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Smarter ways to use fresh aloe vera gel

When we say "aloe" many might think of the blueish-green gel used exclusively for sunburns, but the most natural form of this gel actually serves many purposes in the home – including in the kitchen. Harvested from the aloe vera plant, a spiky succulent that was originally cultivated for its agricultural and medicinal uses, aloe vera gel is packed with  antioxidants, enzymes, Vitamins A and C, and is highly anti-inflammatory. We recommend keeping one in the house both for form and function, some of which include:
  • Soothing sunburns, kitchen burns, and cuts 
  • Moisturizing & preventing damage to your hair 
  • Revitalizing your face after routine cleansing  
  • Boosting smoothies with this natural probiotic  

And speaking of smoothies, check out this simple and refreshing recipe from the CHEF iQ Test Kitchen: 

ALOE VERA SUMMER SMOOTHIE

#Vegan, #Healthy, #Vegetarian, #Sugar-Free 

What you'll need:

  • 1 fresh aloe vera leaf, from a plant or purchased from an organic marketplace 
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, washed & hulled (fresh or frozen) 
  • 1 banana, (fresh or frozen) chopped  
  • 1/4 cup fresh baby spinach 
  • 1 cup plant milk or water 
  • 1 tsp maple syrup 
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (optional for added protein) 
  • 1/2 tsp flaxseeds (optional for added fiber) 
  • 2 tsp hemp seeds (optional for added protein) 

How it's done:

Remove gel from leaf 

  1. Trim off ends and sides of the aloe vera leaf, be careful of the spikes on the ridges. 
  2. Cut the trimmed leaf into 3 sections for easier handling.
  3. Carefully using a sharp knife, cut around the peel to reveal the aloe vera flesh. (Aloe vera is naturally slimy so please be very careful). Cut into 1/2-inch cubes until you have 1/4 cup. 

Blend

  1. Combine and blend all ingredients until smooth.
Garnish with any leftover ingredients of your choosing and enjoy!