When Your Aquaponics System Gives You Too Much Bok Choy, Make Juice!


“Bok Choy, a cruciferous green vegetable, is a member of the Brassica family. It’s also called pak choi or Chinese cabbage. Unlike most cruciferous vegetables grown in the United States, such as cabbages, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli, this particular variety of Brassica doesn’t form a “head”. Instead, it’s a non-heading cabbage that has thick crunchy white stems and broad green leaves. 

Bok Choy is native to China, where it has been eaten for more than 1,500 years. While not as well-known in the United States as other types of cabbages and cruciferous vegetables, it’s also been cultivated in North America for more than 100 years. The vegetable is easy to prepare and is a common ingredient in Asian soups and stir-fries. 

Studies show that cruciferous vegetables such as Bok Choy help to reduce your risk of developing cancer. It’s full of cancer-fighting compounds such as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, folate, and selenium. Vitamin Cvitamin E, and beta-carotene are powerful antioxidants that can help to prevent cell damage from free radicals, which may help to lower your cancer risk. Selenium may help to slow the growth rate of tumors. Bok Choy is also full of fiber, which keeps your digestive system healthy and may help to prevent colon cancer

Like other dark, leafy greens, Bok Choy is an excellent source of the flavonoid quercetin. Quercetin can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which may help to reduce your risk of developing a variety of chronic health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.” (Quote taken from WebMD.com article entitled “Health Benefits of Bok Choy)

Now that we’ve read about these incredible health benefits of Bok Choy, we need to grow more Bok Chow and drink more Juice! One of these benefits, Quercetin, is of particular importance right now because it is such an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. For these reasons, some Doctors are recommending it as both a treatment and prophylactic in dealing with Covid-19. “Quercetin suppresses the NLRP3 inflammasome by affecting these regulators. Quercetin, as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic and inflammatory compound, is probably a potential treatment for severe inflammation and one of the main life-threatening conditions in patients with COVID-19.” (Quote taken from NIH, National Library of Medicine article entitled “Anti-inflammatory potential of Quercetin in COVID-19 treatment”) Interesting that a vegetable that comes from China, which is where Covid-19 originated, could also be a great help in preventing and curing that new and frightening disease.

We are all familiar with the Stir-Fry Wok method of Chinese Cooking. Bok Choy is a popular Leafy Green in Chinese Stir-Fries. Here’s what I did with some of our Bok Choy for a tasty evening meal. You can see I added Cherry Tomatoes and Peppers all from our Greenhouse to make this delicious and healthy dinner.

But we have way too much Bok Choy to Stir-Fry it all so the next best thing to do is drink it, which means it needs to be turned into Juice. The first step in turning Bok Choy into Juice is to separate the individual leaves from the bundle. Then they have to be washed, and that’s where our great 3-Well Stainless Steel Greenhouse Sink with a separate spray nozzle comes in handy.

Once the Bok Choy is washed, it needs to be put into a Spinner to get the excess water off of it. In the same way you wouldn’t want a wet, soggy salad, you don’t want water in your Bok Choy Juice. Water will dilute your Juice. Now these cruciferous vegetable Juices are pungent, so you are going to dilute it with Apple Juice.

This Greenhouse Spinner is a life saver. As the blow up of the Label states, it’s a “COMMERCIAL SALAD DRYER”, so if you have a large family and make a lot of salads, you may want one of these. Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t automatic. That Lever on the top is a Bicep workout as you grab ahold and turn it for several spins.

As you can see in the above photo, there are two baskets. The White one in the sink holds the washed Bok Choy, and the orange one inserted into the Spinner holds the batch of Veggies that are about to be spun.

Once the Spin job is done, it’s time to make the Juice. Everything up to this point has been preparation for making the Juice. The photo below demonstrates my actual Juice-Making Set Up. It includes the Washed & Spun Bok Choy, the Juicer, the 4-Cup Catch Measuring Cup, the cutting Tray, the Juice receiving Bottles, the Funnel and the Knives.

And now Toto, from Wizard of Oz wants to say something important about WHERE WE ARE.

I repeat, “Dorothy, we are NOT in the Kitchen!” Believe it or not, cooking and juicing is not my favorite thing to do. I’m the Marketing Director here at AUSA, so I like creating interesting Social Media Posts, images, campaigns and writing copy like I was trained to do at the Barton Batton Durstein & Osborn (BBDO) Advertising Agency back in the day when I was a new San Francisco State University graduate. So it follows that the Kitchen is not my favorite place in the house. Therefore, I have devised an ingenious way to avoid it. The Juicing Set Up in the photo above is in the Livingroom.

I have a portable Tray, with a cutting board that fits inside of it, that I take out of the Kitchen into the Livingroom where I can choose to Sit or Stand to do the Juicing of whatever vegetable I’m working on. Now here’s something else that works out great because I’m NOT in the Kitchen. The Juicer is sitting on one of my two Coffee Tables that make an L-shape. So when I have to use the Juicer Pusher to push the Leafy Greens into the blade of the Juicer, I stand up and have the perfect leverage for putting all of my upper body weight into that task. Juicing from the much higher sink in the kitchen does not allow me that kind of leverage and makes juicing that much more difficult. After all, I’m not juicing things that most people juice like oranges, lemons, tomatoes, carrots. I’m juicing cruciferous veggies that have a lot of fiber, and one could say, are rather resistant to turning from a fibrous leaves into liquid. So this location is the perfect place from which to juice, and there’s the added bonus of being able to watch TV at the same time. If we were selling this Juice, I would have to be in an approved and squeaky clean Kitchen, but this Juice is for personal use, and my Livingroom solution works just fine.

And those fibrous Bok Choy Leaves give up their Leafyness to turn into beautiful, very Green Liquid, which has to be diluted because it is so pungent. So now it’s time to add the Apples. I buy Organic Fuji Apples that I cut into quarters and core before popping them into the Juicer.

Compared to juicing Leafy Greens like Bok Choy and Swiss Chard, juicing Apples is a Sit-Down Snap. Pop a couple of the quarters into the Juicer and push them through the blade with ease, so this part of the job goes quickly. You need to mix about 50% Apple Juice with 50% Bok Choy Juice to get to a taste that is delicious. If you want to sweeten up your Juice, just add a few drops of Stevia. Place your funnel into the top of your receiving Bottle and pour in your Juices, Label and Refrigerate for a bright, healthy, green drink!

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Thank You for taking away from this busy Christmas Season to visit our Blog. If you’re anything like me and would rather stay out of the Kitchen, I’m sure you’ve realized by now that there are a lot of other things you can do with a Portable Cutting Board in a Tray that you can take anywhere.

Enjoy the Season of Loving & Giving.

Sustainably,

Grace, Marketing Director of AUSA

Visit Our Other Social Media Sites below. To see Video Tutorials from our Demonstration Greenhouse, be sure to go to our YouTube Channel, last one in the icon List below:

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