Green juice every day
It’s been a while I hear great things about the green juice – it feeds, detoxifies and gives us a lot of energy. It’s also been a while that I feel tempted to try it. However, I must confess that the idea of waking up earlier to wash apples and kale, to blend them all making a lot of noise in the house and to sift and drink it two hours before my breakfast always stopped me from trying. An espresso with a croissant eaten in pieces with raspberry jam spread on them always sounded much better and yummy. I was aware the juice must be very healthy but it didn’t seem feasible to me, actually.
This was on up to the moment I met Sílvia Corbucci, from Cozinha Efêmera (Ephemeral kitchen, you can read more about her here in the blog). She is so alive and has such a busy schedule – and, like me, she has been going through the 30s – which forced me to ask where all this energy come from. She told me that she has been drinking a glass of green juice on an empty stomach for about one year every single morning.
And she was the only one who could make me try my first glass: last December I went to her house in the evening and found Sílvia working hard in food pre-preparation for a client who had ordered dinner for 20 people. She told me she would work all night long cooking and offered me a rich glass of green juice; it was creamy, full of textures and flavours – I could’ve never imagined that, besides of everything I heard this juice could be so tasty! It was her medicine against any kind of tiredness. I left her place fully charged and convinced myself that this juice should be part of my life.
I made this decision even because I reached the end of the year without any strength, as if there was camomile tea running through my blood veins. I had coffee, turned up the volume, ran for 5 km, had a quite weekend but nothing seemed to give me power. I needed to do something about it. So, I decided that in 2013 my mornings would start in a green colour.
In January, I spent three afternoons with Sílvia learning how to prepare three green juice recipes, from the simplest to the most complex one. And I photographed everything to be able to share with you. I must say that after the juice overdose we had that afternoon, I went to a work meeting and, in the end of the day I ended up in a party which I danced until 5 in the morning!
Are you willing to try it? Well, before starting I must remind you: this juice must be prepared and drank at the same time – it is totally useless to keep it for the next morning! – and on an empty stomach because your body can better absorb the nutrients. Your cute breakfast with bread, cereals and coffee must be taken two hours later – it doesn’t matter if it will be at home, at work, or at the coffee shop next corner. This is an invitation to share recipes and experiences here for those who are already green juice lovers or for those who, like me, are starting to be.
This is the simplest green juice – and it works as the basis for all the others.
4 kale leaves
2 small apples (or 1 of big size)
Half pint of ice-cold water
Tear the kale leaves and remove the stalk. Chop the apples (don’t remove the skin) in big pieces. Blend everything with half pint of ice-cold water. If your blender is not very powerful you can use one “biopestle” (a carrot with its edge cut or a cucumber) to push the flowers. Blend until you get a homogenous result. Then you can pour everything in a strainer*. Drink it immediately.
* Sílvia strains everything in a voile strainer and it may be found in health food shops or it can even be homemade (you just use a rubber band around it). This strainer makes the texture perfect, velvety, because it holds the fibres and only lets the liquid goes. Whoever prefers may use a large sieve as long as the holes are very small.
** We added a small bunch of parsley in this juice, as you can see on the pictures. If you also want to try with that, just add leaves of parsleys to the mixture in the blender.
From now on, the juice will get more and more ingredients; however, the whole process of juice 1 is used for the others: remove the stalk of green leaves and use a glass of ice-cold water. And the ingredients we suggest here are not necessarily those given: you may change the fruit or leave out something you don’t have at home.
This is for those who are already used to having juice 1 every morning and would like something more incremented. The base ingredients are the following:
Assorted leaves (taioba, kale, parsley, spinach)
Sprouted grains (lentils, chickpea, or moyashi beans)
Fruits (grape, apple)
Roots (carrot, ginger, beetroot)
Cucumber (optional, it is used when we want to put less water in the juice)
It is a similar recipe: use from four to six leaves of kale or three leaves of kale, half sheaf of parsley and leaves of two or three stalks of spinach (the leaves). Have a good amount of leaves in a way it fills up the blender if you don’t press them much. Add a full tablespoon of your favourite sprout grain.*
We also put a carrot in it; you may exchange it for another root like yam, beetroot or sweet potato. Add a glass of ice-cold water or, if you prefer, replace it by a cucumber (with skin) which is light-flavoured and contains a lot of water.
We put an apple and a small bunch of grapes, two very sweet fruits to sweeten it. Blend everything and then strain it in a voile strainer.
* The sprouts are very easy to prepare. The general rule is: 8 hours of water, 8 hours of air. Choose some fresh, raw and preferably organic grains. Leave them in a water bowl during the night or for 8 hours. Then you drain the water and wash the grains in a sieve. Put them in a jar with a wide mouth and cover it with a piece of tulle (tie the fabric over the mouth of the jar). For the next days, you soak and drain them 3 times for 2 or 3 times a day. After the first 8 hours the seeds must start to germinate and have their first little branches shown. The grain is ready to be eaten at this point.
It is a gift, a “party juice” as Sílvia calls it. It is more like a smoothie for me and it is worth a meal! The base of it is:
Creamy fruits (papaya, banana, guava)
Nuts (they must soak for 8 hours)
Dry fruits (the make it sweet and creamy)
It is the same base, assorted and fresh leaves – we used taioba and spinach – and a tablespoon of sprouts. The chosen fresh fruit was papaya (half papaya and a thick slice of Formosa) and a bunch of dry plums and another of raisins. Add half cup of hazelnut* to make it creamy and to give a milky texture in the juice.
To perfume your juice, you can use ginger, citron, lemon balm, peppermint, basil and coriander.
* You can use any other nut instead of hazelnuts but always leave them in water between 4 and 8 hours. This procedure cuts phytates out, a not very good substance for our body.