help me learn to love green juice!
May 16, 2016 9:28 AM   Subscribe

I am a longtime vegan who hates raw vegetables. Can you give me some blended juice and/or smoothie recipes that minimize the vegetal taste as much as possible without forgoing fresh veg altogether? Difficulty level: No celery, please, I cannot bear the idea of eating or drinking celery in this lifetime.

I love all of the fruits on earth and am especially obsessed with ginger, mango, and pineapple, but I have no idea how to combine these flavors with vegetables in a way that won't trigger my gag reflex. In terms of equipment, I have a decent juicer and a really nice standalone blender along with a basic food processor and immersion/stick blender.

Books, blogs, and your own recipes would all be much appreciated. Thank you!
posted by amnesia and magnets to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I like to hide the taste of baby spinach with some ginger and apples (blend of green and red, or whatever) and MAYBE some blueberries or strawberries, in my juice. I really can't taste the spinach at all when I do that, despite using TONS. People say I'm crazy, but it almost tastes like pink lemonade. You could throw kale in there, too, if adventurous.

I guess the recipe would be (for a pint of juice) 3-4 apples, a medium-large one-handed pile of baby spinach, a few thumb-sized chunks of ginger, and whatever else you'd like to add.
posted by destructive cactus at 9:39 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Lots of recipes at Reboot with Joe.

I would suggest starting with a very tiny amount of green vegetables, then increasing it as you get used to the flavor.
posted by FencingGal at 9:40 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

I would start with carrots - they go well with cinnamon and/or ginger. Frozen carrots will have softer texture than raw ones.
I use frozen cauliflower instead of ice in smoothies - you just need enough other flavors to cover up the mild caulflower taste. As a bonus, it will stay thick much longer than a smoothy made with ice.
posted by metahawk at 9:40 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

All smoothies here as I"m not a juice person.

-Assuming you're going into summer, my favorite summer refresher is a watermelon mintini. I swap spinach for the parsley because your celery is my parsley.

-As an avocado nut, I also quite like this one.

-This is a favorite meal replacement. Not sure the almond milk is vegan but I'm sure you can swap in your favorite milk type product.
posted by TravellingCari at 9:59 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

I make a smoothie every morning with 2 fistfuls of spinach, a bunch of frozen berries, vanilla flavored soy protein powder, milk or water, and half an avocado. The avocado lends a creaminess that masks the chalky texture of the soy protein, and the berries obscure the taste of the spinach.
posted by coppermoss at 10:04 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

posted by brujita at 10:48 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Lime and cucumber is one of my favorite flavor combinations. Tequila is optional.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:58 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

No particular recipe, but perhaps a strategy: I've been eating smoothies for breakfast and really enjoying them, even though I don't like smoothies. Strategy: I make a batch and then pour them into serving-sized tupperwares and freeze. In the morning I dump one into the mixer jug thing and re-blend. TA-DA breakfast ice cream! It's delicious. And I actually don't like ice cream, either, but this is good.

Give it a shot. You might find the flavours work better as a snow-cone (or popsicle) than as a juice.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:11 AM on May 16, 2016

I really recommend Dr. Fuhrman's smoothie recipes (and recipes generally) Here are a couple:

Eat Your Greens Fruit Smoothie

Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 3 minutes

3 ounces baby spinach or kale
2 ounces romaine lettuce
1 banana
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1/2 cup unsweetened soy, hemp or almond milk
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth and creamy.

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 6 minutes

2 ounces baby spinach
2 ounces romaine lettuce
1/2 cup unsweetened soy, hemp or almond milk
1/2 cup pomegranate juice, cherry juice or cherry pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon non-alkalized cocoa powder
1 cup frozen cherries
1 ripe banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
If using a regular blender, liquefy the spinach and lettuce with non-dairy milk and juice. Add remaining ingredients and blend about 2 minutes until very smooth. If using a high powered blender, blend all at once.

Kale Power Blended Salad

Serves: 2

2 ounces kale
3 ounces romaine lettuce
1 banana
1/2 ripe avocado
2 medjool or 4 regular dates, pitted
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's Black Fig Vinegar (optional)
In a food processor or high-powered blender, blend all ingredients well until a smooth pudding-like consistency.
posted by bearwife at 11:20 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

I find that tart and sweet balances the vegetable taste. So a bunch of mild fruit is not going to balance strong vegetables, you need some lemon juice, orange juice, a bit of apple cider vinegar, etc. plus some sweetness to balance that.
posted by bongo_x at 11:36 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

I was making pesto the other day and ended up with too much liquid at the beginning. So I poured out this bright green liquid that was entirely composed of bitter greens and water and I ate it. It was so bitter! I didn't really like it at all. But it got me to thinking, do you know what else is bitter? Coffee and beer and chocolate. Have you ever had any success learning to like other bitter beverages such as those? How did you do it?
posted by aniola at 11:40 AM on May 16, 2016

Carrot and orange is delicious.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:44 AM on May 16, 2016

My favorite is the following: Slice a banana and freeze the slices overnight. In the morning, combine a good big handful of fresh baby spinach with the frozen banana slices, about half a cup of almond, soy, or coconut milk, and a spoonful of peanut butter. Blend. Taste and blend in some sugar/agave nectar if it isn't sweet enough for you (depends on the sweetness of your banana and your milk).

