How to Make Green Juice Using a Vitamix or Blender
March 4, 2013

how to green juice in a vitamix

A week or so ago, when I posted my recipe for homemade raw, vegan Brazil nut milk, my friend Elizabeth commented to ask why I don’t suggest the purchase of a nut milk bag (like this one) to my readers. Why indeed: as far as culinary purchases go, nut milk bags (about $8) are one of the least expensive, and they make homemade nut and seed milks that much easier and stress free. So consider it suggested! Cheesecloth works fine for nut milks, but it’s not any cheaper (less so, actually, if you have to continually restock), and it’s also messier.

Then Elizabeth mentioned that having a nut milk bag has compelled her to make more green juices in the Vitamix, by blending and straining. And that’s where I got really intrigued.

There is an age old debate in green-beverage-loving circles about the benefits of blending vs. juicing. Vitamix fanatics, among others, claim that keeping the fiber in juice intact helps one to avoid spikes in blood sugar, and thus makes the juice healthier. Juicing purists insist that the whole point of juicing is to remove fiber, and thus make the juice easier to digest—you get all of the vital nutrients without activating the digestive process.

Me, I’ve always seen the benefit of both blending and juicing. Juicing can be helpful for those with very delicate digestive systems, because it is so remarkably easy to digest. It also helps us to maximize volume of nutrient intake: it’s a lot easier to drink a green juice made from a whole cucumber, five stalks of celery, 4 stalks of kale, an apple, a bunch of parsley, spinach, and a bunch of carrots than it is to drink an entire Vitamix full of those vegetables in blended form. (In the latter case, you’ll almost definitely fill up before you finish all of the beverage.) The downside? Cleaning your juicer.

On the other hand, it’s true that juices can cause a more rapid surge in blood sugar, and so blending is fantastic for those whose blood sugar is more sensitive than others. Blended drinks—smoothies, rather—are also more filling than juices, so they’re much more suitable for denser snacks or breakfasts. And there’s no denying that it’s easier to clean a blender than it is a juicer.

I love both smoothies and juices, and I drink them depending on my needs. I like juices first thing when I wake up, before or with my breakfast. I also like them as light, energizing snacks when I’m fighting the urge to caffeinate. I enjoy smoothies, on the other hand, for breakfast, as a more filling snack, or sometimes after dinner, when I’m up late studying.

Until this past weekend, however, I never really thought about using my blender (and then straining) to make juice; in my mind, the two pieces of equipment were destined to remain separate. I’ve always known that people use their Vitamixes to make green juices (there are many tutorials online already), but I figured that it didn’t make much sense to do that if one has a juicer already. Until Elizabeth pointed out that she’s much more likely to make green juice if she doesn’t have to clean her juicer.

Good point.

I haven’t juiced since Christmas, and it’s because I’m so pressed for time lately. The idea of breaking out the juicer, with all of its component parts, first thing in the morning is a little painful. It finally dawned on me that if I could simply make green juice in the Vitamix and then strain it, I’d be drinking more green juice. Period. And so this past weekend, I set out to make my first Vitamix green juice. Here’s how it all went down.

For my juice, I used the following:

  • 1/2 of a large cucumber
  • 4 large stalks spinach
  • 3 large stalks kale
  • 1 large handful of parsley
  • 1/2 lemon, peel cut off
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1/2 large navel orange, peel cut off
  • 1 pear, seeds removed

IMG_4180

I gave them all a whirl in the Vitamix (a minute or two on high), till the mixture was totally blended. I used about 2/3 of a cup of water to get it all blending (I could have used less—1/2 cup would have done it). As Elizabeth noted, this would probably be anathema to juicing purists, but my juice still tasted potent and flavorful in the end.

I then affixed my nut milk bag over the mouth of a 1 quart mason jar, using a rubber band, like so:

IMG_4182

And poured in the juice:

IMG_4183

When it had drained through, I gave the bag a good squeeze (this part’s a little messy) to extract all of the remaining juice:

IMG_4186

And there I had it—two large servings of an absolutely wonderful green juice. No juicer needed. Here’s my finished product along with one of my favorite express breakfasts for busy days—sprouted toast with almond butter and banana (or apple):

how to green juice in a vitamix

Beautiful color!

