Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Drink of the Week | K2 Kooler

This week’s drink is not just refreshingly good, but it packs a hell of goodness. It is a combination of local citrus fruit Kahel (or Dalandan, Sour Orange) and a poor man’s green leafy vegetable Kamunggay (Moringa Oleifera), whose marriage I considered perfect and complementary with each other. These two local ingredients have “K”, literally in their names, and figuratively on the benefits it boasts, hence the coined name K2 Kooler.

Earlier last month I featured Kamunggay in a series of blogposts, still I cant get enough of it. Amazed of the many benefits and goodness it can do to our health, I was inspired to create recipes out of this vegetable: there was a cupcake, pesto and soup made out of Kamunggay. This time, let’s drink to its goodness!

Kamunggay related blogposts:
Why Kamunggay is a Wonder Vegetable
Kamunggay Almond Cupcakes
Kamunggay Pod Soup
Pasta in Kamunggay Pesto

In my recent visit to Cebu’s public market in Carbon, I was able to buy few pieces of green citrus fruits Kahel, same sizes like your regular oranges. I bought it at amazingly P2.00 per piece, much cheaper than our all time favorite kalamansi. Kahel as a citrus fruit is rich in Vitamin C and B Vitamins and that is a natural immune system booster.

A housemate who is constantly looking for ways to consume raw Kamungay inspired this drink.  He played kitchen scientist in his aim to fight high cholesterol and to lower blood pressure, backed up with online research and word of the mouth testimonies. There is no approved therapeutic claim out of drinking raw Kamungay juice, but its benefits, scientifically proven, are more than enough to convince us that indeed consuming this juice boosts our body.

Here’s how to prepare this 'kooler':

1 tablespoon pureed kamunggay concentrate
Juice of 1 kahel fruit, reserve one slice for garnish
2 tablespoons wild honey
Crushed Ice
Sprig of mint for garnish

To prepare the kamunggay concentrate, put in the food processor 1 cup kamunggay leaves, cleaned and without any hard stems. Add 1cup water and puree until liquefied about 3 minutes. You will only need one tablespoon of this concentrate to make a glass of juice, so set aside the rest in a clean jar and refrigerate for future use. Consume pureed kamunggay leaves within 2-3 days. The chlorophyll is responsible for its rich dark green color, and with chlorophyll alone we harness all the nutrients from the plant.

Mix 1 tablespoon pureed kamunggay, 2 tablespoons honey, and juice of one kahel. Adjust sweetness according to your preference. Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are well combined. Pour in prepared glass with crushed ice, garnish with kahel slice and mint. Serve and enjoy this healthy drink.

You can make variations of this cooler. Just change your base juice (in this case the Kahel) to any citrus juice and then add up the kamunggay concentrate. Kamunggay is best paired with any acidic bases to temper and cover up its “strange” aftertaste that lingers in your mouth. I suggest lemons, mangoes, oranges, kalamansi or a combination of these fruits. Make sure to put more ice as this helps to better improve that strange taste.

If you are more creative and experimental, you can create kamunggay shake by freezing the base juice, then add the kamunggay concentrate when pureeing the frozen base juice. Or you can make a Kamunggay ice cubes by diluting concentrate to water, using 1:4 ratio, 1 part kamunggay concentrate to 4 parts water, mix and pour into ice tray then freeze. You can add this iced kamunggay to any glass of citrus juice, and it will give off that kamunggay goodness slowly as the ice melts. Very lovely to look at!

Total cost of this juice is less than P5.00. One piece of Kahel is only 2 pesos and you can pluck few kamunggay leaves at your neighbor’s backyard for free. You can use white sugar but I suggest using natural sweeteners like wild honey to make this truly a healthy drink.

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