Using fresh baby spinach is important here. Its flavor is less strong than regular spinach or other greens. (Do not under any circumstances substitute frozen chopped spinach. Guess how I learned that lesson.)

To me, this smoothie tastes like PB and banana; I honestly can't taste the spinach.

You can also add protein powder if you like, substitute other nut butters, or substitute other frozen fruits. Using white or yellow fruit will keep the color a nice bright green. Using red fruit will make the color a weird brown, but it'll still taste good.
posted by snowmentality at 11:48 AM on May 16, 2016

Cucumber, lemon, strawberry, ginger, and mint for a very refreshing beverage. Carrot can give it a bit more heft without being overwhelming.
posted by asphericalcow at 11:52 AM on May 16, 2016

Here's my recipe:

1. Some flavor of store-bought juice for flavor. I like Trader Joe's peach juice, but whatever you like is fine - you want strong flavor here. Water for the rest of the liquid. Maybe about half a cup of juice, then enough water so that juice and water completely cover the rest of the ingredients, plus about 1/2 inch.

2. Banana for texture and sweetness. 1/2 to 1 banana (you can freeze them easily after peeling in baggies for this). Some people like Yogurt for texture.

3. Fresh or frozen fruit for more flavor and health benefits. I use frozen since it lasts forever. No need to thaw before blending. Fruits like raspberries with seeds can be slightly annoying. I like blueberries and strawberries the best but whatever you like is fine. Just get whatever fruit you like - it all goes together great.

4. IMPORTANT for me. Honey. Lots of honey - like a couple of tablespoons for one large single serving smoothie.

5. And last but not least, frozen kale or spinach. Spinach will work better than kale since it's not as tough. Kale if you don't blend it right will leave little tiny leaflets that take some getting used to. I'd start with Spinach for your green. Maybe about a cup or large handful of frozen spinach.

Side note: If you mix red or purple berries with green veggies, you get a brown smoothie. So just expect that. With these recipes, I genuinely can't taste the spinach/kale at all (and I hate kale). Over time you'll learn how much of each thing is good, but the amounts I gave are a good start for single serving in the larger size cup for a nutri-ninja or nutribullet (not sure how big your blender is).
posted by bluesky78987 at 12:45 PM on May 16, 2016

Blend it with ice -- cold masks bitter flavors. Oddly enough, grapefruit masks it as well.

I use a small bunch of kale, stripping out the middle stalk part and just using the leafy bits. Then I add an apple, some ginger, and frozen mango chunks and some ice. Sometimes I sub a grapefruit for the mango, or a couple oranges in stead of an apple. You could also use pineapple.

The important thing is that you make it palatable enough to drink, without going overboard on the fruit -- fruit juice is a big hit of sugar and can leave you feeling crash-y after.

I'm not a huge fan of juicing because it strips out all the fiber that helps you process the sugar from the fruits and also keeps you full longer. Smoothies in my Ninja are my go-to.
posted by ananci at 12:50 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Even your boring strawberry banana smoothie can handle a handful of spinach without it affecting the taste much.
posted by monologish at 1:29 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Make your own. Starting with veggies you like and add one at a time. Add spices you like.

Example: I use celery (sorry! - it's juicy and not as intense when mixed), kale, spinach, a bit of lemon and a bit of jalapeño. Sometimes also a bit of mint.

Spicy and refreshing.

But that's me -- build your own, going with your taste buds, not against them.
posted by andreinla at 2:35 PM on May 16, 2016

I love the combination of (fresh!) pineapple, cucumber, and jalapeno juices. That said, I love "green juice" and don't need the taste of the cucumber juice masked too much.

I also adore spinach + ginger, but again with actually liking green vegetable juices. You could do what Ocean Spray does and cut it with apple or white grape juice if you really hate the taste, but I think you'd have to drink a lot more of it to get the effects of the vegetables in that case.

Cucumber and mint could also be fantastic, but I haven't tried it yet. (And, like I said above, I like green vegetal flavors.)
posted by Sara C. at 2:38 PM on May 16, 2016

I created a smoothie recipe that is happily consumed by even the most indefatigable veg-hater (my 9 year old stepson). You really can't taste spinach or kale in a fruit smoothie unless you add, like, a whole bag of it.

Tropical Green Smoothie

Serves 1 generously

1 packed cup baby kale, spinach, or both
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 of a banana, sliced
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
3/4 cup frozen mango chunks
1 Medjool date, pitted
1/2 cup yogurt (optional, and I am not a vegan so have only tried this with dairy yogurt, but seems like a coconut yogurt or one of the more tropical Silk flavored would work nicely here)

Blend in a high speed blender until smooth. This makes a frosty smoothie with the consistency of soft-serve ice cream thTs just starting to melt because of the frozen fruits. You could sub fresh fruit but I would add a couple handfuls of ice in that situation.
posted by little mouth at 7:15 PM on May 17, 2016

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