Leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard, and collards are incredibly healthy and versatile ingredients. They can be eaten raw in salads, sautéed, steamed, or added to soups and stews. One cooking method that has grown in popularity recently is cold pressing leafy greens into green juice.
What is Cold Press Juicing?
Cold press juicing, also known as slow juicing, is a method of juicing fruits and vegetables that uses a slow-turning auger at very high pressure to crush and press produce. This allows the juice to be extracted with very little heat buildup or oxidation, preserving more nutrients.
The process of cold press juicing leafy greens involves:
- Washing and chopping greens like spinach, kale, chard, etc.
- Feeding the greens through a cold press juicer
- Collecting the extracted green juice
Unlike centrifugal juicers which spin produce at very high speeds, cold press juicers operate at much lower RPMs. This minimizes heat and oxidation, preserving more enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
Benefits of Cold Pressed Leafy Green Juice
Drinking cold pressed juice made from leafy greens offers many benefits:
- Excellent source of nutrients like vitamins A, C, K, iron, folate, and calcium
- High concentration of antioxidants
- Live enzymes are preserved
- More easily digestible way to consume raw greens
- Alkalizing and detoxifying for the body
Compared to eating greens whole, juicing them concentrates their powerful nutrition into an easy-to-consume liquid form. This allows the nutrients to be rapidly absorbed. Drinking green juices makes it simpler to fit more greens into your diet.
Best Leafy Greens for Cold Press Juices
Almost any leafy green can be cold pressed, but some of the best options include:
|Iron, vitamin K, folate, manganese
|Boosts energy, blood health, bone health
|Vitamins A, C, K, calcium
|Anti-inflammatory, immune boosting
|Vitamins C, E, K, magnesium
|Supports blood pressure, metabolism
|Calcium, folate, chlorophyll
|Aids detoxification, digestion
These greens are packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and important vitamins and minerals. Their mild flavors also work well in green juice blends.
Adding Other Produce to Leafy Green Juice
For the best tasting and most nutritious green juices, try combining leafy greens with these ingredients:
- Fruits: apple, lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit
- Veggies: cucumber, celery, carrots, beets, ginger
- Herbs: parsley, cilantro, basil, mint
The fruits add a touch of sweetness and extra nutrients like vitamin C. Cucumber provides hydration. Celery and carrots boost flavor. And herbs enhance the green flavor.
Be mindful of adding too much fruit, which can spike blood sugar levels. Aim for a ratio of 80% greens to 20% fruits/veggies.
Steps for Cold Pressing Leafy Greens
Cold pressing leafy greens into juice takes just a few simple steps:
- Wash all produce thoroughly. For greens, wash and dry well, then roughly chop the leaves.
- Feed the chopped greens into your cold press juicer slowly and let it work through them.
- Add in your other fruits, veggies, or herbs. Alternate between greens and the other ingredients.
- Stir or shake the juice when done and pour into a glass. Drink immediately for best flavor and nutrition.
Most cold press juicers have just a few parts that are easy to assemble. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s directions. The auger will be very powerful, so feed produce through slowly.
Tips for Cold Pressing Leafy Greens
Follow these tips to make optimal green juices:
- Use organic produce when possible to limit pesticide exposure.
- Wrap greens in paper towels to dry thoroughly before juicing to maximize yields.
- Drink your green juice right after making it. The nutrients degrade over time.
- Store juice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 72 hours.
- Add a squeeze of lemon to help preserve the color and nutrients.
- If juice is too strong, dilute with a bit of water or coconut water.
- Save the dry pulp leftovers to add to smoothies, baked goods, etc.
Getting the hang of which greens juice best and ideal flavor combinations will take some experimentation. Keep notes on which recipes you enjoy most.
Potential Downsides of Juicing Greens
While drinking green juices has many benefits, there are a couple potential downsides to consider:
- Nutrients are concentrated, but juice lacks the fiber found in whole greens.
- It takes large volumes of produce to make a small amount of juice.
- The process causes some nutrient degradation.
- Juices tend to be low in protein.
- Higher glycemic index than whole greens.
For these reasons, green juicing should be used to supplement your diet with extra servings of veggies rather than replacing whole greens completely.
Cold Pressed Leafy Green Juice Recipes
Here are 3 tasty and healthy green juice recipes to try:
1. Green Apple Detox Juice
- 1 green apple, cored
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1 cucumber
- 1 stick celery
- 1 inch ginger, peeled
- 1 lemon, peeled
This green apple juice packs vitamins A, C, and K. It provides detoxifying benefits.
2. Green Machine Juice
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 bunch parsley
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 green apple
- 1 lemon
- 1 inch ginger
Loaded with greens like kale and parsley, this juice delivers a major nutrient boost.
3. Mean Green Juice
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 cucumber
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 green apple
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 inch ginger
With kale, cucumber, apple, and lemon, this juice lives up to its name. It’s super green and nutrient-dense.
Get creative and try mixing up your own green juice combos!
Should You Cold Press Fruits Too?
While leafy greens are the most common cold pressed produce, you can also cold press a variety of fruits. Apples, citrus fruits, melons, berries, and more all work well in cold press juicers.
Some benefits of cold pressed fruit juice include:
- Bright, fresh flavors
- Powerful antioxidant content preserved
- Enzymes stay intact
- Nutrients absorb rapidly
Fruits tend to have a higher sugar content than veggies. But when juicing, you can dilute fruit juice with greens like spinach or cucumber. This cuts the glycemic load.
Some tasty fruit juice recipes to try:
- Watermelon lemonade – watermelon, lemon, mint
- Apple carrot – apple, carrot, ginger
- Tropical twist – mango, pineapple, orange
When mixing fruits and greens, go for a ratio of 80:20 veggies to fruits for the healthiest juices with stabilized blood sugar levels.
Choosing a Cold Press Juicer
If you want to start cold pressing greens and other produce at home, you’ll need a good cold press juicer. Here’s what to look for:
- Slow masticating style: Uses a slow turning auger at 80-100 RPMs
- Powerful motor: Needs significant crushing force for greens
- Wide feed chute: Fits whole produce to reduce prep
- Minimal oxidation: Tight seals and spout limit air exposure
- Easy to clean: Dishwasher safe parts preferred
Some top rated cold press juicer brands include Tribest, SKG, Omega, and Hurom. Expect to spend $200-$400 for a quality machine. The investment is well worth it for fresh, nutritious green juices!
Cold pressed green juices provide a concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes from leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard, and collards. Using a slow masticating juicer minimizes oxidation and heat buildup, preserving nutrition. While juicing shouldn’t completely replace whole greens in your diet, it’s an easy way to drink several servings at once. Combine greens with fruits, veggies, and herbs for great tasting, super healthy juices.