Ah, didn't know you could drink aloe vera, did you? Or maybe you did? It's a common enough shake in Vietnam, but I'm not sure many people know about it here. Not in its raw form anyway.
During the recent heat wave, UnHipLA asked me about its health benefits after she taste-tested five different brands of aloe vera juice. While we know aloe vera soothes sunburns, taken internally, it also acts as a natural laxative, helps kill parasites, heals ulcers, and soothes stomachaches, according to this website anyway. I don't know the exact particulars, but my second-youngest aunt says its good for me and likes to eat aloe vera during hot weather. She usually just mixes some fresh lemon juice and sugar with slices of raw aloe vera.
Luckily my youngest uncle has plenty growing in his yard so I can share my recipe with you.
Sinh To Nha Dam (Vietnamese Aloe Vera Shake)
I cut off just two leaves? Is that what you'd call it?
You can see the slime oozing out. To prepare, cut the sides where the spines are. Then I cut the leaf into smaller pieces to make it easier to peel with a knife.
It'll be pretty slimy to work with but when stripped bare, the aloe vera is pretty much translucent.
I cut the strips into thinner slices.
Washing my hands frequently because of the sliminess.
Here's a close-up of the side of the glass. Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice and sugar, and adjust to your taste.
Would you eat this?
How 'bout if I put a pretty little heart-shaped ice cube on top?
If you don't like aloe vera in slices, you can also blend it with ice cubes and make a shake. Add sugar if you wish.
This is how I drank it in Vietnam. Afternoon shake break with my cousin. We alternated between sipping this, Sinh To Bo (Vietnamese Avocado Shake) and Sinh To Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Shake). Very cooling on a hot day!