If you’re a bit of a health freak (or aspire to be one), the concept of green juices should come as no surprise. Whether cold-pressed or blended into smoothies, green juices are extremely popular to the point where dedicated shops or kiosks selling these healthy concoctions are popping up all over the country and making a killing (monetarily, not literally!) while they’re at it. With the daily recommendation of fruit and vegetable intake hovering around 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 2 ½ half cups of vegetables (depending on age and gender), you’ve got to admit that this is quite a lot of fruit and veg to consume every single day. But blending a whole bunch of it down into a juice and consuming it that way is just, literally and figuratively speaking, a whole lot easier to swallow. Now, we admit, our green apple ulam cooler is a green juice only by colour, but it is a great way to ease yourself into the whole green juice phenomena if you’re still quite hesitant about it.
Typically, green juices and smoothies are packed with fruits and vegetables, predominantly of the green variety although not necessarily so. We’ve got the fruits in our green apple ulam cooler and have kept the vegetables to a minimal so newbies won’t immediately freak out at the prospect of drinking their vegetables. Plus, instead of popular green juice ingredients like spinach, cucumber or broccoli, we’ve given our cooler a little bit of a local twist by using a couple of fairly common Malaysian herbs. These can pack quite a punch, so once you’re down with the flavour, feel free to add more!
If you’re already a fan of the green juice and don’t need any convincing, great! Treat our green apple ulam cooler recipe as a little treat from the usual juice. The soda water adds a nice fizz, the honey a little sweetness, and it’s still pretty darn healthy for you. Be forewarned though, this cooler gets quite fibrous thanks to the green apple. It’s awesome for your digestive system, but if it gets a little too much to handle, feel free to strain some of the fibre away. But if you’re able to drink the whole lot down, it should keep you feeling full for quite a while.
The green, green ulam of home
We’ve talked a bit about green apples and its high fibre content, but besides being great for your digestive system, it can also help lower cholesterol levels, give you lots of energy, is rich in antioxidants, and can help reduce liver and digestive tract problems. The organic acids contained within green apples can also help you control your appetite, perfect for, well, pretty much all of us who can’t help ourselves to one more plate of nasi or slice of kuih!
One of the two herbs we have in this recipe is coriander. It’s a popular garnishing worldwide but this little herb has significant health benefits. Coriander can help reduce swelling caused by skin inflammation, while the antioxidants contained in this humble herb can also help clear skin disorders such as eczema. Got the runs or find yourself down with food poisoning? Try chewing on some. It also regulates blood pressure, helps with mouth ulcers, has a high iron content, improves bone health as well as a whole bunch of other health benefits worthy of its own article. Clearly it’s time to stop tossing aside that piece of garnishing, people.
Ulam raja, also known as wild cosmos or cosmos caudatus, is a pretty little leaf typically eaten raw. Refreshing with a lightly lemony taste, ulam raja is also an incredibly medicinal herb that can help lower blood pressure levels and reduce bone loss. It’s full of antioxidants, is proven to help lower blood insulin levels and reduce inflammation. Without getting into the whole science of it, let’s just say that consuming ulam raja, even a little bit every day, gives you a whole lot of benefits. And if you’re one of those who finds the idea of eating raw leaf vegetables unappealing, well, let’s just juice it!
- 400g (3) green apples, cored and cut into cubes
- 2 tsp coriander
- 2 tsp ulam raja (wild cosmos)
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 46g (5 cubes) frozen ginger juice (see below on how to make this)
- 50g (2 tbsp) honey
- 320ml soda water
This recipe makes about 2 medium glasses.
Making ginger ice cubes
- Peel and blend ginger with water at a ratio of 1 part ginger to 3 parts water.
- Pour blended ginger through a strainer to remove any fibrous parts.
- Pour ginger liquid into ice cube trays and freeze overnight.
Making green apple ulam cooler
- Except for soda water, place the rest of the ingredients in a blender.
- Blend until smooth. If necessary, add a little bit of soda water to aid in the blending process.
- Pour blended green apple and ulam into a couple of large glass or a few smaller glasses and top up with equal amounts soda water.
- Serve while still cold.
- Always use a good quality blender for your smoothies so your ingredients don’t sit in your blender too long and start melting and warming up from exposure to our hot weather. However, not everyone can afford one of those blenders that can literally blend everything in seconds, so this is a good option if you’re shopping around for a new blender!
- Different brands of honey vary in sweetness. Adjust accordingly.
- Make extra ginger ice cubes and add it to other drinks for a little spicy kick! How about some watermelon lime mint cooler?
- Green apple ulam cooler does not make a great party drink, and not because it tastes bad. The apple juice will oxidize when it’s exposed to the air, turning your juice a fairly unsightly brown in colour. It’s still absolutely drinkable and won’t taste any different, it just won’t be as pretty to look at.
Our green apple ulam cooler is both refreshing and filling, perfect for one those sweltering days when you’re hungry but just too hot to eat. All that fibre from the green apples will help keep you full for quite a bit, and the bubbly soda helps lighten this drink down a little. Plus, you’re already making some headway into that daily vegetable quota of yours, so, why not? Let us know what you think of our green apple ulam cooler and by tagging us with the #butterkicap hashtag. We can’t wait to see your pictures. Bottom’s up!