Tropical Groove Smoothies

My New Roots
Thu, 22 May 2014 03:41:28 +0000
I just got back from the island of Gili Air, a pinprick of land off the west coast of Lombok. Being so isolated and teeny, you can imagine the food in this particular place wasn’t so high-vibe. Not a raw food, vegan buffet in sight! Gasp! Somehow, I survived, har har, but what truly got me through were the smoothies. Every single restaurant and cafe, no matter how small and unassuming, had a long list of tropical blends to enjoy. I had it made in the shade, just sippin’ on my whizzed up fruits and ice. So simple, refreshing – it reminded me that easy edibles are sometimes the best.<br /><br />When I got back to civilization here in Bali, I had a serious date with my blender. Nothing fancy, just local, seasonal, simple mixes to beat the heat. I came up with these two beauties, inspired by the foods and flora around me.<br /><br />The first smoothie is a Mango Coconut Jamu. Jamu is a traditional Indonesian turmeric tonic that has been made for centuries. With endless variations, some recipes including botanical ingredients such as flowers, fruits, seeds, bark, leaves, and roots, it’s fun to be creative with exotic blends, with a touch sweetener such as honey or palm sugar to mellow out the bitter edge. My version takes advantage of the newly-in-season mango (!!!) and fresh, young coconuts which are literally falling off the trees all around me. If you don’t have access to coconuts, just use canned coconut milk instead for a decadent, tropical treat. And as for the turmeric, use as much as you can handle. The recipe calls for only half a teaspoon of fresh turmeric, but I probably put in twice that amount in my own because I’m wild about that little tuber. Dried and powdered turmeric is fine to use too, just try to find organically grown if possible.<br /><br />The second smoothie I made just had to be green, because this island is so inspiringly lush and leafy! I have been digging the traditional avocado-based drinks that are actually referred to as “juice” here, even though the avocado has been blended. They are thick, creamy, cold, and not overly sweet. My juice is spiked with a hearty dose of digestive ginger and tangy lime. If you want to get things even greener, toss in a handful of tender greens, such as kale or romaine and get glowing!<br /><br />Either of these shakes would make a fabulous breakfast, as they are literally a meal-in-a-glass. They also satisfy as an afternoon snack, maybe split between two people.<br /><br />How to Drink Smoothies Is there a big question mark sitting above your head right now? How hard is it to drink a smoothie?! Even though we may think just guzzling down a big glass of food is simple enough, there are in fact some ways we can optimize the digestion of these veritable meals-in-a-glass.<br /><br />Smoothies are a wonderful way to enjoy a whole host of foods easily, as the masticating has been done for us. But, it is still essential to chew your smoothies! Why? Because digestion begins in the mouth and bathing our liquefied food in saliva is very important for the enzymatic action to take place. Especially for the first few sips, chew the smoothie or swirl it around in your mouth as you would any other food. This also sends a signal to your stomach that something good is on the way down and to prepare for the work ahead. It feels a little funny at first, but your tummy will thank you for giving it some time to put things in order before your smoothie arrives.<br /><br />It’s also a good idea to avoid consuming really cold smoothies, as freezing drinks actually shut down our digestive system. A cold beverage will sit in your stomach until it reaches core temperature before moving onto into the small intestine, so the colder something is to begin with, the longer it will take to digest.<br /><br />Once blended, smoothies look quite small, but remember that they are still a lot of food! If you were to sit down and eat an entire coconut, mango, and half a banana, it would take you quite a while. Smoothies are caloric and condensed, so keep that in mind when blending up your meal – a lot turns into a little.<br /><br />Tropical Groove Smoothies<br /><br />Mango Coconut Jamu Serves 1<br /><br />Ingredients: 1 medium mango ½ frozen banana or 1 tsp. raw honey, to your taste (or your favourite sweetener) flesh from 1 young coconut (substitute ¼ cup / 60 ml coconut milk) 1 cup / 250 ml coconut water (or regular water, or nut/seed milk) ½ tsp. freshly grated turmeric (or ¼ tsp. dried turmeric powder) 2-3 ice cubes (if desired)<br /><br />Directions: 1. Peel and cut mango into chunks. Place in a blender with all other ingredients and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Sweeten to taste. Enjoy immediately.  <br /><br />Ginger Lime Avocado Juice Serves 1<br /><br />Ingredients: 1 medium avocado juice and zest of 1 lime 1 tsp. minced ginger 1 cup / 250 ml coconut water (or regular water, or nut/seed milk) ½ frozen banana or 1-3 tsp. raw honey, to your taste (or your favourite sweetener) 2-3 ice cubes (if desired)<br /><br />Directions: 1. Slice the avocado in half, remove pit and scoop out flesh into the blender. Add all other ingredients and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Sweeten to taste. Enjoy immediately.<br /><br />I’ll be Instagramming my food during the raw refresher, so follow along my adventures here.<br /><br />*   *   *   *   *   *<br /><br />Show me your smoothies on Instagram: #tropicalgroovesmoothies 
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