Traditional Ash Gourd juice recipe with lemon, black salt, pepper and mint. It's naturally detoxifying, immune boosting and helps strengthen mental clarity.
An Introduction to Gourd Juice
My first official introduction to Ash Gourd Juice was from my favourite Indian guru Mr Sadhguru. I watched a YouTube video introducing this ingredient which prompted me to do more research on this. I was delighted to discover that it grows in abundance here in Phuket. It's available at the local markets all year round and is very inexpensive.
I started juicing my own ash gourds and playing around with recipe variations. I really notice the benefits when I drink this juice in the mornings, it's now a regular part of my weekly menus. As an Irish man living in tropical Thailand I need all the support I can get in keeping my body temperature and metabolism regulated!
In this article I'll introduce you to what I've learnt about Gourds and provide some further links for you to discover more. My recipe for Ash Gourd juice is very easy to make - the most challenging part will be to find yourself a gourd - if your living outside of Asia!
- An Introduction to Gourd Juice
- What is Ash Gourd
- Ash Gourd in Asian Cuisine
- Selecting Fruits
- Health Benefits
- Ash Gourd Nutrition
- Cultivating Gourds
- Ash Gourd in Ayurveda
- How to make Ash Gourd juice
- Equipment you will need
- Ingredients you will need
- Step-by-step tutorial
- More Ayurvedic inspired recipes to try
- To Good Health
- Recipe Variations
What is Ash Gourd
Ash Gourd or Winter Melon is a fruit native to Asian countries and warm parts of Australia. It comes in all shapes, sizes and varieties.
The fruit is considered to be very auspicious and is used in making temple prasad (food offered to the God's). Many people in South India hang it in front of their house as it is known to give positive vibrations and clears the negative energy.
It is used widely in Indian, Chinese and South East Asian cuisines - in curries, stir fries, soups, desserts and drinks. The fruit contains many health benefits and has been widely used in Indian and Chinese medicinal systems for centuries.
Ash Gourd is a vine and the fruit resembles a watermelon or a big cucumber. The mild taste is similiar to cucumber. The mature fruit has a waxy covering, hence the name Wax Gourd, or it is covered in grey ash - Ash Gourd. This natural wax preserves the fruits after harvest for several months.
Ash Gourd in Asian Cuisine
Also known as Winter melon, green squash, white pumpkin, Chinese melon or in Hindu it's called Safed Petha.
The popular North Indian dessert or sweet candy Petha from the famous Agra city is made with it.
In Thai and South East cuisine green squash is widely available all year round, it appears in many local soups and curries.
When selecting an Ash Gourd, choose a gourd with no bruises. The fruit should feel heavy for its size, and can be recognized as being approximately the same size and shape of a watermelon, with a characteristic white, ash-coated surface.
This powder is harmless to eat, but becomes sticky when it is wet. It should be washed from the surface before cutting the fruit open. The interior should be white with a crisp texture. Uncut, an ash gourd will keep for up to 2 months in a cool, dry storage area.
Ash Gourd is packed with nutritional health benefits. It has also become a big trend in the fitness world. Apart from cooling down the system and detoxifying the body, there are numerous other benefits of this fruit which belongs to pumpkin family.
- It is good for curing joint and muscular pains
- Stimulates the normal elimination of waste from excretory system
- Regulates heart functions
- Enhances metabolism
- Acts as an antacid
- Strengthens the respiratory system.
Ash Gourd Nutrition
One of the most significant benefits of ash gourd is for helping with excess weight loss. It's very low in calories, and rich in soluble fibres that help keep you full for a long time. It is also replete with potassium which acts as a diuretic in case you have problems like water retention.
It also has vitamin B2 which is good for energy levels, also riboflavin which facilitates the activity of thyroid gland and stress hormones. Both of which are crucial for weight management.
Ash gourd juice helps in maintaining healthy skin and hair. It is very rich in fiber and good for constipation problems. It is alkaline in nature, so it is very useful in acid reflux syndrome.
Apart from weight loss, consuming ash gourd could also be a good idea for those who have a common problem of acidity, ulcers and heart burn. It acts as a coolant since it is alkaline in nature and it also happens to be a very good source of vitamin C and flavonoids that help pump up your immunity levels.
Ash gourd supplies plenty of nutrition, being inherently high on water content providing a cooling effect on the body, having zero cholesterol thereby augmenting heart health and abounding in a plethora of vitamins and minerals to facilitate key metabolic functions in the body.
