At first it seems like a chore, but with time it becomes second-nature.
It's easier than you may think, but there are many different techniques you can try until you find the one that is most comfortable for you.
The basic method is to rinse, then slice the Aloe vera leaf open and scrape out the gel into a jug. Add a little drinking-water and blend it with a stick blender.
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Preparing fresh Aloe vera gel for eating
First, always try to prepare your Aloe vera gel and add it to your food as a very LAST STEP in your meal preparations. The immune-system boosting properties of fresh Aloe vera won't last long once separated from the mother plant. Without using complex preservatives, the next best way to store fresh-prepared Aloe Vera gel is in the freezer.
PICKPluck or cut the leaves from the bottom of the plant. Always choose big mature leaves that are plump, firm, and at least 18cm (7") long. Depending on the type of Aloe Vera, you might need more than one leaf per serving.
WASHRinse the Aloe vera leaves under running water or in a bowl of water. Get rid of all the yellow sap (Aloe-latex) as it is very bitter and is known for its laxative effect. It can also stain your clothes, benchtops and other kitchen items, so always wash it away as soon as possible. Some people use it as an insect repellent, but this is not generally advised. Wash it all off before use in food.
SLICEUse a pair of scissors to trim the prickles from the sides of the leaf, though you can also use a knife - we advise that you use a cutting motion that leads the sharp blade away from your body. Then with a sharp knife - straight blades (not serrated) work best - slice down the length of the Aloe vera leaf between the two remaining sides of skin. Try to leave most of the gel on the lower side to make the next step easier.
SCRAPEUsing a knife, spoon or fingers, separate the gel from the skin into a jug or suitable container. If you are making a smoothie or drink, add the Aloe vera gel directly to your prepared ingredients prior to blending.
BLENDIf you're preparing the gel on its own, add a little water to the Aloe vera gel to fill your blending jug about 2cm (1") high - just enough for the blender to work more effectively. Then blend for about 20 seconds until the mixture is smooth and just a little bit frothy. You can use a stick blender, traditional blender or a Nutri-Bullet™. Aloe vera does not process well through a traditional juicing machine, so it's better to blend the Aloe vera gel separately and add it to your juice afterwards. An alternative method for preparing a small amount of gel is to cut it up on a plate using a knife and fork. Aloe vera is naturally quite a gooey substance, so keep a cloth on hand to wipe up.