The Great Juice Cleanse

First, before I go all crazy with my little stories, let me share with you my favorite recipe for fresh kale juice.  Because if you’re interested in a juice cleanse, or just juicing as a supplement, you’ve just gotta have some kale juice!

Kale Juice For Juice Cleanse or Supplement

My version of kale juice morphed from a recipe I got years ago off Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop blog.  At the time the suggestion was to use agave as a sweetener.  Since then, it has come to light that agave is not the best thing.  Now I use stevia, and will probably continue to use it until someone tells me it’s silently killing me to do so.

JEN’S FAVORITE KALE JUICE

  • 2 big handfuls of kale, with thick stalks broken off
  • couple of fresh mint leaves (totally optional)
  • juice of one good size lemon
  • about 1 cup water
  • few drops of liquid stevia, to taste

Put kale, mint (if using), lemon juice, and water in a regular blender or NutriBullet.  If you are really hard core, you could just drink it like this.  But I like to put it through strainer, using a spoon to push the liquid through.  With this method there is only a small amount of pulp that does not get in the juice, particularly with the NurtiBullet because it liquifies everything so nicely.  Once you have your strained juice, you can mix in the stevia with a spoon, giving it a few moments for the flavor to meld in.

Why the sweetener at all, you might ask?  Well, as I told my husband, some of us are just very sweet and it takes a little extra something to keep us this way. 😉  (Plus, I can get my 2 pickiest kids to drink it, which is a win in itself.)

So, now that you’ve got your juice, do sit down and stay awhile!

Oh good, you’re still here!  So, I’ve got a confession.  I LOVE documentaries.  I don’t get excited about summer blockbusters and I can’t tell you the last regular movie I saw.  (Assuming Curious George’s Big Adventure doesn’t count?)  But give me a good documentary and I’m IN.   One of the latest ones we saw was called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.   The story line involves an overweight and out of shape fellow who is dealing with a terrible disease.   The film follows his quest to regain his health through a juice cleanse.

I really enjoyed the film.  “Wasn’t that interesting?  So, what should we have for dinner???”  Ha!  Look, I can appreciate that it worked for those in the movie who were literally “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.”  And it was cool to see how quickly their health improved with a change in diet.

But myself?  I am Slightly Plump, Healthy, and thankfully Very Much Alive.  So I’m just not that desperate.  Nor I am medically cleared for fasting, which is a fabulously legitimate excuse.  Though I did feel inspired to get back to hand pressing the kale juice I just told you about. Nutritional power punch + tasty + still eat real food?  Works for me!  My husband, on the other hand, was totally motivated by what he saw.  He was ready to do a real juice cleanse, possibly even for the 10 days suggested in the film.

WHAT?!?

So, being a lovely wife, I agreed to support him in his efforts.  In as much as I would not cook bacon while he was on the cleanse.  Because making a person smell bacon they can’t eat is just mean, isn’t it?  To further show my support, I even volunteered to get the juicer (unopened in the box) out of the garage and make sure no black widows were nesting in it.  Low and behold, it ACTUALLY WORKED!

The juice fast was ON.  (For him.)

As I mentioned earlier, very little pulp is wasted with hand pressed juice.  But I was HORRIFIED when I saw massive piles veggies being put the juicer and a teeny tiny amount of juice coming out, while a whole slew of chopped up bits came shooting out into the scrap bin.  I’m talking close to $10 of organic produce to get MAYBE 2 or 3 cups of juice.  AGGHHH!  The waste!  The grocery budget!  I couldn’t bear to look.  (But I still took a picture.)

This is what came out of the back of the juicer.  It looks like a salad, right?

This is what came out of the back of the juicer. It looks like a salad, right?

“Why don’t you make soup out of it?  A nice vegetable risotto?  Or a chutney?”

“Chutney?  Really?” I laughed, looking at the half masticated bits.

“What’s so funny about a chutney?”

Well, I’m not even 100% sure what chutney is.  But being unable to just throw it away, I tried to make a smoothie with some of it.  GAG!  BLECH!  Okay, the juicer does work in removing ALL the tastiness from the food.  Maybe we just don’t have the best juicer?  But I didn’t like it, not one bit.

