With juice bars and “elixir cafés” springing up in cities throughout North America, it’s tempting to think that juicing is a new trend. But it’s really just the latest manifestation of a centuries-old health practice. And in this new age of genetically modified, over- refined, chemical-laden nonfood, this “rediscovery” of juicing has never been more welcome.
Research consistently shows that people who consume the greatest quantity of fruits and vegetables are about half as likely to develop cancer as those who eat little or no fresh fruits and vegetables. So it’s not surprising that the United States Cancer Institute recommends eating five servings of fresh vegetables and three servings of fresh fruits each day. In fact, the phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables hold the keys to preventing many other illnesses, such as heart disease, as well as debilitating conditions such as asthma, arthritis, and allergies.
Still, even the most disciplined person can find it difficult to eat all those fruits and vegetables every day. So why not drink them? Raw fresh juices, blended drinks, and homemade frozen treats are an easy and tasty way to ensure that adults and children get their “daily eight.”
Cranberries may be (and often are) juiced and blended with sweeter juices, but this recipe provides the tart, original flavor of the whole berries. The sugar content of the juice is much lower than that found in commercially prepared products. Omit the cinnamon and nutmeg if you wish. The astragalus adds immune-boosting properties to the juice.
- 4 cups whole cranberries, washed
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups apple juice
- 2 slices dried astragalus root
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground stevia
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, water, apple juice, astragalus, sugar, and stevia; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let bubble gently for 15 minutes or until the berries burst. Remove from the heat and strain the mixture, pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as possible.
- When the juice has drained through, discard the astragalus and whisk in the cinnamon and nutmeg, if desired. Cool before drinking or blend with other juices for use in fruit punches or frozen treats.
- To store, pour the juice into a clean glass container with a lid; keep in the refrigerator and use within two days.