Have you ever made fresh juice?
I’m a big fan ;)
Especially during the summer months, I love to make fresh juices and smoothies. They are a quick, healthy way to nourish myself throughout the day.
I’ve also jumped on the celery juice bandwagon. For about three months now, I’ve started my day by drinking it first thing in the morning on and empty stomach. Between that change and cutting alcohol, I’ve noticed a big difference in my digestion, skin, sleep, and energy levels.
I feel amazing! Better than I have in years.
Here are a few of my favorite juice and smoothie recipes.
Green juice: a few handfuls of spinach, 1 or 2 cucumbers, 2-3 carrots, 1 lemon or lime, 2 apples and 2 oranges. You can throw in some ginger if you like. I always encourage experimenting with the ratios, and listening to your intuition ;) Trying out different combos helps you figure out what you like best.
Watermelon, cucumber and mint. So refreshing and hydrating! You can also add lime or lemon to help balance the sweetness of the watermelon.
If you need to get grounded: apple, carrot, beet. Sometimes I throw in an orange. Root vegetables like carrot and beet are super grounding because they’re from the earth ;) Plus the beet adds such a beautiful red color!
My go-to breakfast smoothie: 1 cup of almond milk, 1 frozen banana, and 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries. Sometimes I’ll add a scoop of protein powder, a tablespoon of almond or peanut butter, and/or some maca or greens/superfood powder for an added boost.
Tropical smoothie: frozen mango, strawberry, and pineapple, with cold water as the liquid base.
Acai smoothie: frozen acai, banana, strawberry, raspberry, hemp seeds, and almond milk. You can find acai frozen or as a powder. I usually buy all of these ingredients at Trader Joe’s, and the mixed berry frozen mix is an easy way to get a variety of berries in there ;)
I also recommend looking up local spots in your town that offer fresh juices and smoothies. Often their menu will have some great ideas for what to try.
Here are some of my local favorites:
Live Life Juice Company (Chico, CA): I love the Oh My Greenness juice (apple, celery, cucumber, spinach, kale, collards, parsley and lime), as well as the Pachamama (raw almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, jewel dates, pink himalayan salt, maca, vanilla Bean, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and vanilla extract). And it’s not a juice but the Swerve froyo is to die for. ;)
OmFoods (Chico, CA): I’m pretty sure the staff can guess my order every time I walk in the door here because it’s almost always the Chunky Monkey or Strawberry/Raspberry bowl. Both come with acai, frozen banana, coconut water and ice as the base, and then have peanut butter or berry added, plus a topping that includes granola, fresh banana, berries, cacao nibs, coconut shavings, hemp seeds, and agave. I crave these bowls and have no shame at all about ordering them over and over again ;)
Fresh Twisted Cafe (Chico, CA): Orange Mango is really good (orange juice, mango, strawberries, pineapples and bananas). It's also awesome that you can add in a boost with some super healthy ingredients like noni, moringa, bee pollen, wheatgrass, maca, spirulina or hemp.
Zest Kitchen (Rocklin, CA): the Dark Velvet smoothie is amazing! It has raw organic cacao powder, fresh organic spinach, frozen ripe bananas, and raw agave nectar. Highly recommend this place for great food, and it’s all vegan.
And a few other spots I’ve had the chance to try this summer:
The Natural Sisters Cafe (Joshua Tree, CA): I tried the Rock Climbers Revenge smoothie with almond milk (instead of soy), banana, cashews and dates— such a great pick me up after the long drive from northern to southern California.
Juice it Up (Yucca Valley, CA): I had never heard of this chain and was pleasantly surprised by the variety of options they had available. I tried the PB Cold Brew Mocha (almond milk instead of soy, non-fat yogurt, cold brew coffee, chocolate, peanut butter, protein powder, and banana). Granted this smoothie and some on their menu have quite a bit of sugar content, but it made for a yummy treat ;)
Juice House (Chicago, IL): What a sweet find in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago! This place has really good vibes and a really good menu. Their staff was friendly and knowledgeable and I loved the charming, bright and cheery decor. I went here several times during my visit to Chicago earlier this summer and everything I tried, I loved (a green juice, an acai bowl and a salad). They don’t have their menu online and I don’t remember exactly what ingredients were used in each, but I highly recommend anything on their menu (and their staff will customize it for you, too). Such a relaxing and refreshing place to be on a hot summer Chicago day. :)
FruVe XPress Juicery (Chicago, IL): This West Loop juice place was within perfect walking distance of The Lab Chicago where I practiced yoga during my trip. I tried the Warrior smoothie (mixed berries, banana, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla protein and almond milk). So good!
When I head to Texas for my Yoga for First Responders yoga training at the end of this month, I’ll be stoked to try some new juice and smoothie spots out there, too!
What are your favorite juices and smoothies?
I’d love to hear!
PS Here’s another post I wrote about juices and smoothies.
Photos by Jeremy Baker.