Aloe Vera is a plant that serves as a succulent species of the genus Aloe which consists of over five hundred different species. The plant comes from Arabia, it has leaves throughout the whole year and lives for more than one hundred years in the wild. The usage of Aloe Vera can be found in many consumables such as cosmetics for sunburns and minor burns, beverages, and skin lotion. There is only little clinical evidence that Aloe Vera extract is safe or effective as a medicine or a cosmetic.
Binomial name: Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera Trivia
Aloe Vera was used as a part of burial rituals in ancient Egypt. It was well known as “Plant of Immortality”.
Seeds of the plant are known to be used for biofuel.
They live in symbiosis with fungi. They have a mutually beneficial relationship, fungi provide the nutrients from the soil to the plant, and Aloe distributes the food in return.
Aloe Vera Buying Guide
Aloe Vera is usually sold as a gel already and you don’t have much work to do for it. However, if you see the yellow sap in the gel you should probably remove it as it is used as latex.
If you’re buying or growing the plant, you should be sure that there is no damage done to the leaves and that they’re free from mold.
Aloe Vera Production & Farming in Texas
The plant itself is and it really started off in Texas with the Aloe Vera juice and gel. Those two products were clearly favored and made a lot of farms to start growing it and use it as many different products that we can see today.
The plant of Aloe Vera is very easy to grow and its best to ignore it most of the time and not water it excessively, and don’t use the compost to the soil around it at all.
The plant is commonly grown in Texas, and you can find it pretty much anywhere in the state because of the sun it requires.
Aloe Vera relishes the heat from the sun but also gets seared from a full day of severe sun here in Texas, so the plant could use a bit of shade from the sun.
If you wish to remove bugs from your Aloe Vera plant, it is advised that you remove the yellow or wilting leaves using sharp scissors. After that, you should spray the plant with water and remove the remaining bugs by hand. The most common bugs found on the plant are mites, scales, and mealybugs. You should inspect your plants at least once a week for insects.
The plant of Aloe Vera is considered to be native only to the southwestern part of Arabia. Although it has been naturalized in different parts such as North Africa, Sudan, Madeira Islands, Cape Verde, and the Canary Islands, and some other regions.
Aloe Vera was introduced to China and parts of southern Europe in the 17th century.
To grow them in Texas, you should use about half of the potting soil and half of the sand for the container you want to grow them in. Don’t overwater as they can rot easily.
You can get the best use of the Aloe Vera leaves just by packaging it right after cutting the leaves and extracting the gel. The leaves start losing some of its potency a few hours after they were cut, so fresh is the best way to go. Then it can be packed as a gel or used to produce different consumables.
Enjoying Aloe Veras
The plant has a refreshing taste and is very well used while adding it to a smoothie or a salsa sauce. They should be cleaned and the gel should be extracted separately from the leaf and the latex. Once you’ve done that you will get little gel cubes that you will use to prepare what you desire. The skin is also edible but keep in mind that you should cut off the spiced edges on it. They’re great at being dipped into hummus or salsa.
Fresh Aloe Vera is always the best, but you can always place it in the fridge. It can last up to a week. You can also freeze the gel cubes or the skin.
As I’ve said, the skin and the inner gel are both edible and the skin can be used in fried dishes, as a salad, and as I’ve already said its great and crunchy texture makes it great as a snack for dipping into hummus or salsa. The gel is best used as a cocktail or as a smoothie.
One of the cooking recipes includes taking a few thick leaves and trimming their sharp edges. Cut the leaves into small cubes and boil them until they’re soft enough. After that, you should drain them and add some spices that you love like red chili powder or basil, anything of your preference. You can also add yogurt or a cooking cream to make a sauce with a decent enough texture. Seeds are always good to add to make your healthy lunch even better.
The plant of Aloe Vera has a variety of uses. It can be used to improve your liver function, alkalinity, hydration, to make your skin more clear, the latex sap is also great for your digestive system in small uses. The plant consists of different nutrients such as chromium, calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium, and sodium.
Aloe Vera only has around fifteen calories in a serving of around 230 grams which makes it great for losing weight.
When Are Aloe Vera in Season in Texas?
To find out when Aloe Vera are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.