A few thoughts on the process:

  1. I could certainly have used less water than I did to get the juice blending. Even in spite of 2/3 of a cup, though, my juice tasted great, and I didn’t feel that it was dilute.
  2. The process, overall, was so much faster than regular juicing. The only part that slowed me down was waiting for the juice to strain, so I do recommend going ahead and squeezing the nut milk bag to expedite. Careful not to be too forceful, though—I’ve broken some bags!
  3. Though this experiment did absolutely persuade me that Vitamix green juice is possible and tasty, my blended mixture was also really delicious pre-straining. So I think I’d gladly drink without straining on very busy days, if I was just as game for a smoothie as I was for a juice.
  4. Would a regular blender work for this process? Depends on the blender. My old blender, pre-Vitamix, wasn’t powerful enough to blend greens well, so I imagine that it wouldn’t have made a very good juice. That said, many blenders that are not high-speed are nevertheless powerful enough to blend greens well. Give it a shot, and see how it goes with your blender at home!

The whole process also inspired a few more green drink experiments, which I will be sharing in the upcoming weeks/days. Green drinks are so incredibly helpful for maximizing fruit and vegetable intake when one is stressed and doesn’t have time in the kitchen (which I haven’t lately). Juice, smoothie, blender juice—it’s all good. If you don’t have either a Vitamix or a juicer, using a low cost blender and choosing spinach as your green (it blends easily and tastes mild) in a green smoothie is also wonderful. Just be sure to find a way to make more room for greens in your life!

Before I go, a big thank you for some really extraordinary comments on my post on Friday. I rarely feel nervous before I press publish, but that one was pretty personal, and your feedback was very kind.

xo

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    142 Comments
  1. I love this post, Nicole- so informative! I had no idea the Vitamix blenders are made in the USA. That is good. I feel the same reservations you voiced here- that the Vitamix is too extravagant. You do make a good point about how if you add up all the busted blenders buying one Vitamix for life makes sense. Love the smoothie recipes and those cute little recipe cards!

  2. I purchased my Vitamix direct from their website. They offered a convenient payment plan and I was able to get a $500 model for less than $300 because it was refurbished. Still comes with full warranty.

  3. I am so happy to have “googled” on to this site. I’ve had my vitamix for several years making green “smoothies” mixing mostly greens with a few fruits, flax seed, chia seed, protein powder and the like. I then started reading more about juicing. After much thought and research, I purchased the Breville Elite juicer. While it worked like a dream, I like previous posters, hated the clean up. And, again like previous posters, I started making batches to store for a day or two as I couldn’t face the Breville everyday. It wore me down. Lol. So I returned it and went back to my vitamix smoothies. I also starting purchasing pre-made pressed juices. Drinking 3-4 a day at $3 a bottle was getting a bit much.
    To now learn I can choose to make my smoothie into juice when I choose is liberating. From start to finish I have a smoothie and cleaned the blender in under 2 minutes. Adding the juicing step will take a few more minutes but I’m not spending 20 minutes cleaning a juicer for one glass of juice.
    Thank you for showing me yet another use for my wonderful vitamix.

  4. Thanks for all the great tips. I have been using my Vitamix to make fruit & veggie smoothies for some time. After deciding I may be getting too much fiber for my sensitive digestive system to handle, I began straining through my nut milk bag (which is now hopelessly stained). I like the fresh, clean taste of the juice so much that I thought perhaps I needed to buy a juicer. But after reading all the comments here I’ve decided to go buy some paint straining bags instead and just keep doing what I’ve been doing. I am adding some of the pulp to my dogs’ food and the rest I compost. But maybe I’ll start saving some of that for soups, etc. Great info here!

  5. I use my Vitamix for juicing and strain with a fine mesh wire colander in the sink. Just pour it into the colander and use the vitamin tamper to swirl the mixture in the colander over a bowl. Doesn’t take long, a minute or less, and the remaining pulp is quit dry. Easy cleanup all the way around and no need for dealing with a bag… and you get very little pulp in the drink. I’ll even add a little pulp back occasionally.

  6. Thank you for this simple solution! I had thought about cheesecloth and strainers then saw the bags watching a Norwalk video ($3,000!) I’ve done smoothies for years but am new to juicing so starting simple while I determine my needs is perfect. Since I have a crush on my Vitamix adding a $10 bag rather than another piece of equipment is so easy. (And I can get one a few aisles over from produce at Whole Foods!) I’m not vegan (or even 100% vegetarian) but have settled nicely into about 75% vegetarian, half of that raw. Looking forward to my upcoming pulp vs. no pulp experiments. (One recent discovery – though I LOVE arugula, I won’t ever consume it as a juice again, lol.) Thanks again!

