Green juices and smoothies are everywhere I look lately. They made such a splash a while back that everyone has a version of it, and every version claims to be the very best one. But the thing about tastebuds is this: every single person is different. It is ridiculously hard to figure out a recipe everyone likes. And there’s always going to be someone who really doesn’t like it, no matter how good the recipe is. So this is less like a recipe and more like a build your own. There’s certain things most people like in a citrusy drink. Tanginess. Sweetener. Some people like bitter. Some like floral. Some like grassy. But if you have some solid base components and an open mind, you can make a drink even your kids will like. Come experiment with me.
Choose one or two of these, based on how much zip you like in your drink. I recommend picking one lemon no matter what, and adding citrus from there.
Sour orange, such as blood orange – just not navel unless you only want a sweet juice with no zing
Add one to two, again based on how sweet you like the drink. You can add things like honey and other sweeteners, but I really like the clean flavor of just fruits and vegetables. I think you’ll like it too, but you’ll have to keep an open mind and give it a shot. Maybe even two. Sometimes we don’t like things the first time just because we aren’t used to it yet.
Apples – Reds and yellows are sweeter, greens tend to lend a little tanginess back in, so if you used navel oranges, a granny smith apple might pair nicely
Berries – But be sparing if you do this, a lot of berries are going to color your lemonade kind of red or purple and when it mixes with the green later, it ends up a lot more brown
Pineapple – just a quarter pineapple per person works great
It’s not a green juice unless you have something green. I know, you put a granny smith in there. Awesome. But seriously, the point of a green drink is to get more spinach or kale or whatever green thing you can’t bring yourself to eat pounds of in a day into your diet. And after you drink a green juice a few times, the overwhelming weirdness of drinking your spinach just isn’t a thing anymore. Trust me. I get it. It’s weird at first. Push through. You can do it.
Kale – About a head is good for one to two people, but I use one head for my husband, both kids, and I and we like the concentration of that
Spinach – We also like to use both kale and spinach so you aren’t limited to one out of each category
Arugula – if you like some bite
Lettuce greens – They tend to be a good starter, they have a higher water concentration and are a little milder on the palate for beginners
I get bored. I like to do new things on a pretty regular basis, and my food is a pretty safe place to play with things like flavors and mixing things that seem odd. Whatever you think might be interesting, try it out. I mean, try it in a small amount, don’t make a gallon of it. But try it. You never know if you might really love it. In the meantime, here’s a few of my favorites.
Ginger – Just a small chunk will do, it has some bite fresh
Cayenne – be gentle, it’s easy to overdo it. Maybe a quarter teaspoon at first
Coconut – I’m obsessed with coconut. I put it in everything. It’s delicious.
And I can’t say this enough, if you know you won’t like something don’t put it in your drink. The point of this, as far as I can tell, is to improve your health through taking in fresh foods you don’t normally consume a lot of. But you don’t want to chug a disgusting, weird drink every day in the name of health. You want something that you like. Something you’d gladly do every day. Something that makes you feel good, and something that makes your tastebuds happy. I’m all for trying new things and seeing if you like it. But you know you. Don’t do stuff you’ll hate and you are much more likely to keep doing it.