The other day, my boyfriend and I were at the grocery store, and we came across a big aloe leaf in the produce section. We’ve bought aloe vera juice before but never just an aloe leaf so we thought we’d try it. When we got home, Paul went right to filleting that baby like it was a fish. He cut off all the skin and sliced the pulp in 1-inch wide pieces. I didn’t get the best pictures of the leaf and this process (my regrets) but here are a couple for visual aid.
Why would we want to consume the aloe pulp?
Aloe vera has medicinal properties and is full of vitamins and minerals, including 7 of the 8 essential amino acids. It has anti-inflammatory effects, is an adaptogen, natural detoxifier because of its gelatinous properties, may benefit the digestive and immune system, and is anti-septic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Interestingly enough, these properties are also giving aloe vera a boost in popularity in dentistry because of its safe and effective nature.
*Because it’s a medicinal plant, it shouldn’t be consumed in excess and for long periods of time. A little bit of aloe can be good but that doesn’t mean a lot is better. The sap contains abundant anthraquinones, which are powerful laxatives. Take precaution if you are pregnant, menstruating, or have hemorrhoids or degeneration of the liver and gall bladder. Also, after doing some research, I would not have cut the whole leaf at once like we did. Because the plant oxidizes when cut, I would have waited and cut it as needed.
That day at the grocery store, we also picked up some pomegranates and guava. Pomegranates are good for your skin because they contain antioxidants that protect against sun damage, can hydrate the skin and combat inflammation just like aloe vera. The vitamins C and K as well as lycopene in guava help generate collagen, work against discoloration of the skin, and promote healthy skin cells.
The best part was that this drink was filled with all sorts of health benefits while being as tasty as could be!
This recipe is not precise because I don’t exactly know how much of everything we put in there. Plus, I just like the idea of you adding more of what you like depending on your taste preferences whether that be more sweet, tart, minty or fruity.
One tip for the mint: I know I never liked buying mint because it just seems so expensive in those packages and goes bad a lot of times because you don’t get a chance to use all of it. My advice: buy a mint plant (and other herbs!). It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving. They are PERFECT for adding to smoothies and great for you too! Here’s my little herb box that sits in the window.
And lastly, you can add aloe vera to any smoothie. Here is one I made the next day with aloe vera pulp, frozen aronia berries, frozen pineapple and banana, and E3 Renew Me Powder.
- 1-2 tbsp. raw honey
- 1½ cup water
- 6 mint leaves
- arils from 1 pomegranate
- 1 guava, peeled
- juice from ½ lime
- a couple segments of fresh aloe vera (can use aloe vera juice or pulp if you don't have access to fresh aloe vera)
- Blend all the ingredients together. You can blend with ice if you'd like it to be frozen or you can add ice cubes later for more of a chilled drink.
- Strain juice through a mesh strainer to get all of the seeds out.