I just got back from a much-needed vacation on the Big Island, and thought I might relive some of that experience by sharing this recipe with you. If you know where to look when traveling to Hawaii, you can find amazing unusual tropical fruits that you won’t generally see on the mainland – I highly recommend checking out the local farmer’s markets if you’re like me and you enjoy trying new and exotic fruits. This smoothie is made with Surinam cherries, which are one of the strangest, most wonderful things I have ever tasted. Funny looking little bright red pumpkin-shaped berries with a cherry-like stone in the middle. Their taste is just otherworldly; I don’t think I can do it verbal justice…a magical tart-sweet-citrusy-flowery-piney flavor you just have to experience! Also, it turns out you may not need to travel to the islands to taste them – apparently they are easily found in Florida, where they are popular ornamental plants. [For those who want to nerd out on botany: the Surinam cherry is Eugenia uniflora, part of the same genus as another myrtle relative more frequently seen on the west coast, Eugenia myrtifolia, an ornamental landscaping tree that also produces delicious berries, though with a more subtle and delicate flavor]. The other ingredients in this simple smoothie are island-grown versions of two classic fruits, papaya and banana – their sweetness perfectly offsets and complements the tartness of the Surinam cherry. I hope you enjoy this taste of Aloha!
Green smoothies are one of those things that you can never have enough variations on. So here’s a new one, my favorite of the moment. This one is super-creamy thanks to avocado, banana, and coconut milk. The kiwi and aloe juice add a very unique refreshing flavor dimension. And of course it’s got kale AND spinach for extra green goodness. So all in all, a nice nutrition-packed powerhouse to turbo-boost to your day without caffeine. Give it a try! These things are strangely addictive. Makes enough for 2-3 servings. I make a big batch every few days and portion out into mason jars to bring to work (I tend to drink them in the morning while everyone is sipping their coffee).
Banana bread is one of my husband’s favorite baked goods, so I knew the time was ripe (hehe) when I saw the last three bananas of my Costco purchase going past their prime on the counter. Here is a gluten-free, dairy-free variation that uses the natural sweetness of dates to bring the processed sugar way down, and is moist and not too crumbly thanks to the addition of applesauce and coconut milk. Easy, hearty, and refrigerates well. Works great as a packable on-the-go breakfast or a snack. Toast a slice and spread it with peanut butter or cream cheese perhaps? Makes 1 large loaf.
What do I mean by red greens, you ask? Well, during my most recent TJ’s trip I noticed something new in the salad greens section: heirloom red spinach. My first thought: you are destined for my blender! As you know, I love green smoothies, but I am always loath to add berries to them because the result is a very unappealing brown sludge. So, red greens + berries = a match made in heaven! The red spinach has a very delicate flavor, less chalky than regular spinach. I just can’t get enough of this purply-red (or is it dark magenta? or mauve?) otherworldly delicious, antioxidant-packed beverage.
As promised, another variation on the green smoothie theme. Living without a blender last month, I came home with quite a craving for green smoothies. I like mine very smooth, no bits of green leaves getting caught between the teeth and such. This tropical version is a refreshing cold drink that tastes a bit like a pina colada, with a creamy silkiness from the coconut milk. It is super-easy one to make – all the ingredients can be easily found at your local Trader Joe’s.
Green smoothies are my favorite way to supplement my greens intake, especially when I’m having a busy week and suddenly realize I have not had a proper salad in days. There is something very restorative about about drinking a green smoothie any time of day, though I particularly enjoy starting my day with some chlorophyll. I will post all sorts of variations on this theme, but I wanted to post this classic simple version first. Just 4 ingredients, plus water!
For some reason, I am obsessed with smoothies and shakes, so you will see plenty more of them here in the future. Usually they involve fruits and/or vegetables but today I was wanting something cofee-flavored. I like the combination of coffee with the natural sweetness of banana and vanilla. Gives you an energy boost (especially if you use caffeinated coffee!) plus protein from the protein powder. I liked the result of this experiment, and my husband gave it high marks too. This makes enough for one very tall glass or two small servings.