How To Have An All-Juice Thanksgiving

If you love the holidays, but for some reason hate chewing, then we have the solution. Cleanse and gorge at the same time!


I am so tired of reading unrealistic gourmet Thanksgiving menus full of complicated ingredients that take hours and hours to make. The thought of Thanksgivukkah, replete with pecan-pie rugelach, stuffing tots, and Menurkeys, is giving me anticipatory heartburn. It’s too much on top of too much. I also happen to be heading into the holidays up a few pounds because of some recent health problems. Frankly, I’m in no mood to carbo-load.


The solution, once I discovered it, is breathtakingly obvious. A Thanksgiving Day Juice Cleanse. I will celebrate right alongside friends and family, but do it in my own, much more self-righteous, way.

Herewith, the official all-juice Thanksgiving menu, taste-tested by Co.Exist.

Traditional Thanksgiving Menu Item: Green Bean Casserole

Calories: 161
Sodium: 530mg
Fat: 9g
Protein: 3g
Vitamin A: 12%DV
Vitamin C: 14%DV

Juice substitute: Blueprint Foundation Cleanse Green Juice :
Romaine, celery, apple, cucumber, spinach, kale, parsley, lemon.

Calories: 110
Sodium: 90mg
Fat: 0
Protein: 3g
Vitamin A: 20% DV
Vitamin C: 35% DV


BluePrint is the Lululemon of juice, with $20 million in annual sales. Its multi-fruit and vegetable blends are available online as multiday “cleanses” costing $65 a day. They also have excellent supermarket distribution through a partnership with Hain Celestial group, meaning they’re available for $8.99 a bottle at my local FoodTown. The green juice isn’t too sweet or too gritty, with a pleasantly fresh tang from the parsley. I never really liked green bean casserole, anyway.

Winner: Juice.

Traditional Thanksgiving Menu Item: Sweet Potato Casserole

Calories: 460
Fat: 17g
Sodium: 210mg
Protein: 4g
Vitamin A: 377% DV
Vitamin C: 5% DV

Juice Substitute: Naked Juice Orange Carrot: Orange, Carrot, Apple, Mango, Banana, Lemon

Calories: 230
Sodium: 25mg
Fat: 0
Protein: 1g
Vitamin A: 340%
Vitamin C: 150%


Chosen mainly for its color and wide availability at convenience stores, Orange Carrot is cloyingly sweet and unaccountably thick on the palate (then again, this is also true of many sweet potato casseroles). The fruit and vegetable flavors don’t really come through. Naked Juice, which is owned by Pepsi, recently paid $9 million to settle a class action suit regarding false claims over its use of GMOs, so there’s that.

Winner: Sweet potatoes.

Traditional Thanksgiving Menu Item: Roast Turkey

Calories: 262
Sodium: 119mg
Vitamin A: 0%
Vitamin C: 0%

Juice Substitute: Odwalla Chai Vanilla Protein Monster

Calories: 280
Sodium: 180mg
Vitamin A: 0%
Vitamin C: 0%


Or: College Inn Canned Turkey Broth

Calories: 10
Sodium: 990mg
Protein: 1g
Fat: 0
Vitamin A: 0%
Vitamin C: 0%

I am a vegetarian. That is my excuse for not eating turkey or drinking turkey broth. Instead I chose this Odwalla smoothie, with its vaguely seasonal spice blend of vanilla and cinnamon, as a high-protein substitute for my main course. Unfortunately my bottle of sweet, milky smoothie concealed a layer of unincorporated protein sludge at the bottom that would not mix despite vigorous shaking. I was unsatisfied and repulsed.

Winner: Tie?

Traditional Thanksgiving Menu Item: Pumpkin Pie:

Calories: 185
Sodium 170 mg
Fat: 2g
Protein: 7g
Vitamin A: 100%
Vitamin C: 2%


Juice Substitute: Jamba Juice Pumpkin Smash Smoothie

Calories: 390
Sodium: 320mg
Fat: 0g
Protein: 10g
Vitamin A: 40%
Vitamin C: 2%

This smoothie is made from “Pumpkin Spice Base,” a nutritionally and chemically suspect item, and frozen yogurt. Not only is it disgusting, it’s actually nutritionally inferior to real pumpkin pie.

Winner: Pie, of course.

Or try this recipe for actual Pumpkin Juice (made famous by Harry Potter) made from pumpkin puree, apple cider, apricot nectar, and spices. Should you possibly take any of this advice (and please do not): Enjoy your liquid Thanksgiving!

About the author

Anya Kamenetz is the author of Generation Debt (Riverhead, 2006) and DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, (Chelsea Green, 2010). Her 2011 ebook The Edupunks’ Guide was funded by the Gates Foundation