Jugo Verde

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Loreto, Mexico

Before I left for Maui I was drinking green smoothies every day and only found juice while I was in Hana.

This time heading to Mexico I was prepared to make my own smoothies on the road and brought my Magic Bullet blender with me.

This actually caused quite a bit of confusion going through US customs but hey some people need to travel with a blender.

Turns out I didn’t.

Suzanne, an About.com Mexico guide, is from Oaxaca and told me green juice aka jugo verde is very popular in the markets and they should have it here too.

It wasn’t on the menu at Villa del Palmar but everyone knew it. They brought me a mix of spinach, celery, parsley, cactus and orange juice.

Everyone wanted to know what this strange mix was and by the end most of the group was drinking it for breakfast as well.

Green juice is the new trend in Canada and the States but it turns out they have been drinking jugo verde here for generations and we just caught on.

Join the Conversation

  1. Mary @ Fit and Fed says:

    Wow, I had no idea green smoothies were already a popular item in Mexico! The one illustrated is an attractive shade of green, not a yucky dark or olive green. What’s the cactus in it?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I’m not sure what kind of cactus is in it but I think all of the greens are quite vibrant here. Honestly mine at home are kind of brown, not attractive at all but very tasty.

      1. I’d guess nopales? Otherwise known a prickly pear I think? All the Mexican restaurants here serve them in various ways – the leaves that is, as well as the fruit of course.

        1. Ayngelina Author says:

          Prickly pear fruit is in season right now, heavenly.

    2. Nopal – we call the fruit from this cactus “Prickly Pear”. Here we put the cactus pieces in almost ALL juices, as well as some of the smoothies. We also add sabila (aloe vera gel) straight from the plants we grow in our store.

  2. Mark Wiens says:

    Love your ending statement – that’s true with so many things (and the green juice sounds good too)!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      The more I travel the more I realize that we were so foolish for scoffing at people who used food to heal. We don’t always need chemical drugs, we need to get back to whole food.

  3. I’m not sure I’d want to try that since there are quite a few things in it I don’t like, but I’m glad you were able to get the drink you enjoy at home. And I know we discussed this on Twitter, but I still think the blender has an unfortunate name!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Ha yes it does and you were not the only one to make the mistake.

      It’s okay if you don’t like everything in here, there are tons of versions of green smoothies. I recommend starting with just a regular smoothie and throwing a handful of spinach in – you will never know it was there.

  4. Ava Apollo says:

    I’m into green juice too. I’m glad to know I’ll be able to find it on the road!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I didn’t know it existed in Latin America before, mostly because I wasn’t looking for it but in many countries the markets have a juice section and there is so much to choose from. I’m sure there is a version of green smoothies there.

  5. Laura @Travelocafe says:

    One more think that I need to put on my TO BE TRIED list.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Do it now! Believe me it will change your life, start off with just throwing some spinach into regular smoothies. It’s a great way to get a serving of greens in first thing in the morning.

  6. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says:

    I start my day off with a smoothie too!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Well I have to know what you put in it as I know it would be delicious.

  7. Canarian culture is very similar to those of central & south America, and it was a delightful surprise when I first emigrated to find juices of all sorts so easy to come by. Certainly they weren’t that common in the UK back then (and still aren’t so far as I can see). Almost any bar can whip you up a juice (or a batido, made with milk) from a variety of fruits & veggies, whereas in UK we had to go to a specialist healthfood bar.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Really I had no idea it was so similar. My favourite part of South America was all the juice, funny how we have to pay 10 times more for it here.

  8. Travelling with a blender? That is some serious dedication to your smoothie requirements 🙂

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      After two years of traveling my health has really taken a back seat so I’m trying to get back on track now that it’s a regular thing – I can’t always eat like I’m o vacation.

  9. Chompchomp says:

    I really need to get back to drinking green smoothies. It just makes you fell sooo much better and my skin becomes so clear….mine dont sound nearly as tasty as yours, what sort of flavours does the addition of cactus give?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      The cactus is really mild, I wouldn’t know it was in there if someone didn’t tell me.

      At home I don’t have access to it so I won’t add it. I usually do a combination of swiss chard, spinach or kale with beets, ginger, and some kind of citrus (kiwi, orange) and then lemon and apple.

      But you are right I always feel so much better for drinking them.

  10. Ok, so I’m not quite a convert of green smoothies, but perhaps I can give them a try. Your description does make them sound delish! The one thing my time in Mexico did convert me to are juices made from carrots. Mmm mmm yum! Love how you’re super committed to a healthy lifestyle while on the road, that’s awesome and totally admirable! The thought of getting your blender through customs totally makes me smile. Enjoy your juices!!!!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      My mother was also suspicious of green smoothies but she loved regular ones with bananas and strawberries so I told her to just throw a handful of spinach in it. You really can’t taste the spinach so it’s a good place to start and then you can start adding more and more greens.

      I had one today that was rainbow chard, banana, kiwi, red beets. But I’d start with just the spinach and work up to it.

  11. Jonathan Look, Jr. says:

    Green food, locally grown. Hard to go wrong there. Actually I think spinach is pretty good in about anything.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I am with you on that, I adore spinach.

  12. Stephanie - The Travel Chica says:

    When I saw the words “Magic Bullet,” I was definitely NOT thinking about a blender!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Dear, you were not the only one to make that mistake!

  13. Zara @ Backpack ME says:

    Oh, I never tried the jugo verde while we were in Mexico, but did eat roasted cactus (nopales) a few times and they tasted great. Apparently, they are very healthy but the layer of cheese they were served with took all of that away from me!.. 😛

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I love cactus in everything. I first tried it in a Toronto Mexican restaurant with shrimp – so good!

  14. Waegook Tom says:

    Ayngelina, I’ve been CRAVING green smoothies lately to quench me during this crazy Korean heat and humidity but have come to no avail. I’m practically licking your screen right now – send me some jugo verde, STAT.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Isn’t Korea the home of cheap electronics and appliances? Go buy a blender!

  15. Conswalia says:

    I think that your traveling with your Magic Bullet is an awesome idea. I bought one of those hand blenders in France to make smoothies because too many baguettes were taking it’s toll on my digestion. It was the only thing that saved me. Besides I had not plans on giving up French food. Thanks for another great post.

  16. Will Peach says:

    Looks quite tasty, will have to give it a go!

  17. Laura Duval says:

    Hi. I live in south Texas and I have both the aloe vera plant and the prickly pear in my yard. I started on this concoction adding pineapple juice 5 day ago…I have had a very much needed boost in energy and I am sleeping much better. Some Canadian friends told me about this and to drink 3 oz. each morning. My question is how much should I be drinking?

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