Juice up your life
Last year after I was diagnosed with Lymphoma, I immediately went into research mode and dove into everything I could find when it came to anti-cancer nutrition. Carrot juice came up time and again: there were numerous stories of miraculous recoveries from the simple consumption of carrot juice alone. Resource after resource touted the anti-cancer benefits of vast quantities of carrot juice.
So as I embarked on this anti-cancer project during my diagnostic phase, I purchased a juicer and began to consume 5-10 pounds worth of carrot juice each day, blended with ginger and sometimes a tiny bit of green apple, occasionally with some turmeric too to boost the anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
With my aggressive form of lymphoma and a growth the size of a grapefruit threatening to cause the collapse of my left lung, I did have to go through chemo. But in the nearly 6 weeks between embarking on this regimen and the start of treatment, I had maintained a strict raw vegan diet – grain-free, sugar-free (aside from the natural carrot sugars), dairy-free – complemented by lots juice – mostly carrots. And I must say, my body was all the better for it. Was it the carrot juice? Or the diet in general? Who knows, but I think the combination probably served me well.
I more or less kept up this way of eating, with the addition of a bit more animal protein, throughout treatment. After just two rounds, the growth and activity within it had decreased by 87%, so something was definitely working. And for the record, no, I did not turn orange!
But there was one unaccounted for ‘side effect’ of all this juicing: I was left with mountains of pulp, and unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t come up with any creative solutions to utilizing this pulp. That’s the one thing that really bothered me about juicing: it seemed like quite a waste of valuable produce. (Ok, here’s another: it can be a pain to clean the juicer!) Fortunately, I stumbled upon a brilliant solution: juice pulp muffins!
Have your lemonade and eat (the lemons) too!
Last week I had some random veggies in my fridge and decided to pull the juicer back out after a bit of a hiatus. I threw them in: 3 medium carrots, a few stalks of celery, a 4-inch piece of the thin neck of a yellow squash I had as leftovers from squash noodles, a 1-inch piece of ginger, and a half a lemon later, I had a nice little 6 ounce cup of fresh nutrients.
Then I just scooped out the pulp, mixed it with some coconut flour to keep it grain-free and low-carb, added some flax eggs, some coconut oil, and a couple teaspoons of cinnamon because cinnamon makes everything more delicious. Coconut flour has very particular baking properties as it’s very absorbent, but it can be a wonderful flour substitute as it’s high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats, is wheat and grain-free, and is low-carb, low-sugar and scores very low on the glycemic index so it won’t cause blood sugar spikes that occurs with most other baking flours. It also happens to be quite rich in minerals – wins for days.
I sweetened it with just a tablespoon of raw honey and a little bit of monk fruit sweetener. This is actually my favorite sweetener to date: just like stevia, it has zero sugar but tastes incredibly sweet. It seems expensive at first glance, but just a tiny bit goes a VERY long way, and doesn’t leave you with the aftertaste many people dislike in stevia. So there we have it: a delicious way to make use of your juice pulp!
Juice Pulp Muffins: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Recipe
What goes in:
- 1 cup juice pulp*
- 3/4 cup coconut flour
- 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax seed, 6 tbsp water)**
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp raw honey**
- 1/2-1tsp monk fruit sweetener (or green leaf stevia)*
- dash of sea salt
*any veggies work, though I highly recommend adding a little ginger and lemon to both your juice and specifically these muffins for the optimal flavor profile! grated fresh veg works too if you don’t have a juicer. if you have more than 1 cup, you can save it in an airtight container in the fridge for the next batch, increase the other quantities accordingly for more muffins, or compost it!)
**To keep it completely added-sugar-free, you may skip the honey, add an extra flax egg and increase the monk fruit slightly. If you choose not to use monk fruit or stevia, add 2-3 tbsp honey.
How to Make:
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line two mini muffin tins or use a paper town to thinly coat with coconut oil.
- Combine the dry ingredients – coconut flour, cinnamon, baking powder, monk fruit (or stevia), and sea salt – in a separate bowl and mix.
- Add all of the wet ingredients and the dry mixture to a food processor and mix until thoroughly combined. The mixture will be quite thick. Alternatively, you may add the dry ingredients to the wet in a separate bowl and mix by hand, or use a stand mixer. The juice pulp will be more unevenly combined and will vary in size, but it’s totally fine.
- Scoop the dough into the tins so they are about 3/4-7/8 full. These muffins do not really rise.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
*This recipes makes 24 mini muffins. If you use regular size muffin tins, it will probably make about a dozen, give or take, and bake for 25 minutes. The ratios are not really exact.