Making green juices the traditional way (without electricity, without machine)

Green juices hand made, as they do in Laos, Thailand and more

Green juices are the new fashion and who doesn’t have his own “extractor” or slow juicer is maybe dreaming about it. Yet, the best juice extractor, the one that loses not a single vitamin and that is working with a slow motion, is already integrated (to our bodies), it’s our jaw. But besides that, for the pleasure (and benefits) of a green juice, I must concede, an external tool can be useful.

While exploring a wet market in Paske (Laos), I discovered my first hand made green juice. It was a “bai yanang” juice, a plant that is traditionally used to make juices in the East of Thailand (Issan region), in Laos and for sure other places. This plant has the advantage to be easily hand pressed, by simply squeezing it into the water for a good while. As it is resistant, its fibres stay attached to the leaves, while all the chlorophyll substance and its precious vitamins and minerals get into the water.

As for the other plants, the traditional method is using the mortar. The juice is done by crushing the leaves, stem or other elements that we want to get juice from, with a little drop of water only, so as not to splash green water everywhere. Once the leaves are well crushed, add water, press the leaves by hands, and filter. The whole process can be repeated several times with the same leaves.

Hand pressing leaves after adding some water to the smashed leaves:

Crushed leaves
Pak wan (katuk) juice

In my green tropical juices, I like to put lemon grass, mint or basil leaves, katuk leaves, cosmos leaves, moringa leaves, long leavesThai basil, celery leaves, or any other plant that I find (here is a list of tropical edible plants). Asystasia leaves are too mucilaginous for making juice (upon my personal experience).

To get it to a higher level, you can mix this green extract to a banana smoothie (that is more like mashed banana as it is just banana mixed with water), if you don’t have a mixer you can eventually press the banana by hand but it’s not as smooth as with the mixer. This combination is nice to sweeten the green juice and to balance the sweetness of the banana. A true delight.

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