I’m addicted to Thai basil. I will nibble leaves by themselves, and I’m lucky to have access to pesticide-free Thai basil at my local farmers’ markets. In contrast to the more common Italian or sweet variety, Thai basil has an anise or licorice flavor.
I had this green juice idea for a long time and finally got all the ingredients—and the inspiration—together to create a cleansing, alkalizing green juice with my favorite Thai flavors. The first attempt was a success. It’s savory and tangy. It’s also low glycemic, which is especially good for blood sugar issues and detoxification.
Green juices without sweet fruits or sweet root vegetables can be intense for those new to juicing. You can dilute the juice with water or use more cucumber or celery for a milder juice. Green juices are great for liver health, detoxification, and remineralization. I recommend adding lemongrass to juice recipes in general because of its strong anti-cancer properties recent research shows.
While some farmers’ markets have it, Thai basil can often be found at Asian markets. Be sure to use a non-toxic vegetable wash to remove any pesticides if it is conventional. As always, organic or pesticide-free produce is best, especially with dark leafy greens and celery. Lemongrass is usually conventional and can be found at Asian markets or places such as Whole Foods. For a more authentic flavor, substitute galangal for ginger, also found at Asian markets and some natural/specialty grocery stores. A slow-RPM juicer, such as the Omega 8004 or Green Star series, minimizes oxidation of the juice during the extraction process.
Ingredient properties and benefits:
Cucumber: cooling, water rich, diuretic, anti-inflammatory; the skin is silicon rich, which is good for connective tissue and skin (only leave the skin on if it’s organic)
Celery: cooling, water rich, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, kidney supporting, silicon rich
Cilantro: cooling, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, mineral rich, chlorophyll rich, heavy-metal chelating, liver supporting, blood purifying, high in Vitamin A and Vitamin K, high in essential oils
Thai basil: warming, anti-inflammatory, mineral rich, chlorophyll rich, high in eye-protective carotenoids, high in essential oils, high in Vitamin A and Vitamin K
Green onion: warming, antimicrobial, anti-cancer, heart supporting
Lime: cooling, anti-inflammatory, alkalizing, antimicrobial, decalcifying, liver supporting, blood purifying
Ginger: generally warming, anti-inflammatory, respiratory system supporting, digestion supporting
Thai Tonic Green Juice (Low-Glycemic)
Makes approximately 24 oz. or 3 cups
- 1 large cucumber, quartered (peeled if not organic)
- 4 stalks celery
- 1 large handful Thai basil with stems (approx. 1/2 bunch)
- 1 large handful cilantro with stems (approx. 1/2 to 1 bunch)
- 2 green onions, tops included
- 1 stalk lemongrass, outermost layer removed, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 1 lime, peeled and quartered
- 1 to 2 inches fresh ginger root (or galangal)
Put all ingredients through a juicer, alternating cucumber with the more fibrous ingredients to better keep things moving. Add lemongrass pieces slowly because they are tougher for juicers to break down. Garnish with a sprig of Thai basil for a beautiful touch.