by Cindy Bendel
As a mom to young boys, I'm always on the lookout for easy ways to add nutrition to my kids' diet. Smoothies in particular work well because I can pack a bunch of items into it. I pop the ingredients into my Vitamix, blend and end up with a drink that's plant-based and tastes great. It's a regular part of family meals.
I want to share a recipe that has become a staple in our household and it has a tropical summer vibe to it. If you have the winter blues this drink will cure it. The strawberry combines well with mango and papaya to produce a tangy, refreshing flavor that will wake your taste buds. And it'll give you two servings of fruits and veggies (Wahoo!).
If you have food allergies and intolerances it's easy to adjust the recipe. This particular one is gluten and dairy free.
Strawberry Mango Papaya Smoothie.
3/4 cup frozen strawberries
1/4 cup frozen mango
1/4 cup frozen papaya
1 cup loosely packed fresh kale (rinsed and drained)
3/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons psyllium fiber
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. If the blender is having a hard time processing the ingredients, slowly add up to 1/4 cup of water. Any more and it may be too watery.
You might wonder, why psyllium? It's a good way to add fiber to the drink and help you feel full and satisfied.
I sometimes add other ingredients such as banana. Maybe a third to a fourth of one. It's a fairly forgiving recipe so you can experiment to see what combination of flavors work for you. When we're out of kale, spinach and even cauliflower make a nice substitute. A squeeze of lime also adds a nice flavor.
If you have time to make a sit-down meal this recipe can also be made into a smoothie bowl.
What is a smoothie bowl you ask? It's exactly what it sounds like. A smoothie in a bowl, layered with any number of fruit, nuts and seeds.
You may find that a smoothie drink will satisfy for a short time before you're feeling hungry again. Whereas a smoothie bowl can be fortified with a number of ingredients including protein. The chewing helps with the digestive process and also contributes to the feeling of fullness.
There are no hard and fast rules for smoothie bowls. Add sliced fruit, nuts and seeds, crunchy cereal such as granola, corn flakes or puffed rice. Other textures and flavors such as coconut flakes, chia seeds and flax seeds also work well with smoothie bowls.
Where to find mango and papaya
If you have a Trader Joe's nearby they usually carry frozen tropical fruits, sometimes it's a blend and sometimes they're sold separately. Costco carries frozen mango but it's a fairly large bag. You may have to call around if your grocery store doesn't carry frozen tropical fruits.
Don't forget fresh fruit also works! It doesn't necessarily have to be frozen.
Let us know if you try this recipe and your thoughts. And if you have a smoothie recipe to share we'd love to hear about it!