  7. An alternative to cheese cloth is a paint stainer bag. They are inexpensive and easy to clean. I use them for my juice and nut milk straining. No need to spend big bucks on a specialized product.

    Also, wanted to chime in on the mixing fruit and vegi. I make a kale, pineapple, celery juice that’s wonderful in the morning. Also love, spinach, frozen strawberry, coconut water and protein powder.

    Thanks for your great work!

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  9. I do love the green juice and now I am borrowing a Vita Mix if this turns out great I am going to buy me one…I have lost a lot but mostly because of the diabetics int he family. I am boarder line so wanna stay healthy and fit.

  10. Thanks for providing your smoothie ingredients! I have been making green smoothies for some time now … mostly celery, pear or apple, basil, chocolate mint, Persian cucumber, kale, parsley. I don’t strain b/c the fiber has helped to keep me healthy. I used my old blender and it worked but you had to make sure what veggies to start with (i.e., hard ones). We received the Vitamix for wedding present and it is so quick … tho’ now I have to unlearn the order of veggies. Green smoothies don’t have to be ice cold for us so they are the best for winter time. I recommended them to a friend with young children and she says that the kids don’t get sick as much! GO GREEN! Thanks again! T

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  12. Thanks for your post! I tried cheese cloth and a fine strainer, and then decided both required too much effort (due to their very small holes). After some roaming around my local Wal-Mart, I purchased a Sink Strainer for $1 (http://tinyurl.com/sinkjuice) and it worked FABULOUSLY to produce delicious, pulp-free juice with little effort. Plus, it’s stainless steel, reusable, and sturdy. I think it will last for a long time, but, it’s so cheap that if it doesn’t, I’ll just replace it! 🙂

  13. I don’t know if this is helpful here but I read somewhere that blending green vegetables slightly damages the enzymes and some other stuff. I use a Green Star juicer that slowly masticates the juice and ostensibly preserves these nutrients. I cured cancer with this drink so I share this recipe with you. It is exactly as Dr. Max Gerson desinged it, tested it over fifty years. It is, in my mind the perfect green juice. Bill Z Zimmermania YouTube channel.
    http://youtu.be/ONIIRMplLjo

  14. Wow…thanks so much for your post!

    I recently bought a very nice juicer. This morning was my first time to try it. I just spent 30 minutes cleaning the kitchen – I had kale, apple and pear juice all over the counter, floor and my nicely pressed pants and shirt! Dang, what a mess! Never, never, never again! I’m done.

    He was also very helpful to learn from your post that juicing create sugar spikes – which I have been avoiding for the last 18 months. I had no idea. Thank you for pointing that out.

    I was really hoping that using was going to be fun and easy, (just like they say on the infomercials) no such luck. I just told my wife I will never juice again! (That sweet girl laughed freely over my huge mess in the kitchen – mostly because she knows I’ll clean it up.)

    On the other hand, I love my Vitamix! It’s super-easy to clean and works like a dream. Absolutely worth the investment. If you’ve never used a Vitamix folks, you have no idea what you’re missing!

    I don’t own the bag that you mentioned, but I do own the Gracie Juice Bag (which is a really nice, durable bag. You can see a video about it and purchase the bag here: http://secure.gracieacademy.com/categories/accessories/GSA-JUICE.html (no, I don’t work for them!) I’m eager to give their bag a try.

    Anyway, I’m encouraged by your post that I will be able to transfer the process over to my trusty Vitamix. And, I will smile all the way through my 60 second cleanup!

  15. The debate of juicing vs blending has been always there. Being a dietitian supporting Tryfoodlovers.com diet, a healthy eating plan we refer to our clients, I always support blending rather than juicing. Juices may be easy to digest but it lacks fibers.

    I love the concept of straining the juice using nut milk bags. Its clean and easy. Thanks for the idea Elizabeth and thanks Gena for sharing this beautiful post.

    But I had a small question for you Gena:

    The green juice recipe is too good, rich in veggies and fruits. And I love veggies and fruits. But won’t it taste a little bitter without honey or sugar? Yes there will be the natural sweetness of orange and peer, but still?