“You just throw it away when I’m not looking, okay?”

Beau, who has a pretty good palate for vegetables, asked to try the juice.  GAG!  BLECH!  “EWWW!  ONIONS!”

Yes.  Onion Juice.  We’re talking hard core detox, people.

“Why don’t you juice chocolate?” asked Finn.  Now we’re talking!  That Finn, he’s my kind of guy.

So, long story short, my Rock Star Hubby made it about 3 days on his juice fast!  Go him!  And then he made a fabulous vegetable soup that we were all able to enjoy.  (Not out of the juice bits, thankfully.)

“What should we do with the juicer?” he asked afterwards, contemptuously eyeing the Instrument Of Torture.

He may have had HIS fill of juice, but I sure have gotten a lot of kale into my diet this week to use up the EIGHT BUNCHES we had in the fridge.  I’ve also gotten a fair amount of chocolate, beer, pizza, and hamburgers…

So, while I won’t be going on a juice cleanse any time soon, I will be cutting out sugar and going back to tracking on My Fitness Pal.  TOMORROW.  So those of you who are on My Fitness Pal, come and get me and give me a keyboard lashing if I don’t show up.  If you want to join in the “fun” on My Fitness Pal (because it sounds so fun, right?) I’d love to be Pals with you.  My user name is Snarky Pen.  And my food diary is viewable, so you can look and be all “Oh no she DIDN’T…”  😉

P.S.  If you’d like to read a comprehensive article on the health benefits of juicing, check out this one from Dr. Mercola.

Comments

  1. The Mister and I have a juicer, and we incorporate the juice with normal eating (replacing maybe one meal of the day with it). There will be plenty of pulp, even with the higher end juicer. The test is more about the wetness of the pulp. What comes out is essentially concentrated. And, I loved that documentary! I suggest reading “The Juiceman’s Power of Juicing” by Jay Kordich if you want to juice. If you are looking for a natural, safe way to sweeten the vegetable juices, try juicing a green apple. Granny Smiths are best; the other apples tend to be WAY too sweet- even for the Mister.
    While I haven’t been logging on MyFitnessPal for some time (my keyboard is not cooperating with the app), I do keep a diary in an old fashioned notebook. I have cut out sugar, wheat, and most starches. Dropped those pesky last 15lbs.
    Way to go on getting more healthy- because that’s what it’s about! Healthy, not skinny.

    • Jennifer says:

      Sorry that My Fitness Pal isn’t working for you! But you probably don’t need it anymore, since you’ve developed such great habits! I like it to reign me back in when I feel myself getting a little out of control. Usually it’s out of control with the sugar, if I could stay away from chocolate all together I would be all set. 😉

      I will definitely try the Granny Smiths when they are back in season. I have a thing about buying apples in the summer. I have to be careful about too much fruit sugar too, those would probably be perfect though.

  2. Love the write up 🙂

    My 2 cents; Bullets rock! Juicers make Pulp!

    If you disregard the bullets 30 second mix recommendation and use a 3 to 4 minute mix cycle straining will no longer be needed 🙂

    I am curious what the bullet could do with all the juicer’s pulp?

    Bullet Fan,
    Kenan

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks Kenan! Last time I blended the kale and lemon for probably about a minute and only got about a tablespoon of pulp! (That was including a whole lemon with only the peel cut off.) I tried putting the kale pulp from the juicer in the bullet with some fruit, but I think the juicer had taken all the good taste out of it. It was nasty!

      We are loving the Bullet though, I can’t believe how it even grinds up the chia seeds. The kids love their smoothies now because there are no icky bits. 🙂

      • Jennifer,
        I love that you tried using the pulp with the bullet! While reading your original post I was excited about the potential to try this and other pulp experiments. As with all scientific experiments some times the ones that do not work are as important as the ones that do.

