The Healthy Green Drink Diet

Earth Day was on April 22, so I thought it would be fun to select a “green” cookbook. The top 3 choices included a healthy cookbook, a green juice cookbook, and a Rick Bayless cookbook with a green cover. H looked through all three and selected the green juice book, primarily because I limit her juice intake and she looked at this as an opportunity for more juice. Or so she thought!

We bought a juicer about 4 months after Jeff and I married and moved to Minnesota. With the abundance of apples and fall orchard festivals in Minnesota, we thought it would be fun to have fresh apple juice. It was heavily used for about 2 weeks, and then it had a prime location on the shelf for the next 4 years. Two years ago, I became curious about juicing and decided it was a good time for a juicing detox, so I pulled out the juicer and ordered this book on Amazon. Of course, I didn’t actually make anything out of it until this week.

The Recipes
Rad-ish Radish
Popeye Punch
Green King
Red Queen
Beetle Juice

The Good
The book is divided into three basic sections – overall health and juicing information, smoothies, and juices. I probably would have been more interested in the smoothie section, but I broke my blender carafe last month and it’s been discontinued for so long that I can’t track down a replacement carafe. And yes, I’ve checked both eBay and Craigs List. So I was all in for juicing. The health and background section was good, the photography is nice but predictable, and I liked juicing some vegetables that I haven’t tried before – sweet potato, broccoli, bell pepper. The fruit juices were bigger hits with the kids; they really liked Popeye Punch and Green King;  the Red Queen was “just ok.” The veggie-heavy only juices were a bit tougher. And while I didn’t do the green drinks to diet or detox, I will say that my skin was looking pretty good by the end of the week.

The Bad
I found myself laughing at some of the descriptions. A cabbage slaw juice is perfect for a punch bowl around the pool? Please. I’m more interested in a refreshing grapefruit cocktail if I’m hanging out by the pool.  The Rad-ish Radish juice was waaaaaaay too peppery to start off with – having some green apple to sweeten it up would have been better. Quote from H – “The first one…(gag)…the first one…(tongue sticking out) I did NOT like that one.” I know that beets have great health benefits, but the juices with beet were a bit overwhelming – all you could taste was beet. Maybe that was the point.

The Ugly
The price tag for all the produce was pretty steep. Juicing is not for someone who is trying to save money at the grocery store – the average cost for each juice was probably between $5-9 per juice glass. The title is also a little ridiculous – a clear marketing ploy. The author is not advocating for a “diet” – he is advocating for a lifestyle. He said it in the third paragraph of the introduction, so it’s pretty obvious that the publisher was counting on the word “diet” to bring in the unsuspecting buyer. Oh wait – it worked. On me! And Jeff made a number of jokes about “cleansing the system” with juicing. I probably don’t need to elaborate on that one.

The Healthy Green Juice Diet. Advice and Recipes to Energize, Alkalize, Lose Weight, and Feel Great.
Overall Cookbook Rating – 3 out of 5 stars. 
If you’re looking for some interesting juices, this has some good ideas. I didn’t always think the flavors were balanced, which is why I’m rating at the more average level. Most juices were just ok. That being said, I’ll probably still try to be a little bit more regular with juicing. My skin looked great and while I wouldn’t say I was bursting with energy, I know the extra veggies I drank all week couldn’t hurt. And if I can sneak in a little extra spinach to my kids when spiked with raspberries, I’m not going to pass that up.

Next up: The Kitchn Cookbook. I’m really excited about this one – and it’s now a James Beard award winner! Check out my progress at 1cookbook-1week.

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