Jugo Verde is a blended Mexican green juice loaded with an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables. This nutritious elixir promotes better health, vibrant skin, and overall energy.
WHAT IS JUGO VERDE?
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, vegetables, and leafy greens that will help you power through your day. This vibrant and refreshing drink is known for its detoxifying properties and nutritional benefits, which is probably why it is so popular among market goers in Mexico. While it’s not technically considered an agua fresca, you can learn more about these traditional Mexican drinks in my article, All About Aguas Frescas.
WHY I LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Authentic Flavors: 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. The one that my tastebuds found most memorable, and the one I model my recipe after, was from a small mercado in a town outside of Oaxaca, called Mitla.
- Easy-to-Find Ingredients: Most green juice recipes call for nopales, also known as cactus paddles 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 ingredients. In Mitla, 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 and my recipe captures its essence.
- Easy-to-Make: Making Mexican green juice is easy, but you must get the proportions just right to enjoy the mercado-grade concoction that I have come to love.
- Nutritious: a green machine powerhouse of beverages, this juice is anti-inflammatory and loaded with vitamins and minerals such as fiber and vitamin C.
(full list of ingredients and amounts included in the recipe card below)
- 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.
- 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.
For more of my favorite nutritious ingredients to add to drinks and smoothies, check out my article, Rise and Shine: 25 Nutritious Ingredients to Boost Your Morning Smoothie.
TOOLS, SUPPLIES, AND EQUIPMENT
- Blender: 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.
- Glass pitcher or carafe + juice glasses for serving
HOW TO MAKE this recipe
Time needed: 5 minutes
This easy jugo verde requires two simple steps and a total of five minutes:
- Prepare the fruits and vegetables:
Wash all of the produce and chop it into large pieces.
- Blend and serve:
Add the orange juice, fruits, and vegetables to a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Serve chilled.
TIPS, TRICKS, AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- If using cold orange juice and ingredients, your juice 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!
- For extra potassium, add a banana to your Jugo Verde!
- For extra fiber and vitamins C, K, and E, add 1/4 cup of chopped cactus paddle.
- For digestive support and antioxidants, add about a tablespoon of fresh aloe vera pulp.
HOW TO STORE
The juice is best served as soon as you make it. However, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The health benefits are endless. It is essentially a cocktail for better health, vibrant skin, and overall energy. This cocktail of nutritious ingredients contains anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties. And if you’re anything like me, this is precisely what I need at this stage in my life. Bottoms up to that!
The answer is yes and no. This juice is loaded with fiber and other nutrients to help you power through each of your days. However, if you are following a low-fiber or low-sugar diet, then it’s probably best to have this drink in moderation.
Jugo Verde is also referred to as a green detox smoothie and can be a great addition to a weight loss plan as it is low in calories and high in nutrients. It is important to note that Mexican green juice should not be used as a meal replacement and should compliment a well-balanced diet.
Green juice provides essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health, boost the immune system, aid in digestion, and promote detoxification.
LOOKING FOR MORE INSPIRATION?
- Agua Fresca de Tamarindo
- Strawberry Beet Agua Fresca
- Mango Strawberry Agua Fresca
- All About Aguas Frescas
Jugo Verde (Mexican Green Juice)
- Cutting Board
- Piitcher or carafe
- Juice glasses
- 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice chilled
- 4 dinosaur kale leaves
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 pineapple spear
- 1/2 green apple
- 1/3 cucumber with skin
- 10 parsley sprigs
- Blend orange juice, fruits, and vegetables until completely smooth.
- Serve chilled.
A Note from Lola
Originally published March 17, 2021 / Photography + Styling: Cacey McReavy
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Lola Wiarco Dweck
Lola is a Mexican-American recipe developer, writer, and cooking instructor who loves sharing her culture with the world. Growing up in California and spending summers in Mexico, Lola celebrates her family’s Mexican recipes and vibrant culture through Lola’s Cocina.