This remarkable natural wonder also provides valuable curative properties for conditions such as fever, jaundice and diabetes. This is owing to it's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, due to the presence of beneficial plant compounds like flavonoids and carotenoids.
In addition, the juice of ash gourd also heals hair and scalp disorders like dandruff and bald patches. I may start putting the juice pulp on my receding hair line!
Ash Gourd in Ayurveda
Incorporating ash gourd or winter melon, into your lifestyle is an effective way to beat the heat, enjoy a powerful energy boost and add tasty variety to salads, juices, snacks and even sweets.
How to make Ash Gourd juice
Ash Gourd is a very plain tasting fruit, just like cucumber. The juice will taste very bland. To enhance the taste you can add a lemon, black salt, pepper and some mint leaves.
The juice is very easy to make. You can use a cold pressed juicer or blend the roughly chopped pieces in a high speed blender. If the gourd has thick and hard seeds then discard the seeds before juicing it. There is no need to discard the soft and very thin seeds.
When making in the blender it's best to strain the juice before serving.
Add lemon juice, mint leaves, freshly ground black pepper powder and black salt (or pink Himalayan salt) as per taste.
It's best to make this juice and consume on the same day; serve chilled with a sprig of mint and a wedge of lemon in the morning time to help flush out toxins and energise yourself for the day.
Equipment you will need
You can use either a blender or cold pressed juicer to make this recipe. In the recipe card I provide details of how to make both. In this step-by-step tutorial I use the cold pressed juicer method which is my preferred way.
Ingredients you will need
- Ash Gourd
- Black salt
- Black pepper
Start by washing and peeling the Ash Gourd
Cut the vegetable lengthways.
Dice the vegetable into pieces small enough to put through the juicer.
Peel the yellow skin from the lemon and cut into small pieces.
Wash the mint and assemble all ingredients ready to put through the juicer or blender.
Put the Ash Gourd, lemon and mint through the juicer. (If you are making with a blender - add to the blender along with 100ml of water - blend well and strain)
The juice should look like this. The green colour comes from the mint.
Season to taste with black or pink salt.
Add some freshly ground black pepper.
Give it all a stir and serve with a slice of lemon and sprig of mint.
More Ayurvedic inspired recipes to try
To Good Health
I hope this article is of good use and benefit to you or your family. It's a pleasure to be able to share these invaluable recipes for promoting good health. I'd love to hear from you if you make the recipe or have any other variations to share.
Ash Gourd Juice (Winter Melon Juice)
- Chopping board
- Chefs knife
- Cold press juicer
- Serving glass
- 400 g Ash gourd wax gourd / winter melon
- ½ each Lemon yellow skin removed
- 1 pinch Black salt
- 1 pinch Black pepper - ground
- 4 sprigs Mint optional
- Wash, peel and remove the large seeds from the ash gourd.
- Peel the yellow skin off the lemon and cut into pieces.
- If using a young gourd, you can leave the seeds in.
- Cut the ash gourd into small pieces.
- Add the ash gourd, lemon and mint to the blender with 100ml of water.
- Blend for 20 seconds.
- Strain liquid into a jug.
- Season with black salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Pour into 2 serving glasses.
- Alternatively, chill for 30 minutes in the fridge before serving
Cold Press Juicer Method
- Put the ash gourd, lemon and mint leaves to the cold pressed juicer.
- Season the juice with black salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Pour into 2 serving glasses.
- Serve chilled with a sprig of mint and slice of lemon.
Recipe VariationsAsh Gourd and Watermelon Smoothie Blend equal parts ash gourd and watermelon in a blender and add honey or maple syrup to taste. Lime and Ash Gourd Cooler Juice 2-3 cups of ash gourd in a juicer, add fresh lime juice and salt to taste. Blend in a sprig of mint or cilantro for a fresh twist.
It is best to juice and consume as quickly as possible. I advise 1 day maximum shelf life.
If the seeds are small from a younger gourd, yes you may juice or blend (make sure to strain). If it's a larger old gourd, you can cut away and discard the seeds before juicing.
From the reading I've done, I believe it's best to drink in the morning time, soon after waking up to help flush out toxins and energise yourself for the day ahead.
Black salt's flavour is very similiar to boiled eggs! You may reduce the amount of black salt added or replace with pink salt.