Pea Green Lemon Balm Juice

“Je via sano!” — apparently that’s Esperanto for “To your health!” Here’s my daughter holding the elixir of groovy, raw, detoxing, alkalising, mineralising, energising health juiced from the rampant growth in our alternately sunny and rainy spring garden.

I had impulsively thrown some marrowfat peas on one of our raised beds, and they grew so fast they were hiding our beloved chives and strawberries from the sun.  I hadn’t had a proper plan.  So I pulled them all up, and there was quite a lot of pea growth, each one maybe somewhere in between what you might imagine as a Pea Shoot and a Pea Green.  I threw my shoe in there to show you the bulk.


The texture was a little stringy and chewy, even once pureed in a pesto with almonds and olive oil.  Not quite nice enough. I’d been then inclined just to sautee some in garlic and olive oil, but there were so many to clean and pick through. And a feeling of laziness overtook me.  How it came to me to pull out the juicer my husband bought at a carboot sale, I can’t recall.

But a good idea ’twas, and the silky rich juice that flowed from the violence and noise of that machine tasted, more than anything I’ve tried, like Wheat Grass juice.  Which I think of as something so expensive.  And these peas were a handful from a 65p box and grew like weeds with no attention at all, just a lazy, desultory scatter.  The amount above yielded maybe a litre?

I’ve also been contemplating culinary uses for Lemon Balm, a beautiful and prolifically growing herb with such a strong flavour one restrains oneself from overuse.  Yet in its abundance it asks to be used abundantly.  I tried the taste of juicing a little on its own.  Perfumy but a back bite of bitter.  Mixed with the pea taste was wonderful, a bit of mystery and romance maybe.  The mint added some brightness, and enthusiasm.  Apple would have been really good too.

It’s nice drinking juice like this– feels really good for the body. I’ve set some aside to ferment as something in between a Beet Kvass and Kanji, a fermented and spiced carrot and sometimes beetroot drink enjoyed during the Hindu festival of Holi, which is all about colour and about love, so completely tantalising…  Results to follow if the experiment feels successful.

I’m also thinking that adding more mintyness, and sweetening with something floral– say,  Dandelion Simple Syrup — then fermenting with Water Kefir (blog post to come) would be a wonderful Green Refreshment…

OH!  I threw the pulp from the juicer into a soup stock with bones, and wish I could say it was nice.  Instead, the broth is rather sludgy.  So whatever I use it for will be something thick rather than delicate….