Cocktail: “A mixture of agents usually in solution that is taken or used together especially for medical treatment or diagnosis”
This tonic was a life saver. Truly. I was overworked, getting ready for an overseas trip, and feeling under the weather…it was my ‘if I don’t do something quick I’ll end up sick’ moment. A serious boost was needed so I turned to my two reliable miracles, carrots and orange juice, knowing the extra doses of vitamin C and beta-carotene would restore my former glowing self. Glow is always the goal.
Off to the kitchen I went in my droopy state determined to brighten my dark and gloomy mood with a newly-found tonic. My list of elixirs and tonics (i.e. Spice and Hearth Chocolate Elixir Pudding, Sunshine Nutrient Smoothie ) is pretty broad already, but this drink would be blindingly orange with both bark and bite; plant-style.
I started with fresh carrots. They’re naturally sweet so they flavor great with sweet juicy fruits like oranges. I remember when I used to hate carrots. Now I eat them at least once a week. You can buy carrots already peeled in little bags; convenient that way. I stick with the carrots with peel only because I like them plus I get the extra nutrients in the skin. But rest assured, since carrots under the peel are the same color you get your beta-carotene either way. Not too many vegetables can make this bold claim.
Beta-carotene is abundant in all orange and yellow produce and a precursor of vitamin A. The human body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A (retinol) for us. Vitamin A is important for healthy skin and mucus membranes, and boosts our immune system. It’s also essential for good eye health and vision. Beta-carotene itself is not an essential nutrient, but vitamin A is. Taking big doses of vitamin A can be toxic, but your body only converts as much vitamin A from beta-carotene as it needs. That means beta-carotene is also considered a safer source of vitamin A.
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant. It protects the body from damaging molecules called free radicals. Free radicals damage cells through a process known as oxidation. Over time, this damage can lead to a number of chronic illnesses. There is good evidence that eating more antioxidants foods helps boost your immune system, protect against free radicals, and may lower your risk of heart disease and cancer.
Yellow and orange produce contains zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, vitamin C as well as beta-carotene (vitamin A). These nutrient-rich foods pulse our bodies in so many different ways, from our eyes to our bones.
- Aids in eye health and reduces the risk of macular degeneration of the eye
- Reduces the risk of prostate cancer
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol)
- Promotes healthy joints
- Promotes collagen formation
- Fights harmful free radicals in the body
- Encourages pH balance of the body
- Boosts immune system
- Builds healthier bones by working with calcium and magnesium
To the fresh carrots, I dropped in some chopped fresh mango and freshly squeezed orange juice. Blend and breathe. So fragrant I felt the healing already. I added a few other ingredients and poured into two anxious glasses. Sharing tonics is the best way to keep everyone healthy. I added a little extra zing by splashing in some fresh lemon juice, and garnished with a young celery, black pepper and Celtic salt. I had to step back and admire this orange beauty. This was a cocktail, a real cocktail, the kind that heals and generates good intentions.
One sip and I was knew it was bold and anxious to heal. A great cocktail without any side effects. Now that’s a mix no party or occasion should be without (effective remedy for a hangover too). Half way through my tonic I was feeling a heady reprieve, and ready to face the world again.
I hope you enjoy this delicious drink for all it has to offer. And in case you too are feeling a bit out of sorts I hope you get your shine back very soon, maybe with a little help from this enticing tonic.
This recipe is dairy, nut, and gluten-free, and serves 2 – 3 persons.
Beta-Carotene Beta-Carotene Cocktail
- If orange juice isn’t available, you can substitute with tangerine, tangelo, or clementine juice.
- I like it on the sweeter side so I add a little orange-flavored stevia to the mix.
- 1 cup chopped unpeeled or peeled carrots
- 1 cup fresh mango chunks
- 2 cups fresh orange juice
- 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
- 1 slice of lemon (about 1/4- inch thick slice) or a lemon wedge with peel
- few drops of orange essential oil (optional)
- 1/2 – 1 tsp pomegranate powder or goji powder or other tart fruit powder of choice (optional)
- sea salt and ground black pepper or cayenne for garnish
- several stalks of celery or other vegetable for garnish
- Add all ingredients garnish to a blender.
- Blend until very smooth. This may take a couple of minutes.
- Pour into glasses.
- Garnish with sea salt, black pepper or cayenne, celery stalks, carrot sticks, tomato slices, soft lettuce leaves, and/or anything else you want.
- Serve and enjoy.
- Yields about 3 cups.
- Can be stored refrigerated up to 3 days.