    • Using half a lemon or lime will cut through the “greenness” usually. My eight year old will drink a half a litre of a green juice without wincing so, no, it doesn’t seem to bitter at all. Sure, it depends on the greens used. Kale, for example, can be a bit much so I de-rib it first and then it’s fine.

  16. Don’t know what I’m losing in the process but I make batches of green juice in the juicer (very old moulinex) and put them into water bottles, then freeze. It’s the only way I’d get to the juice every day. I know there are many health experts on this post compared with this newbie who might point out things I don’t know (such as one should only use glass containers or freezing destroys half the nutrients.) Hoping for some guidance, or if the process is good then it may be useful to others.
    Thanks for all the great info.
    xxxx

  17. You can get your Vitamix fom a company called ‘raw blend’ . I think they are on sale for $775 normally $995. $ 995 is what you pay in Myers . They have a great FB page with heaps of info on all the time .
    I hope that helps anyone looking for one.

    • I bought my Vita Mix at Cost Co for $375. I love it and use it 2 to 3 times a week. The rest of the time I juice. I have a Huron juicer and it is easy to clean and juices greens very well. Again paid less than $400. for it.
      Juicing helps your body to detox for gets right into your blood stream. This is important to me. Today I juiced 2 qts of beautiful greens, cucumber, ginger apples and lemon and celery and broccoli sprouts. Enough for 2 days then I will use my Vita Mix and make some delicious smoothies that are healthy and easy to make. I have to say these 2 purchases are the best investment I have ever made for my kitchen and health. When Juicing I only use apples and lemons. When making a smoothie my mainstay are berries, cranberries, pineapple and papaya and mango. I am just learning about Juice feasting and making juice in the Vitamix. Very interesting.

  18. I bought a Vitamix yesterday and am really confused about how much, how little, or WHEN to put water in with vegetable juices or fruit juices? Help!!

    • I make one certain smoothie a lot: 1 peeled orange, 4-5 large strawberries, a couple peach slices, a couple pieces fresh pineapple and a small handful of blueberries. No ice! In order to keep it cold, some of these items are thrown in frozen (blueberries) and others are thawed in a microwave on 50% power for 1 & 1/2 minutes (strawberries, peaches, pineapple). I start by placing the orange at the bottom, then the rest. Depending on how liquidy I want it, I add either a splash of water (probably a tsp worth) or a little more. Delicious! You can do without water and if for some reason you can’t get the Vitamix to whirl around the items inside, you can try using the tamper or adding a little more water.

    • there are plenty of YouTube videos on this..I used to put about 1 cup water in, but it made it too foamy on the top. Now I don’t put in any wate except for 2 or 3 ice cubes to keep the temp down. Try not to overstuff the VitaMix and clean it straight away. IT.IS.AWESOME!

  19. Switched from a traditional juicer to vitamix, at first it was way too thick like drinking kale applesauce, then figured out the right ratios of water and veggies, so now I like it better and instead of the half hour of juicing and cleaning its 2 minutes of juicing and cleaning, btw today i juiced fresh cannabis leaves and flowers, it was really good and you dont get high from that as THC is only pyschoactive after being heated up

  20. FYI- paint filter bags are much cheaper ($1 vs $8) and work wonderfully. I thought actually that Kris Carr had that tip- not sure where else I would have found it- but they are awesome, cheap and easy to clean, just like a nutmilk bag…but CHEAPER.

  21. I bought my Vitamix at Costco a couple of years ago for $375 and my Omega Juicer from Bed Bath & Beyond with a 20% off coupon.

  22. Omega Juicer clean up time is under 5 minutes…. soooo easy and wonderful juice. I also have a Vitamix, they are different products both are great. I want an Excalibur dehydrator next !!! Nancy

  23. The straining bags used in ber brewing tend to be cheaper than nut milk bags and work just as well.

  24. This is great. I have a Blendtec that I have used for smoothies for years. Here is a question. Any suggestions to the various uses of the leftover pulp after straining/squeezing? I would hate to waste all that fibery goodness!

  25. Paint straining bags work well for milks or this process. Cost about $1 at any paint supply store. Never broken one yet.

