Thursday, March 22, 2012

Et tu, Cacti?

I'm in Search of Puerto Vallarta

Pretty sure I don't have to explain why.

The minute we decided to “juice” our bodies, I told DH - I’M GOING TO MAKE THE GREEN JUICE!   He didn’t reply what you think might be the obvious response, “DUH.”  He’s a smart man, Jennay, and he knows what Green Juice is.

You see, when we vacation in Mexico, which we are wont to do, our resort serves this Green Juice at breakfast.  It makes me happy, this juice.   Two weeks before we leave, I start talking about it.  I love it THAT much.   I have as much as I can while we are there, because I know I won’t be having it anytime soon.  I’ve never had anything like it here at home, not for lack of looking.

So when we decided to juice, I knew I was going to try to recreate my Juice so I could feel like I was on vacation.   Via their online room service menu, I was able to find out what was in the juice, but not HOW much of each was in there.  No problem, I’m a whiz at this juicing business now, and can recreate this juice no problem. (Here she is again - Ms. Humble.)

But I need a cactus leaf (not the cactus fruit). A nopale, if you will.  That is the first ingredient in my Vacation Juice.  Cactus.   I had tried to find a nopale while we were on our fast, but they were out.   (REALLY?  You’re OUT of cacti?)  So I went back the other night to get one or two.  

YAHTZEE!!!  They have some leaves for me.   I select two (with tongs as they are spiny as heck), and get the rest of my produce and head home to experiment. best to remove spines?  Must youtube.  

While youtubeing my problem, I found out a TON about the benefits of juicing/consuming nopale cactus.   If you have blood sugar issues, this is what you need to be juicing!!!!

Stabilizes Blood sugarNopal cactus contains a large amount of slowly-digestible fiber and tends to slow down the digestion of foods when it is taken just before or with a meal. The cactus has the effect of lowering the Glycemic Index (a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels) of any foods it is eaten with.

Lowers CholesterolThe fiber and sterols in Nopal bind with a bile salt in the intestines, which helps limit the amount of blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) absorbed by the body, thereby lowering blood cholesterol levels.
Scrubs Blood VesselsPlaques are areas of inflammation that form on the walls of the blood vessels, where they trap blood fats that can harden or even block the arteries. Nopal cactus sterols, along with its polyphenols and glycoproteins, serve as antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and keep plaques from forming.
Sweeps the ColonThe insoluble plant fibers in Nopal cactus provide dietary roughage, which make it easier to maintain bowel regularity. Nopal also contains soluble plant fiber, which helps absorb toxins, including carcinogens, as it sweeps the colon clean. (IMPORTANT: This is not the same as Stage 5!!!)
Soothes the StomachNopal contains a high amount of mucilage, which helps balance the pH of the stomach and soothes the stomach lining. Tests have shown that Nopal stimulates the healing of stomach ulcers and reduces stomach inflammation.
Protects the LiverBecause Nopal contains antioxidant flavonoids, it helps neutralize free radicals before they can overtax the liver. It also helps absorb toxins, decreasing the liver's load. By supporting the liver, it frees that organ to balance bodily functions, including the immune system.

Hangovers and ObesityNopal is sometimes used to help counteract the effects of alcohol consumption. It helps rehydrate the body, soothes the stomach, and improves liver function, thereby preventing the headache, stomach ache and toxic "morning after" feeling. When taken before meals, Nopal's roughage can help create a sensation of fullness that may help prevent overeating and helps stabilize the blood sugar, to ward off hunger. Nopal cactus also contributes calcium and valuable amino acids and other nutrients.

Source: Kimberly Jace, eHow Contributor

So....Cactus!  Get to eating it people.  I feel like if I eat Kale, Cactus and Salmon (and maybe lay off the hummus), I might live forever.

I learned how to clean my little flat buddy, and went to it.  I only got two spines stuck in my hand.  Not bad for my first time.

Come to find out, you don’t so much juice cactus.  Rather, you add the snot that excretes when you smash it through your juicer into your juice.   That explains why my vacation juice has always been a little thick.   I was seriously turned off when the cactus snot started coming out of the Omega.  Drooling out.  Like spit when your husband pins you down and acts like he’s going to drop a droolie loogie on your face but sucks it back up in time.  (What, your DH doesn’t do that to you?  Just your brother when he was 9 and you were 6?  Well, you don’t know what you’re missing.....)

The green drool right there is coming out VERY SLOWLY.

Vacation Juice:

  • 3 Oranges
  • 4 Celery Stalks
  • Big Huge Handful of Parsley
  • Three Big Huge Handfuls of Spinach
  • 1 Nopale leaf

I know.  I know.  You aren’t supposed to mix fruits and vegetables together (except for apples), but I need my vacation juice......and here it is!  I almost nailed it (don’t be dirty.)

I sit on the couch watching The Voice on my DVR, and enjoy my vacation juice.  I try to ignore the fact that it has rained non-stop all day (to the tune of 1" of rain), and that it is disgusting outside and will be until June, and that I haven’t seen the sun since I was in Mexico in February, and that my DH is gone to a place where it is 80 everyday and sunny, and I try to mentally place myself in that hammock on the beach.  I told you guys a while ago I have a terrible imagination.  BUT my juice was VERY good ;)


UPDATE on the OMGPs.   My last post about pulp, I created some Original Mean Green Patties with my OMG pulp.  I added some ingredients and dehydrated them for about 4.5 hours.  Well, when it was time to check them, my whole kitchen smelled  Yep, that’s pizza.   I think it was the 18 bulbs of garlic I added.  Maybe.  Not sure.    They are pretty flat little cow pie looking discs at this point.   Future patties will not be flattened out so much I think.  Smoosh and learn.    I take a bite, and it is pretty good!   It tastes like it needs to be dipped in marinara sauce.  Which I don’t like and wouldn’t do, but that’s what it feels like I should be doing.  So basically I’m eating fiber and garlic.  YUM!!!!!!!   In all seriousness, I would try them once if you can - just to see if you like them.   I think mine are a little too flat, making them not chewy.  The places where they are fat, they are chewy and better.  I’ll probably try it again.  But only after I try those carrot pulp chewie things.  

Peace Out - I’m going to go buy more Cacti.

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