Juice, glorious juice

I contemplated the world of juice for a while, only really getting into it last October before my wedding in a bid to get amazing skin. I had no fancy equipment, just my Mum’s hand blender and a questionable jug. Of course I now have a bullet juicer which makes life much easier! The idea of green juice (blended spinach amongst things) was a scary thought for my palette but the thought of drinking raw wheatgrass on it’s own was much worse so I started mixing with vegetables and fruit. If you are like me (once upon a time) and seriously unsure, these recipes are a yummy way to get started and they aren’t all green!

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Karachi Green Juice

(Serves one)

I drank this everyday in Karachi before my wedding and it was a real team effort, I think that is why it tasted so good. I used spinach my uncle grew on his farm, my cousins would bring home fresh coconut water and I love the bananas in Karachi, they are small and so sweet, if you can do this how I did, lucky you, if not, it’s just as good.

Blend a handful of homegrown spinach, fresh water from one coconut, one small banana and a heaped teaspoon of Naturya wheatgrass.

Optional add on: A tablespoon of ground almonds.

My Green Go To

(Serves two)

Hope you love this one as much as me. I used to be an apple a day kind of girl until I started juicing pears. It’s super refreshing because of the parsley.

Blend one pear, a generous handful of spinach, a cup of cold pressed apple juice and a few sprigs of parsley.

Optional add on: A tablespoon of Naturya wheatgrass.

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Strawberries & Banana

(Serve two)

My take on a classic.

Blitz one banana, a generous cup of quartered strawberries, a cup of coconut water (or coconut milk if you want a more decadent milkshake) and eight ice cubes.

Optional add ons: Chia seeds, a tablespoon of Vega protein.

ABC Juice

(Serves one)

My awesome Mum-in-law gets this freshly pressed for the whole house during the winter months in Karachi. It’s aptly named by a cousin and we can’t get enough of it.

Pull the juice from one apple, beetroot and carrot.

Optional add ons: Pinch of cinnamon, a piece of ginger.

Avocado and Wheatgrass

Beauty Cream

(Serves Two)

Thick and luxurious, it’s got some stuff in it that can help to give your skin a glow.

Whizz a small avocado, 300g of pineapple, 2 cups of coconut water and a tablespoon of Naturya wheatgrass.

Optional add on: Chlorophyll drops. 


Sweet Spring Clean

This month is really focused on spring cleaning the body inside out, don’t worry no colon cleanses here, more like liver detoxing yoga poses in the morning!

February has been rather indulgent, this weekend was no exception. Waking up today, I resembled a sugar zombie (when 70/30 ratio goes the other way) and in some serious need of healing, so kicked off the day with a cup of hot water with lemon, cayenne and honey.

I embrace my sweet tooth, it runs in the family and as there are so many delicious healthy ways to enjoy dessert there is no point in resisting, of course not that I adhered to any of those desserts over the weekend. Taking heed of that, I will finally bake some sweet-potato chocolate brownies instead of just ogling at them to keep that sweet tooth happy and wholesome.

It’s Pancake Day tomorrow, there are some yummy recipes on a number of sites, so looking forward to this healing buckwheat option for a supper in front of The Voice. I am going to be lavish with homemade chocolate superfood sauce (gently melt three tbsp coconut oil, three tbsp cacao powder, three tbsp maple syrup) and blueberry sauce (bring two cups of blueberries to boil gently with a tbsp of maple syrup and 1/4 cup of water, then blend).

Come Lent, I want to give up refined sugar, there are so many reasons not to (chocolate, cookies, Menchies) but better reasons as to why it might be worth giving the white stuff a farewell.

That is the inside spring cleaning bit and as for out, I’ve been brushing up with a lovely Aromatherapy Associates body brush, mopping up with the addition of a Dr. Hauschka muslin face cloth to my skincare routine and scrubbing up with a pumice stone on my feet, perhaps in anticipation of flip flop wearing weather.

Leaving you with some healing recipes.

Green Beauty

Sometimes you need a pick me up. Today was one of those days. Nutrient dense, this green juice fills you up and gives you a really healthy kick for the day. Avocados (the beauty fruit) are high in protein and packed with vitamins, pears have pectin in them which help to remove toxins from the body, spinach helps to boost immunity and coconut water adds incredible hydration to this smoothie. Try to have wheatgrass everyday, the potent numerous benefits of wheatgrass are incredible so it is a great addition to our daily diet. Adding orange juice delivers a hit of Vitamin C but also cuts through the richness of this green juice with some citric deliciousness.

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(Will make two generous servings)

Two heaping handfuls of baby spinach
500mls coconut water (chilled)
One small ripe avocado chopped
One small ripe pear chopped
Three heaping tsp Naturya wheatgrass powder
120mls smooth not from concentrate orange juice (optional)

Blend the spinach with coconut water first on high.

Add the avocado and pear, pulse to blend.

Add the wheatgrass, pulse to blend again.

If using, add the orange juice and give it one final blend.

Drink immediately.

