How to Prepare and Eat Aloe Vera
What is the best way to prepare an Aloe vera leaf before eating the gel? How do you fillet the Aloe vera leaf to get the most gel from each leaf?
It is a very simple thing to fillet an Aloe vera leaf to harvest the gel. The video posted below goes into great detail showing the steps how to extract and make Aloe vera gel. Below the video, we have also posted a transcript of the audio if you would prefer to read it or want to refer back to specific details.
Alright, now we are going to show you guys how to fillet an Aloe Vera properly. Now I have seen many people do it and before today I wouldn’t do it the best way possible. I am glad to share with you guys the best way to fillet the Aloe so you guys don’t get any of the green or the yellow sap, the aloin, that smells like B.O. and is a laxative so if you eat too much of that stuff it can upset your stomach and it will not be good for you. What you do want to eat is the clear gel on the inside. Furthermore what we are going to do to ensure we get all that aloin off is we are actually going to soak the aloe in water after we cut it. We have 2 different 1-gallon pitchers of water to ensure that we don’t get any of that stuff on it. The tools you will simply need are #1 a knife and #2 this is like a cake spreader thing, so there is no sharp blade on here and this is literally just going to separate the green from the gel on the inside.
First step is you are going to take your knife here and just cut off the ends. So as you can see as soon as we cut off one end it is instantly going to start bleeding that yellow stuff. The next we’re going to do is just cut off that second end. Next, we are going to cut off the spines on the edges. Also when we do this do you see how it is flat on this side and this side is curved up? We’re going to want to cut off these spines, but at the same time, we are going to want to take the blade kind of diagonally to cut off some of the green as well. So we are going to just carefully, cutting away from myself, cut off all the spines at a diagonal. There we go that how it looks once we do that. Now we’re going to do the other side. Alright and as you guys can see it is literally dripping this yellow ooze this is stuff you do not want to consume. This is going to be bleeding for a while so what we are going to do is just dunk it in our water and try to get it fully submerged,
I am going to cut it off here so that it can be fully submerged and dunk it in the water. What this is going to do is get some of that yellow aloin off and actually get it pulled out of the Aloe Vera so that when we eat our fillet gel we are not getting any of that stuff. Many Aloe Vera juice products and other products that are made and sold in health food stores are not prepared in this way and may have high aloin content which means you will not be able to drink as much of it. In addition, because a lot of them are heat processed a lot of the nutrients may be diminished. So I always encourage you guys to process all your foods out of your garden at your home and eat the freshest foods possible. There is literally no processing in here, we are just cutting it off, soaking it in water probably for about 5 minutes. While this one is soaking I am probably going to cut up a few more so I can have a super bomb drink we are going to make in the Vitamix blender in just a few minutes.
Alright so I cut a few more Aloe, they have been sitting in there for just a little bit. Next, I am going to go ahead and show you guys how to fillet it. We are going to go ahead and do a close up on the cutting board so you guys can see the specific way to do it. Let’s go ahead and take out the one that has been soaking the longest here, we’ll let some of the water drip off. And if you look as it here you should see very little of the yellow aloin on there. I am still seeing a little bit here so what I might want to do is cut a little more off, or dunk it a little more.
Alright so it has been about 5 minutes so we are going to take this one out here we are going to let some of the water drain off. The yellow stuff has been oozing out because Aloe kind of bleeds yellow, like you bleed red. We got this guy out now so let’s do the close-up shot. We’ll show you how to use this cake spatula thing to fillet the Aloe. So we are going to take our little cake spatula thing and we’re going to take the Aloe here and you can see it is curved up so we are going to push it all the way flat against the cutting board here. We’re going to take this and carefully slide it right in between the green part and the clear gel. You don’t even really have to use a cutting motion I am basically just pulling this along. Once again this doesn’t have a blade on it this is just really super easy to pull along here. Keep this parallel with the cutting board pull it along and it comes right out. As you can see here we did leave a little bit on here I could have cut it a little closer. If I did this again I would probably go back in there and try to pull things along and get to at the exact bottom so I could have the most gel. This is the most healing part of the Aloe here. So now we flip this piece over and we are going to do the exact same thing, we’re going to take the cake spatula spreader thing to the bottom of the Aloe once again we’re going to get it right in there and just pull it right along. Try to keep this parallel to the cutting board so we’re getting the maximum amount of the Aloe gel out without getting any of the green stuff. No green stuff allowed! Alright so here we go this stuff is really super slimy, check it out. We’ve got a nice clear Aloe bit.
Looks like I left a little bit on there I was a bad boy, we’re going to take the knife here and cut that little bit off here. We don’t want any of that stuff. Now once we’ve got this cut and it has all this clear goo, we’re going to take this other pitcher and just dunk this right in here to get off any of the residual yellow coloring, the aloin, which is the irritant which is not good for us. So once again we do not want to eat that stuff. Once we rinse this stuff off, go ahead and pull it out, it is all ready to eat. Check it out this stuff is so gooey, it’s going to go right in the Vitamix and we’re going to blend that bad boy up! Now we’re going to go ahead and pull that second piece out.
I want you guys to take a look, I mean you guys saw what this water looked like before I dropped these in there it mean it was totally clear. Afterward, it is totally a yellow color. You know this is the stuff you do not want to be eating, that is why we are soaking it. Never before have we learned this method of soaking and actually double soaking. This is for the especial germophobes like I am to make sure there is no contamination of that yellow stuff. So you get the highest levels of the best nutrients without the anti-nutrients. So we are going to go ahead and use the same technique on this guy once again we are putting cake spatula right down thru just ripping this right across goes really simple and really easy this is not really any cutting this is really nice soft and gelatinous comes right thru, real simple, and real easy. Go ahead and flip this bad boy over were going to go ahead and do the back side by cutting thru the backside real simple, real easy. I am definitely getting better at it. Alright, here you go one nice Aloe. This is some gooey stuff.
Alright, so we are going to go ahead and dunk that guy in there. I’ve got one more to do and then we are going to dump this stuff in the blender and I am going to have some delicious Aloe Vera, sugarcane juice. I have never had this before and I definitely can’t wait. Alright, we’re going to go ahead and pull this last piece that was soaking out and take it and transfer it over right in the blender. So we have a whole bunch of pieces now of the Aloe Vera Miller Stockton variety that we are going to blend up. Now you could blend this up plain and it would actually taste very neutral now that you took all the bitter components out. You can see we got a lot of it out in the first dunk, not so much in the second, I’m sure we got a little bit more out just to make sure that we got it super clean and smooth. If you have ever bought Aloe Vera juice in the store it has a really watery taste because they literally process it really hardcore with things like diatomaceous earth and charcoal which in my opinion may be pulling out a lot of the beneficial nutrients plus it is heated to a high temperature. This way we are taking out all the bitter components and leaving all the delicious good stuff.
The downside is that is going to be a little bit thick. We are going to want to reduce that down so what we are going to do today is add one of my favorites, we’re going to add some sugar cane juice. What they do is they take sugar cane and run it through a juicer and you get sugar cane juice. I drank most of this bottle, hopefully, I have enough to blend up with my Aloe to make a delicious, rich sugar cane Aloe Vera drink. I just can’t wait. If you have never had sugar cane juice you have to come to south Florida or any other tropical area to try it. It is actually quite good. It is better than drinking a soda because you get that sweetness but it is mellowed out by the stalk, the green or red of the sugar cane because it is juiced with the stalk and all. It has a nice kind of sugary but kind of mild taste but not sugary like a soda.
If you want to take it up a notch you can take the sugar cane juice and some sparkling mineral water and a squeeze of lime. That is delicious. Anyways this guy is ready to blend up and I am actually quite thirsty after my hard day’s work. Start the blender on low, one thing I recommend is not to over blend it. You want to blend just enough to get to the consistency desired. The longer you blend the less nutrition you are going to have because with every revolution it is causing further oxidation to your juice. Alright, hopefully, that is blended up enough to mix all that stuff up.
Let’s go ahead and pull these guys off the blender here and see what we’ve got. This looks really nice and thick, check out this consistency. Wow, it is fairly thick. I have juiced Aloe Vera before and it is quick thick. Let’s see how it came out with just the fillet only no bitterness. Wow to me that tastes just like watered down sugar cane juice, no bitter, no astringent, no weird flavor. It’s a bit frothy and just a little bit thick because it is gelatinous. But some of the properties of the gelatinous substance are the best for us.
So I have to clean up this mess here and then I want to share with you guys the expert on Aloe Vera, that is why he is growing all these Aloe Vera plants here. He’s researched it and he has learned that it is one of the most healing plants in the world. So next we’re going to go ahead and talk to Dr. Mike, the expert on Aloe Vera. John: So now we are here with Dr. Michael Haley and this guy let me tell you he knows a lot about Aloe. Hope you guys enjoyed checking out his place and the demonstration I did with the Aloe. A lot of people are not aware of the healing benefits of Aloe and why you should include it, I think, on a regular basis.
So Dr. Mike who should someone regularly include Aloe in their life? Dr. Haley: That is a great question, John. The first thing I want to mention about that is a
lot of people know that Aloe is good on their skin. They know that if you put it on your skin it will heal things faster. There has been research that was done that shows that when you put it on your skin things heal about 2x faster. Well, I like to think of the skin and the gut as one organ. So if you think about it, they actually make a patch of medicine that you put on your skin (transdermal). So the skin will actually absorb things whether it is essential oils, drugs, medications, or whatever you are putting it goes into the skin. Things also come out of your skin. It is the same thing with your gut. You put food in your body and it goes in your gut, technically it is not in your body yet it has to pass through that wall to get into your blood stream. It works just like the skin things kind of go back and forth through the gut wall. So I like to think of these as one organ. So we know that Aloe heals the skin and it seems to do the same thing to the gut. I don’t have the research done yet, but we know it is working because that is why people are drinking it. People have things like acid reflux, irritable bowel disease, now you don’t need these things to benefit from Aloe, but if it helping people with these conditions how healthy can it be for your gut. We know it works on the skin and it seems to work wonders on the gut and that is probably the number one reason why people are drinking Aloe Vera.
John: Wow so it works for the skin and it works for the gut I guess. Dr. Haley: Yea and that is just the beginning of things. People talk about Aloe Vera for so many other things other than just gut conditions whether it be Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel disease, or acid reflux. They are also using it because it seems to lower and stabilize blood sugar levels for people with elevated blood sugar levels. Happens to be one of those super foods that is beneficial for that. And then there is another real neat thing about it is the immune system. Everyone wants a better functioning immune system. We eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and a lot of things that are beneficial to our bodies so that our immune system can be at optimum levels.
Aloe actually has one particular nutrient in it called Acemannan and if you look up Acemannan you will actually see that it will raise your body’s tumor necrosis factor. That is actually one of the benefits to your immune system. Tumor necrosis factor, what is that? Big fancy word, tumor sounds a little like cancer and necrosis is a fancy word that means “death to”, so tumor necrosis or death to cancer factor, that factor in your body that kills cancer cells.
John: Naturally, because the Aloe doesn’t do it, it just makes your body more efficient? Dr. Haley: It just has a nutrient in it that causes your body to raise those tumor necrosis factor levels. Everybody has cancer cells in their body or mutated cells. So it is the part of the immune system that is constantly working to get rid of those bad cells in our body and viruses of courses. The immune stimulant properties are another reason why people drink Aloe Vera gel. John: Wow. I mean that is amazing. I mean it sounds like Aloe Vera can help with so many things. After all Aloe Vera is a green leafy vegetable and my channel is called growing your greens because I want you guys to be eating your greens every day! But don’t eat the greens of Aloe as we learned a little bit earlier, eat the inside gel. I am going to be including it in my diet, as fast as I can grow it I am going to be eating it! So Mike how did you find out about Aloe and why are you so interested in it these days?
