My family hails from the tropics, so I’m attracted to tropical flavors by nature. Coconut and mangoes are flavors I was raised on, but now I’m living in Canada where winters are long and harsh. It can be difficult to channel the flavors of my ancestry.
A nostalgic Caribbean weekend
Saturday was my city’s Caribbean festival, and since my grandmother is on the board of directors, it has become a family tradition to spend the day together and celebrate our culture. On a day as long as this one tends to be, it’s crucial that I start my day with something healthy.
That’s because a day full of Caribbean food is not a day of light eating. As I love smoothies and most often start my day with one, I decided to make a smoothie that encompassed some of the flavors of my heritage but with a healthy sensibility.
Mangoes, coconut, raspberry and vanilla are all swoon worthy flavors on their own, but when paired together they are a sensational combination. And flavors aside, these ingredients are full of vitamins and minerals that benefit the body in many ways.
Why drink Caribbean fruit smoothies?
For people suffering from high levels of acidity, mangoes can be very beneficial because the enzymes found in mangoes help to relieve symptoms of indigestion. The active ingredients such as esters, terpenes and aldehydes present in mango helps to ease in the process of digestion by relieving gas and heartburn.
Not to mention the high levels of soluble dietary fiber, pectin and vitamin c that are naturally present in mangoes have been proven to lower serum cholesterol levels specifically LDL cholesterol.
Raspberries are an excellent source of anthocyanins, the powerful anti-oxidants, which give berries their deep colors. Anthocyanins retard the effects of aging, prevent cancer and may reduce the risk of heart disease. They’re a good source of quercetin, a flavonol and anti-oxidant which has anti-carcinogenic properties. It also induces the release of histamines, which can minimize allergic reactions.
Coconut water is a well known hydrator and anti viral ingredient. It’s also heavily studied for it’s potential in HIV and AIDS treatments. Coconut water also lowers the caloric value of this smoothie. Using something lean like coconut water in a smoothie cuts calories but boosts flavor and health benefits – it’s a win-win!
I blended all these ingredients together and took one sip…and was immediately transported back to the homeland! Smooth, creamy and exactly what I needed to properly usher in a day all dedicated completely to the tropics!
- ½ pint raspberries
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut
- ¾ cup frozen mangoes
- 240 ml coconut water
- 2 tbsp Greek yogurt, vanilla flavor
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Garnish with shredded coconut and a raspberry.