Grapple Juice

I had a little more than 16 ounces. So the rest went into one of my cute little liqueur glasses for this shot.

I had planned on sharing my Breakfast Tacos today.  However, the subject of smoothies kept coming up the last couple of days and I decided I need to share my whole foods juice with you and the reason why you’ve been seeing maca root powder in my smoothie recipes.

I learned Mom (Stick’s mom, not mine) loves when I share smoothie recipes.  That made my heart sing.  You see, I felt bad for only doing smoothie recipes for a while.  But that was what I was doing and it was easy to tweak my recipes before sharing since I make them almost daily.  Plus, my experiments with my cake and Meyer Lemon Bars haven’t quite hit home yet.  When all else fails, make a smoothie and pretend it’s ice cream!

Then, one of the guys at work joked with me about gluten-free being a fad (he had read my rant).  I promptly gave him the one finger salute.  So, that got us talking about fads and how smoothies are a fad for those that go and get the sugar loaded ones at fast food restaurants or smoothie joints.  I admit that I do like Jamba Juice when I’m on the left coast.  Stick will take me at least once when I’m visiting.  One sugar laden smoothie every few years won’t kill me.   Then what do you know, I walk into the break room before leaving work and one of my co-workers was in there sucking down one from Burger King and telling me how much she loves them.  I rolled my eyes after leaving.

See, this post was meant to be.

You may have noticed maca root powder in my smoothie recipes the last few months.  My dysmenorrhea drove me to it.  It reared its ugly head the second month after stopping The Pill over 3 years ago.  It’s the bane of my existence once a month.  Every month.  It was bad before I went on The Pill, too.  It was pretty much a guarantee back in high school that if it hit hard while I was at school, I was calling my mother to pick me up.  By hit hard I mean running to the bathroom with the feeling that I was on the verge of vomiting.  Sweating, clammy, nauseous, pain like you wouldn’t believe in my lower back and my abdomen.   I would spend the rest of the day in the fetal position.  One time the only time I could get any rest was to curl up on my parent’s waterbed.  So you can imagine how the return of all that was NOT fun after being on The Pill for almost a decade.  It’s been so bad that I had to call off for work 2 months in a row.  One of those months I was actually vomiting about every 10 minutes, even with nothing in my system.  It seemed to find something somewhere for me to bring back up.  I have seriously considered going back on it even though I don’t want to.  I hate calling off and only do it when I know I will not be able to function and be productive.

My doctor wanted me on Cramplex, but she didn’t know it was processed in the same facility as wheat (I found this out the hard way).  It helped the dysmenorrhea symptoms and I felt better like I was back on The Pill, but the gluten didn’t help.  She was mortified that she didn’t know about the gluten and apologized profusely.  She suggested finding something gluten-free with cramp bark extract in it.  And I did.  Several things.  None of them really worked.  It was while I was ordering some raw cacao powder from Navitas Naturals that I came across maca root powder.  I ordered some to try and started using it in my smoothies daily.

I have to make sure to use the right amount in order to get the results I want, and they are favorable.  I don’t always get it right and then I suffer for it.  I get up and get back on track and do well, until I slip again.  Hey, it happens.  It’s called life.

Maca is in the turnip family.  It is full of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, manganese, iodine, copper, amino acids, plant sterols, saponins, terpinoids, fatty acids, and Vitamins B1, B2, B12, and C.  It is an adaptogen, which means it helps your body resist stressors going on within your body and environmentally.  It helps regulate your endocrine system – thyroid, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, pancreas, adrenal glands, thymus, ovaries, and testes.  It really is a whole body benefit.

Now you know why I’m using maca root powder in my smoothies and what it is when you see it.  I absolutely love it.

Are you ready for a recipe now?  This one does not have maca in it.  Sad?  Don’t be.  I have lots of smoothie recipes already on the blog and I will have many more in the future.

This whole foods juice recipe was developed in a fervor to use up some produce before it went bad and to finally make the foray into whole foods juicing.  Whole food juice is not the juice we grew up on, nor is the fresh juicing we spend oodles on with fancy contraptions.  This is throwing things in the blender and whizzing the heck out of it.  It’s thick and full of the dietary fiber your body can use to help counterbalance the natural sugars from making your blood sugar spike too fast.  Honestly, you make it thinner by adding more water to it if you want, but I haven’t done it because I want as big a nutrient punch as I can get.  I’ve learned that I need more containers for my VitaMix.  Between smoothies, whole foods juices, and dairy-free milks, one just isn’t enough!

