a juicer that is really gentle on the leaves to preserve the nutrients. The juicers that spin really fast create heat and don't juice greens well - if they do kill they nutrients before they get to your glass.