We’ve talked about all kinds of specific leafy greens and how they work in your juicing plans. Let’s take a step back and cover some helpful info and tips on leafy greens in general.
Leafy greens are notorious for having sand or grit in them, so plan on doing a thorough rinse before you start juicing. This goes double if you are growing and harvesting your own greens for juicing. A vigorous rinse under cold water, giving all the leaves a stir-up with your hands should do the trick. Make sure all the leaves and stalks are free to loosely move around. In other words, don’t take a tight bundle of spinach and just rinse the leaves as-is. You have to get the water in between everything.
Should I Trim the Stalks When I Juice?
Actually, this may not be necessary and could be making extra work for you when you make green juices. It depends on what you’re juicing. Some greens have tougher stalks and stems than others. Even if your juicer has the power to take care of woody stems, it can really impact the flavor of your juice. We don’t want that.
The biggest culprit for this is kale. The stems can be bitter, particularly for larger old leaves. These you’ll want to cut out before juicing. Greens with lighter or softer stalks like spinach or watercress are just fine to juice without the added work. It’s irrelevant for wheatgrass because there are no stalks. Swiss chard looks like it has huge stalks but they are actually pretty soft and as sweet as the leaves. They can definitely be left in place.
It can take a lot of leaves to make up a decent shot of juice. If you’re new to green juices, it will take some getting used to. Making green juices on their own is easier because you can clearly see how much juice you’ve gotten after a handful or two of greens have gone in. But if you have a pile of fruit and veggies going into your juice along with the greens, you may not be getting as much green juice goodness as you think you are. Do a few batches of green juice alone to see how many leaves you really need to get an ounce of juice.
Keep it Fresh
The nutrients in fresh green juice are delicate and won’t hang around forever. The faster you can use your juice after you make it, the better it is for your body. That means you shouldn’t make up a whole pitcher of it and then have it last you all week. Make green juice is small batches or even daily for the best taste and highest nutrient concentrations.
Really though, leafy greens are super easy to juice and don’t require a whole bunch of rules to make them great.
And always remember, you should be using a cold press juicer on leafy greens!