In the spirit of summer aka “bikini season” and after a recent conversation with my roommate, I was inspired to write this post and carry out this “Ultimate Guide to Green Juice” experiment. We both wondered which store bought juice truly delivered nutrients, wasn’t loaded with icky sugar and additives and was just as good as one from one of our favorite juice bars (e.g. Juice Press, Liquiteria)
In the midst of a juice cleanse or even a “detox day”, I can admit first hand that there have been times where I’ve picked up a juice at a grocery store in a pinch ( when there is no juice bar to be found, which in cities other than NYC can happen more often than not.) Laden with dozens of brands the choice is not always easy, and it’s always a let down ending up with a sucky tasting $12 juice that you end up begrudgingly choking down.
With my first choice being green juices because of their alkalinizing benefits, I picked up a variety of green juices this week at Wholefoods and Trader Joes testing out the pros, cons and overall benefits of each brand.
So.. the moment we’ve all been waiting for; the reviews! (aka which one is good?!)
Trader Joes Green Juice– Made with a pound of spinach, 17 kale leaves, 1 apple, 1/4 cucumber, 1 stalk of celery, 1 lemon and 2 inches of ginger. This juice has 11 grams of sugar ( this sugar is NOT added, coming only from the juiced fruits and veggies.) It is HPP processed and weighs in at 100 calories per 15.2 oz bottle.
This juice has a lemony vegetable juice flavor with hints of ginger. Being on the inexpensive side, it’s definitely more attractive and an inexpensive way to be healthy without emptying out your bank account in the process. Although it isn’t as potent and “bursting with greens” as one from a juice bar, for the price and the way it’s processed it definitely gets the job done. It reminds me of one from Juice Generation but with slightly less flavor. My only drawback is that I wish it was organic.
Suja “Green Supreme” Juice– organic, HPP pressed no added sugar
I had pretty high expectations for this $9 juice because that’s about the price you could pay for a fresh pressed juice (unbottled) at a juice bar. The bright green color and pretty label touting that it was “organic” seemed promising.
I chose this juice from Suja because it seemed the most “natural” and didn’t have added salt, cayenne, sugar etc. which I generally tend to avoid when drinking juice.
What makes me super sad about this juice, is that the 1st ingredient is apple juice ( which I sadly never noticed until this week- sad face) but since ingredients are listed by weight that means that the majority of this $9 juice is actually apple juice with very little “greens” added. I could taste it immediately because if I closed my eyes I would literally just think it was apple juice since the apple is so potent. Definitely not my thing, but hey, not every juice is a winner.
The good news though is that all the ingredients are organic, so this would be an ideal juice for before a workout or to hydrate before physical activity, despite tasting pretty sugary. It’s also ideal for those who like a bit of apple in their juice and don’t prefer the more bitter or greener “green juice”
Evolution “Sweet Greens and Lemon”– One of the cool things about Evolution is that the brand is carried in Starbucks, Wholefoods and other grocery stores. While its definitely noticeable how “watered down” the overall flavors taste compared to bottled juices found at juice bars, the brand offers both Organic and conventional flavors at a lower price point.
The “sweet greens and lemon flavor” features a kale, romaine, spinach blend that has subtle hints of parsley, apple, celery, lemon and lime. It tastes to me a lot like the Trader Joes “Green Juice” but with more lemon and apple taste. Overall it’s a pretty good deal price-wise as well as availability.
Blueprint Juice– the infamous “Blueprint Juice Cleanse” set that is sold in Wholefoods includes this classic green juice flavor. I also saw a few “seasonal” green juice flavors by Blueprint that sounded interesting. For the price-point, I expected a more alkalinizing and pure “green juice”. It definitely tasted sweeter than expected which I wasn’t so down with but to each his own. At least there weren’t any added sugars in this juice which is something to look out for because one of the juices from Blueprint has agave hidden in there.
Daily Greens “Purify” Juice- This juice features produce that is seasonally sourced from local farms. This one is made out of kale, parsley, broccoli, cucumber, celery, lemon, basil and is teaming with lots of vitamins! Some of which include A, C, K, B1, B2, B6, sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. This juice is also low in calories and sugars which I liked. With a high vitamin content and less sugary taste it was one of my favorites out of the ones reviewed in this guide, my only thing being that it had a pretty strong cucumber and slightly mellow taste ( aka wasn’t bursting with zesty flavor.) I think the vitamin count and benefits outweigh the neutral taste though, so I would be up for drinking this juice again seeing as I get something good out of it, while staying refreshed and hydrated.
HPP processed, a controversial way of pasteurizing the juice without heat to kill of potential Listeria, E-coli, yeast, mold and salmonella. The drawback is that in order to use this process, the juice has to be “low alkaline” thus containing less nutrients that come from dark leafy vegetables generally destroyed during this process. Besides being a way to commercially sell juice HPP is still better than heat pasteurization it just kills nutrients and isn’t as good as fresh juice. It also extends the shelf life of juice sold in stores.