        I agree about the small icky bits, even with 3 or more mixing minutes some do still hold on. We can ignore them but I imagine this would not go over we’ll with a younger pallet 🙂 I am happy to hear the kale is well received by the critics. My blood work results at the Dr’s office today revealed the increased kale and vegetables is having a positive influence for me.

        All the best,
        Bullet fan Kenan

  3. Linda Gillette says:

    Jim and I have been using a vitamin for around 8 or 9 years now. We love it. It’s not a blender but an appliance. You can grind your almonds to make almond flour etc. Its better than a juicer. Use it to chop nuts veggies etc. While Jim has a Mr. Juiceman juicer, we never use it because juicers remove the pulp where the nutrition is. The vitamin pulverizes everything so there is no trace of anything solid. Most people throw away the core of the pineapple because it is tougher but that is where all the high levels of bromine is which reduces histamines which cause inflamation in the joints. Therefore, you gain the benefit of everything you throw in your smoothie.
    One of my favorite green smoothies which makes enough for breakfast and lunch
    Start with 1 cup of your favorite fruit smoothie. Use a second cup if needed for flavoring n sweetener.
    Add 2 handfuls of organic baby kale
    1 lg handful of organic baby spinach
    Cabbage (even if you hate cabbage, you will never know it is there).
    2 tablespoons each of chia seeds, hemp hearts and golden flax seeds.
    Throw in some red and green peppers and a tomatoe or two.
    Sometimes I throw in a tab or 2 of our homemade organic nut butter just for a different taste.
    Start vitamix on low then medium and then high. Then turn on pulverize switch until everything is thoroughly blended. Add lots of ice. Taste. If your fruit smoothie still dominates then you can add more greens.
    Since I don’t want to taste the raw kale or spinach but want to get plenty in my system, I add them according to how it tastes to me..using the fruit smoothie as my sweetener. If you add too many greens add a ripe banana it is always a good sweetener

    I found this smoothie makes a great breakfast and/or lunch smoothie. It really fills you up when you add the flax, chia, and hemp hearts.

  4. Linda Gillette says:

    There are some fabulous RAW receipes for treats that satisfy the sweet tooth but are healthy for you and the kids. One of my favorites are called donut
    If you use a food processor…make sure it has a large bowl as batter gets really thick and gooey.
    This receipt came from ani’s raw food kitchen by Ani Phyo
    Keeps over a week in the refrigerator.
    1 3/4 cups almonds organic
    1/2 ts sea salt or Himalayan salt
    1 vanilla bean scraped – I pulverize it instead
    2 cups dried pineapple chopped
    2 cups pitted dates…I use the Medjol
    1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup shredded organic coconut
    Place almonds salt and vanilla in food processor. Process into a fine powder first. Slowly add chopped pineapple and dates. Mix well. Place in a large bowl. Mix in 1/3 cup shredded coconut
    Use an ice cream scooper or spoon to form donut holes. Roll holes in 1/4 cup shredded coconut.
    Store in covered container in refrigerator. Keeps two weeks

    11 % dietary fiber. 6% potassium, 3% iron. 13% vitamin E 6 grams protein. 1% vitamin k. N more

    BLUEBERRY SOUP WITH CASHEW KREAM
    makes 4 servings
    Soup
    4 cups blueberries organic. Fresh or frozen
    1 cup Medjool pitted dates or 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
    Cashew Kream
    2 cups cashews
    1 cup distiller or alkaline water
    1 batch Puckering Lemon Mint Ice

    Purée blueberries and dates in food processor. Scoop into a bowl and set aside
    To make Cashew Kream
    Blend cashews and water into a smooth kream
    Fold into soup. Mix slightly to swirl blue and white. Scoop purée into four bowls
    Top with Lemon Ice

    Puckering Lemon Mint Ice
    Juice of two lemons…about 4 tbsp.
    1/2 bunch fresh mint leaves torn into small pieces
    1 cup water – distilled or alkalizer water

    Combine lemon juice mint and water. Pour into a covered container and freeze
    Defrost 10 minutes before eating. Keeps for 7 days

    Calories 2 per serving. 1 gm protein. O fat 2 gm sugar.

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