Whether you’re sick as a dog or you want to get a jump on this year’s cold and flu season, we’ve got some tasty treats to help you boost your immune system and fight off those germs. There’s nothing quite like a homemade juice to give your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs.
While juice is not as healthy as eating whole fruit and vegetables, you can still get vital nutrients. One big tip for this is to leave as much pulp in your juicy as possible, allowing you to keep from missing out as much on the dietary fiber it contains.
With that in mind, here are some great recipes for juice, and not all of these even require a juicer or blender.
One thing that’s good about cold and flu season, the timing. You’ve just finished harvesting your garden, and you’re drowning in wonderful garden-ripened tomatoes.
Turn that into homemade tomato juice that you can freeze for the whole year and the tomato overload suddenly transforms into a healthy drink for everyone in your family. It’s even good for Bloody Marys.
Tomatoes are rich in folate, which helps lower your risk of infections—an important thing to consider when viruses are everywhere. They also pack a lot of vitamins in, with special emphasis on A and C vitamins as well as iron.
Tomato Juice Recipe: This is just a basic recipe to help you transform that lovely crop of tomatoes into juice. You can modify the recipe in any way you see fit to suit your tastes.
♦ 3-4 lbs. ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
♦ 1 ¼ cup chopped celery with leaves
♦ 1/3 cup chopped onion
♦ 2 tablespoons sugar
♦ 1 teaspoon salt
♦ ¼ teaspoon pepper
Put all ingredients into a large saucepan and let simmer about half an hour. Then strain through a sieve to separate solids. Cool and drink or cool and freeze for later.
The bright red color of beets is pretty irresistible, but some people don’t like the taste. To make the flavor as irresistible as the color, we’ve added plenty of zip for a tasty, immunity-boosting, cold-destroying beet juice you’ll love.
You hear that beets are good for you, but why? Beets are packed with nutrition from top to bottom. Beets are a good source of many nutrients, including vitamin C, iron, magnesium, dietary fiber, folate, potassium, and manganese.
In addition to the beets, the other ingredients come into play, and you get even more vitamins A, C, and E, iron, and calcium. It can even help keep your brain young.
♦ 1 beet, peeled and chopped
♦ 3 medium carrots, cleaned and chopped
♦ 1 blood orange, peeled and sectioned (remove any seeds)
♦ 1/2 lemon, peeled and sectioned (remove any seeds)
♦ 2 inch section of turmeric root
♦ 1 inch section of ginger root
Pass all ingredients through the juicer and drink chilled. If you cannot find the turmeric and ginger fresh in your local produce store, ground spice versions will also work.
Did you know that watermelon juice relieves muscle soreness? This simple recipe is easy to make and doesn’t need anything fancy to taste great.
It’s the amino acid L-citrulline that is believed to be the secret behind why a watermelon can help soothe sore muscles. In addition to that, this drink also gives you vitamins A and C, magnesium, and zinc.
♦ 1 medium watermelon, (deseeded and chopped)
♦ 1 tablespoon mint leaves
In a blender, mix the watermelon and mint leaves until well blended. Serve chilled over ice or add ice to the blender to create a smoothie.
Orange, Carrot, and Apple Juice
This triad of taste is a huge hit across the board with a sweet and tart finish. It’s a great breakfast, get-up-and-go drink works well with meals and snacks and even tastes great with a little vodka for an end of the day cocktail.
This combination of foods gives you vitamins A, B-6, and C in addition to potassium and folic acid. Potassium supports blood pressure, cardiovascular health, bone, and muscle strength. It gives you that natural boost of energy to help stave off fatigue.
♦ 2 large carrots (no tops)
♦ 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
♦ 1 orange, peeled and divided
Plop all the ingredients into your juicer and let it do its magic.
This healthy orange juice is great as is but can always be tweaked to give it your own personal flair.
We all know that vitamin C is a powerhouse when it comes to keeping you healthy and boosting your immune system. So, let’s load up on delicious vitamin C and create a juice that’s out of this world.
Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that protect your body from chronic illness. It can also help with high blood pressure, lower heart disease risks, reduce uric acid in the blood, improve iron absorption, and gives your immune system a boost with white blood cell support.
In addition to all of the things vitamin C does, this drink also contains vitamins A and B-6, folic acid, and zinc. It might just become your secret weapon this cold season.
