The Red Reviver (Kale and Cranberry Juice)

cranberry-kale-juiceI realise that some of you may be reclining on the sofa digesting a rather large meal. Feet up, hand on distended belly, telly at full volume (to drown out the clattering of a million dishes being cleaned in the kitchen). You may be kicking back waiting for a second wind; after all,  Auntie Jean’s famous sweet potato meringue pie isn’t going to eat itself. *must find a clean plate*

cranberries-kale-carrots-imageIt can only be Thanksgiving Day*. In other parts of the world people are going about their hum-drum working day, but in the USA – that workaholic nation with the Scrooge-like 2-week holiday allowance – most are either eating, thinking about eating, or clearing up from eating. Even healthy types – that will be you – have probably shunned the small plates and ‘no-seconds-please’ mantra in favour of a day of untrammelled and unrivalled yearly excess. Woo hoo. And even those healthy types (again, you) may need to redress the imbalance.

As we here at food to glow are celebrating quietly with just us three – and with Mr A and Miss R not home until after 7 – we don’t have much chance of stuffing ourselves silly. But if we did, something like this juice would help. I won’t call it a detox juice, but most of the ingredients will help counteract the effects of overeating rich foods and quaffing a few too many glasses of wine.

Take the kale, the sulfur in it helps support the poor, abused liver by supporting its ability to breakdown chemicals and fats taken in through excess calories and drinking alcohol. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, eating more than you should, especially of fatty and processed foods, will definitely be stressing the liver. Add on any prescription drugs you take and the liver is working overtime to keep up its natural detoxifying role. Eating any of the dark leafy greens will boost your liver’s ability to clear out waste, and breakdown fat and alcohol. But kale is still the king of nutritious vegetables in many peoples’ minds with its especially high levels of Vitamins C, A (as beta-carotene), K**, B-6, manganese and magnesium, as well as fibre. Its nutritional value goes well beyond ‘mere’ vitamins and minerals: See this article for an in-depth look. Spoiler alert: it has a staggering 45 flavonoids, which means a load of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory goodies crammed into a simple, humble leaf. And to think we here in Scotland used to only give it to cattle!crushed-cranberries-image

As for cranberries, we mainly see them sweetened to the max in prepared juices and as a health-halo ingredient added to festive baking in dried sweetened form. Its primary nutrients and phytochemicals- especially Vitamin C and the newly-discovered anti-cancer, salvestrol – are massively reduced by processing and being coated in glucose syrup and cheap oils. Far better to eat and drink the real, tangy deal. I will admit that eating a handful of cranberries like they are blueberries – to which they are related – is a big ask and not something I will do, but whacked in a juice or smoothie, and even slow-dried in the oven, are really healthy and quite acceptable ways to enjoy this seasonal, health-promoting berry. A daily serving of powerful berries like cranberries is a daily serving of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and – in the case of cranberries – bacteriostatic chemicals. Here’s where to learn more about the health benefits of cranberries.

Even if today is just another day for you, drinking ‘green’ juices like this can help supplement a less than stellar diet. With the official festive eating and drinking season nigh, not only will I be looking out my sparkly party frocks, I will also be downing more vegetable-based juices like this. Cheers!

What’s your secret weapon against festive excess?

cranberry-kale-juiceThe Red Reviver – Cranberry and Kale Juice

Last year: Tunisian Chickpea and Vegetable Tagine

Two years ago: Old-fashioned Fresh Apple Cake

Bonus track of the week: Homeland by Natalie Merchant

A great ‘green’ juice to revive your liver and lift your spirits. Surprisingly delicious!

1-2 large kale leaves

½ beetroot, scrubbed

1 pear or apple, cut up if needs be for your juicer

1 ‘skinny thumb’ of turmeric OR 1 tsp ground turmeric (stir the latter in if using)

2 carrots, trimmed

100g cranberries (1 heaped cup)

Roll the kale leaves into a solid cylinder and push through with the juicer’s ‘pusher’ (what is that called??), followed by the remaining ingredients. Hint: Make sure the machine is off before adding the cranberries or else be prepared to be pelted by flying berries!

Drink immediately. Serves 1.

* Here’s a British guide to Thanksgiving

**For those on blood-thinners caution is advised on consumption of foods that contain lots of Vitamin K.raw-beets

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31 thoughts on “The Red Reviver (Kale and Cranberry Juice)

    • Hi Deena. Because of the pear, beet and carrot it is lovely and refreshing, not at all bitter. You shouldn’t need to add anything, but a squirt of acacia honey might be nice. Thanks for commenting x

  1. Cheers to you and your family Kellie, and wishing you all the happiest of Thanksgivings!! Although, I try very hard not to overindulge on Thanksgiving Day, lets just say that I don’t normally eat 2 or 3 desserts on a regular old day, so I’d love to try your juice, post Thanksgiving meal. Tomorrow is by birthday, so I’m thinking this would be a deliciously healthy way to start the day :-)

    • Happy almost Birthday, EA!!! I hope you aren’t too whacked from your cooking and hosting to fully enjoy one year older and better ;D Enjoy the rest of your day and have a super fun day tomorrow x

  2. It actually “looks” good for you! Looks like blood…will probably save a few people from having to lay low (like Brer Rabbit) for a few days till their distended abdomens recede. I hope you had a good Thanksgiving with your family :)

  3. Kellie, happy thanksgiving to you and yours. Your Reviver sounds healthy and nourishing… wish I could get my hands on some fresh cranberries… I think they are not around till later in the year for us.

    • Hi Liz. I think this would be a great anti-inflammatory juice for you, so if you try it just use some frozen cranberries or sour cherries (similar profile) and splash some hot water on them to defrost. And I would trade our cold weather (bright and sunny though it is today) for a little of your Aussie warmth!

  4. Wow, this looks fantastic!!! And sounds absolutely healthy and cleansing! Just made a couple of detox juices too this morning! ;-) Thanks for sharing – simply LOVE your photography, so vibrant and colorful as always.

  5. Hi Kellie, just came across your blog. I love drinking fruit and vegetable juices, even the mean green ones! I once went on a 40 day juice fast. Glad I did it but not sure I will do that again. Now I just try to juice as often as possible. I have leftover cranberries but it didn’t cross my mind to juice them, especially with the greens and fruit I have. Thank you for the idea. I will juice tomorrow morning! I hope you have a happy holiday and I’m happy I came across your blog. looking forward to following you! —Martine

    • Ooh, that sounds hard-core. 40 days, wow. My heart goes into irregular beats too easily and something like that would set it off for sure, but wish I could have a go. Really! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such a fabulous comment. Welcome to food to glow :D

  6. Love juicing! I don’t do it so much for health as I do for the delicious vitamin shot. Didn’t know that about blood thinners and Vit K — guess I’ll have to work to not have to not get on blood thinners then. I do love me some Vit K rich greens.

    Love your posts, Kellie, even though I’ve been away and don’t come to comment on every one. They’re always so thoughtful and upbeat. Still my favorite food blog!

    You might say we’ve ditched the tradition: no turkey killed at our expense, spent it outdoors birding and playing instead and topped the day off with homemade baba ganouj and pita bread. Watched a documentary on the Nez Perce to for historical perspective rather than a parade with pretty floats.

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