How to eat an aloe vera leaf
Where Can I Find It?
If you aren’t one of those lucky individuals that can frolic through the desert and slice off a three foot aloe leaf, don’t panic, you have options. Many health food stores and asian markets have a few of these sliced and saran wrapped. When purchasing an aloe leaf look at the base of the leaf to ensure the inner gel has not gone black or brown. You are looking for a clear or opaque coloration. Most leaves will be vacuum packed to minimize the exposure to air which would oxidize the gel.
Can I Grow Aloe?
There are hundreds of varieties of aloe vera plants, several of which can be grown in your apartment. Talk to your local nursery to see what plants would work best for your living condition. On the plus side, these are hard plants to kill. Homemaker skills, check.
Ready to Slice and Dice?
Now onto the filet. Hopefully you were able to find a plump long aloe leaf that will yield plenty of aloe gel. The first step in the process is draining the yellowish aloin substance and discarding it.
1. Begin by making a slit across the base of the aloe leaf and tilting it at an angle until the aloin drips out.
2. Next lay the aloe leaf flat on a cutting board and slice off the two outer spiked sides of the leaf.
3. The next stage is personal preference. If you are comfortable with a knife start at one end of the plant and separate the skin from the gel by gliding it from one side of the leaf to the other. The other option is to use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer skin. The middle gel is very transparent and it will be evident to you if you missed the green latex.
Now you’re looking at a squishy and transparent log. Way to go. If you think you are hardcore enough – slice a thumb sized piece and take a bite. For the rest of us that can’t even handle the smell then consider adding it to a smoothie. If this is your first time consuming aloe it’s advisable to start with consuming only 1-2 tablespoons of the gel. Cut it up into cubes and store the remainder in an airtight glass jar or tupperware in the fridge for up to 10 days. If you need to prolong the shelf life then sprinkle the gel with fresh lemon juice or stick the cubes in the freezer where they should last for several months.
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