Easy Chai Coconut Truffles

This winter I became mildly obsessed with chai spices — cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. I love them! And the great news is they are good for you.

  • Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar.  
  • Cloves contain significant amounts of an active component called eugenol, which has made it the subject of numerous health studies, including studies on the prevention of toxicity from environmental pollutants, digestive tract cancers, and joint inflammation.
  • Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress and also has anti-inflammatory properties.

The name "truffles" is really misleading here because it makes them seem decadent and fattening. Well on the contrary these are both delicious and good for you too. Dates are 80% sugar but they are full of fiber and phytonutrients and don't raise your blood sugar! So when you are having a sugar craving they are a great alternative to that box of cookies or bowl of ice cream. 

And did I mention that they are easy to make? 

Ingredients

Makes 15 truffles

1/2 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 tablespoon raw cashew butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3/4 cup medjool  or hallawi dates — seeds removed (8-9 dates) 
1 tablespoon hot water
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp vanilla

  1. Remove the seeds from the dates and pour 1 tablespoon hot water over them to soak for a few minutes.
  2. Add them to a food processor.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients.
  4. Blend until the mixture forms a rough paste.
  5. Form the mixture into 1" balls
  6. Roll the balls in coconut to coat thoroughly.
  7. Let chill. 
  8. Will keep in refrigerator for 2 weeks except you will have eaten them by then.



 

 

Curry Miso Veggie Bowl

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If you have ever been to Life Alive in Cambridge, you are probably in love with their sauces like I am. This was inspired by their Swami bowl. It is a little different but delicious none the less and it is crazy healthy. This is a great anti-cancer recipe with broccoli, kale, scallions, garlic, purple cabbage and turmeric. If you want you can add steamed cubed tofu or chicken breast, and avocado.

serves 1

Ingredients

1 cup cooked brown rice
1-2 leaves kale chopped and lightly steamed
1/2 cup broccoli, steamed
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup shredded red cabbage
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1 tbsp toasted almonds, chopped
1 tbsp raisins or currants

  1. Assemble bowl with some brown rice, steamed broccoli and kale, raw carrots, cabbage and scallions. 
  2. Add toasted almonds and currants. 
  3. Drizzle Curry Miso sauce over bowl and serve.

Curry Miso Sauce

1 garlic clove — crushed
1/4 cup tahini sesame paste
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tsp grated fresh turmeric
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp honey
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup rice bran or rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/3 – 1/2 cup water

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. 
  2. Add more water as needed to reach desired consistency.
  3. Sauce can be doubled or tripled and stored in fridge for a week.

Raw Buckwheat Chai Breakfast Bowl

I seem to be obsessed with chai spices these days. Ever since I tasted these chai vanilla balls or rounds as they call them, that a vendor at our local farmers market sells. They were a little hard for my liking and expensive but the chai flavor was delicious so it inspired me to make my own version. Check out my Chai Coconut Truffles. Now all kinds of chai inspired dishes are popping into my head.

The spices in chai are very good for you in a number of ways:

  • Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar.  

  • Cloves contain significant amounts of an active component called eugenol, which has made it the subject of numerous health studies, including studies on the prevention of toxicity from environmental pollutants, digestive tract cancers, and joint inflammation.

  • Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress and also has anti-inflammatory properties.

serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Bob’s red mill buckwheat groats or hot cereal
  • 1 cup plant milk of choice (almond, cashew, coconut)
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • ½ ripe banana (use the whole banana if you want it a little sweeter)
  • 2 medjool dates (remove pit, soak in a hot water for 10 minutes and drain if the dates are firm)
  • 1 tablespoon raw cashew butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  1. Place buckwheat in a small bowl and cover with water — soak overnight in the fridge

  2. Drain buckwheat using a strainer and and rinse thoroughly with water for a minute. Drain again and place in a blender.

  3. Add all remaining ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth

  4. Pour mixture into a small bowl and top with granola, and pomegranate seeds chopped apple or whatever toppings you like.

Myers and Chang Spicy-and-Garlicky Brussels Sprouts

This photo shows bacon but this recipe has chiles instead. Furman likes them both ways. :)

This photo shows bacon but this recipe has chiles instead. Furman likes them both ways. :)

I love Joanne Chang's Brussel sprouts. They are lightly boiled and then sautéd in a cast iron pan with the chiles and garlic. I think they would probably be really good roasted too.

serves 12

Ingredients

3 pounds brussels sprouts, halved
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the brussels sprouts and cook until bright green, 2 minutes. Drain well and pat dry.

  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add half of the garlic and half of the brussels sprouts and cook over high heat undisturbed for 1 minute.

  3. Add half of the crushed red pepper, season with salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until the brussels sprouts are browned and tender, about 3 minutes.

  4. Transfer to a serving bowl. Repeat with the remaining oil, garlic, brussels sprouts and crushed red pepper. Serve warm.

Asian Sesame Veggie Bowl

Making bowls like this is an easy and healthy way to eat at home, especially during the week. You can make brown rice or quinoa ahead of time. Steam some vegetables, chop and grate some raw vegetables and add a great sauce. Easy. Everyone in the family can customize their bowl too. Throw on some grilled chicken or swap the tofu for some chick peas, edamame or a hard boiled egg.

Serves 2

Ingredients

Cooked brown rice or quinoa
Assortment of steamed vegetables (broccoli, bok choy, zucchini, beets, turnip, kale)
Assortment of raw vegetables (carrot, daikon, radish, red cabbage, green onion)
Extra-firm organic tofu cubed
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Ingredients for Asian Sesame Sauce

2 garlic cloves — crushed
2 Tbsp tahini sesame paste
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp organic mirin (optional)
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp sambal thai chili sauce

  1. Steam brown rice
  2. Steam a selection of chopped vegetables and cubed tofu (broccoli, zucchini, bok choy, kale, spinach etc.) 
  3. Chop 2 scallions
  4. Grate some fresh vegetables (radish, carrot, red cabbage) 
  5. Toast 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  6. Prepare sauce.
  7.  Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Add more rice vinegar or soy sauce as needed.
  8. Assemble bowl with some brown rice, tofu and vegetables.
  9. Add grated vegetables, scallions and toasted sesame seeds.
  10. Drizzle sauce over bowl and serve

Sauce can be doubled or tripled and stored in fridge for several weeks.

Beet, red cabbage, kale slaw

I make variations of this salad all winter long because all of these vegetables are readily available, but of course now that beets, cabbage and kale are at the famers market, I am in heaven. To be fair this photo is a version I made without beets so the beets will make it even more colorful. The proportions of chopped vegetables is not critical. This will last several days in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

2 purple beets, lightly steamed and grated (steam them without peeling them. let them cool and then the skins will slip off easily) 
¼ head of red cabbage chopped finely
2 cups finely chopped lacinto kale
1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
1 cup grated daikon or harukai turnip
1 cup grated purple carrots (or whatever you can find)
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
2 cloves minced garlic
Balsamic salad dressing

  1. Cook the beets. Place unpeeled beets with the stems on (they retain more nutrients this way) into a steamer and steam until tender. Drain. Refresh under cold water and leave to cool. You should be able to easily rub the skins off. Coarsely grate. 
  2. Prep the cabbage, kale, onion, cabbage, garlic, daikon, mint
  3. Toss with your favorite balsamic vinaigrette. I often doctor Wholefoods Organic Balsamic dressing with dijon mustard, more balsamic vinegar, brown rice vinegar and a little ume plum vinegar. 

Baked Crunchy Blackberry Oatmeal

Photo from Green Kitchen Stories, Vegetarian Everyday, David Frankiel and Luise Vindahl

Photo from Green Kitchen Stories, Vegetarian Everyday, David Frankiel and Luise Vindahl

I made this delicious baked oatmeal last weekend for my Ladies Holiday brunch and it was a big hit. I am not sure that they knew how good it is for you too.

