Jugo verde (or Mexican green juice) delivers big on fresh and zesty flavors. With ingredients like nopales, it also contains health benefits that will keep you feeling young and vibrant!
And the best part? It's totally customizable!
At first glance, you might be thinking "this is just another green juice." While you are half right, there may be an ingredient in here you haven't heard of!
Also known as prickly pear cactus, this species has been cultivated in Mexico since pre-Columbian times. The Aztecs consumed nopal, used it as medicine, carried out rituals with it, and more.
You can find nopales all throughout Mexican cuisine in various forms — raw in salads, grilled in tacos, boiled in soups, in salsas, pickled, etc. They're an integral part of Mesoamerican history.
It only makes sense that nopales have found their way into healthy drinks like jugo verde. When mixed with other fresh, tropical produce like pineapple and lime, this Mexican green juice is a no-brainer.
What is jugo verde?
Mexico has been celebrating the benefits of this anti-inflammatory and detoxifying drink long before it became part of pop culture. Green juice is sold and enjoyed all across the country at mercados (markets) and restaurants.
The main components of green juice are the base of vegetables like spinach, chard, nopales, etc. To cut the overwhelming vegetable flavor, fruits like pineapple, green apple, or citrus are often added in. And to maximize the benefits, spices like ginger and cinnamon are also utilized.
This leaves you with a drink that will make you feel younger, more energized, and revitalized! It really is the proverbial fountain of youth.
Serve your jugo verde chilled in the fridge or over ice for the most refreshing drink. Although we enjoy a glass at any time of the day, Mexican green juice is an especially great way to start your morning alongside meals like:
And you're probably already aware, but we'll say it anyway... Yes, this drink is vegan and gluten-free.
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Jugo verde is extremely customizable, but follow these steps for building the most beneficial and best tasting drink:
Choose 1-2 base vegetables to form a bulk of the juice. Here are some ideas:
Taste: nopales and celery make up the base of our jugo verde and provide bold, earthy, tart, and citrus flavors throughout every sip.
Health: nopales (the pads of the nopal or prickly pear cactus) have an impressive nutrient profile, to say the least. They've been shown to help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar.
But most of all, there's preliminary research of nopales containing antiviral substances strong enough to treat conditions such as herpes simplex (HSV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and HIV.
Next up in this jugo verde is a choice of 1-2 leafy greens. Here are a few to spark your imagination:
- Collard greens
Taste: we added spinach to this green juice recipe, which gives it a mild, slightly sweet flavor. But for us, this leafy green is all about the health factor.
Health: spinach is an absolute powerhouse, which is why we utilize it whenever we can! Rich in vitamins A, C, K, iron, and calcium, it also contains nitrates, which have been found to improve heart health.
Don't forget the sweetest part of the recipe — fruit! To make sure everything is extra tasty, pick out your favorite fruits to sweeten things up. Here are some options:
Taste: we use green apple for tanginess, pineapple for tropical sweetness, and lime and orange for a zesty punch.
Health: fruits are filled with nutrients, and are often highlighted for their vitamin C content. But, we want to specifically highlight bromelain, which is found in pineapples. This nutrient is beneficial for digestive disorders, heart disease, asthma, and more!
If you have questions about this jugo verde recipe, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: using a towel or just holding it carefully, prepare the nopales by cutting around both edges to remove the outer thorns. For the rest, run the edge of your knife in a horizontal fashion all over the paddle until the thorns are gone.
Step 2: turn it over and repeat the same process on the second side. Roughly chop what is left and transfer it to a blender. Remove the ginger skin with a spoon. Cut away the pineapple skin and roughly chop it.
Step 3: core and chop the apple and celery, and add all of that to your blender. Cut the orange and lime half and squeeze both into the blender as well. Mix on high until no chunks remain.
Step 5: serve immediately. if you prefer no pulp, strain the juice into a cup or container before serving. Happy drinking!
Ensure your natural energy drink supply doesn't get low by making a double batch! Just follow these steps for storage.
Jugo verde keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days, but it's best consumed within the first 2 days. Keep it in airtight containers or mason jars so the flavor stays consistent.
As long as you use freezer-safe containers or plastic bags, you can freeze this Mexican green juice for months.
We recommend consuming it within a 3 month period because the longer it's frozen, the more the nutrients will degrade.
When you're ready to drink your juice, thaw it overnight in the fridge. Alternatively, pop it in a high-speed blender for an ice-cold green smoothie.
💭 Pro tips
Time to share our tips and tricks we learned while experimenting with this recipe:
- Don't strain it. Honestly, so many nutrients (including fiber) are lost when you strain fruits and vegetables. We don't bother with this step and recommend you don't either!
- Mix up the ingredients. No one likes the same flavors every day! Try using different fruits, vegetables, and spices like cinnamon, turmeric, spirulina, and more.
- Chill your produce. To make an extra refreshing drink, use chilled produce or serve it over ice.
🍴 Tasting notes
If you're looking for a delicious way to include more greens into your diet, give this green juice a go! It's:
If you try this jugo verde recipe, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
- Knife & cutting board
- Strainer or nut milk bag
- 1 nopales pad ($0.22)
- ½-inch chunk ginger ($0.11)
- 2 cups pineapple chunks ($0.50)
- 1 stalk celery ($0.05)
- 1 green apple ($0.68)
- 1 navel orange ($0.22)
- 1 lime ($0.12)
- 1 cup spinach ($0.10)
- Thoroughly wash all the produce. Using a towel or just holding it carefully, prepare the nopales by cutting around both edges to remove the outer thorns. For the rest, run the edge of your knife in a horizontal fashion all over the pad until the thorns are gone.
- Turn it over and repeat the same process on the second side. Roughly chop what is left and transfer it to a blender. Remove the ginger skin with a spoon. Cut away the pineapple skin and roughly chop it. Core and chop the apple and celery, and add all of that to your blender.
- Cut the orange and lime half and squeeze both into the blender as well. Mix on high until no chunks remain.
- Serve immediately. Optional: if you prefer no pulp, strain the juice into a cup or container before serving. Happy drinking!
- We use a Vitamix, which creates a super smooth consistency. If you don't have one, you may prefer this drink strained. You may also have to use some water to get your blender moving.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more sweet and refreshing Mexican drinks, check out our:
- Agua de limón con chia for a tangy, sweet, and invigorating agua fresca made with chia seeds!
- Agua de guayaba for a guava-packed, creamy, and thirst-quenching drink.
- Pineapple water for an agua fresca that is the perfect mix between tropical, tangy, and refreshing.
- Pitahaya agua fresca to try a sweet, hydrating, and delicious dragon fruit water.
Yes, this jugo verde recipe is completely free of gluten.
There are so many incredible health benefits of green juice, which include improved digestion, natural energy, decreased appetite, and much more.
If you don't like the texture of pulp in your juice, go ahead and strain it. Just remember, this will remove many of the healthy components (like fiber).
While it may be tastier to some, it's best to consume all the components of the juice. But if juicing helps you eat more vegetables, then that's the best option!