Raw and Naked | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Raw and Naked

My wife looked incredulously at the glass before her. "It's green," she said. This was not the typical cup of coffee I usually bring her.

"It's that green lemonade we saw them do on YouTube. It's really good," I told her.

The ingredients in the plastic cup looked like what is commonly termed "pond scum." The juice was room temperature on a crisp February morning. She sat on the couch looking at my outstretched hand, inspecting the liquid that resembled nothing near what lemonade should look like.

"It's the kale," I said. "It's a half bunch of kale, two lemons, two apples and a slice of ginger root. It's delicious."

I had taken a part of the year's tax refund and splurged on a juicer. It was to be my newest hobby and help fulfill our New Year's resolution of eating healthier and, hopefully, living longer. We both had friends and relatives who have battled cancer, diabetes and other debilitating diseases. As we tried to learn more about the diseases and causes, we kept returning to the importance of diet and how it affects health.

We watched documentaries on Net­flix and YouTube on how nutrition plays an important role in health. We learned how making your own juice is a way of delivering the raw food's micronutrients more effectively through juicing raw vegetables. Juicing allows them to easily pass into the digestive system and be absorbed by the cells. I grew up on a farm, so the philosophy of eating raw food, uncooked, unprocessed and "naked" without all the chemicals made sense.

Since my first effort with green lemonade, I've expanded and started adding other vegetables to my juicing list: cucumbers, carrots, celery and one of my favorites, sweet potato. I've even added chili and peppers as I experiment, trying to find that perfect morning blend.

After some experimentation, this is what I find tastes best to me. And taste is what it's all about. Blueberries, spinach, cucumbers, carrots, try anything. A lot of the fun is just experimenting with different raw fruits and vegetables and coming up with a flavor that is "yours." While I like the sweetness apple brings to a lemonade, you may like it more sour.

Brett's Green Lemonade

1 bunch of kale, rinsed
2 large lemons (add more if you like it tart)
3 medium Red Delicious apples
2 large cucumbers
Ginger root, to taste

Run the ingredients through your juicer, according to instructions. I just put them in without having to peel or cut into pieces because my juicer has a nice wide feed tube. If the pulp from your juicer is too "wet," pass it through again. This will help you get more juice. Rather than discarding the pulp, use it for soup stock or add to the garden as compost. Refrigerate and enjoy a refreshingly healthy juice.

Serves 2-3

Juice vegetables and fruits for a refreshing and healthy beverage.

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