Bitter melon (also called bitter gourd) is a fruit used both as a culinary ingredient in several parts of the world, and as a natural treatment for several ailments. Bitter melon juice is most commonly used as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes because it reduces blood sugar levels. It may also be used as a source of vitamins and minerals, particularly potassium, folate (Vitamin B9), Vitamin C and Vitamin K.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Four or five bitter melons
- Food processor
Select firm bitter melons without blemishes. They should have a solid, light green colour, without any signs of yellow or orange colour on the skin.
Cut the bitter melons open lengthwise and remove the seeds. Although the seeds are considered edible, they may cause nausea and diarrhoea in some people.
Chop the bitter melons, including the peel, into 1-inch cubes. If you plan to use the bitter melon juice as a cooking ingredient, soak the cubes in cold salt water for half an hour to reduce the bitterness.
Place the bitter melon cubes into the food processor and process using the "pulse" function. If your food processor doesn't have a pulse button, process on high for a few seconds at a time.
Scrape the sides of the food processor as needed and pulse again until the bitter melon is liquefied.
Place the cheesecloth over a bowl and pour the liquefied bitter melon into the cloth to strain out the solids. Squeeze to release as much juice as possible into the bowl.
Store the bitter melon juice in a closed plastic or glass container in the refrigerator. Use within one week.
Tips and warnings
- Bitter melon juice may be frozen for up to three months.
- The amount of the substance in bitter melon that reduces blood sugar varies considerably depending on the ripeness of the bitter melon. You may experience different results from each batch of juice you make.
- Don't use bitter melon as a treatment for any serious condition except under a physician's supervision.
- If you are using bitter melon to treat diabetes, check your blood sugar frequently and do not discontinue your medication except on the advice of a physician.
- Although bitter melon is widely eaten in some parts of the world, it should not be consumed by pregnant women or children. Serious side effects have occurred in these groups.
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