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Can You Juice Leafy Greens? 6 Tips for Maximum Extraction

Extract Green Nutrition: Master Leafy Green Juicing With These 6 Tips


Can You Juice Leafy Greens? Top Tips for Maximum Extraction

When it comes to ingredients for homemade juices, most people reach for classic fruits and vegetables like oranges, apples, and carrots to create something naturally sweet and tasty. But is it possible to extract juice from leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and other similarly dense green vegetables?


Yes, absolutely! While leafy greens like spinach or kale present more juicing challenges compared to pulpy fruits like oranges, you can successfully extract juices with the right techniques. Using a cold press masticating juicer that operates at a low speed, tightly compacting leaves like spinach and putting them through the juicer first, followed by a fruit or vegetable with a high water content such as cucumber can help to maximize leafy green juice extraction.


In this article, we will go into more detail about how to get the most out of your leafy greens by choosing the best types of juicers, preparation tips, and some of the best greens for juicing.



 

Contents:


6 Tips for Juicing Leafy Greens


  1. Choose the Right Juicer

  2. Tightly Roll Stubborn Spinach

  3. Alternate Greens With Water-Rich Produce

  4. Soak Greens In Water

  5. Add Lemon To Spinach Mixes

  6. Enhance Flavor Through Smart Pairings


 

Tips for Juicing Leafy Greens


Can You Juice Leafy Greens? Top Tips for Maximum Extraction


1. Choose the Right Juicer


There are many types of juicers on the market but for extracting the most juice out of your leafy greens you need certain types of juicers:


Twin Gear Masticating Juicers


Also referred to as triturating juicers, these feature dual stainless steel gears covered in razor-sharp teeth that interlock and rotate to literally chew through plant cell walls before squeezing out every last drop of juice. High-end models from trusted brands like Kuvings and Tribest excel at juicing all varieties of leafy greens but come at a premium price point.


Vertical Single Auger Slow Juicers


Offering the convenience of a sleek vertical design paired with impressive masticating functionality, vertical single auger juicers from reputable companies like Hurom, Omega and Kings still feature excellent leafy green performance almost on par with pricier twin gears. The smaller feed chutes do require a bit more prep work, however.



Horizontal Masticating Slow Juicers


Even basic horizontal cold press masticators using a single auger from budget-friendly brands like Aicook, Mueller Austria and Dash still provide a major upgrade from centrifugal juicers when working with leafy greens, thanks to much slower, crushing RPMs designed specifically to get quality green juice yields. Just be prepared for smaller round chutes requiring you chop produce into tiny bits.


No matter which juicer type you choose, prioritize keywords like “cold press”, “masticating”, “slow juicer” or “twin gear” in the product descriptions for best results with fibrous leafy green ingredients.


Key Juicer Features to look out for


Investing in a cold press masticating juicer best equipped for leafy greens is half the battle.

Beyond broad classifications of “slow” or "masticating" juicers, here are some specific product features to look out for when researching models:


Wide Feed Chutes


Small feed chutes less than 3 inches wide found on horizontal masticators require excessive prep work pre-chopping leaves into minuscule sub-1-inch bits. Larger feed chutes closer to 5 inches associated with vertical single augers help to save time and minimize prep work.



MULTIPLE Speeds


If dealing with especially fibrous leaves like thick collard greens or wheatgrass, having speed adjustments to hit maximum RPMs helps push things through.


Reverse Direction


Some slow juicers can be prone to jamming and tight clogs. So having automatic reverse functions makes handling trickier compressed leaf masses far easier since machines essentially backtrack and self-clear briefly without you needing to constantly stop sessions for manual poking and prodding crevices with spatulas. Reverse is a huge leafy green timesaver!


Also examine the more universal specs like overall build quality, durability, stability, easy cleaning features, warranty period, etc. in conjunction.



2. Tightly Roll Stubborn Spinach



Rolling the leafy green leaves like spinach or kale leaves into tight cylinders or “cigars” before putting them in the juicer makes them easier to squeeze. Put in one rolled leaf at a time, not a big handful or they can get stuck. Rolling them lets the juicer press the leaves slowly and smoothly to get more juice out.


Another idea is slicing leaves into long thin strips like noodles. Fan the strips out a bit before juicing small batches. The longer skinnier shape is easier for the juicer to grab and squeeze than wide flat leaves. Both rolling and slicing stop spinach from clogging up your juicer.



3. Alternate Greens With Water-Rich Produce


Another effective manual prep tactic for your leafy green juicing success involves “sandwiching” bits of kale, spinach, swiss chard or other leaves in between chunks of high water content fruits, veggies and citrus during the actual juicing process.


We’re talking hydrating ingredients like cucumber, oranges, pineapple and grapes. Strategically adding small clusters of water bursting produce both immediately before and after your leafy green additions helps to naturally “rinse” away some of the previous residual mashed-up pulp and particulate buildup out through the juicer strainer screen.


This prevents premature clog formation from the dense greens enabling longer continuous juicing sessions. But also by flushing some clinging particles through, you maximize nutrient extraction with less waste stuck behind. It’s a win-win!


