Cat's passion for holistic health and mindful living inspires her quest for a creatively healthy life-style.
Caribbean Juicing Trio
What is Juicing?
I'm sure nearly everyone is at least vaguely familiar with the basics of juicing but for those who aren't or need a little reminder, juicing is the process of mechanically extracting juice from whole fruits and vegetables without needing to consume them in large quantities-or at all. Many turn to juicing for medicinal purposes or as a form of detox, diet, and a simple way to get nutrients from produce they might not normally eat. Whatever your reason, it’s wise to responsibly research before embarking on extreme juicing diets as the effects from consuming excessive amounts of sugars and oxolates can be potentially dangerous and counteract any health benefits.
And that’s not good for your mind, body, and spirit!
Although I have a background in holistic health, I am not a professional health care provider or advisor. My experience is purely unique and based on my own education, research, and individual practices.
Passiflora edulis; Passion Fruit
I was never very interested in juicing until I moved to the Caribbean and could no longer stand the idea of not knowing what fresh passion fruit juice tasted like. Sure, for a pretty penny I could buy it at any of the road -side stands but why, when I could also walk outside my front door, harvest the Passion Fruit (Parcha-in Puerto Rico) and juice it myself?
Fresh Passion Fruit juice is rich in vitamin c, antioxidants, riboflavins, and other nurturing nutrients. It tastes like a liquid version of sweet and sour candy and certainly is worth every one of those pretty pennies if you are lucky enough to find it, but if you can harvest and juice it yourself-even better!
My personal approach to juicing involves a certain amount of mindfulness, ritual, and aesthetics. Living with access to an abundance of tropical fruits and plants fuels my desire to use these natural gifts in ways that honor my body, mind, and spirit. Growing, harvesting, and learning about local fruits and plants is part of my juicing ritual.
Mindful juicing can be a spiritual experience!
When I enter the gates of the Garden of Eden, my entire being radiates with gratitude for the privilege of walking amongst generations of magical trees and plants, cultivated long before I was even born.
Because everything literally grows overnight, I carry a machete to clear overgrowth and spider webs. I joke that if you stand too long in one place, vines will simply, sweetly, and sneakily, claim your body.
Clearing my path is a form of meditation for me. It allows me time to appreciate the miracle of life in my natural surroundings. During this time of clearing, I am effortlessly mindful and amazed. How is it that spiders can weave silky intricate mandalas overnight? Or in an hour?
How can I be more like a spider?
There was a time my work required forging my path with a machete through mazes thick with razor -sharp sky -scraping grasses. This type of work demands a certain amount of intense physical and mental fortitude. And, although an effective way to transform negative energy, the goal was simply to effectively and quickly clear paths before the vines took over, not to observe the intricacies of spider webs, the delicate patterns on heart shaped leaves, or the many versions of light dancing with flowers.
Regardless, using a machete in any effective and safe capacity requires mindfulness. You can’t just race through the jungle wildly swinging a long sharp object at whatever stands in your way.
There have been times when I’ve been tempted to do exactly that during my path clearing ritual then a playful butterfly or some other beautiful, sweet symbol of life reminds me how truly, it’s the journey, not the destination that matters.
And juicing is a journey.
Any worthwhile journey begins with mindful preparation and proper tools.
I realize not everyone can run outside and return with bushels of tropical fruit but however your produce is obtained, it’s important to wash it well enough to remove contaminants. Soaking in vinegar water is great to remove some of the coatings from store bought produce. I use a little dish soap first because well…rat and bat poo.
I also wash anything that says it’s been previously washed because well…humans.
During this time of preparation, I consider my objective; am I juicing for medicinal purposes, specific nutrient benefits, or simply for the pleasure of experiencing the beauty and essence of special fruits?
The first few days after receiving my new juicer I juiced everything in sight regardless of what it was or even if it was a rational juicing candidate. I put a banana through the juicer for the love of God. Feel free to experiment, keeping your juicing judgement free!
I prefer to use locally grown produce but if I am trying to meet a specific need, I use what I can find.
Researching natural health alternatives is a conscientious and important part of my juicing ritual. I hold nature’s healing properties in the highest esteem but I also exercise common sense and informed judgement when considering juicing for medicinal purposes.
Obviously, a juicer is an important tool. Finding the perfect juicer for your needs doesn't mean it needs to be complicated or expensive. After some research I chose a fairly compact, stylish, cold press masticating juicer with simple elements.
Following are some features to consider when choosing your own juicer:
- Quality: Most important. You want a sturdy, powerful, well made juicer. Preferably one with stainless steel components vs. plastic and a strong motor.
- Efficiency: Your juicer should do its job well without excess hassle. I like that mine comes with a power button that does two things; juicing and stop juicing.
- Ease of Use: Your new juicer should be fairly simple to use, take apart, and clean. It should also come with a juice catchment cup and separate pulp cup.
- Flexibility: A great juicer can handle tougher fruits and vegetables such as beets and nuts.
- Price: You do get what you pay for here. It's worth spending an extra $50 on a machine that can do the job and last.
- Noise: Juicers work hard and will make some noise but you don't want one that acts and sounds like it's taking off.
Once you begin your juicing journey, the possibilities are endless! And if you're like me, juicing will become a beautiful compliment to your health, home, and spirit. I am never disappointed with my creations, even if some of them are purely serve to savor the frothy pink rose essence of the Pomarosa (Rose Apple) or to take a quick health boosting shot of the unpalatable Noni fruit (aka: vomit fruit).
Whatever I juice, I always consider how I might use the pulp. Carrot, celery, apple, passion fruit, and ginger all leave behind pulp that can be used to flavor rice, sauces, pasta, and even used in bread. Almond pulp is great in oatmeal or to make a delicious spread. I'm sure you will come up with many creative ways to use all of your fruits and vegetables after juicing. You can even use the pulp as body scrubs and face masks!
Well, you made it to the end and now it's all about you and your new juicing journey! I hope you move joyfully, mindfully, and creatively forward into one of the most rewarding chapters of your spirit and health conscious life!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2021 Cat Radke