  26. Thank you so much for this post! I am so happy to finally be able to blend green juices. Many, many thanks!

  27. After a long long debate with myself about what route to take it came down to, money and what am I more likely to actually use every day. Which was a blender, so then I went on the hunt for what blender compares some what to the vitamix which lead me to the Nutribullet (I paid $80 on sale for it… cant really make 600 happen). Which I love its small compact size and its so easy to clean. And to make juice I just put it through my super fine mesh strainer! Now my only thing on my food journey I am not debating about is a food processor it seems so many raw food recipes and vegan ones use one!

  28. OK, I have a Vitamix which I love and HAD a juicer which I hated cleaning so I rarely used it. This is fantastic and I feel a little silly for not thinking of it. Going to try this for lunch! Thanks!

  29. Hi!! I love this article on blending and juicing. When I started making green juice, I did not have a juicer (only a blender.) So I too thought about ways to get all the nutrients from the veggies/fruit into my juice after blending. After experimenting with many things, I finally have mastered it. This is my process: I blend all my ingredients, I then bring the blended mixture into a food mill with the finest strainer. I crank my food mill over a big bowl to extract all the juice~ it’s therapeutic. After I have my juice, the remains are then placed in a container and stored in the refrigerator. I will use it the next day, while adding onion and garlic for sautéing butternut squash or as a soup base. Or, yesterday, I blended them again to make a smoothie with berries. It was absolutely delish! After spending good money on organic produce, there should be no waste! All nutrients get into the body somehow!

  30. This is a great post, Gena! Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve just been thinking about blending vs juicing and I already have a Vitamix so I didn’t want to invest in a juicer, especially since I’m lazy and know I won’t want to use it because I’ll have to clean it out. This is a great way to get in some green juice without the expense/minor hassle of a juicer.

  31. I love this! I have a juicer, but I hate cleaning it. I’d love to just rinse out my blender and toss it in the dishwasher afterwards. Thanks for sharing.

  32. […] was SO HAPPY to see this tutorial from Choosing Raw on how to make green juice in a blender. This is an idea that has been knocking around my juicer-less brain for a while now, but I imagined […]

  33. […] Green juice is another healthy, refreshing choice when it comes to beverages. But don’t worry if you don’t have a juicer or if your city isn’t filled with juice shops {aw, I miss NYC}. Choosing Raw has the answer – How to Make Green Juice Using a Vitamix or Blender. […]

  34. This is something I have been giving a lot of thought to recently. I am down in South America where one pays a really hefty premium for “juicers” but blenders are dirt cheap. In my mind, I always wanted pulp anyway; however, as someone else alluded to in the comments, that with green vegetables the processing through a blender or most juicers can actually prevent one from getting the full benefit of the nutrients through oxidation. Supposedly, for green vegetables one of the most expensive juicers that literally presses the juices out is better; while a blender or juicer is fine for fruit juices etc. Of course my being about to find an affordable high end juicer down here, well . . .

  35. I just recently bought a juicer and I am so glad I did, the whole family has started using it and everyone has experimented creating their own concoctions. I will definitely be trying this recipe soon!

  36. I got a Vitamix for Christmas and picked up some cheesecloth about a month ago, but still hadn’t gotten around to making juice. This post inspired me and it was so quick and easy! I made a carrot, apple, ginger juice and drank it with breakfast this morning. Thanks for the post!

    • Yes, try it with the cheesecloth first. If you don’t mind the taste of the veggies then gradually stop using the cloth. You are missing out on all the fiber from the pulp. You will get used to it I promise!! I make a Kale, spinach, blueberry, mango and carrot drink and it’s delicious!! It looks horrid because of the blueberry/kale mix (think poop brown lol) but it’s yummy!

  37. Since I don’t have a juicer, this is how I juice every single day. (No Vitamix either but a cheap food processor-kinda-thing actually.) I don’t actually add water to the veggies when blending and it works just find. I really don’t understand why every website suggests adding water with this technique, it works without it and then there is no debate on weather or not it is pure juice or juicy from the water.

  38. Love this idea! Perfect timing for my life as well, I need something super quick but also have been dreading getting out all the parts to my juicer. I forgot about the trusty Vitamix for green juices. Thanks for sharing Gena 🙂

    Happy juicing 😉

  39. That’s awesome! I’ve had (and used) my Vitamix for almost 4 years, and I love it. I also have a Kempo pro juicer and I love it too, but cleaning it…not so much. It’s not even the hardest of juicers to clean, but many times I won’t make a juice simply because I don’t have the time to clean it as required.

