Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Little Prickly Might Be Good For You

Prickly Lettuce

It will come as no surprise to those who know me; I sometimes do what others might consider some pretty crazy stuff.  Still other people just give me a thumbs-up and say, “Cool.” Hey, at my age this is my idea of living on the edge.

So today I have decided to share a new adventure. 

I watched this really amazing movie on Netflix a few days ago, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

Because I have felt lousy for over a year, and despite following doctor's orders, and taking pills that seem to make me feel worse, I have decided to follow the lead of the star of this movie, Joe Cross, and perform a reboot of my body, by doing what is now popularly being called “juicing.” The idea, detoxify your system by ingesting nothing but vegetable and fruit juices for a period of time.

Because I don’t have a lot of money to throw at this project, I decided to purchase the cheapest high-rated juicer I could find. And since even Craigslist had nothing but machines way out of my price range, I researched Amazon customer reviews. Most of what came up on my search were still expensive.

I found a Black and Decker juicer for around $40 at Wal-Mart, but I hadn’t read any reviews on that particular juicer. I came home empty handed not wanting to waste $40. I checked the Amazon reviews for the Black and Decker juice extractor and was happy to find the juicer had lots and lots of five star scores. I checked Big Lots and they had the same unit for $10 less. Oh yeah!  I was out the door. I was pleased, excited and I decided to take it as a sign from the heavens that I am really suppose to do this juicing thing because I was able to snag the display model for only $19.00. (They still had some in stock, but I grabbed the display because it showed the cheaper price---which means of course there is another display unit out now. Go for it!)

On a roll, I headed to the grocery store. Good grief! The cost of fresh produce has gone up over night. I purchased a few things to get me started and here is where I decided to take this project to a whole new level. A level which might be considered crazy by some. (I will share more crazies about this adventure in future blogs.) I started studying the contents of my yard. A yard that hasn't been mowed since my son, Stonie blessed me several weeks ago. (Since then I have used the excuse that the yard has just been too wet.)

I identified one weed known as “Prickly Lettuce” and discovered it is not only edible, it is  also very nutritious. So, out I went this morning and harvested enough for at least two servings of juice today and left at least a weeks worth still growing in my backyard and driveway.

Feeling quite brilliant and smug I set to the task. My new juicer went to town.  I was surprised at the amount of juice in those freshly picked and washed Prickly Lettuce leaves. There was no doubt, I had harvested enough leaves for at least three, maybe four glasses of juice.  

I read up on the plant and should have known enough to pay attention to the information, “mature leaves can be quite bitter.”

Now the idea of juicing is to add a mix of 80% veggies and greens to 20% fruit, such as Granny Smith apples, lemons, and limes. The key word being MIX.

Whatever possessed me to stick my finger in the catch cup of the juicer to taste the beautiful deep green Prickly Lettuce juice I do not know. 

Let me assure you, it was the vilest, nastiest, most disgusting, BITTER (in capital letters, bold and red, to the point I had to spell this out instead of just doing it) taste I have ever experienced in my life. 

But what to do? I hate to waste anything. And I knew there sat a full half container of all sorts of nourishing live micro-nutrients and anti-oxidants and phyto-thingys that were really good for me. A quick Google search gave me my answer. I added half an apple, 2 stalks of celery, and a whole lime. It was still bitter, and nasty but I managed to get it down. The mix probably needed another half an apple, a couple of carrots and a handful of grapes, to make it taste good, but the idea is to keep the natural fructose limited.

You might want to skip mowing a week or so and traverse your yard to see if you have this nutrient rich weed growing wild and join me in my adventure of juicing.  Or just try some Prickly Lettuce to cut your produce costs.

I understand Prickly Lettuce is quite tasty cooked and sautéed in bacon fat with crispy bacon sprinkled on top. But hey, I’m juicing. The fresher the better, so I'll hold firm for harvesting and juicing my Prickly while it's standing at attention straight and tall. 

I will keep everyone posted on my juicing progress. 


  1. Good for you, I think I'm gonna pass on the weed juice, but I'm rooting for you.

  2. Ya might try a shot of rum in that. Couldn't hurt! Just kidding!