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Alison’s Green Juice Detox

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© 2012 Helana Brigman
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Please welcome guest author Alison Barker as she shares her recipe for a Green Juice Detox–a healthy, refreshing, and perfect drink for post-Mardi Gras revelers! – Helana

Mardi Gras is, arguably, the most delightful time of year: the costumes, parades, shiny beads, marching bands, king cakes, and booze. For many of us in southern Louisiana, February is spent dancing to the cadence of brass bands, yelling, “throw me something, mister,” while eating and drinking. And eating and drinking. While all this revelry is great for my soul, it sends my body into a tailspin.

If you’re like me, you’ve landed from the high of carnival time with a giant thud, and all you’ve got to show for it is several trash bags filled to the brim with beads, and a big, bad Cranky Carnival Hangover.

Though I am not one of those hardy souls who can launch into an austere detox regimen, I do swear by the healing power of fresh green juice to rejuvenate me and restore tons of vitamins, especially after overindulging in high calorie, low nutrient foods and drinks. (Yes, beignets, that means you.) Growing up, my father practically force-fed me mounds of leafy dark greens. Despite this unpleasant memory, I’ve acquired a taste for them all—but especially kale.

Pictured: Alison’s Green Juice Detox made with kale, cucumber, green apples, and lime.

Kale is serious business. Eaten raw, it’s a tough, flat or curly leaf that is a real job to chew. There have been times that I’ve simply felt too tired to eat a kale salad.

Kale is like the Optimus Prime of good-for-you vegetables. It’s chock full of vitamins A, C, K, and the antioxidant manganese—but also carotenoids and flavonoids, two of which have been shown to fight against the formation of cancer cells. One cup of raw kale provides 20% of your recommended daily amount of fiber! And 10% of your body’s demands for anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Kale can help your body resist arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and asthma.

When I started regularly juicing kale, I noticed a decrease in my junk food cravings, and after six weeks of three servings weekly, my persistent sinusitis hadn’t recurred. This could be a coincidence, but when juice entered my life, I had more energy. Also, drinking green juice actually feels good for you.

Kale juice has a complex taste, and sometimes I add celery and carrot to round out kale’s bitterness, but they also add pepper and a heavy, earthy quality. All fine and good, but for spring, I crave a lighter juice that doesn’t feel like a meal replacement. Thus, the cucumber and apple.

Pictured: Celery, carrot, and apple can be used to round out Kale’s sharpness while also making for wonderful juices by themselves.

I use a centrifugal juicer.  There are two common types of juicers: centrifugal and masticating. Masticating juicers, overall, produce more juice; if you’ve got one of those, you can use half the amount of kale.

I am happy to report that thanks to my own experience with the super healing powers of kale juice, I’m on the fast track to recovery. And not a minute too soon! Louisiana’s springtime festival season is just around the corner. So raise a glass of juice and toast kale! Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Alison’s Green Juice Detox

There are many variations of green juice, such as Organic Avenue’s Green Love* Green Juice, of which Gwyneth Paltrow and her lifestyle blog GOOP are fans, and Dr. Oz’s “Green Juice.” The former uses kale plus a whopping 4 additional dark greens, pear and lemon, and the latter omits kale and uses spinach and celery—which increases manganese and iron, but greatly decreases fiber, vitamins and calories.

A word on directions: process all ingredients into one 5-cup capacity container under your juicer spigot, specifying “low” and “high” settings according to density of vegetable and fruit.


*1 cucumber, peeled and washed

*6 of your favorite small/medium apples, washed

*3 small bunches or 15 leaves of curly kale, washed

*1/3 c. ginger root, washed, peeled, and coarsely chopped

1.) Chop peeled cucumber into pieces small enough for the diameter of your juicer’s feeding tube, and feed them into your juicer while on the “low” setting.

2.) Wash and chop apples (no need to peel and core unless you are concerned about vestiges of wax and pesticides on the skin). Juice on the “high” setting.

3.) Snap kale leaves in half and feed into juicer on the “low” setting.

4.) Juice ginger on the “high” setting.

5.) Serve immediately, or chill in the fridge up to 12 hours for best results.*

Makes 4-5 servings at 8 oz. each.

*COOK’S NOTE: For those of you who aren’t afraid to let kale’s edgy flavor take center stage, try Sandy Henson Corso’s “Green Lemonade” variation: replace cucumber and ginger with celery and lemon juice. Cut it with seltzer water for a healthy, but seriously tart kick in the pants!

Cucumber juice

Alison's Green Juice Detox, 4.4 out of 5 based on 8 ratings
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  1. Christel Amburgey
    Posted March 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm | #

    Tried this before and very good 🙂 You definitely want to use the smaller English cucumbers – much more flavorful! And I recommend a tarter apple like Granny Smith.

  2. Posted March 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm | #


    Thanks for the feedback! I’ll have to make Alison’s recipe with English cucumbers, but I really like your Granny Smith suggestion. I made the recipe yesterday with Granny Smith apples and it was divine–very bright and sweet!

  3. Hannah
    Posted March 3, 2012 at 5:06 pm | #

    I love the idea of being “too tired to eat a kale salad”! That’s how I feel at raw food places.

  4. Christianne Sanchez
    Posted March 3, 2012 at 10:05 pm | #

    Can I just say your Optimus Prime line is golden? My fiancé and I are going to name his next truck Optimus Prime!

  5. Posted March 5, 2012 at 10:18 am | #

    Another cucumber suggestion –Persian cucumbers. They are tiny and mild. I will try this as soon as I get Alison’s grandma’s juicer out of storage!
    I was a little confused by the line at the end “written by Helena”. Is this just a standard line that appears even when you have a guest author?

  6. k.t.
    Posted March 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm | #

    Only you could make kale sound just as fun as Mardi Gras!

  7. Tessa
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 1:52 am | #

    Not trying to be a stickler, but I have to point out that a juice wont contain the fiber of the plant. That’s what the pulp is. So leaving kale out of your juice will not decrease fiber content. Now if you were blending up a green smoothie, then it’d be a different story! Great article nonetheless! Thanks!

  8. Posted May 18, 2013 at 12:32 am | #

    Thanks for your comments Tessa – and you’re right, pulp is where all the good vitamins and nutrients are. Fortunately, with a centrifugal juicer, you can re-process the pulp until you’ve literally *juiced* every last vitamin out of it. I do this with our recipe for Watermelon Juice – every ounce of watermelons are juice, so if you process the pulp until it’s entirely gone (all juice), then you’re getting (and drinking) all of the nutrients! Seeing as cucumbers fall into a similar category, there are some great perks with this detox recipe as well.

    However, kale is stubborn. I wonder if anyone has some tips and tricks for getting the most out of juiced kale?

7 Trackbacks

  1. By Clearly Delicious » Author: Alison Barker on March 1, 2012 at 1:32 am

    […] Recipes by Alison Barker ———————————– Alison’s Green Juice Detox […]

  2. By Clearly Delicious » Kale Chips on April 25, 2012 at 7:02 am

    […] I nodded, smiled, and proceeded to swallow the completely green nibble that seemed nothing like potato chips.  Having been on the chip-wagon for about ten years now (it’s something I simply won’t allow in my house), I loved the idea that you could get the satisfying crunch of a potato chip and the nutrient-power of kale in a single bite (see Alison’s write up on the health benefits of consuming kale regularly). […]

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  5. […] year, I posted Alison’s Green Juice Detox to remind revelers that although the holiday may have us indulging every way we turn, the days […]

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