Jugo Verde (Mexican Green Juice)

Jugo verde is as vibrant as the Mexican mercados from which it hails. Translated as “green juice,” it is loaded with nutrients and made with fresh fruits and vegetables that will help you power through your day, which is probably why it is so popular among market goers in Mexico. Making it is easy, but you must get the proportions just right to enjoy the mercado-grade concoction that I have come to love. 

As a self-proclaimed jugo verde aficionada, I enjoy tasting the various versions different mercados have to offer. Needless to say, I’ve tasted quite a few jugos verdes in my day, and the one that my tastebuds found most memorable was from a small mercado in a town outside of Oaxaca, called Mitla. There, the señoras blended a nutritious elixir for the mind, body, and soul that consisted of fresh orange juice, nopal (cactus paddle), pineapple, parsley, celery, and aloe vera. Since cactus and aloe vera may not be easily accessible to everyone, I have recreated the flavors I remember, with easy-to-find fresh ingredients.

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF JUGO VERDE, YOU ASK? The health benefits of jugo verde are endless. It is essentially a cocktail for better health, vibrant skin, and overall energy. And if you’re anything like me, this is precisely what I need at this stage in my life. Bottoms up to that!

BLENDER VS JUICER
Oftentimes green juices in the U.S. are made with a juicer and are light (watery) in texture. In Mexico however, they’re made in a blender and are a bit thicker. The consistency of the Mexican version of green juice is somewhere between orange juice and a thin smoothie. I do not recommend straining it, as this would remove many of its natural healing powers.

Speaking of healing powers, here is a breakdown of a few jaw-dropping benefits found in jugo verde

FRESH FRUITS
Fresh orange juice is naturally rich in vital nutrients, such as vitamin C and potassium. It is also naturally sweet, so your jugo verde requires no additional sweeteners. Oranges also contain thiamine, folate, and potassium and are believed to help with anemia prevention, heart health, and kidney stone prevention.

Pineapples are rich in vitamin C and manganese and also have high amounts of antioxidants. These minerals and nutrients aid in boosting immunity and suppressing inflammation.

Green apples are lower in sugar and carbs than other apple varieties, and contain higher amounts of fiber, protein, potassium, iron, and vitamin K.

GREENS
Dinosaur kale is high in fiber, low in calories, and has zero fat. These attributes make this veggie a super easy addition to your drinks for weight loss or watching caloric intake, all while providing 75% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C in one serving.

Cucumbers are packed with water, vitamin K, and antioxidants.

Parsley is technically an herb and it is a vitamin powerhouse! Only ½ cup of parsley contains 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, 53% of vitamin C, and 547% of the daily intake recommended for vitamin K.

Celery also aids in digestion due to its high fiber content.

Now that you have learned a little more about this green machine powerhouse of beverages, it’s time to get chopping and blending!

INGREDIENTS
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice, chilled
4 dinosaur kale leaves
1 celery stalk
1 pineapple spear
1/2 green apple
1/3 unpeeled cucumber
5-10 sprigs parsley

OPTIONAL ADD-INS
Cactus paddle (about a 4-inch piece)
Aloe vera pulp (from about a 2-inch piece of fresh aloe vera)
Spinach (can be used in place of kale)
Banana

TOOLS, SUPPLIES, AND EQUIPMENT
Blender
Glass pitcher or carafe
Juice glasses for serving

PREP TIME: 5 minutes, COOK TIME: 0 minutes, SERVES: 3 glasses

PREPARATION
Blend orange juice, fruits, and vegetables until completely smooth. Serve chilled.

JUST A TIP
If using cold orange juice and ingredients, your jugo verde should be ready right out of the blender. If you prefer your jugo ice-cold, add 3-4 ice cubes to it when blending. It is not meant to be icy or frozen, like a smoothie, but definitely colder than room temperature!


Photography + Styling: Cacey McReavy

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Categories: Aguas Frescas and Drinks

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