It might be cliché to talk about juicing in January but cold, hard winters like this one need a boost that picks you up and leaves you feeling great inside and out.  Whether it is a “mean green” juice concoction or one filled with carrots and beets with a side of apple, juicing is a terrific way to get your daily intake of fruits and veggies while adding color to an otherwise gray winter day.  All you need is a decent blender, a fine mesh strainer and some fresh ingredients.

Get Your Greens

The most popular and trending juice right now has got to be the “mean green” – a juice that is a vibrant shade of grass green.  For some it is heaven, others become squeamish just looking at the tall glass of green liquid. Need more power-packed nutrition? Did you know that the chlorophyll in green juices gives you needed calcium, which promotes healthy hair, skin and nails? Juicing helps with digestion too. What is in them and how great do they taste?  Find out in these two recipes, guaranteed to brighten your day and leave you full of energy.

Basic Green 1

Ingredients: Kale leaves (3-4), wash & de-stem, 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into chunks, 1 green apple, cored and cut into chunks, 1-2 celery stalks, cut into chunks, ½-1-inch piece of peeled ginger, ½ cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks, 1-2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice, ½ cup water. 

Place all the ingredients into the blender and set to puree.  Blend until smooth and the chunks are gone.  Pour the blended mixture through a strainer (you can even use cheese cloth in a pinch and squeeze the mixture with your hand) and into your glass or carafe.  Use a rubber spatula to push the last bit of ingredients through the strainer.

The juice will be warm.  Place in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes to chill. Double the ingredients to create a drink that lasts more than a day.

Basic Green 2

Ingredients: 4-5 kale leaves, wash & de-stem, ¾ cup spinach leaves, washed & dried, 1 small cucumber, peeled & cut up into chunks or sliced, ¾-1 cup of pineapple cut into chunks,  3-4 celery stalks, diced, a handful of fresh parsley.   

Blend until smooth and use a mesh strainer or fine mesh bag (veggie bags or jelly bags work well) over your glass.  Chill and serve.  Makes a large serving glass for one.

Kick the Common Cold

Yes, you can juice to help fight your nasty cold.  Just like it is important to keep hydrated (drink lots of warm water with a pinch of salt) when you are sick with a cold, juicing with garlic can help kill the viral infection within.

Ingredients: 2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped, 4-6 large spinach leaves, washed or a handful of baby spinach, juice from ½ a lemon, 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled a dash of cayenne pepper, ½ cup water.

Place all the ingredients in the blender and puree.  Strain into your glass and chill.  This blend makes a large serving for one or two small servings.  Drink up and feel better fast.

Use the freshest ingredients you can obtain.  Don’t worry if they are organic or not, if that isn’t in your budget.  It is important to get started and experiment with fruits and vegetable combinations you enjoy.