Try Juicing This: Bitter Melon

Have you ever heard of bitter melon? This highly-medicinal fruit-vegetable hybrid is beneficial when eaten raw or juiced.

Bitter melon sure is pretty, but looks can be very deceiving. When eaten raw, bitter melon has a taste that can only be described as well, bitter — with a hint of cabbage. Doesn’t sound too appetizing, does it? Well, I was willing to look past the awful taste in order to get some of that bitter, bitter nectar in my body. It’s often the most awful tasting foods that end up being the best for you.

Bitter melon has been called many things, from African Cucumber to Balsam Apple. Although it looks like it came right out of a Dr. Seuss book, bitter melon is grown in places like South America, East Africa and Asian Countries. This bitter green gourd is most famously known for treating type 2 diabetes, in fact; a recent study shows that the seeds, pulp and leaves of the bitter melon have shown hypoglycemic effects in rats. In addition to curing diabetes, bitter melon has been proven to be anti-cancerous, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral, and it lowers cholesterol when consumed on a regular basis.

Traditionally, bitter melon is found chopped up in curries and stews, but I wanted to get the full effect of this magical plant, so I juiced it. I’m not going to lie and say it tasted good, because it didn’t. It tasted pretty gnarly actually, even when I paired it with apples. I used an entire melon for my juice — next time I would probably only put about a half or even a quarter of one in and up the apple quota.

What you need:

1/2 of a medium sized bitter melon, de-seeded

2 cups of royal gala apple slices, peeled

If you do not have a juicer: blend the ingredients in a high speed blender until pureed and strain through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag.