Finding Balance + A Superfood Green Drink

Superfood Green Juice | Fork Knife Swoon

Superfood Green Juice | Fork Knife Swoon

Superfood Green Juice | Fork Knife Swoon

Superfood Green Juice | Fork Knife Swoon

I was seriously considering trying a juice cleanse. You know, one of those three to five (to seven!) day restrictive regimens of nothing but super-nutrient-packed vegetable and fruit juices, meant to cleanse, reset and restore your body’s system. Celebrities and health gurus extoll the virtues. People swear by it.

I completely fell for the glamorous, healthful message of cleansing. Heal yourself. Cleanse the toxins maliciously intent on draining your energy. Start anew. The basic theory is that by cutting out everything from your diet but the very healthiest and nutrient-rich produce for a few days – essentially giving your body and digestive system a rest – your body is restored. It seemed easy enough. Lately, I’ve caught myself yawning more frequently. Feeling sluggish. Slipping in an extra cup of coffee mid-morning. Life has been busy – the good kind of busy – but I haven’t been taking care of my body like I should be, or taking time for myself. I’m starting to feel it. A few too many of these and a few less trips to the gym will do that. I began to think that I just needed to press the reset button with a cleanse. I could get back to a healthy baseline.

That is until I did some research and quickly realized that a three day cleanse would cost upwards of $150. That may work for cleansers more dedicated than me, but spending that much to give up eating solid food for three days was neither plausible nor justifiable. The sticker shock alone catapulted me back to reality. Maybe the high cost was a good thing. It was at least cause for some serious reevaluation. Maybe my focus should be less about swinging the pendulum in the absolute opposite direction – and expecting a collection of perfectly concocted, cold-pressed juices to be my cure for malaise – and more about simply finding a better balance.

Superfood Green Juice | Fork Knife Swoon

Superfood Green Juice | Fork Knife Swoon

Superfood Green Juice | Fork Knife Swoon

Superfood Green Juice | Fork Knife Swoon

Instead I’m embarking on my own version of a cleanse. One to improve my life/work/health balance. One that involves simply making healthy living and eating a stronger priority, but still leaves plenty of room for daily indulgences (like my morning espresso). Little changes, like taking a break from meat for awhile, and focusing even more on fresh, seasonal produce. Pushing myself towards extra morning workouts. Even when it’s cold, and the bed is oh, so cozy. Finding my own, best balance.

And my secret cleansing weapon? Starting off my day with a homemade, vitamin-and-nutrient-packed green drink. That’s my real takeaway from this cleansing saga. Tons of healthy, raw, superfood goodness blended to verdant oblivion in a tasty juice. Admittedly, this plan is nowhere near as intense as a professionally-designed juicing program, but that’s kind of the point. I’m also bound to receive a lot less eye-rolling from the Honey than if I happened to casually mention, that, oh by the way, “I’m doing a cleanse…”

Superfood Green Juice | Fork Knife Swoon

I go through phases with what I add to my standard green juice recipe. The base ingredients stay pretty much the same: baby spinach and kale or Swiss chard, cucumber, apple, fresh herbs, coconut water and a squeeze of lemon or lime. The add-ins depend on what’s in season, or, more often than not, what’s in the freezer. I like to add a bit of fresh ginger, and a handful of frozen blueberries or blackberries. Sometimes I’ll switch in frozen pineapple or mango chunks. You can even sprinkle in some chia or flax seeds if you’re feeling especially healthful.

Full disclosure: If you add berries to the recipe, which I often do, it will quickly lose its bright, green color. The deeply pigmented juices of blueberries and blackberries easily overpower the colors of just about every other ingredient in the blender, leaving you with a very healthy, deep mauve drink. Not quite as eye-catching, but I promise you, still delicious.

And if juicing/cleansing/green-drinking isn’t your thing? Not to worry, Lovelies! I have many, many traditional sweet and savory winter recipes bouncing around in my head for this holiday season (and not a blender in sight!).