♦ 2 navel oranges (peeled and sectioned)
♦ 1 grapefruit (peeled and sectioned)
♦ 4 clementine oranges (peeled and sectioned)
♦ Juice of ½ lemon
Combine all ingredients and put in juicer. Chill or pour over ice.
The newest health trend may have arrived in the form of pumpkin seeds. These little treats pack in a lot of protein and other nutrients, so it just seems right to create a juice that makes the most of them.
Pumpkin seeds are one of the highest plant-based sources of protein and essential amino acids. They also are a great source of iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B, and E.
♦ 1 apple, (skinned, cored, and sliced)
♦ 3 carrots (peeled and chopped)
♦ 1/2 cucumber (chopped)
♦ 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
♦ 1 cup milk
Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Add more milk if you want a thinner consistency.
Green juices are all the rage, mainly because it’s those green ingredients that pack a nutritional wallop. This is no exception. With the kale craze still going strong, you’re really going to want this juice in your repertoire.
Kale is everywhere today and this dark, leafy green has good reason to crop up in everything from a salad to a smoothie. Kale is chock full of nutrients and may help blood glucose levels, lower the risk of cancer, reduce blood pressure, and more.
Kale contains fiber, antioxidants, calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C, and iron. In addition to all those benefits, this drink adds in tomatoes and celery for an extra dose of vitamins A and C, and magnesium potassium.
♦ 1/2 pound fresh kale
♦ 4 celery ribs
♦ 2 pints cherry tomatoes
♦ 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Juice the kale, celery, and cherry tomatoes. Once thoroughly juiced and blended, add the lemon juice for a little zip.
If you’re serious about battling colds and the flu this season, why not just go for it. This green-powered juice gives you a kick in the immune system to push you through this time of year.
Greens are packed with nutrients and fiber, which means that they’re full of good stuff and they leave you feeling full longer. This means you’re potentially less likely to binge on other foods when you’ve loaded up on greens.
Plus, if you’re already sick, the phytonutrients in green foods are a powerful healing agent.
♦ 2 stalks celery
♦ 4 romaine heart leaves
♦ 2 kale leaves
♦ 1 cup spinach
♦ 1 Granny Smith apple (peeled, cored, and chopped)
♦ 1/2 medium cucumber (chopped)
♦ 1/2 lemon (peeled and quartered)
♦ 1 slice ginger
Add all ingredients to the juicer and juice until smooth.
Strawberry and Mango Juice
Okay, so maybe you’re a traditionalist and you just like your juices to be fresh and fruity. That’s okay too since fruits have a lot of health benefits as well. This drink is fantastic and one that the whole family will enjoy, even those finicky eaters.
Have you heard that the more colorful your foods are the better? This is true, as the really bright foods, like strawberries and mangos, are packed with nutritional goodness. In this drink, you’ll benefit from the vitamins A, C, and E, iron, and folate.
♦ 1 mango (peeled, pitted, chopped)
♦ 10 strawberries (greens removed)
♦ 1 navel orange (peeled, sectioned
♦ 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
♦ 2 tablespoons honey
Put all ingredients into your juicer. Serve poured over ice or add ice to create an icy blended drink.
Let’s stick with the tried and true strawberry drink. The flavor and color of a strawberry just lend itself so nicely to juices, so it’s kind of hard to resist. This one includes Greek yogurt to give it a more smoothie-like consistency and to add magnesium and probiotics to your arsenal for flu-fighting power.
While the fruits in this smoothie give you vitamins A, C, and B-6, magnesium, zinc, and folate, you’ll really appreciate the added benefits that come from the yogurt, provided it’s not jam-packed with sugar.
Greek yogurt is known for its health benefits and if you’re not a fan of the sour flavor, this recipe is the perfect way to disguise it and thicken your juice to a rich, smoothie sensation.
♦ 1 cup strawberries (halved)
♦ 2 kiwis (peeled)
♦ 5 1/3 oz. strawberry Greek yogurt
♦ 8 fl. Oz. orange juice
♦ Mint sprigs (can be used just as garnish or flavor)
Blend all ingredients. If you’re only going to use the mint sprigs for garnish, set them aside until needed. If you want mint in your smoothie, add it to the mix.
Whether you’re already sick or preparing to do battle against germs, these recipes give you a diverse menu of options and some really powerful ways to fight back and power your body. While the easiest way to make juice at home is with a juicer, you can get by with a blender, and sometimes, not even that.
Juice is a great way to get nutrients into your diet easily. Of course, if you really want to be your healthiest, eating the whole fruits and vegetables themselves will always be best.