Grapple Juice

1 small apple, cored and rough chopped

1 cup red grapes

2 teaspoons chopped ginger, or more or less depending on your tastes – I like more

Filtered water, or tap water if you don’t use a water filter

Place apple, grapes, and ginger in your blender.  Start blending until the fruit stops moving.  Stop the blender or, if you have a lid with a removable center, remove that while it is on and slowly pour in just enough water to get it moving.  If you want your juice a little thinner, add a little more.  Stop the blender once everything is blended well.  Pour in a glass and if you have more than 16 ounces, pour the extra into fun small glasses for your kids or into a popsicle mold for a healthy cold treat later.

If you’d rather have a smoothie:

Banana Papaya Smoothie

Chocolate Cherry Almond Smoothie

Green Chai Smoothie

Make It A Meal Smoothie

Peachy Keen Cinnamon Toast Crunch Smoothie

Super Berry Smoothie

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Zinger!

Fresh Ginger Root

I loved Zingers.  The ones with raspberry.  I could eat almost a whole box in one sitting.  That sugar just drove me to eat “just one more.”  Same thing with Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls.  Chaz used to tease me about having a stash.  Well, if I left them in the pantry they’d be gone before I could get one or two.  Residual habit from living with my parents, brother, and sisters.  Junk food would be gone in minutes before I had a chance to get any of it so I didn’t eat much junk food unless I was out with friends.

I’m sure I could concoct some kind of gluten-free Zinger taste-a-like.  Honestly though, I’m not interested in even trying.  The zinger that I’m most interested in these days is ginger.

I love ginger.  The more the better.  I love that it has natural healing properties.  It’s great for nausea, gastrointestinal problems, and sore throats.  Ginger is one of my go-to foods when I’m sick.  I’ll boil it in water to use to make tea.  I’ll boil it with a little meat to make Voo Doo Soup, an ex-roommate’s concoction which does help you feel better.  I have some ginger candy that I use when my throat hurts.  It’s good for the heart and has some anti-inflammatory properties, as well.

Zinger Juice

I love to add it when I’m juicing.  It gives me that zing in the morning that perks me right up.  It also adds a little spice to the veggie and fruit mix, especially if I wind up a little too heavy on the veggies.  I tend to us a lot of ginger if I use it in juicing so it is potent.  If you aren’t that big of a ginger fan, use less if you try this out.

Zinger Juice

1 beet with stems and leaves

2 carrots

1 thumb length piece of ginger

1 apple

1 orange, peeled

2-3 cups black grapes

Wash the beet, carrots, ginger and grapes well.  Do not peel the beets or carrots.  If your beet, apple, and peeled orange are too big for your juicer’s tube, quarter them before juicing.  Place ingredients into the tube and juice.  It took 3 fillings of the tube to get everything juiced.  This yielded slightly more than 16 ounces.  You can vary the fruits and veggies.  I will sometimes add berries when I have fresh berries.

Mix-Mix Any Kine

Halo-Halo

One of my favorite foods is halo-halo, mix-mix.  It is usually a combination of sweet beans, fresh coconut, shaved ice, coconut milk, and fruit.  It always depends on the maker, though.  It also depends on what you have on hand.  I never have fresh coconut on hand, so I have used jarred coconut.  There are manufacturers who jar ingredients specifically for halo-halo which can be found at Asian grocers.  I tend not to buy these much at all, even before changing my diet.  Simply because I just want them all in my halo-halo, which would make an insane amount I’d never be able to finish.

My aunties and grandmas all make it different.  One auntie makes tapioca pearls to go with it.  That’s always fun.  “Is it done yet?”  “No!”  “Is it done yet?”  “No!”  Meanwhile, she’s stirring, stirring, stirring over the pot at the stove.  Or she got someone else to stir for her.  If you want the halo-halo bad enough, you’ll take up stirring duties.  I promise you.

Another auntie and her mom make it from all natural ingredients that are on hand.  One time, me and auntie were making halo-halo from what Grandma had in the kitchen.  Mostly avocado and papaya.  Someone came in the kitchen and asked what we were making.

“Halo-Halo.” one of us answered.

“Avocado and papaya?”

“Yeah,” we both said in synch. “Mix-mix any kine!”

And that’s exactly what it can be.  The mix I made for the picture was a mix of what I had on hand and a few things I picked up at the store on my way home from work.  I meant to have adzuki beans ready for it, but I forgot to prepare them.  Adding the beans will give you a well-rounded dessert.  Fats, carbs, and protein!   Shaved ice makes this a great alternative to ice cream.  If ice cream is your thing, you can serve this over a scoop or two.

Halo-Halo

1 apple, cored, cut in 1/8ths and sliced

1 kiwi, peeled, halved, sliced

2 cups grapes, halved

1 mango, diced

1 avocado, diced

2 feijoa, peeled, halved, diced (feijoa are related to the guava)

1 can coconut milk, full fat or light

Make sure your coconut milk is mixed well.  Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix-mix!  Serve chilled.