low-glycemic juice recipes
Before I get into the good stuff here (and it is really good!), I want to address what this post is and what it is not.
This post is a collection of some of my favorite homemade juice and nut mylk recipes. This is not a juice cleanse regimen, nor is it an endorsement of juice cleansing or other "detoxes." As of December 2015, no randomized, controlled trials have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of detox diets in humans (considered separately from detoxification as it is meant in substance abuse treatment). Scientific and medical authorities generally do not endorse juice cleanses, where the participant consumes nothing but fruit or vegetable juice for a number of days, on the ground that there is no published evidence that these are safe or that they bolster the efficacy of the body's built-in detoxification system, the liver. However, there are studied benefits to consuming certain homemade juices, particularly increased intake of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial phytochemicals. One of the biggest concerns with juice cleansing is that it can wreak havoc on blood sugar; this aspect can be mitigated by choosing low-glycemic juices, which typically emphasize vegetables and low-sugar fruits (note: The Chalkboard, while an enjoyable website, is not a formal nutrition source; that link is included as it aggregates credible sources).
If you decide that you want to attempt a juice cleanse in spite of the information linked above, please do your research, consult with a medical professional, and don't come crying to me if you get hangry at the end of Day 2 and beg your soul-twin to rescue you with a the biggest bowl of pho in town (thank you again, Brittany, for that time in weird 2012). Ok? Great.
I will freely admit that I have attempted juice cleanses in the past (2012 was indeed weird), and that while I no longer embark on regimented "cleanses," sometimes, if I'm feeling it (usually due to my natural rhythms feeling "off" from extensive travel), I will sip on these and similar low-glycemic concoctions until my body signals that it wants solid food. In fact, the impetus for making so many juicy beauties at once was a need for some systemic rest following a wonderful trip home to St. Croix, where much rum and roti was consumed... and then, later in the evening, I had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory with my Nana. Balance is delicious, yes?
Now, for the good stuff... recipe time! Unless indicated otherwise, these recipes are to be processed through a juicer. All yield approximately 16 ounces of juice or mylk; some a bit more, some a bit less, depending on the sizes of your veggies.
Beginning from the far right:
1. Does that chocolatey beverage look familiar? That's because it's my Hazelnut Mocha Smoothie, a most delicious way to start the day. The unfiltered hazelnut "mylk" base provides some gentle protein without being too heavy on the tum. (Blend, don't juice.)
(Honorable mention: I had a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar about an hour after the Hazelnut Mocha Smoothie and before the next juice. While many of the purported benefits of apple cider vinegar are unproven, research indicates that it does help to regulate blood sugar, so for good measure, I occasionally drink it.)
2. Le Jardin
**This juice tastes like a crisp spring morning in a glass. The watercress, rich in vitamins A, C, and K, gives it a slight "bite." To make, simply juice:
- 3 cups chopped celery
- 2 cups fresh watercress
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1/2 a large cucumber
- 1/2 a lemon
3. VLGL Virgin Mojito
**I thank Amanda Chantal Bacon of Moon Juice, again, for inspiration, as her lovely cookbook gave me the idea to juice watermelon rind (which is a great way to repurpose the waste produced by the pounds and pounds of luscious watermelon that I consume this time of year).
I won't tell if you decide to add some rum and sparkling water to this refreshing potion! To make, simply juice:
- 3 cups chopped watermelon rind
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 small lime
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
4. Immortality Potion
Ah, another familiar concoction. You can find the recipe for this parsley-packed, super-potion here.
5. VLGL Virgin Bloody Mary
**This slightly-savory juice is packed with beneficial carotenoids. To make, simply juice:
- 2 large, fresh tomatoes
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1/2 a small lime
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup fresh watercress
- 2 jalapeños, seeded
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
6. Chilled-out Golden Milk
This is a simplified, hot-weather-friendly version of my ultra-cozy Golden Milk. To make this version, simply blend:
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- The juice from a thick, 3-inch hunk of ginger root (for maximum juice extraction, I like to freeze fresh ginger, reheat it, and press it with a handheld juicer)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- Pinch of stevia
- Handful of ice cubes
Serve with love and many toasts to good health!