Green smoothies are now a ‘thing’, but I just haven’t found one I like and honestly I’d rather eat my fruit whole and enjoy it, rather than use it to mask the flavour of something I don’t like. Also my digestive system honestly doesn’t always cope well with a cold smoothie landing my stomach. I find fresh juices more manageable, but with juicing you are removing most of the plant fibre, which means the natural sugars in any fruits and vegetables you use are digested and hit the blood stream more quickly (not ideal).
My solution is green juicing, using only green vegetables rather than sugary fruits and roots. One glass a day is plenty for me, and if you’re going through chemotherapy I did read in the Living Well With Cancer Cookbook that you shouldn’t have more than this during treatment. I can only speak from my own experience, but I do feel better for having a green juice each day. Also, it may be a coincidence, but I needed a couple of blood transfusion during the first half of my course of chemo this year, and since I started having a green juice every day I haven’t needed another one. Make of that what you will!
A quick glance at my Instagram will show you how partial I am to an organic veg box delivery, and I do really like the selection offered in the Abel & Cole green juicing box. Unlike a lot of juicing boxes available it doesn’t have any high carb roots and is light on the fruit (only lemons and some apples, which I leave out of my juices and keep for eating whole). You get celery, two cucumbers, two lemons, ginger, parsley, mint, two types of greens (usually spinach and one that varies seasonally, but can be kale, lettuce, chard or watercress), and a few apples – all organic, for £12.50 plus delivery. Admittedly you can also get organic version of most of these in supermarkets, although you’d likely struggle to find organic herbs and ginger.
What generally goes in my green juice:
1 large stick of celery
handful of spinach and/or chunk of broccoli stalk and/or spring greens and/or cabbage
small lump of fennel (about 1/4 small one)
2-3 mint stalks with leaves
small handful of parsley
small piece of ginger (approximately size of large pea, more if liked)
The instructions that come with the juicer generally tell you to sandwich leafy ingredients between harder ones to get the most juice out of them, which works well.
I’m lucky enough to have an Oscar Vitalmax juicer. It’s what’s known as a ‘masticating’ juicer as it ‘chews’ up the veg, which is supposed to be superior to the cheaper ‘centrifugal’ juicers which spin the veg around but may not extract as much juice and oxidise it more. If you haven’t tried juicing before and budget is an issue maybe start out with a cheap or second hand centrifugal juicer and see how you go, then upgrade later. I would definitely recommend the Oscar as it is much quieter, more compact and easier to clean than the centrifugal juicer I previously had, and very easy to use. I was lucky enough to find a pre-owned but unused one on eBay a couple of years ago, but think it is worth the investment at full price.