Now Nakati, Spinach Also Come in a Glass

Remember when juice was just three passion fruits, one orange and two spoonfuls of sugar?

Well, it is fast becoming so much more than the fruits you push through a sieve and drink after clearing the food on your plate. Juice has become a green drink, a dieting craze, health gospel and a status symbol.

Popeye and his magical spinach can finally do the victory dance. Juicing vegetables has become a fashion fad. Are you a juicer? Where on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook can I follow your mean green juicing recipes?

These are some of the common questions you hear making the rounds. A growing club of health-conscious Ugandans is catching on with the Hollywood celebrity obsession with blending or juicing green vegetables into a swamp-coloured liquid and drinking it all day long.

Green liquid lunch has replaced the traditional matooke, potatoes and butiko mu binyebwa (mushroom and groundnut sauce). What you served on the side as doodo, sukuma wiki, spinach, beetroot, celery, broccoli, or cauliflower, now comes in a glass as a detoxer, immune booster, energy drink or tummy trimmer.

We are creating nakati smoothies and spinach cocktails. Juice bars and healthy food joints are opening up around town, promoting the drinking of vegetables for the different health benefits.

At La Patisserie on Acacia mall, their menu includes a healthy juice option that includes what they call the Cleanser (carrot, cucumber and beetroot), Rejuvenator (carrot, beetroot and celery), body booster (carrot, apple and parsley) or Healthy Have (carrot, apple, parsley and ginger).

There is a catch you make the juice out of raw vegetables. The argument is that cooking the vegetables takes out the micronutrients and kills the nutritional value of the vegetables. So, well-heeled wasp-waisted women are stopping by the blender to gag down a blend of raw spinach, cucumber and celery with its awful smell.

This stuff will automatically trigger a gagging reflex but hey, who said beauty comes easy?

It takes a g heart to drink up one glass of avocado juice and an even ger resolve to do it again. But the devoted juicers are not giving up. The recipes range from blending the green water melon skin – which you usually throw away – to adding some ginger and yoghurt.

It can also be sweet potato, apple, carrots and ginger. With juicing, you can play with your concoction by throwing whatever vegetable you prefer in the blender. Flavours such as vanilla, coconut milk, ginger, mint, strawberry will help to disguise the taste and smell.

At City Paradise, a juicing bar at Mabirizi complex, an elderly lady stands at the counter giving a customer a daily timetable for his grandmother. She gets a grater from the shelves and preaches: “Grate raw pumpkin and mix it with water.

Sieve it and drink one glass every day. I want your grandmother to take three glasses of water every day. Give her carrot and beetroot juice too. Do not add sugar.”

Over her shoulder, several websites are open on her computer with vegetable juicing menus. These are what she uses to make the juice she sells to her customers. Her shop is full of people coming in to buy carrot, beetroot, passion, cinnamon or lemon grass juice.

All these recipes can be downloaded off the internet. So, why are women and girls drinking their vegetables?

Well, you do not have to waste fuel cooking the vegetables anymore all you need is a blender. Secondly, juicing is a great path to healthier eating of the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. You do not have to sit at the table to munch vegetables. Now you can drink different vegetables in the office, car, gym, at the movies or a party.

The touted benefits are endless weight loss, improved immunity, slowed-down aging, better digestion, good sleep, decreased allergies, healthier hair and skin, and improved nail strength, among others.

Other benefits are decrease in body odour, increase in energy, decreased need for medication, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Get juicing.

Source : The Observer

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