Superfood Green Juice | Fork Knife Swoon

Superfood Green Juice | Fork Knife Swoon
 

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Superfood Green Juice | Fork Knife Swoon

Finding Balance + A Superfood Green Drink

  • Author: Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 2 Drinks 1x

Scale

Ingredients

Basic Green Drink

  • 11/2 to 2 cups chilled coconut water
  • 1 cup (packed) baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup (packed) kale or Swiss chard leaves, removed from stem
  • 1 apple, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, roughly chopped
  • small handful fresh mint leaves
  • small handful fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • juice of one lemon or lime

Optional Add-ins (Mix and match, to taste)

  • 1 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries and/or blackberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple and/or mango chunks
  • chia or flax seeds

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender, and blend on high-speed until the mixture is smooth and well combined, about a minute or two. When the drink reaches your desired consistency, pour into glasses and enjoy immediately!

Notes

This recipe is really just an ingredient baseline. Feel free to experiment and find your favorite combinations and ratios. More or less of each ingredient is perfectly fine if it suits your taste!

Optionally, you can strain the mixture through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve, to reduce the amount of pulp in the beverage, and reach a more juice-like consistency. If choosing this route and also adding any superfood seeds to the mix, add them after straining.

This juice is best enjoyed immediately, and can be stored in the fridge for up to a day. Some of the pulp may separate – simply shake or stir to mix before drinking.

 

Superfood Green Juice | Fork Knife Swoon

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13 Comments

  1. 10.25.18
    Ashly said:

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  2. 9.30.14
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  4. 4.19.14

    Another interesting post on your website, keep up good work!

  5. 2.8.14
    Cecile said:

    Your page is so very beautiful. And your photos are amazing. In fact, I can easily imagine your photo with all the fruits and veggies being framed, that’s how gorgeous your arrangements are! Last nut not least — thanks for posting these delicious & healthy smoothie recipes.

  6. 12.10.13
    Judith said:

    Great recipe suggestions. One of the things that can be added to help the “smoothie” stay with you longer is to use a nut milk as part of the liquid. You need to have a protein source included if want to feel full and not heading for a snack. One easy way to add fibre and protein is to add cooked quinoa.

    Like the recipe until you said strain it. By doing that you remove majority of the fibre. To keep it healthy I would remove the section about straining. There are benefits still to be found but if you are doing this as a “cleanse” then you really need to keep the fibre.

    One of the other things is that to make the nutrients more bio-available things like kale and spinach are best steamed for about two minutes to start breaking down the plant fibre. Things like carrots, parsnip, kale, chard need a little help so our bodies can absorb things like plant iron.

    The other good thing was the addition of a citrus acid in the form or lemon, lime or even orange juice. If you can’t afford or don’t have any in the house, just take a Vit. C tablet with your smoothie. The citric acid does the same thing. This is needed to help the body get at nutrients in plant material.

    Just my thoughts on this recipe. Overall great and certainly cheaper than the store bought stuff and more than healthy.

    • 2.8.14
      Cecile said:

      Thanks for these helpful tips!

  7. 11.7.13
    Jaclyn said:

    Your photos are amazing!! All of them are just gorgeous and those berries, oh my gosh!

    • 11.8.13
      Laura said:

      Thank you so much, Jaclyn!!

  8. 11.6.13
    Nicole said:

    I’ve had the same issue — wanting to do a cleanse, but not being able to stomach forking over that much for something that I’m just going to drink. Love this homemade version.

    • 11.8.13
      Laura said:

      I feel the same way! And what if the whole 3-day thing is a disaster? Homemade is a lot less commitment! 🙂

Hi! I'm Laura, the food-obsessed cook, writer, and photographer behind Fork Knife Swoon, where you'll find mostly sweet, seasonal recipes and stories from my Northern Virginia kitchen.

All photography and content copyright Laura Bolton ©2020, and may not be used without permission.