 

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4. Soak Greens In Water


Soak tough leaves like kale and chard in plain water for 5-10 minutes before making juice can dramatically increase the amount of juice you get from the same amount of greens.


Here’s why - Water naturally passes through and absorbs into plant cell walls over time if given the chance. This causes the walls to swell up with fluid, making leaves softer and “juicier” even before they go into the juicer.


The swelling also stretches tiny cracks in the cells wider. So when the juicer gears grind up soaked greens, it’s easier for liquid to burst out through these weakened walls. More juice results!


For an even better effect, try adding lemon juice, or vitamin C powder to the water. The acids help break down walls faster. Just pat soaked leaves dry before juicing so added water doesn’t dilute your final juice too much. Give it a shot next time you juice fibrous greens!



5. Add Lemon To Spinach Mixes


No matter what kind of juicer you use or how small you chop spinach, lemon juice is essential for getting the most out of stubborn spinach leaves.


The high acidity in lemons, limes and oranges helps break down spinach’s extremely tough cell walls similarly to meat tenderizers with meat fibers. This softens the leaves so more fluid can be released when crushed and squeezed. For max effect, add at least 1/2 lemon wedge worth of juice for every cup of spinach going into your juicer.


Lemon juice also keeps spinach from clumping into thick pulpy masses around juicer parts. The acid somewhat prevents this gluey effect. And smaller lemon bits mixed in mean less spinach is hitting the gears at once, making juicing more efficient with fewer clogs.



6. Enhance Flavor Through Smart Pairings


Leafy green juices can taste unpleasantly bitter because of certain healthy compounds found naturally in mature leaves. But you can cleverly mask bitterness and make flavors more enjoyable.


The trick is pairing and alternating very bitter greens like spinach, kale or chard greens with sweeter, milder fruits, veggies, and herbs as you juice. Good options are apples, grapes, pineapple, mint or parsley. Their sweetness balances out and hides bitter tastes.


Understanding which leafy greens have mellower versus strong flavors lets you blend accordingly too. For instance, baby spinach and romaine leaves are far less bitter than mature mustard or collard greens which can overwhelm other flavors.


While beets and carrots seem like they would complement greens, their earthiness doesn’t conceal bitterness well. You’re better off juicing those separately than mixing the juices later for the best taste.

 

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The Best Leafy Greens to Juice


Here are some of the best greens to add to your juicing routine:


Spinach


Although spinach can be tricky in texture, its nutritional value makes up for it. Despite lower moisture, it still produces decent juice. Rolling the leaves tightly works best for extraction.


Kale


Kale is more water-rich than spinach, making it juice well, especially when combined with lemons or cucumber. Any variety works, but lacinato (dinosaur) is preferred for a a milder taste. Make sure to remove tough midribs before juicing.



Swiss Chard


This underrated leafy green is often mistaken for spinach but offers similar nutrition with better juice yield due to its sturdier composition. The reddish stems also add visual appeal and sweetness.


Romaine Lettuce


With its crisp, voluminous heads, Romaine lettuce provides high water volume for effective juicing. It introduces cleansing bitter notes without the overpowering taste found in arugula or dandelion.


Bok Choy


Bok choy, a vegetable hybrid similar to lettuce, features mild, watery crunch in both leaves and stalks. The gentle flavor of baby bok choy blends well, making it suitable for those new to green juicing.


While greens like parsley, cilantro, and arugula can be more challenging due to their concentrated phytonutrients and oils, try experimenting with small amounts to see if they suit your taste preferences.




 

The Final Squeeze


In summary, you can most definitely juice leafy greens to enjoy their amazing nutritional benefits as a convenient, tasty beverage.


It simply requires adjusting equipment and prep tactics in small ways - choosing the optimal cold press juicer and features to thoroughly squeeze out every last drop, properly preparing your leafy greens, adding lemons to help break things down, and finally flavor balancing any bitterness with sweet fruits.


Once you learn these simple leafy green juicing tips and tricks, a daily habit becomes easy and sustainable. Your nutrient intake will ramp exponentially allowing you to feel the energy, immunity, and health dividends firsthand.


So don’t let their reputation intimidate you - leafy greens deserve a regular spot on your homemade juicing recipes list. I hope this guide gives you the confidence to finally take advantage of their incredible nutrition. Let me know how it goes or if you have any other juicing questions in the comments below!


 

About author


About author: Gavin is the owner of Tru Foo Juice Bar. He has over 6 years of experience running a juice bar and creating juice and smoothie recipes for the consumer market  His passion for juicing began in his early 20s as he explored natural ways to boost nutrition and energy. Over the years, Gavin has experimented with countless ingredient combinations to create the perfect juice and smoothie blends and bring them to the masses.

Gavin is the owner of Tru Foo Juice Bar. He has over 6 years of experience running a juice bar and creating juice and smoothie recipes for the consumer market


His passion for juicing began in his early 20s as he explored natural ways to boost nutrition and energy. Over the years, Gavin has experimented with countless ingredient combinations to create the perfect juice and smoothie blends and bring them to the masses.

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