Yesterday one of my goals for the day was to re-pot my aloe plant. Well I am happy to report that my horticultural endeavors were a smashing success. The space-invading succulent has been split up and set up into 2 new terra-cotta condos.
Splitting and re-potting an aloe is a messy task. During the re-potting process quite a few of the external leaves got knocked off. I hate seeing anything go to waste, and I love doing science experiments in my kitchen so I decided to whip up a batch of aloe vera juice. Aloe vera juice is solid gold people. Aloe has a high vitamin A and E content, which makes it a GREAT topical skin treatment for burns, cuts and scrapes. You can also drink the stuff. Aloe juice tastes somewhat similar to cucumber juice. You wouldn’t want to drink it straight, but it is really nice watered-down and mixed with a little lemon-juice and basil or mint (or vodka….does that offset the health benefits? Or amplify them?) The juice also is a great source of minerals, including potassium which is great for runners. If you eat a mostly plant-based diet aloe is a source of selenium and vitamin B-12. I’m cribbing a lot of this from this website, which lists some of aloe’s other benefits. I primarily use aloe as a skin treatment, but I’m going to drink some of this batch of juice as well.
If you have an aloe plant you can simply snip off a leaf every now and again to get at the solid-gold gel that is inside. However, if your aloe plant needs pruning (which they often do) making aloe juice is a great way to stockpile the good-stuff in bulk. Why pay 12 bucks for a teeny-tiny bottle of adulterated aloe from Whole Foods when you can whip up a batch in 10 minutes flat? Here’s how you do it:
1) Get some aloe leaves, wash them well under cold water.
2) Put the leaves in a food processor or blender (Aloe has an extremely high water content, I used a food-processor, but any standard blender will do the trick just fine).
3) Blend it up!
4) Strain the pulp through a sieve (this will get rid of the fibrous outer leaves and the spikes).
5) Give yourself a pat on the back. Label this jar: “Green-Gold”
Aloe juice will be good for drinking for about a week in the refrigerator. If you want to use it as a lotion you can mix it with some melted beeswax to thicken it–this will also preserve its shelf-life.
Alright happy campers! Go forth and create! I am off to take a workshop on chi-running. I am super-excited about this and I will give a full report later.