I probably consume more green vegetables per day than the average person, which isn't saying much since the media out there seems to suggest that the average person consumes nothing but Diet Coke and Twinkies. Maybe a Jeno's pizza roll every once in a while. But the truth is, even if I'm eating an avocado, broccoli and spinach stuffed egg-white omelet, a huge arugula salad and braised kale and collards every day, it never hurts to consume more greens, unless there is such a thing as GVTO, Green Vegetable Toxic Overdose, which, hopefully, I am just making up...
(If there is such a thing as Green Vegetable Toxic Overdose, please don't tell me about it because I will look it up on webMD and diagnose myself with it and admit myself to Cedars' ER in a panic and then swear off all green vegetables for life and only eat kettle chips for a month until finally allowing "non-toxic" vegetables back into my life like canned black beans and ice cream.)
First Time, I Didn't Want to Swallow
Despite my enthusiasm for green juice, the first time I squoze out my perfect little green glass of liquid health and sunshine and drank it, I had trouble. The "green" smell that came from the machine as the whirling grinder chewed then spewed shredded celery, kale and spinach was actually quite fresh and pleasant. It brought back ever-so-faintly fragrant memories of mowing our lawn during the summers when I was in elementary and middle school.
However, when concentrated into eight ounces of juice in a small glass, that fresh, green, "fragrance" had become noxious, herbal fumes. Like liquid fucking gasoline-powered lawnmower. It was overwhelming. Holding it in front of my face, I paused. As "good" as green juice was for my body, I didn't want to put it in my mouth.
It took a minute or two, but I shook off the sudden reluctance and took a sip.
I almost spit it back out.
The smell that came up to my nose from the back of my throat was familiar though unidentifiable, the taste in my mouth was making me gag, but in the end I finally forced myself to swallow. I almost choked as it went down.
Straight green juice is, in three words, Dis. Gus. Ting.
I will drink green juice. I will choke that stuff down every day, twice a day if I must. But I know that anyone who tries to tell me that green juice actually tastes good is straight lying through his raw, vegan teeth. Green juice actually tastes like it could be toxic.
They say the first time always hurts, but it gets better. You get used to it, you experiment, and you find things that work for you.
Eventually, you might discover something so fucking good, that it's actually bad.
So F**king Good, it's Very, Very Bad
Some "experts" strongly encourage green vegetable juice without any kind of fruit because fruits have sugar, and sugar, even if it's from a natural source, is still sugar. However, I started adding just a sliver of fresh pineapple (along with a few other additions like ginger and lemon) to my daily green juice. The tiny bit of sugar and fruit acids add a subtle sweetness to the "liquid lawnmower" that makes it more palatable.
Then one day, I decided to save myself some time by juicing an entire pineapple all at once and keeping the juice in a jar in the fridge to use for the next few days. Though I always want to juice greens and drink it right away for the sake of the health benefits (chlorophyll? enzymes? whatever?), I didn't think pineapple's freshness would matter as much since it was purely for taste.
I poured the fresh pineapple juice into freezer glasses, but had a little bit left in the bottom of the juicer's pitcher. Sure, it was sugary, fruity straight pineapple juice, but I couldn't bear to waste the money and effort, so I took that last sip.
Whoa, baby. Sweet, tart, refreshing pineapple juice, where have you been all my dry, parched life?!
Relegated either to slushy, tropical cocktails that cause suicidal hangovers the next morning, or to tiny pull-top cans that give the juice a weirdly metallic taste, which is why I've always thought that I don't really like pineapple juice.
We will never know for sure whether pineapple juice is good for your health (vitamin C! digestive enzymes! anti-inflammatory properties!) or bad for your health (fruit sugar is still sugar!), but I'm pretty sure that we can all agree that an occasional glass of fresh pineapple juice, especially cut with both ginger and lime juices, can do wonders for your sanity.
And I'm pretty sure that Pineapple Ginger Lime juice is a natural cure for GVTO.
Pineapple Ginger Lime Juice Recipe
makes about 2 large glasses of juice in a Breville Ikon juicer
half a large ripe pineapple
2-inch piece of ginger (use less if this is too spicy)
optional: sparkling water
Wash everything and make sure they're all dry.
Peel the pineapple, slice into "spears," and cut out the fibrous center core sections from each spear. Slice a few thin rings from the end of the lime (for garnish), then carefully peel the rest of the whole lime. Lime peels seem to be much thinner than other citrus, so you may have to use a knife. Save the peel in the fridge to use for its zest later. You can leave the ginger unpeeled (the juicer will remove it).
Send the ginger, lime and pineapple spears through the juicer. You can juice the ingredients in whatever order you'd like, but I send the ginger first because it's the "driest" and like to believe that the juicer will extract "more" if it hits the mesh screen first.
Put the juice in the freezer for about 10 minutes to chill it down.
Drink the Pineapple Ginger Lime juice as is, or add a splash of sparkling water and/or vodka. Or rum. Or whatever. Garnish with lime slices.