    I’ve made many nut milks in my Vitamix, and I don’t know why doing the same with juice vegs didn’t occur to me, lol! Thanks for pointing out the “obvious” to us, and I will for sure give this a try.

    CheerS!
    d.Lo

  40. I have a Vitamix and it is worth every penny. I had a Nutri-Bullet but it did not do as well or hold up as long. Quality usually costs more with most things I have found.

  41. Hi Gena,
    Do you have some peer-reviewed research on juicing (or juicing vs. smoothies)? I haven’t seen people cite science on this topic before, it mostly seems like logic or personal experience, and you seem like the person who would know where to go for empirical evidence in this debate.

  42. Hi
    I have been using my blender (about $30) from Walmart and it blends everything. I have been thinking about getting a Vitamix, or the Montell Williams blender, but for now those of us who can’t afford the high price, high power machine, get the Black and Decker blender from Walmart.

  43. Honestly, you should get a Nutri-Bullet. I can;t afford a Vitamix blender and I used to own a juicer. I absolutely love my Nutri bullet. Throw everything in the jar Put the lid on, turn it over and lock it into the motor part and turn. You can even drink it out of the jar. Rinse the jar and you have cleaned up. you get all of the fiber as well as the enzymes. I make a smoothie with apples, almond milk, frozen kale, parsley, pineapple, blueberries etc and it’s delicious. The Nutri-bullet rocks~

  44. I am the quintessential “lazy raw foodist,” so I tend to fill the blender (cucumber, apple, leafy greens, ginger) then add a bit of water or herbal tea to get it going. Not more than a third to a half a cup. But then I use a whole cucumber … I have (when one of my friends told me adding water “oxidizes” the juice) made it without water though. All you need to do is blend the cucumber by itself, then add everything else. I don’t bother to strain first – I squeeze everything into a bowl, add lemon juice, and then pour from the bowl into whatever I’m drinking from.

    I’m sure, Gena, in your short time juicing with a blender, you’ve tried zillions more combinations. I am a creature of habit. I am curious how the Vitamix would handle carrot-beet juice … or if it could.

    • I made carrot-apple juice in my Vitamix last night and it worked really well. Since beets are root vegetables, I assume they would blend as well as the carrots.

    • Hi Mary,

      In the post, I give a quick note of why juices may benefit some people. They can be very easy to digest, and they can provide a huge volume of concentrated nutrients — more so than a smoothie. That said, it’s totally fine not to strain, and drink a blended smoothie instead.

      G

  45. I like how you present both sides of the juicer vs. blender debate; your arguments are always so well balanced! Also, thanks for the great tutorial!

  46. I’ve started freezing my juice, 16 ounce wide mouth Ball jars with a plastic lid. Much better to clean my Breville once or twice a week than every day. Just put
    a frozen jar in the fridge at night and it’s ready to drink the next day. Make sure to leave head room in the jar to prevent breaking when the juice freezes. I’ve never been able to get that “juice taste” that I love with a blender.

  47. Gena, I hear you on busyness-induced juicer neglecting! I used to juice every day – sometimes twice – but right now I’m lucky if I break it out weekly. I would be so much more apt to keep it up if cleanup was this easy. Thank you!!

  48. Great idea. This idea occurred to me a while back but I forgot about it until I saw your post. I have a vitamix and a champion juicer but the champion is not great with fine leafy greens such as parsley so I tend to use it more for carrot/apple/beet/celery type juices. I can’t wait to get home and make a green juice in my vitamix tonight!!!
    Cheers!

  49. yes I’ve done it in a regular ole $30 blender. I suggest not squeezing it directly into the jar, doing it into a bowl so it’s less messy, then pour from the bowl into a glass.

  50. Yessssss!! I am SO trying this! I want to juice every once in awhile, but good juicers are expensive and then it’s another item to store and clean. If I could just use my VitaMix…ohhhh, yeah, baby!

  51. Great post. I have done the same with my blender, but instead of using a nut milk bag, i just use a fine mesh sieve. That way, I have mostly clear juice, but I don’t mind if a few fibres get through. Easy to clean to by just popping it in the dish washer!

