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.”
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar or other sweetener
- 1 cup water
- 6 lemons, washed
- 3 cups hot water
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh lemon balm, washed
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh spearmint, washed
- 1 tablespoon fresh bergamot leaves, washed
- 3 linden flowers, washed
- Extra herbs for garnish
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- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar or sweetener and 1 cup of water. Heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook, without stirring, for 1 minute or until the syrup is clear. Set aside to cool.
- Peel the rind of 2 lemons in one continuous strip; set the strips aside. Cut all 6 lemons in half.
- Using a hand juicer, juice the lemons; strain into a large pitcher. Stir in the cooled syrup, hot water, lemon balm, mint, bergamot, linden flowers, and lemon rind strips. Set in the sun or leave on the kitchen counter to steep for 1 hour or more. Remove the herbs and lemon rind and chill or serve over ice. Garnish with fresh leaves of lemon balm, bergamot, or linden flowers and mint sprigs.