Welcome to the ultimate beginner's guide to making green juices taste good! This guide is for you if (1) you're already a green juice lover and you're looking for tips and recipe ideas or (2) if you're trying to incorporate them into you're routine but are still not convinced they can actually taste good.
- Green juices for beginners
- Find out why you don't like green juices
- How to transition from fruit juices to super green juices
- Vegetables with a mild flavor
- Liquids to add to your blender juices
- Tips to make your green juice tasty
- Time-saving tips
- How to make green juices more digest
- Tasty green juice recipes for beginners
Green juices for beginners
There is no time of the year to start drinking green juices. I'm sure we all have different reasons for incorporating green juices into our diet. Whether it's for that extra nutrient boost, to add more veggies to our diet, to lose weight or simply because we enjoy it, every reason is good. No matter what your motivation is, I want to encourage you to pursue this green juice journey and find your favorite green juice recipe.
This guide is not about the benefits of green juices and will not teach you how to use your juicer. In contrast, you'll find out why you may not enjoy them as much as fruit juices, how to transition from fruit juices to green juices and what you can do to actually start appreciating them. Here are some additional resources on green juices I recommend:
- How to make green juices with a blender in 3 easy steps
- Does green juice have benefits? All you need to know (based on scientific literature)
- The 12 best vegetables to juices (based on scientific literature)
Find out why you don't like green juices
If you're a green juice lover, you're very welcome to skip this section. For those of you who would like to start drinking green juices but don't really like them, the first important step consists in finding out what exactly bothers you.
To find out what is it that you actually don't like about green juices, you need to ask yourself several questions. When you find the cause, you can apply different strategies to make green juices taste good to you.
|Is it the green color that repulses you?
|Consciously realizing that it is the color that upsets you can help you ignore the trigger or hide the green color by adding an ingredient that changes it (e.g., blueberries, beetroot powder). Note that color is often a trigger for children.
|Is it the grassy/ earthy taste that bothers you?
|Some vegetables have a grassy, earthy or sulfurous taste that many people can find unpleasant. You can simply avoid them and use vegetables with a mild taste or learn to appreciate them by progressively adding them to juices you like (read below).
|What type of veggies did you add?
|Think about the last time you drank a green juice. What vegetables did it containe? Maybe it is not every green juice that you don't like, maybe it was just that one ingredient. Try out other recipes and add fruits to the juice as well.
|Because healthy juices are probably not tasty
|There is a common misconception that has been widely researched in consumer science, namely that unhealthy = tasty. This also means that many people associate foods considered as healthy with a less pleasant taste. Try out several different recipes to convince yourself that healthy, detox green juices are not only healthy but also tasty.
How to transition from fruit juices to super green juices
Just because green juices are green doesn't necessarily mean that they are ONLY made of vegetables. Many green juices actually contain fruits, fruit juices, spices and herbs. Here's how you can go from sweet fruit juices to more energy-boosting green juices:
- Start with few ingredients: don't add too many different ingredients, I'd recommend starting with 4 to 5. Also, stick to those you already enjoy eating to avoid being disappointed.
- Start with mild vegetables: there are quite a few vegetables with a milder taste. You can find a complete list below.
- Add fruits: at the beginning, it is a great idea to add both fruits and veggies to your green juice. Fruits will make the juice sweeter and tastier for many people. Great options are apples and pears, citrus fruits and exotic fruits such as pineapple. Think about adding fruit juices to your blender smoothies (more on this here).
- Add herbs you like: herbs can completely change the taste of a juice. An herb that is commonly added to juices for its fresh flavor is mint. But you could also use parsley or coriander if you like these herbs.
- Progressively move on to more grassy, earthy and sulfurous vegetables: don't start with the bad boys right away. Getting to enjoy green juices can be a process, so wait until you really enjoy the milder green juice before progressively adding in earthy vegetables such as kale and celery. Once you've found a recipe you really like, start by adding as little as a small handful of celery or kale to the juice.
Vegetables with a mild flavor
Here are some vegetables with a mild flavor that you can add to your green juices to make them taste less "green":
- Spinach had a fairly neutral flavor. You can easily make the juice more or less "green" by adding a small handful or several cups of spinach to your juice.
- Cucumber contains a lot of water and will make the juice super hydrating. Peel the cucumber for an even milder taste.
- Zucchini is great in smoothies for their fairly neutral taste. Peel the zucchini for an even milder taste. I recommend using shredded zucchini for blender juices.
- Carrots are known for their slightly sweeter taste. Use shredded carrots for blender smoothies.
- Cauliflower is probably my favorite vegetable to add to your smoothies.
Liquids to add to your blender juices
My favorite tip to make green juices taste good is to add a small splash of fruit juice. If you are using a blender for your green juices, it is important to add enough liquid so that it blends easily. Liquids help you reach that juicy consistency and not a smoothie. You can add solely fruit juices or a mix of juice and water/ice cubes. Great fruit juices to add to green juices are:
- Apple juice or pear juice adds a sweet touch to the green juice and balance the "green" flavor of the vegetables.
- Citrus juices such as lemon, limes, orange or grapefruit. Citrus fruits pair really well with most vegetables and make vegetable juices more refreshing. Simply add a splash of freshly squeezed citrus juice to your blender.
- Pineapple juice is often added to vegetable juices
- Maracuja juice is probably my favorite because it makes the juice very special.
Tips to make your green juice tasty
Here are some additional tips to make green juices taste good:
- Skin the vegetable to remove its slightly grassy taste (even though this highly depends on the cucumber variety). You can also remove only half the skin to make it taste less "green" but still enjoy the benefits. Cucumber skin, for instance, contains vitamin C, minerals such as potassium and antioxidants.
- Add more apple juice to make it sweeter. However, you'll also increase the fructose (natural sugar present in fruits) content of your juice. Always make sure to use 100% apple juice that is not made from concentrate.
- Wash and cut the vegetables ahead of time if you make green juices daily. I like to store some cut cucumber and zucchini in an air-tight container in the fridge. I usually cut up enough vegetables for 3 juices at a time.
- Buy shredded vegetables, such as carrots and zucchini. Simply add a handful to your blender.
- Use a blender instead of a juicer. You'll save a lot of time when cleaning the machine. Simply add some water and dish soap to the blender and pulse several times to clean it. No need to wash all the different pieces of a juicer (especially if you don't have a dishwasher).
How to make green juices more digest
If you have a hard time digesting raw vegetables, you can steam them first. Let them cool and store them in the fridge in an air-tight container or freeze them. You can add them frozen to your juice, it will make the juice colder (as if you were adding ice cubes). Only add a handful of frozen veggies and enough liquids to your blender to have a juice and not a smoothie. Note that these tips only work for blender juices.
Tasty green juice recipes for beginners
- Cucumber, spinach, lime, apple and ginger juice (my daily go-to green juice!)
- Citrus green juice
- Fennel green juice with lemon and cucumber, a great option if you like the anise flavor
- Pineapple zucchini green juice
- Cauliflower, mint and pear green juice
- Carrot, orange, ginger, spinach juice
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