  52. Interesting experiment, though I recently declared once and for all, that juicing invariably spikes my hunger and never satisfies me the way a green smoothie (with its fiber + healthy fats) does. Even in my snacks, I need something denser and more satiating to feel my best. In any event, I’ve always believed that the fiber in these veggies contains many nutrients, so removing them has never made any sense to me. And, speaking of waste – juicing (b/c I don’t use the pulp) feels like a crime in that regard. And, then there’s the cleaning deterrent…

    • Karen,

      I think in a super top of the line juicer–an Omega or better still, a Norwalk–that the idea is that almost no nutrient value remains in the fiber. This isn’t quite as true in a Breville, which is the juicer I use, so the thing I liked least about this process was not being able to use the pulp!

      G

  53. So timely! I was just getting readdicted to green juices while in NYC and thinking maybe I should give in and get a juicer so I could have juices and not just smoothies. How did it not occur to me to just strain the mixture from the Vitamix?! Thank you! 🙂

  54. I eventually chose to by an Omega juicer instead of a Vitamix because I wanted to be able to easily make juice more often than smoothies. The cleanup is the thing most people have an issue with I think. My tip for easier cleanup is to keep all the “parts” in one big baking dish. Pull the dish out instead of rummaging around for each individual item in a drawer or cupboard. Once my juice is done I put the parts directly into a sink of water to soak while I enjoy my drink and I get to them when I have time to clean. Once I do clean and dry them they go back in the dish and into the cupboard.

    I know everyone’s juicer is different, but for me it is the only way I can make time for it. Thanks Gena for figuring out how folks who have a vitamix can make juice too!

  55. I feel the same way about cleaning the juicer..I often head to the juice bar out of sheer convenience. I have been meaning to try this with my Vitamix but was a bit skeptical, but thanks for your demo – you convinced me to give it a whirl, literally.

  56. Great post – I especially like the bit about both smoothies and juices having their advantages.
    I am somewhat sensitive to sugar, so most of my juices are vegetables (+lemon/lime) only – I sometimes chuck in half an apple or carrot, but that’s it. My green smoothies, on the other hand, always have a whole banana and often some other fruit, too, which is fine (for me) because the fiber fills me up and also keeps my blood sugar levels from spiking.

    I’ve been juicing like this ever since I got my Vitamix. I didn’t even have a nut milk bag back then, so I used a pillowcase (a very, very clean one). (Hippie-style, yay.)
    I love green juice, and I don’t mind diluting it a bit – but I find that if I use a whole cucumber, I don’t need to add any water to get it blending.
    If I juice kale, I almost always add water because juices containing kale can be hard to strain otherwise (the fiber tends to “clog up” the openings in the fabric). I once made a kale/blood orange juice, and though it was delicious, it was a PITA to strain it (I also refrigerated some of it overnight and it turned into a green juice jelly! Must have been the pectin from the oranges…).
    A tip for squeezing the nut milk bag – use a big bowl (salad bowl or something) to catch the juice. It’s one more thing to rinse, but it saves time since you don’t need to wipe down your kitchen.

  57. This is so interesting to me because I discovered raw foods via the JuiceFeasting website years ago, and this is how they recommend making juice for the whole day! I’ve always just had my vitamix and since I could make juice too it seemed to be all I’d need. I remember a tip someone mentioned at some point, tie some string around the top of your bag and make a knotted loop at the other end, making it long enough to hang from your kitchen cabinet knob, then let it drain into a bowl. As it drains you can go about your morning business then squeeze the last bit out. Also paint straining bags were recommended rather than formal nut mylk bags, they’re far cheaper and in my experience last just as long as their expensive cousins. They can be purchased in the paint section of any hardware store, and probably online too.

    • I can’t say whether or not it’s “food safe” but I buy paint-straining bags at Home Depot and use them as nut milk bags. 2 come in a pack for less than $3 if I remember correctly. They last a long time if you’re gentle with them!

        • Thanks Gena! And btw, thanks for this post! I was actually contemplating buying a juicer (leaning towards not) and this confirmed my decision not to get one at this time and just make due with my cheap blender. I’m grateful that you share your experience and insight! 🙂

          • You will absolutely love the Vitamix. It is definitely an investment, but it’s totally worth it!

