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The Recipe: Bitter Melon Juice

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Bitter melon or bitter gourd, is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae. It has a distinct warty appearance on its skin and is elongated, resembling a bumpy cucumber. The fruit’s flesh is crunchy and watery in texture. As the name suggests, it has a bitter taste. Bitter melon is used widely in various cuisines for its unique flavor and potential health benefits.

Appearance:

  1. Color: Choose bitter melons that are bright green in color. Avoid those that have started to turn yellow or have a lot of discoloration, as this indicates they are overripe.
  2. Surface Texture: The surface should be firm to the touch and the skin should have a uniform warty texture. Avoid those with soft spots or large indentations.
  3. Freshness: The stem, if present, should look fresh and not overly dry or shriveled.
  4. Avoid Splitting: Ensure the bitter melon doesn’t have splits or cracks in its skin, which can invite bacteria and lead to quicker spoilage.

Flavour Variations

Basic:

  • 1 bitter melon
  • 1 cup water (optional)
  • Salt or honey to taste (optional)

Variations:

  1. Bitter Melon and Green Apple:

    • Ingredients: 1 bitter melon, 1 green apple
  2. Bitter Melon with Lemon and Honey:

    • Ingredients: 1 bitter melon, Juice from 1 lemon, 1-2 tsp honey
  3. Bitter Melon and Pineapple:

    • Ingredients: 1 bitter melon, 1 cup pineapple chunks
  4. Bitter Melon and Carrot:

    • Ingredients: 1 bitter melon, 2 medium-sized carrots
  5. Bitter Melon, Ginger, and Turmeric:

    • Ingredients: 1 bitter melon, A small piece of ginger, A small piece of turmeric or a pinch of turmeric powder

Instructions:

  1. Wash the bitter melon thoroughly.
  2. Slice the bitter melon in half and remove the seeds using a spoon.
  3. *** Highly recommended ** Reduce some of the bitterness: chop the bitter melon into smaller pieces and soak them in salted water for about 10 minutes. After soaking, drain the water.
  4. Depending on the variation you’re making, prepare the additional ingredient(s) (e.g., chop apples or carrots, squeeze lemon juice).
  5. If using a blender, blend the bitter melon (and any additional ingredients) with water until smooth. Then strain the juice. If using a juicer, simply juice the bitter melon and any additional ingredients.
  6. Add optional salt or honey to taste.