Facing down a heatwave without air-conditioning, I’ve been juicing rather prolifically. This week’s cocktail is a blend of granny smith apples, Bartlett pears, celery and mint. Both refreshing and rehydrating, this is a favorite of mine. As both pears and apples have edible skins high in nutrients, I opt for organic- I would rather wash away dirt than contemplate drinking chemical residue. I suggest the same to all if possible, as an unpeeled apple delivers 50% more phytonutrients than the same apple, peeled.
We all know the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor at bay,” and it turns out there may be some truth to the maxim. High in nutrients and antioxidants, studies have linked apples to reduced risk of many diseases, such as asthma, cancer, stroke, diabetes, heart disease and happily for us modern humans, they may protect against stress-induced neurotoxicity. Of all the apples, I have always favored granny smiths- something about their tartness brings joy to the palate. As it happens, in this the palate is wise- granny smiths have more phytonutrients than any of the red apples, and is the most nutritious choice amongst the 12 varieties commonly available in the grocery store. Of late apples have been scarce at the farmers market, so mine came from a supermarket.
Not surprisingly given their similarity of appearance, pears are linked to many of the same benefits as apples; studies have linked pears to heart health, lowered risk of cancer, diabetes, stroke as well as immune system support. Loaded with Vitamins A, C, and K as well as potassium, pears provide fuel for your whole system and pay special courtesy to your eyes, muscles, heart and immune functions. Pears are often recommended for hypo-allergenic diets, and are thus a favorite first fruit for infants. My choice of Bartlett is somewhat arbitrary- I bounce between them and Bosc for favorites. Experiment with the many varieties available and see what tickles your fancy. The organic pears I used for this drink came from a supermarket.
Celery has long been maligned as little more than water in vegetable form, but it turns out there is more to this particular plant. While the high water content does make it excellent for hydrating-drinks, celery has been linked to lowering blood pressure, enhancing the activity of white blood cells, eliminating free radicals from the body, and removing excess fluid from the body. It has also been used since the time of ancient Greece to treat nervous disorders. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, this under-rated vegetable is much more than just “filler” in any good juice recipe. I purchased organic celery at my local farmers market.
Of all the things I associate with summer, mint is at the top- this little herb is custom made to cool one down. Beyond its value as a cocktail enhancer, mint has also been shown to sooth nausea, motion sickness, headaches as well as aid digestion, reduce symptoms of exhaustion and depression as well as inhibit the release of histamines to reduce allergic symptoms. Beyond that, mint may have lady-friendly properties- it has been used to effectively reduce menstrual cramps, as well as some uncomfortable side effects of breast feeding. These are just some of the many benefits of this little herb, which is an easy addition to a home garden or planters box. I grow my own spearmint, and used to grow chocolate mint- there are a multitude of varieties available to try.
For this round, I used 2 granny smith apples, 2 bartlett pears, 1 whole head of celery and roughly 4 sprigs of mint; this yielded 6 small glasses, or 3 large, of juice.
To read more about the ingredients and their benefits, click through below: