Cooking With Aloe Vera? Try These Easy Recipes
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Aloe Vera, a succulent plant popularly known for its thick, gel-filled leaves, offers a multitude of health benefits backed by centuries of traditional use and modern research. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, aloe vera is celebrated for its diverse therapeutic properties. It has been popular for its skin-soothing effects. When applied with the right guidance, its gel can alleviate sunburn, moisturise dry skin, and promote wound healing. 

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Internally, aloe vera aids digestion by soothing the digestive tract. It also supports the immune function due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help combat infections and reduce inflammation throughout the body.

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Aloe Vera's nutritional profile includes vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a functional ingredient in health-conscious recipes. For cooking, aloe vera gel is carefully extracted from the inner leaf of the plant, avoiding the bitter yellow sap known as aloin. The gel is then chopped or blended into smoothies, juices, and salads for its refreshing and mildly sweet taste. Its gelatine-like texture makes it suitable for thickening soups, sauces, and even to make desserts like jellies or puddings.

As it is commonly known, too much of anything is not good. Aloe Vera too should be consumed in moderation. When used thoughtfully, aloe vera can enhance the nutritional value of dishes, offering health-focused and experimental dishes.

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Juice and Smoothies

Aloe Vera is commonly used to make refreshing juices and smoothies. The gel from the inner leaf of the plant is blended with water, fruits like pineapple or mango, and sometimes honey or lemon juice to create a hydrating and nutritious beverage. It's particularly popular in health-conscious communities for its detoxifying and skin-nourishing properties.

Aloe Vera Salad

In some cuisines, particularly in Southeast Asia and parts of Latin America, aloe vera is added to salads for its mild flavour. It can be combined with vegetables like cucumber, tomato, and bell peppers, dressed with a light vinaigrette or citrus dressing. The gel adds a refreshing element to salads, making them more hydrating and nutritious.

Aloe Vera Yoghurt

Aloe Vera gel can be mixed into yoghurt to create a creamy and healthful snack or side dish. The gel is blended with plain yoghurt and sometimes sweetened with honey. This combination provides a cooling and soothing effect, often making it a popular choice for breakfast.

Aloe Vera Salsa

In Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines, aloe vera can be incorporated into salsa recipes. It adds a unique texture and a hint of freshness to traditional salsa ingredients like tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice. The gel's cooling properties can balance out the spiciness of the salsa, offering a refreshing twist to this classic condiment.

Aloe Vera Subzi

This desi bhaji is sweet, savoury and spicy all at once. To make it, the thorny side of aloe vera leaves is removed and then the leaves are split into thin strips. The leaves are pressure cooked with a little water, till one whistle. Spices such as coriander powder, turmeric powder, raw mango powder, salt and jaggery are poured into hot mustard oil and then fried together•    The dish is tempered with asafoetida, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and broken dry red chilies.  

Aloe Vera Ladoo

Aloe vera ladoo is made by blending aloe vera gel with ingredients such as desiccated coconut, nuts, such as almonds or cashews, ghee (clarified butter), and jaggery (unrefined cane sugar). The mixture is prepared into a dough-like consistency and then rolled into small, round balls or ladoos, which are then allowed to cool and set. They can be enjoyed as a nutritious dessert or snack.

Aloe Vera Ice Cream

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Aloe Vera gel is sometimes used as an ingredient in dairy or non-dairy ice cream recipes. The gel is blended into the ice cream base, providing a smooth texture and a subtle, refreshing flavour. It's often paired with tropical fruits like coconut or pineapple, creating a dessert that's both creamy and light.

Aloe Vera Stir-Fry

In Asian cuisines, particularly in Chinese and Thai cooking, aloe vera gel can be stir-fried with vegetables and proteins. The gel's mild flavour absorbs the savoury sauces and seasonings used in these recipes. It's often paired with ingredients like tofu, shrimp, or chicken, along with vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli, and peas.