Like most Americans, I have consumed an abundance of synthetic over-processed sugars throughout my lifetime. I never knew what the plant or the raw juice of sugar cane actually looked or tasted like. However, since relocating to Kauai, I have been fortunate enough to come face-to-face with this plant. After getting to know this beautiful sweet specimen, I learned that processed and crystalized sugar has undeservingly given the real thing a bad rap.
Sugar cane, in its true, raw plant-form, when cold-pressed, using zero heat and without pasteurazation and keeping within the true intention of the plant is actually healthy for us. Yes, that’s right, sugar cane juice is not only delicious, but can also help us to feel good too, without the addictive and compromising health characteristics.
Health Benefits of Raw Cold Pressed Sugar Cane Juice
Fresh, raw, unpasteurized sugar cane juice contains numerous vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients including: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, calcium, cobalt, coper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, antioxidants, chlorophyl, proteins and soluble fiber. Some fun facts about Sugar Cane juice:
Sugar cane juice's high mineral content ironically, shows it to be effective against tooth decay.
High amounts of potassium in sugar cane juice can help ease constipation.
Without simple sugars and having a low glycemic index of around 35, sugar cane juice is made accessible to diabetics.
It hydrates while replenishing the body of lost nutrients.
It boosts the immune system.
It lowers cholesterol.
Sugar cane juice can be used to ease a sore throat, cold or flu.
For more in-depth information about sugar cane juice can be found here and here.
You won't find raw juice in stores
It's impossible to find raw, unpasteurized juice (of any kind) in stores because the FDA requires that all juices be pasteurized prior to sale, unless the juice producer (us) is selling directly to the consumer (you!) That gives us all one more reason to shop local and get to know our local farmers. We are able to produce and sell foods in their most raw state. Back in the day, the Hawai’ian Kahunas, otherwise known as shaman or medicine men, would use sugar cane to deliver the plant medicine. The super enzyme-rich purple sugar cane juice was actually known as medicine, used to open the body’s systems to better receive all the nutritional benefits of the accompanying healing plants. Furthermore, Hawaiians historically used the fiber of the sugar cane stalks to clean their teeth and gums, and they pressed the cane juice from the stalks to help aid with digestion and other bodily functions. In modern times, we associate “sugar” with weight-gain, diabetes, cavities and tooth decay. My family and I go to great lengths to avoid any and all consumption of packaged sugar of any kind. It is truly unbelievable how different the constituents are of processed white “sugar” and true raw sugar cane. It certainly makes one wonder about the “process”.
Where to buy raw, cold pressed sugar cane juice
Here at Kauai Farmacy, we cold-press the Hawai’ian purple sugar cane. This variety is a bit different from the more popular green variety that was farmed during the plantation days here on Kauai and is still being farmed today on the island of Maui. Grown using only organic matter, we harvest the giant purple stalks of grass, split the stalks down the center and manually cold-press each cane stalk by hand using no electricity, heat or additives. This video shows how we harvest, prepare & press the most sensational sweet, pure cane juice. The purple sugar cane has a deliciously sweet, yet subtle flavor that warms the tongue and refreshes the body. People are often pleasantly surprised that the cane is so balanced and not as sweet as table sugar, and therefore doesn’t overwhelm the pallet. This makes sugar cane juice a perfect complimentary ingredient when combined with other juices. We use the sugar cane to sweeten the bitter, robust flavor of turmeric in our home-grown turmeric lemonades. Still wanting more? Positive Health Wellness have put together this infographic explaining more.