Green juice with watermelon rind and chlorella

IMG_3437Argh!!! This blog post has been sitting in “drafts” for ages. New job, demanding toddler and other things that keep me in the present moment means blog posts tend to languish in drafts or floating round my head!

Anyway…

Like most people with juicers I go through phases of using mine daily and then something will happen, a change in routine and then suddenly it’s back in the cupboard and forgotten about. Initially when I started juicing around 10 years ago, my juices were probably two thirds fruit to a third veg. And now they tend to be mainly vegetables with one or two pieces of fruit to add a little sweetness but not too much sugar.

Juicing is a great way to use up produce that would get thrown out (as long as it’s not too far gone!). This can make for some interesting juices, and you might find some tasty combinations.

Juices and smoothies made mainly from fruit have a high sugar content, so while they’ll be providing you with lots of vitamins and minerals, they will also be contributing to your sugar intake.

Don’t forget your straw

The one thing that’s missing from this photo is a straw, as I had run out of them. Straws help protect your teeth against any free sugars in the juice. If you don’t have a straw have a glass of water after your juice to wash away any lingering sugars.

In this juice:

1 stick of celery

ΒΌ cucumber

Few handfuls of mint from the garden

2 apples

Half a fennel bulb

Chunk of ginger

Watermelon rind

Teaspoon chlorella powder

I would usually put a lemon in too (peeled).

Also I always put green some leafy veg like kale or spinach.

Watermelon rind

My lovely friend, Julie Ann put me onto the idea of using water melon rind in juices. It’s great as means you get no waste at all. The seeds too can be lightly toasted too. Watermelon rind is high in phenolic antioxidants, lycopene, flavinoids and vitamin C . Diets rich in all of these help to reduce our risk of getting cancer.

Chlorella

Chlorella is green algae. As a supplement it comes in a powdered or tablet form. It’s been popular for some time in Japan. And there is evidence that it could help removing heavy metals from the body.

It’s reported to be the richest natural source of chlorophyll which makes plants green transforming sunlight energy to plant fuel.

In one study (which is small) 44 pregnant women’s blood, fat stores, breast milk, placenta and cord blood were measured for dioxins. Half the sample took chlorella supplement and the other didn’t. The researchers found that women who took the supplement had 30% lower levels of dioxins, compared to the control group.

There is also research that suggests that chlorella helps to remove toxic heavy metals out of the body (not clear whether just from digestive tract or also from tissues and muscle). It is thought  that the cell wall binds to the toxins so that they are excreted with the cell walls when stools are passed.

It has a thick cell wall that human enzymes cannot break down, so if you buy it you need to ensure you are buying broken cell wall chlorella.

One study found that it may support immune system. You can read more about it’s possible positive effects at the Linus Pauling Institute page

It’s high in fibre, vitamin B12 (so a great source of B12 for vegans – Vitamin B12 is found in Meat, fish and dairy products in the main, so is a vitamin that vegans need to ensure they get enough of in their diet ).

It’s high in iron too. Because it’s from a plant source this means it is better absorbed alongside vitamin C, so including it in your juice as powder or taking the tablets with your juice is the perfect way to take it, as the juice will be contribute lots of vitamin C.

It’s also high in Vitamin D2 and iodine.

In terms of meeting nutrient requirements (for a woman aged between 19-50 years*), a teaspoon of chlorella will provide at least 100% of your recommended vitamin B12, and over a quarter of your recommended iron intake. It will also provide just under a fifth of recommended iodine intake (iodine supports thyroid function). Vitamin D2 is the plant form of vitamin D and is not so well absorbed by the body as far as we know but it may contribute some depending on how it’s stored and processed and metabolised by the body.

*If you’re interested in knowing how much of these nutrients chlorella would contribute to the diets of other age groups, send me a comment, happy to look this up for you (will be based on UK Recommended intakes).

Chlorella references

Information from Linus Pauling Institute : http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/chlorophyll-chlorophyllin

Morita K, Ogata M, Haegawa T. Chlorophyll derived from Chlorella inhibits dioxin absorption from the gastrointestinal tract and accelerates dioxin excretion in rats. Environ Health Perspect. 2001 Mar; 109 (3) 289-294 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240248/

Nakano S, Takekoshi H, Nakano M. Chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) supplementation decreases dioxin and increases immunoglobulin a concentrations in breastmilk. J Med Food 2007, Mar; 10(1) 134-42.

http://examine.com/supplements/Chlorella/

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Clam Linguine

I have been off work for a week with the 5 year old who has a cough that’s doing the rounds. She hasn’t been well enough for school but not ill enough to be in bed. I did manage to get her out of the house yesterday – she has wanted to be in pyjamas all day – I get that sometimes too. After shopping we went to the beach and sat by the shore. The sounds of the sea, watching the waves, the open sky and sunshine was all very therapeutic for a short while before we decided it was too cold and time to get cosy indoors again.

After sitting by the sea I wanted to make a dish with shellfish for supper and found frozen clams in the supermarket They’re high in iron and vitamin B12, these ones are MSC certified (certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as sustainably sourced). They defrosted quickly too. I bought some linguine to go with them, my favourite pasta.

Because I have been cooking all week, Mr O took over in the kitchen and made Clam Linguine for us and it was delicious, cheap (about Β£1.80 per person) and easy to make…


Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
3 cloves garlic crushed
500g vacuum packed frozen clams
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
Handful of chopped fresh parsley
200g dried linguine
Grated Parmesan cheese

How to…

Put the olive oil, butter into a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the garlic and cook for a minute or two. Pour in the tomatoes, simmer and reduce for 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. If the sauce reduces too much add a little juice from the clams.

Cook the pasta until al dente, drain and add to the sauce with the clams and chopped parsley, mix and cover with lid and allow to cook for a couple of minutes before serving with parmesan.

My daughter liked the clams, saying they tasted like the sea. Then she told me she didn’t like them anymore. At the moment I am battling with the influence of school, and its ongoing. I knew this time would come, though as she’s always been a good eater I didn’t worry about it too much. It’s one of those things you don’t deal with it until you have to.

For now I am just taking it a meal at a time, and not limiting the foods I offer, and will continue to try new dishes, like this one. Its tricky sometimes to work out whether she genuinely doesn’t like something, which I am fine with or that she is trying to get attention or being influenced by friends.

So, I said, she obviously did like it and encouraged her to eat more, which she happily did, and considering she’s not had much of an appetite this week, was good