Spring Into Green Drinks

By Rebecca Mullins, RHN

Spring is just around the corner and very soon, little buds of new life will begin to appear. It’s time for a fresh beginning!  Spring-cleaning boosts our energy and makes us feel alive!  Taking a holistic approach, not only is it the perfect time to clean out our closets, but also to cleanse our bodies.  Clean and refresh your house using homemade pure, eco-friendly cleaners, and cleanse and revitalize your body using simple, delicious green drinks as part of your detoxification plan.

Along with leafy greens including many varieties of lettuces as well as spinach and kale, nature provides plenty of different foods from which we can easily create enjoyable beverages.  Some of the more effective include: carrots, beetroot, apples, pears, lemons, limes, grapefruit, papaya, and cranberries, and additionally fresh sprouts (such as red clover, radish, mung beans and/or lentils), parsley, dandelion greens, peppermint leaves, and gingerroot.

Grow Your Own Spring Green Mesclun Mix!

The original mesclun mix was created to awaken every taste and texture sensation: bitter, sweet, tangy, crunchy and silky.  But you can create your own flavourful mesclun mix from any leafy greens, including the many varieties of lettuces, arugula, chervil, endive, chicories, mustards and cresses. Nothing tastes better than freshly picked mesclun, and it is amazingly easy to grow.

Even in Northern Ontario, it can be grown indoors practically all year round using grow-lights, or as early as the first of February without.  (And you can sow more seed weekly, ensuring continual production.) Since lettuce seeds sprout more quickly than other greens, it’s best to sow them into two separate containers.  Simply scatter the seed and cover with about a quarter inch of fine soil or compost.

Keep soil moist but not soggy.  After germination, thin sprouts to about an inch apart.  (But don’t discard your thinnings – you can throw them into drinks or salads too!) Early morning is the best time to harvest greens.  When they are two to six inches tall, use scissors to snip them off about one inch above the soil level. This is called the “cut-and-come-again” method because it will grow back!

Water and lightly fertilize after harvesting. For optimum freshness, use harvested greens as soon as possible; however, they can be stored for a few days wrapped in slightly damp paper towels and sealed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.  Slightly wilted greens can be crisped by placing them in cool water for 10 to 15 minutes.

Spring Fresh Green Juice

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • 1 handful fresh greens
  • 1 handful fresh sprouts
  • A few dandelion greens
  • A few green onions

Juice all ingredients together using a masticating juicer.  Makes one 12 oz serving.

Detox Green Juice with a Kick

  • 3 apples
  • 1 handful fresh greens
  • 6 kale leaves
  • 1 whole lemon (unpeeled if organic)
  • 1 inch gingerroot
  • 1 clove garlic

Juice all ingredients together using a masticating juicer. Makes one 12 oz serving.

Fresh and Healthy Green Detox Juice

  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 apple
  • 6 slices (about 3 inches) cucumber
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • 1 small handful parsley
  • 1 inch gingerroot
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

Juice all ingredients together using a masticating juicer. Makes one 12 oz serving.

Super Spring Green Smoothie   

Green smoothies should contain approximately 60 per cent fruit and 40 per cent leafy green vegetables for proper balance of flavour and nutrition.

  • 1 handful fresh greens
  • 1 small handful parsley
  • 1 cup honeydew melon chunks
  • 6 fresh peppermint leaves
  • ½ cup filtered or spring water
  • Ice cubes Juice all ingredients together using a masticating juicer. Makes one 12 oz serving.

Magical Iced Green Drink

  • 1 cup filtered or spring water
  • 1 small handful parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • Ice cubes
  • Mineral water
  • Lime slice

Puree all ingredients (except the mineral water and lime slice) into a blender.  Strain into a tall glass over more ice cubes, then top with mineral water to spritz.  Garnish with lime slice. Rebecca Mullins RHN is a North Bay-based Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She can be reached at vegout@live.ca

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