Blackberries are high in anthocyanins which are capable of forcing cancer cells to commit suicide (apoptosis). Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It acts against certain cancer cells and helps reduce the creation of new blood vessels.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups fresh or frozen organic blackberries (you can also use frozen organic wild blueberries)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk (or cashew or coconut)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger ( I also used 1 tablespoon of chopped candied ginger for a treat)
  • pinch of coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts, almonds or cashews
  • ¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 Degrees.
  2. Grease the bottom of a medium size  (8X10) casserole dish with the coconut oil.
  3. Place the blackberries at the bottom of the casserole dish. You don't need to thaw the berries if using frozen.
  4. Spread the rolled oats evenly overtop of berries.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, ginger, baking powder, almond milk, salt, and vanilla extract.
  6. Pour the mixture over the berries and oats. Everything should be evenly soaked in the liquid mixture.
  7. Mix together the maple syrup, nuts, seeds and coconut oil with your hands and spread on top, making sure that it covers the whole dish.
  8. Bake 35-40 minutes until it is set and the nuts and seeds are lightly browned.
  9. Allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

This can sit in the fridge overnight if you prefer so you can pop it in the oven in the morning. 

This recipe is from David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl’s cookbook The Green Kitchen: Delicious and Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for Every Day . Check out their blog. It's one of my favorites.

Super Green Smoothie

This has become my go-to smoothie and I am not a smoothie person if you can believe it. For the most part I would rather have a salad or some fruit. On the other hand smoothies are great food-on-the-go and they are also filling and energizing. This recipe is the most pleasing to me even when I try other variations. I like it in the morning for breakfast or for lunch.

2 cups arugula (packed tightly) or substitute 1 handful of salad greens and 5 large kale leaves (stems removed and leaves torn up.)

Arugula is surprisingly good in smoothies. It is very bright in flavor and mild enough that the other flavors shine through. It is my favorite over kale and spinach.

1 ripe pear
1/2 banana (peeled and frozen)
1 tablespoon ground flax
1 tablespoon chia seeds
juice of half a lemon or orange
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons cashew butter
1 cup coconut or almond milk
purified water to desired consistency
1 tsp maca powder (optional)
1 tsp hemp powder (optional)

  1. Blend together until smooth. Add more water or liquid as
  2. necessary to make a good consistency. Don’t make it too thick.

The Buttery’s Kale and Brussel Sprout salad

This is my version of a kale salad that they make at The Buttery, an over-priced cafe near my house. The secret is the grapefruit dressing. Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice is a miracle dressing. It can almost standalone because it has the perfect level of acidity — tangier than orange juice and not as tart as lemon. I experimented with adding olive oil to the dressing but it is better without it. I served this at our Canadian Jamaican Thanksgiving and it was a big hit. You can use any kind of kale but I prefer the Lacinto or dinasour kale.

Ingredients

1 bunch of Lacinto kale, stems removed, finely chopped
6 Brussel sprouts finely shredded ( you can also use 1 cup of finely shredded green or savoy cabbage)
¼ cup dried currants
¼ toasted almonds, chopped
¼ cup grated parmesan

Grapefruit vinaigrette
4 tablespoons fresh pink grapefruit juice (or juice from ½ grapefruit)
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tsp brown rice vinegar
½ tsp honey
3 splashes ume plum vinegar or balsamic vinegar
ground black pepper
salt to taste

  1. Whisk ingredients together.
  2. Chop kale and place in large salad bowl. Add vinaigrette to kale. Gently massage dressing into kale with your fingers.
  3. Let sit for 20 minutes and add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and toss well.
  4. Salad will last several days in the refrigerator.

Chocolate cashew milk (great workout drink)

This is a great drink for a long run or workout, especially if you add the chia seeds. They are high in fiber and protein and they help slow down the rate at which complex carbs are digested. It is sweetened with dates which are high in fiber and phytonutrients and don't have an adverse effect on blood sugar unlike most other sweeteners.

Ingredients

¼ cup cacao powder
4 medjool or hallawi dates (seeds removed)
3 cups fresh cashew milk (see recipe above) You could also use store-bought unsweetened coconut, cashew or almond milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds 

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. 
  2. Chill for at least an hour before serving. Store in refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Cashew milk

Ingredients

1 cup Organic raw cashews
4 cups filtered water (divided)
1 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)

  1. Soak the cashews in water at least 4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the cashews and rinse until the water runs clear. Add the cashews and two cups water to a blender. Start on a low setting and increase the speed until the cashews are totally pulverized. This could take 2 minutes in a high-powered blender or longer in a regular blender.
  2. Blend in 2 cups more water*, vanilla extract, and cinnamon (optional). If your blender can't totally break down the cashews, you can strain the milk through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth. If you are just using on cereal or baking then you don't need to bother. Store the milk in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator. It should keep for 3 to 4 days.

