Cool as a Cucumber: How to Cool Down with Green Juice

 Photo by  Vince Lee  on  Unsplash

Photo by Vince Lee on Unsplash

I have been juicing for a very, very long time. When I first started I had a small centrifugal juicer, and I mostly juiced apples and carrots in it, with the occasional addition of ginger. This was after all the early nineties and nobody was yet talking about the power of greens. Then I slowly started adding a celery stick here, and a piece of cucumber there, basing my juicing experiments on know-how learned in a juicing book by Dr. Norman Walker, a natural hygienist living at the turn of the previous century. However, my £25 juicer was not up to juicing anything as exotic as green leaves or a strawberry and so my choices were a little limited.

Eventually, with the rise of the raw food revolution, about ten years or so ago, I discovered the power of a green juice based mostly on veggies with just a small addition of fruit for palatability. I have decided it was time to upgrade my juicer to one that will juice all these wonderful things like lettuce leaves and wheatgrass and herbs, and I have not looked back ever since.

Some people will argue that to make a juice is time-consuming and expensive, with all the waste that you have to throw into compost. There are some experts who are anti-juice arguing that as all the fibre is removed the juice gets absorbed too quickly in our stomachs, which can raise our blood sugar level and cause problems for some people. They may promote green smoothies instead, as everything is still in the drink, including the aforementioned fibre. While this argument makes sense to me, and I enjoy green smoothies too, there is something about a green juice that I cannot quite replicate with a smoothie. For me, green smoothies are more for winter time, especially when made with heavy nut milks as a base, as they are more filling and not as cooling as juices.

This cooling effect makes a zingy green juice my top choice for Summer, especially on a hot day. When you make a green juice with a very small amount of sweet fruit, it is full of nutrients and yet light and super refreshing. There are some vegetables that have cooling properties, and if you make these the base of your juice, you may find that you are coping much better with the heat of Summer. Thanks to the high water content and nutrient density, green juices will also nourish your skin from within, making it glow and even supporting a healthy tan by providing the nutrients our skin needs such as beta-carotene.

Some of the best veggies to use for your summery, thirst quenching juice are celery and cucumber, both of which are sadly sprayed in conventional farming so buy organic if you can. They both have cooling properties and yield a lot of juice, so they make the perfect base. To this you can add some pineapple, peaches, nectarines or a chunk of ripe sweet watermelon, lemon or lime for zing (you can juice them with their skins, too, as long as they are organic and unwaxed), and perhaps a small piece of fresh turmeric or ginger for even more even more healing nutritious plant power.

If you have access to fresh green coconuts, then you are very lucky indeed. Their water is full of electrolytes, and so they are the best (and fastest) way to rehydrate our body. Simply find your way into one (easier said then done but YouTube will be your friend here), and drink up. You will feel instantly invigorated. You may (not) know that in the First World War coconut water was used for transfusions, as it is sterile while inside the coconut, and its biochemical make-up is very similar to our blood plasma. When you consider that the chemical profile of Chlorophyll is very similar to Haemoglobin (the difference being the central molecule in Chlorophyll is Magnesium rather than Iron in our blood pigment), you can imagine what a boost topping your rich green juice with fresh coconut water will be.

Whether you are a juice convert or not, I hope that you have a glorious summer full of days in the sun, wiggling your toes in the grass or in the sand on a beach somewhere, recharging your batteries and storing some of this vibrant Summer energy deep in your cells for later.

No Air Conditioning Green Juice

1 cucumber (organic, if non-organic then peel the skin off)

½ head of celery (organic)

1 broccoli stalk

½ small fennel

1 inch slice of ripe pineapple (or to taste)

Handful of fresh coriander

Handful of fresh mint

Small piece of fresh turmeric or ginger

½ to 1 whole lemon – organic unwaxed

Run everything through a juicer, alternating softer things like cucumber and pineapple with harder things like celery to keep the juicer going without getting clogged if your juicer struggles with softer produce.

I will generally keep off cuts of produce after cooking and add anything to my juices, within reason: green leaves from cauliflower, basil stalks left over from making pesto, chicory stalks, parsley stalks (powerful stuff!), greens from radishes, outer (more bitter) lettuce leaves etc.

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Blanka has been passionately learning about all things natural and alternative since her teens and has been on this exploring journey for almost three decades now. She discoved essential oils back in the 90s, fell in love with raw living foods in the noughties, and played with many other things in between. She is a Kundalini as well as Hatha yoga teacher, enjoys cooking, makes her own beauty products, and is always on a quest to find the best coffee in town.

Originally from the Czech Republic, she now lives with her Husband and a cat called Chloupek in SE London, where she teaches from her cosy yoga studio.

If you enjoy her Balance Garden musings and are looking for more, find her on her website or over on facebook, twitter, or instagram