Tender Loving Lentils

This dhal is my go to whenever I need some healing, growing up in a Pakistani home, this was the ultimate comfort dish. Lentils are mineral rich with calcium, magnesium potassium, zinc and folic acid. In my simple recipe I flavour them with super spices cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and nutmeg, known to have incredible healing properties. Once the water is incorporated don’t feel that you have to stand watch over it, one of the lovely things about cooking dhal is you can go do your thing while it does it’s own.

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3/4 cup red lentils
1/4 cup mung beans
2 cups of water
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
3 small bay leafs
1 tbsp coconut oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 cup ginger, grated
4 1/2 cups of water

To serve:
Brown rice (optional)

Rinse lentils and mung beans, leave to soak in two cups water.

In a small bowl mix spices and set aside.

Heat coconut oil gently in a large pan, add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 for minute, add 2 tablespoons of the water and continue to cook for five minutes adding 2 tablespoons of water every now and again to stop the garlic and ginger from drying out.

Add spices and mix together, add 1/4 cup of the water to create a watery paste and cook for five minutes.

Stir in lentils and mung beans, coat in spicy paste and cook for five minutes.

Add two cups of water and bring to a boil.

Add two more cups of water and bring to boil again, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Uncover and simmer for another 20 minutes.

Serve with brown rice.

The Greenhouse Effect

Just off Yonge Street, at 5 Macpherson Avenue, dusted with Toronto’s winter snow, somewhere between pleasure and wellness, is an adorable cottage like building brimming with raw, 100% certified organic elixirs, that will bring your taste buds back to life.

(Courtesy: Greenhouse Juice Co.)

(Courtesy: Greenhouse Juice Co.)

At Greenhouse Juice Co. you aren’t just walking into any juice shop. There are friendly faces waiting to welcome you, excited to tell you about some truly incredible products and willing to give you as much knowledge as possible, so with every sip of juice you take, you truly appreciate what goes into the depth of the flavor you experience.

I found Greenhouse when a friend posted their Almond Milk on Instagram, and described it with the words ‘liquid gold.’ Having finally tasted it myself, I still can’t get over how delicious it is.

Greenhouse opened their doors in January. Its’ inception was last spring, when the seven founding partners, most of whom have grown up in Toronto and known each other since childhood wanted to bring cold-pressed goodness to their hometown.

Cold-pressing; unlike blending, is the best way of ensuring one gets the purist nutrient dense nectar out of any fruit or vegetable without compromising minerals and enzymes. Blending fruits and vegetables exposes them to heat, light and oxygen, three things that start to break down nutrients. It doesn’t happen immediately, so while blending at home is fine as juices are consumed quite instantly, shops selling blended products that have been sitting on the shelves might be giving you a lesser juice.

So,  Greenhouse’s nutrient rich juice, which will stay live for 72 hours, is coaxed by their cold-pressing experts with the help of three hydraulic presses and once extracted is stored in glass bottles, better for the environment and the precious liquid, as even the safest of chemicals in plastic bottles may leak toxins.

Greenhouse juices and nut milks are not compromised with pasteurization (an artificial way to extend shelf life) or high pressure processing (HPP – a method of retaining food’s natural quality and freshness whilst enhancing its microbiological shelf life). Although HPP is considered less destructive than pasteurization, Greenhouse opts out of this method as it still tampers with the natural life of the juice.

Alkaline water plays an important role in their waters and milks, made possible through an in-house alkalizing system, something that not every juice shop can offer. All of their juicing (and even their art work) is done in-house and if something isn’t available organically, they take it off the menu all together.

(Courtesy Greenhouse Juice Co.)

(Courtesy Greenhouse Juice Co.)

There are some alluring names, ‘East of Eden’ (Romaine, Kale, Celery, Apple & Lemon) – is inspired by the apples of paradise, another fun name is, ‘Rabbit, Run’ (Carrot, Apple & Ginger), which are but an echo of the creative process and collaborative effort that goes into each juice and milk. There are some really yummy surprises on the menu – one of my favourites, ‘Pink Milk’ is made with almond milk, cold-pressed beets and maple syrup. If you are feeling more adventurous, try their ginger booster, not for the faint-hearted, it adds a real kick to any juice or can be taken as a shot and leaves a lovely warm trail in its wake. Their cold-pressed apple juice is divine and the organic liquid cayenne used in one of their drinks, makes for some compelling ‘Clean-Zing’ (Alkaline Water, Lemon, Maple Syrup & Liquid Cayenne).

With each bottle of goodness that Greenhouse makes, they hope to convey that being healthy doesn’t have to be an all or nothing choice. Rather it is about integrating healthy choices into one’s lifestyle and balancing pleasure with wellness. A message that really shines through, because one thing they certainly don’t compromise on is taste, each delicious recipe on their menu is a testimony to that.

As I walked away with my bag of authentic goodies, I knew I didn’t have a gimmick from yet another company trying to cash in on juice. The Greenhouse Juice Co. team is a group of dedicated individuals; that came together to give others a chance to experience what they enjoy most; pleasure and wellness that tastes and feels amazing.