NOTES
Yields about 4 cups cashew milk.
*The ratio of water to cashews (4 to 1) in this recipe yields milk that is somewhere between 2% and whole milk in terms of creaminess. Use less water for even creamier results.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

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Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 cup dried red lentils soaked for 2 hours
2 bay leaves
1 large butternut squash
1 large jewel or garnet yam
1/2 lemon squeezed
2 tablsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 white turnip chopped
olive oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 – 32 oz boxes organic chicken stock or vegetable stock
13oz can organic coconut milk (optional)
sea salt to taste

  1. Cook the lentils and the bay leaves in a saucepan, covered with water, until soft.
  2. Add 1/2 tsp salt to lentils and let sit.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Scrub squash and sweet potato. Slice in half lengthwise. Remove seeds from squash. Squeeze lemon juice on the cut side of each piece and rub olive oil on all sides of the squash and sweet potato. Place in a glass baking dish, cut side down and roast in 375 degree oven for 45 minutes or until very soft. Let cool to handle. Peel off skin.
  5. While squash and lentils are cooking, saute turnip, onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Stir in curry powder, cumin and cayenne.
  6. Add one box of organic chicken stock.
  7. Add in cooked lentils and bring to a simmer.
  8. Add cooked squash and sweet potato to the pot. 
  9. Puree in blender and return to the pot to warm.
  10. Reheat and add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Add a squeeze of lemon if necessary bright the flavor.
  12. The lentils and the squash and sweet potato can be made ahead and refrigerated.

Easy Spicy Black Bean Soup

I am all about easy, yummy food during the week and this more than fits the bill. You start with Amy’s or Trader Joe’s canned black bean soup and start doctoring. The result is a delicious, spicy, comforting soup that is simple to make, even after a after a long day at work.

serves 2

ingredients

1 can Amy’s or Trader Joe’s Black Bean Vegetable soup
1 can Muir Glen diced organic fire-roasted tomates with green chiles1 can organic black beans (rinsed and drained or cook dried beans)
3/4 cup frozen organic corn
3/4 cup diced zucchini sauteed (optional) 
1 tsp of frozen orange juice concentrate (I always keep a can in the freezer when I need a little OJ in a recipe)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp cayenne or Trader Joe’s chili sauce ( I put this in everything Mexican.)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  1. If you have some zucchini saute that first.You can also saute 1/2 red pepper. Then add all of the ingredients (except the cilantro) and heat.
  2. Cook until nicely simmering (10 minutes). Stir in the cilantro a few minutes before serving and garnish with a few cilantro leaves.
  3. Serve with fresh cornbread, or place some cooked brown rice in the bottom of the bowl and ladle the soup on top.
  4. Add another can of soup and/or beans to make a larger batch.

Thai Green Curry Broccoli soup

serves 4

ingredients

2 large heads of broccoli chopped (include stocks—peeled and chopped)
1 yellow onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tblsp green curry paste
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 – 48oz box of chicken stock or water
¼ tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp lime juice
½ tsp salt
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1 – 15 oz can coconut milk

  1. Saute onion and garlic.
  2. Add in curry paste.
  3. Add broccoli to pot and add in ½ the chicken stock or water.
  4. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until broccoli is very tender.
  5. Add more stock or water as it’s cooking until it is all added.
  6. Add in remaining ingredients and simmer
  7. for a few more minutes.
  8. Puree in a blender until very smooth.
  9. Pour back into the pot.
  10. Add salt and lime juice to taste.

Truffle White Bean Soup

serves 4

ingredients

1.25 cups dried cannelini beans soaked overnight
4 carrots chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
4 small white turnips chopped
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced and let sit for 10 minutes
2 bay leaves
1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped
2 — 32 oz boxes organic chicken stock or vegetable stock
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
drizzle of white truffle oil

  1. Cook the beans in a saucepan with plenty of water and the bay leaves until soft.
  2. Add 1 tsp salt to beans and let sit.
  3. Saute carrots, celery, turnips, onion and garlic until soft. Stir in fresh rosemary.
  4. Add two 32 oz boxes of organic chicken stock.
  5. Add in cooked beans and bring to a simmer.
  6. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Puree in blender and return to the pot.
  8. Reheat and add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve with a drizzle of white truffle oil

Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Soup

serves 4

Ingredients

2 large Garnet or Jewel yams
1 1/2 qts. organic chicken stock
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced (let sit for 10 minutes)
1 large tablespoon Thai red curry paste
Splash of fish sauce
Splash of Trader Joes’ chili sauce
1 – 13 oz can of low fat organic coconut milk
1/2 tsp lime juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees 
  2. Scrub the yams with the vegetable scrubber. Roast the yams whole with their skins on for 40 minutes or until they are very soft when pricked with a knife.
  3. Using a Dutch oven or heavy-based stock pot, saute the onion and garlic until soft. Add in the red curry paste. 
  4. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. 
  5. Remove the yams from their skins. (Try eating the skins. It’s delicious. )
  6. Add the yams to the broth and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  7. Using an immersion blender purée the soup. You can also use a blender to purée the soup and then return it to the pot.
  8. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, chili sauce and lime juice to taste. Season with salt if needed.

Nourishing Cold Weather Asian Soup

Asian udon soup.jpg

Serves 2
 
Ingredients

I box organic chicken broth
2 garlic cloves minced (let sit for 10 minutes to let the allicin activate)
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tsp hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon tahini sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
 
2 cups assorted chopped vegetables (broccoli, bok choy, napa cabbage,  spinach, julienned carrots)
½ package of organic extra firm tofu cubed or cooked shredded chicken breast
2 scallions finely chopped
½ package of cooked whole grain or brown rice udon noodles (optional)
1 lightly soft boiled egg per person (optional) 
 
Start with the broth.
In a medium sized pot add the chicken broth, ginger, garlic, soy sauce,  and hoisin sauce. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
 
Add in the vegetables and tofu or chicken. Let simmer until vegetables are tender. This will only take a few minutes.
If you would like a heartier soup cook a half a package of brown rice or whole grain udon noodles and add it to the broth.
 
Add in scallions and sesame oil. Adjust soy sauce or salt to taste. If you like it spicy and don’t have a sore throat add in siracha or sambal oolek.

Asian Sesame Veggie Bowl

Have you been to Life Alive in Cambridge, MA?

I discovered the one in Lowell several years ago when my mother and I were visiting the Quilt Museum there. Life Alive is this cute little hippy café across the street. They have delicious Veggie bowls with names like “the Swami” and “the Adventurer”, that have a combo of steamed brown rice or quinoa, steamed and raw vegetables, nuts, avocado and a delicious sauce. The exciting news is that there are now locations in Central Square and Salem. They are always packed, with lines going out the door, which is very good news for the health of Massachusetts.

Making bowls like this is an easy and healthy way to eat at home, especially during the week. You can make brown rice or quinoa ahead of time. Steam some vegetables, chop and grate some raw vegetables and add a great sauce. Easy. Everyone in the family can customize their bowl too. Throw on some grilled chicken or swap the tofu for some chick peas, edamame or a hard boiled egg.

  1. Cook brown rice
  2. Steam a selection of chopped vegetables and 3/8” cubed tofu
    (broccoli, zucchini, bok choy, kale, spinach etc.)
  3. Chop 2 scallions
  4. Grate some fresh vegetables (radish, carrot, red cabbage, daikon, avocado)
  5. Toast 2 Tbsp sesame seeds in the toaster oven or dry frying pan
  6. Prepare sauce below
  7. Assemble bowl with some brown rice, tofu and vegetables.
  8. Add grated vegetables, scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped raw almonds or cashews and toasted sesame seeds.
  9. Drizzle sauce over bowl and serve. 

 

Spicy Asian Sesame Sauce

2 garlic cloves — crushed
2 Tbsp tahini sesame paste
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp mirin (optional)
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp sambal thai chili sauce

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Add more rice vinegar or soy sauce as needed.
  2. The sauce can be doubled or tripled and stored in fridge for several weeks.

Super Green Juice

This is my favorite green juice recipe that Furman will also drink. Which says a lot. :)

1 large bunch of kale (washed and de-stemmed)
1 apple
1 cucumber
1/2 orange or clementine
1/2 inch of fresh ginger
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

I pour a little purified water through the juicer as I'm going which helps to keep everything moving and also makes it a little less intensely green.