Dr. Haley: You know I am a chiropractor and I’m not a sailor, that is important because my wife asked me to go sailing with her one day and we got on this sailboat and it was for a race. I am really kind of sailboat not smart. So the captain said go ahead and pull up the sails, so I start pulling up these ropes and I get the sail all the way to the top and I say, “Now what?” and he says, “Now what?! Lock it down!” By then it was too late, the sail had filled up and the rope started ripping through my hands. I’m trying to hold onto it and figure out how this lock works and within the matter of about a second, both of my hands were melted shut. It was pretty bad and as a chiropractor, my hands are my living. I kind of didn’t know what to do. One of my patients was this guy, Rodney Stockton, he had always been telling me about his Aloe Vera gel and when he heard what happened to my hands he said, “You have to use this lotion on your hands.” And I’m thinking, “Really? On bloody, blistered, melted skin?” So I put it on there and 3 days later I remember showing my wife and said, “Look at my hands, they look better than they did before the burns.” And it was amazing to me, I was looking at my hands thinking they look better. So if it can do this to your skin, what can it do to your gut? And that is how I found out about Aloe and we started drinking it then.
Not because we had any sickness and we needed to feel better, but we just realized if it does this much good on my skin then what can it do inside my body. And we already knew people from Rodney that had been drinking it for serious health issues and gotten better and it just made sense. John: Wow I mean that’s why I eat a diet with leafy green vegetables, that is rich in fruits and vegetables and now I am going to start including Aloe in my regular diet because who knows what it does but if it makes me healthier I’m all for it.
So Mike Aloe Vera sounds like things “cure all” thing like it will cure all that ails you is that true? Dr. Haley: John it is funny that you ask that. I will use
it to get people’s attention that have serious health problems because believe it or not, what you put in your body, what you eat, can make a significant difference in the way your body works. But just because it might make you feel better doesn’t make it a “cure-all.” We want you to make positive, healthy dietary changes for the rest of your life. You know it is not a magic bullet, it’s not a cure for cancer, it’s not a cure for diabetes, though it might help with those things but ultimately if you are someone who has one of those conditions you need to make some serious lifestyle changes. So we tell people how to lead a healthy life by telling people not only what they should eat, but also what they should avoid which can sometimes can be more important sometimes. Is it a “cure-all?” it is pretty darn good. Got to change some lives!
John: Once again you guys are doing one of the healthiest things, you guys could be doing if you are already growing a garden and eating the food out of it.
One other thing when you put Aloe vera in the ground or put it in the pot, expect it to look a little red and look like it is dying for the first month or so and in the winter a little longer, but after that, it just comes to life beautifully. If you kill my Aloe plant it is quite a feat because they are really quite hearty.
John: I’ve had people email me before and say, “John I killed an Aloe plant.” Well, that is probably because you over watered it. So how much water do these plants need? What about the potting soil medium? Should they just use dirt out of the garden, sand, potting soil from Home Depot or some other big box store, or some organic potting soil, some compost from their backyard with some rock dust? What do they use Dr. Mike? Dr. Haley: You know a lot of people think, “I’m going to get the best organic soil and that is going to be awesome.” Not necessarily, Aloe doesn’t like a lot of water and it likes to be able to drain. So if you have some potting soil, go ahead and mix it with some sandy soil. Florida soil does great and if you have some of that lime rock soil you get lots of that mineral rich soil like they get in South Florida that stuff is great. If you have something like Georgia clay or yeah you should definitely get some sand in the mix.
John: Ok, so how much should somebody water Aloe? Should I be like every day I love my plants! I want to give them more water! Dr. Haley: It is easy to drown them and you will see them start to turn black a little bit under the leaves if they are getting too much water, but if don’t give them enough water you probably won’t kill them. They have this gel inside and they will actually drink from their own leaves. So you are actually better off giving them less water and see how they do.
Now if they start to look like they are drying out and dying, then give them some water. It’s easier to err on the side of too little than too much. I had one that I neglected for probably about 6 months, didn’t give it any water and it was in a pot underneath the lip so it didn’t get any rain and it was outside here in Florida.
And it started to look a little rough, and finally about a week ago I gave it some water and within a day it went from this dried up looking plant to thick beautiful green leaves, well hydrated. I was amazed at how fast it came back. You are better off cautioning on less water rather than more. John: So it sounds like something everyone should grow if they haven’t, it sounds really easy to keep alive. You know like Dr. Mike said you can grow it inside for now if you are in a place that’s really cold in a little pot, I grew Aloe in my bathroom for years. So one thing you can do is grow it inside until it warms up and then in the spring transplant it outside, and then before it gets cold again dig it up and bring it inside, separate out the pups and have babies! And spread them around, I want to spread some babies around. Dr. Haley: Oh, I have to get this out there, when you are drinking the Aloe, vitamin content, and mineral content, this is survival food, this is beautiful survival food. One thing we need is hydration, you are getting plenty of hydration, lots of electrolyte minerals, lots of Amino Acids, it is an excellent food source, and you can live on this stuff and survive on this stuff. Grow your own Aloe!
John: I know that Aloe is so good and if people buy 3 or 6 plant starts honestly aren’t going to have much Aloe to eat anytime soon. Right? How long will people have to wait if they order 3 or 6 pups to be able to drink a decent amount of Aloe? Dr. Haley: If you go in the stores where they have fruits and vegetables, you will see little Aloe leaves that are often times only 1 or 2 years old. I don’t recommend those to eat, there aren’t enough nutrients in them. They really do best after about 5 years or so you are able to get a lot more gel out of them. So it is probably going to be at least 3 or 4 years before you want to start to harvest them and 5 years would be optimal. Take off 3 leaves off at a time, you don’t want to strip the whole thing down to nothing unless you have so many leaves you have let it get really overgrown. In fact, I think you found one today that was really overgrown that we hadn’t pulled any leaves off in a while. We pulled probably a dozen leaves off of it. But if you are consuming from that plant regularly you are going to take 3 leaves every 6 weeks or so. That is what you can expect to get from a plant after about 4 or 5 years.
John: So it is definitely going to take while to get your production up, if you want to start consuming it. Dr. Mike sells one of the best Aloe Vera gels that is never heat processed, it is completely raw and sold frozen. What makes your gel different than some others on the market? Dr. Haley: It is tremendously different, I can say this comfortably, and confidently without being arrogant I know we have the best Aloe. It is just a matter of fact. It is unprocessed, it is hand filleted, it is run through a grinder it is put into the bottles and it is frozen. That is what we do to it, we don’t heat it, and we don’t use things like activated carbon or diatomaceous earth to filter out the green outer leaf. We have a clean hand filet process, it is the whole food nothing is taken out, and nothing is added. And it is just being frozen. We have tested it before freezing and after freezing for the nutrient contents and it is practically the same Aloe after freezing.
John: Your own Aloe Vera farm! Ok Dr. Mike thank you for sharing with us! Actually my mom has been having some digestive issue stuff so I’m going to have to get some for her and hopefully it helps her. Maybe I can get her to start growing an Aloe Vera farm in her front yard too. That would be really cool! Dr. Haley: You know if you make a shake like you made today, with a few ingredients, I don’t think you are going to have any problem getting her to drink that Aloe, it is delicious. John: I could probably live off that it was absolutely delicious! You guys should try it too, you have to get some Aloe and Sugar Cane juice. I hope you enjoyed learning more about Aloe why I am going to start including it and why it is another green leafy vegetable that I think should be included in their diet.
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