  58. Gena, any advice on cleaning the nut milk bags? I feel like just rinsing it would not be enough, but the bag is probably too delicate to put in the dishwasher. Maybe the washing machine?

    Also, thanks so much for this post. I’ve been wanting to start juicing, but can’t afford a juicer right now. I do have a Vitamix, though, and will be trying this recipe very soon!

    • I think just rinsing is fine. The bag will turn green though … I actually just bought another so I can use one for nut milk and one for juice.

  59. I wish I had a Vitamix….sigh. For now, I’ll have to stick with juicing in my juicer. My crappy old blender won’t blend anything that’s not pretty soft. I’m sure a carrot would kill it.

    • I got my VitaMix from QVC because they have great deals and easy pay. This was the only way I could afford to get one and I would not trade it for anything.

      • That was me, I wanted to try the vitamix and I have used it everyday since I purchased on QVC.
        Love it, came here looking for different recipes

  60. ahh i used to do this before i had a juicer! my only con about using this approach is that the pulp was pulverized by the vita and i couldn’t re-use it to make crackers or a filling for a nori wrap!

  61. This is interesting. Does it extract the fiber as well as a regular juicer? I am currently trying to juice a couple times a day and it is arduous to clean the juicer!

  62. I love my juicer but the thought of cleaning it drives me insane, I tend to only juice on days when I am not working as I don’t have the time to clean it! Nice idea to use the vitamix, and your green juice certainly looks delicious!

    • This was my problem exactly! Just the thought of having to clean my juicer used to keep me from juicing.

  63. I basically abandoned juicing last year because I just couldn’t stand cleaning the damn juicer in my tiny sink. Perhaps this will motivate me!

  64. I have read numerous posts on the debate of juicing versus blending. I don’t know where I fall in it, but i will say drinking it fresh from my Vitamix is super easy.
    On the weekends I could probably strain it, as there is more free time. However my initial thought is, fiber or not, it is better to get the fresh fruits and veggies.

    Is there truth that you should be careful what you mix so as to not disrupt digestion? By that I mean should fruits and veggies be kept separate (except for like lemons and apples which seem to crossover very nicely)?

    Just want to make sure that my concoctions are as nutrient rich as possible.

    • I was wondering the same thing Rachel. I was told that the only fruits you should mix with greens are apple and lemons and berries. Never oranges. Although I am sure the orange makes for a tasty juice I’m not sure about the combining it with greens. This can be kind of confusing. You hear so many different suggestions.

    • Rachel.

      Do you mean food combining? No indeed–no scientific basis to the separation of food groups. Enjoy fruits and veggies together, if you like them that way!

      G

      • Well I don’t know if I mean food combining. I guess I was just wondering if some things don’t “work” together. I know I’ve read that sometimes different vitamins interact with each other in a negative way, or block absorption…I just wondered if there were any foods that were that way (that you would be putting in to juice).

        • It is my understanding that mixing fruit and vegetables (other than apples and lemons) disrupts the digestive enzymes.

          • I was taught that only neutral fruits, like apple, banana, pear, avocado, and papaya, should be mixed with vegetables, but I don’t know for certain if this is so. Anybody have more info about that?

  65. Now here is a question for you! Since you’re blending the juice, and blends tend to keep better in the fridge – could you potentially made a large batch and keep servings in the fridge for 2-3 days, and strain as you go? Would this keep the nutrients in tact better than if you pre-juiced the traditional way?

    • Hi Sarah S!
      I don’t like keeping my blended greens longer than 1 day, as they tend to become a little sludgy. I prefer to do perhaps a little less in volume and keep it all fresh and that brilliant green (I liked the colour so much I painted a wall in my house that colour!). I pop it in my VitaMix metal flask and drink it from breakfast time all the way until lunchtime.

    • I’m not honestly sure, Sarah! There is a LOT of debate about this, and my understanding is that they do lose some potency after they have been oxidized. But my guess is that a day or two wouldn’t be the end of the world 🙂

    • HI Sarah, With blending the nutrients will stay in tact a bit longer because of the fibre that is there to preserve it (so about 2-3 days – I prefer 2). There would still be some nutrient loss but it is still very, very little and worth it. While of course there persists some “debate” the true test is to try it for yourself and see how you’ll. After a few weeks, I’m guessing you’ll feel a noticeable difference. 🙂 Hope this helps,
      Sarah