So you may have seen this leathery, hot pink or fuscia fruit with it’s strange curly spikes at the grocery store more frequently, and thought to yourself “now what is that and what would I do with it?”
Dragon fruit has a flavor and texture similar to kiwi fruit. It is a member of the cactus family (think prickly pear). The skin of the fruit is inedible, but the flesh is white and flecked with little black specks that look like vanilla or poppy seeds.
Select ripe fruits without bruises. You can just slice them in half with a sharp knife and scoop out the fruit with a spoon by running it around the inside of the skin. Then you can eat it right away or dice it up and add it to fruit salsas, fruit salads, or smoothies. It is versatile and mildly succulent.
You will need:
- 4 ripe Dragon fruits, scooped out of the skin, and diced
- 1 ripe banana, sliced
- 1 fresh mango, diced
- 2 cups soy or almond milk
- honey to sweeten if preferred (shouldn’t need it)
- 1/4 cup ice
In a blender add all the ingredients and puree until smooth and creamy.
- 1½ cups of unsweetened almond milk (organic is preferred)
- 1/4 cup organic (preferred) Greek yogurt with live active cultures
- ½ cup frozen mangoes
- ½ cup fresh papaya
- ¼ cups walnuts
- ½ inch fresh ginger root, peeled and cut up
- ½ inch fresh turmeric root, peeled and cut up
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 Tablespoon flax seeds
Place the liquid in the blender and add the remaining ingredients. If you don’t have a powerful blender, I recommend grinding the nuts and seeds in a coffee grinder before placing them in the blender unless you don’t mind a little texture with your smoothie. Blend until smooth and enjoy! This makes one good sized smoothie, or two small smoothies to share. If you want to skip the yogurt, you can also use about a teaspoon or less or probiotic powder.
Just the thought of smoothies makes me smile!
The satisfying chill and thickness of a good smoothie is akin to a great malted milk shake. Smoothies don’t have to be what you think they are. They can be just as satisfying and filling as any ice cream or rich dessert, but with the added benefits of fresh fruits, calcium from low fat sources, nutrients and hunger curbing protein and fiber. One of my latest treats I stumbled upon out of culinary curiosity was a Himalayan red rice smoothie. Rice Smoothie? Yeah ,that is exactly what you read there. I tried it the other day because I cooked some of this amazing, Himalayan red rice up and had some left over in the refrigerator. I threw it in the blender with a banana, a small apple, some soy milk and Splenda and it was so good.
I knew it would be, the rice is flavorful, nutty, and has a chewy, good texture when cooked. Once blended up it added a filling and satisfying something to the otherwise boring smoothie. It filled me up too, for a long time! I don’t recommend using other rice in smoothies because they usually don’t bring strong enough flavors to the party. I would stick to red rice and black rice, which is whole grain rice but it is sticky, and powerfully flavored. I always think of things with carotene when I eat black rice for some reason. I would use black rice to make smoothies with carrot and frozen grapes, maybe banana and fresh ginger. You can use a glob of Greek style yogurt in these too to really bulk them up. The red rice has a few aliases as well. It can be found under red cargo rice and Bhutanese rice.
Himalayan Red Rice Smoothie
- ¼ Cup cooked red rice
- 1 small banana
- 1 small apple
- 1 Tablespoon Splenda
- 1 Cup soy, rice, or skim milk
- ½ Cup ice
Makes approximately 1-2 servings depending on how much you want to drink.
Chinese Black Rice Smoothie
¼ cup cooked black rice
1 cup frozen grapes
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small banana
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 Tablespoon Splenda
1 cup soy, rice, or skim milk
The frozen grapes can be substituted for ice if you like. I just think it adds the chill with more flavor.
One of my most favorite smoothies of all time happened to me when I explored Malaysian cuisine with a Moroccan man. I ordered the avocado drink and when it came out it was more than I ever dared to dream avocado could be. I mean avocado is already amazing, isn’t it? It gallivants joyously with crab and has scandalous affairs with salt, lime juice, jalapeno and tomato as guacamole. Grilled lightly and served with fish or meat it is all smoothness and flavor. It moisturizes weathered skin and hair, and offers good fat! So with all the things we already do with avocado what else?Well…sweets of course! My drink came to me on a non-assuming circular beverage tray, crowded by water beaded glasses of diet soda and iced tea respectively. But what was gingerly placed before me by a serenely beautiful Malaysian woman tightly wrapped in her floral sarong and wearing the most enchanting smile was something I was not ready for. I took one sip, and closed my eyes. I had to think about this for a moment. I had to take a moment and really, really consider what was going on in my mouth. It was a pastoral green in color, was cool and refreshing the way it is to walk along the beach and have the surf come up and surround your ankles. I could taste the avocado, of course, but the yogurt, milk and sugar added made it seem like it was some never discovered tropical fruit that only these restaurant owners knew about. Then my brain recognized what it so clearly was. I could feel my mind grinning that it had been so easily fooled. An audible laugh escaped my lips which broke into a huge smile as I looked over at my companion. He nodded at me knowingly which of course prompted me to ask if he knew about this already and never told me! He did, and he did not. A staple Moroccan drink he said, but good with apple mixed in it as well. Well, I plan to try it that way, I said, actually irritated that he had not thought to tell me before. And since then it has become a very filling and pleasurable addition to my smoothie repertoire.
Serves two to four
Here are some other smoothie ideas you might like to try adding to your snack or meal replacement line-up.
2 med carrots, peeled, chop
1 medium apple, skin on, chop
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon Splenda
1 cup soy or skim milk
1 cup ice
To this one you could substitute frozen green grapes or even add fruits like kiwi or strawberry to it.