Love Cherries

20140628-121815.jpg

 

Included in my fabulous Abel&Cole fruit and veg box this week was a punnet of cherries. I devoured the entire punnet in minutes. One is just never enough. Knowing that Abel&Cole’s motto is to only include seasonal produce in their weekly boxes, it dawned on me that the cherry season must finally be upon us. Happy days!

The humble cherry comes highly charged and is a bit of a dark horse. It is packed with anti-oxidants, a potent detoxifier, an anti-inflammatory and immune system booster. So far so impressive. But what I didn’t know is that cherries are also rich in the mineral Boron which can help prevent the steady loss of bone density with advancing age, this according to the excellent and invaluable book Natural Wonderfoods; 100 Amazing foods for Healing, Immune Boosting, Fitness Enhancing, Anti Ageing. And, as if that was not enough, you can even make an infusion of cherry stalks, which can be helpful when dealing with cystitis and bladder problems in a natural way. So there!

Shopping for local and seasonal food is nothing new, but it hadn’t dawned on me just how important it could be until I read  Clean, Dr Alejandro Junger’s amazing book about gut health and detoxing. In it, he goes as far as saying that produce that is local, can sometimes be a better buy than organic produce coming from afar. Your local farmer may struggle with the stringent organic certification process, despite using no pesticides in his farming. As a consequence, he may be bypassed by consumers opting for organic produce flown in from abroad.  Still, the fact remains, a head of Kale that has just been taken from the ground at a local farm and driven to a local farmers market is always going to have more nutrition than the head of Kale that has grown organically but then been transported for thousands of toxic air miles. Makes you think!

Eating locally sourced, seasonal food therefore is important on so many levels. It saves us from polluting our planet. Produce in season are filled to the brim with nutrients and enzymes that our bodies crave. Buying from farmers markets or delivery services such as Abel& Cole, supports our local farmers and not factory farms. And finally, what is wrong with longing for something that you know taste best in season?  Yes it is lovely to be able to have the same fruit and vegetables all year around but it also takes away the knowledge of what seasonal food can actually taste like. Plump cherries for example, are wondrous RIGHT NOW and for the next month or so. Live for the moment, people! Enjoy today! x

 

Big juice

20140429-113545.jpg

Prior to juicing, a cucumber used to last me for about a week. I may also have kept a bag of salad and some cherry tomatoes in the fridge, as a side to a main meal. Not anymore. These days my weekly shopping of organic produce for juicing looks something like this:

5 cucumbers (1 per day)

2 big bunches of celery

2-3 romaine salad heads

1 huge, fingery piece of ginger root (the more ‘fingers’ the better)

2 bags of kale

6-8 apples

2 bags spinach/swiss chard/spring greens or whatever else dark green, leafy vegetables  you can lay your hands on.

2-3 1L bottles of coconut water.

And that is just the juicing, add the smoothie making and I go through:

5 avocados (for smoothies or spread on toast)

3-4 lemons

2-3 limes

In a smoothie you can also add all the extra bits such as soft fruit, ground flax seeds, chia seeds, spirulina and ground nuts. The list is endless and full of possibilities. You can keep it interesting by adding new flavours that may prove surprisingly tasty like beetroot, fennel, carrots, cabbage, green beans, even garlic.

The thing to keep in mind is that in order to get a daily BIG JUICE you need a LOT of vegetables. These days I don’t have unnecessary things lying around in the fridge because there is NO SPACE!! It is filled to the brim with veg and coconut water.

20140429-103347.jpg
…and then there was a massive cup of delicious green juice!

All this juicing may all be a bit much, both on the quantity front and your taste buds, so if you are just starting out here is a Wake Up remedy from Gillian McKeith’s book ‘You are what you eat, Cookbook’ to get you going in the mornings. Enjoy x

Wake Up Juice (serves 1-2)

6 carrots (if organic no need to peel)

1-2 apples

1′ piece fresh ginger root